Our half term this year was a week earlier than most other places, which meant that our Half Term Butlins Minehead stay was a lot quieter than I was expecting. We stayed in a West Lakes lakeside lodge and that surpassed all other expectations that I had about our stay.
Being a Butlin’s blog ambassador for the last year, this was our second stay at Minehead. Our last one being in June 2016. Both stays were complimentary and included premium dining. The food was fantastic and eventually I will lose the weight that I put on there. It was so worth it though.
The photograph above is of the lodges that were opposite our lodge, taken from our balcony and are identical to the one that we were in. My main feedback on social media when I posted this photograph was ‘that can’t be Butlins’ … but it really is. Our accommodation on our last stay at Butlins Minehead was nice, but this time the West Lakes lodge was frankly stunning.
The balconies of the lodges and the lakes just add that huge wow factor, which continued inside. The lodge was somewhere that I could have happily lived in – if it was moved to Cornwall obviously.
Our friends, including Lisa of The Love of A Captain were staying in a lodge opposite to us on a different lake and their lodge was pretty much identical to ours. Including the ducks that swam on the lake and came up to see us on the balconies. There was a bridge across the middle of their lake though. I can imagine in the warmer months, the balconies being hugely popular.
Handily Lisa’s fiance has been friends with Simon since they were boys, getting up to all sorts of mischief. This did mean a bit of reminiscing of when they used to come on lad’s breaks to Butlin’s. It sounds as if those stays were a little less calm and family orientated than the one we had.
It’s always funny to hear stories of what Si got up to as a boy and young man (yes I am calling you old Si) … I just hope the boys didn’t get any ideas.
The boys’ twin bedroom had everything they could possibly need in there and it was lovely and colourful. Absolutely spotless too, which was the theme for the whole place. There’s a daily housekeeping service and the gentleman housekeeper for our lodge was very friendly and very efficient when he popped over each morning.
Our room had an en suite, which was a lovely touch as it is so nice to have a second bathroom. The crab towel on our bed and the elephant towel in the en suite were such lovely touches.
The whole place was colourful, bright and pretty much perfect. We had a colourful inbuilt wardrobe, which I somehow forgot to take a photograph of. Inside there was also a safe for us to use, which was reassuring, there were hangers in both bedrooms and also a hairdryer in our room. All really helpful things.
The only tiny thing with our room, was that with the window above the bed, light did come in underneath as soon as the sun rose which could be a little annoying in the summer months when it rises a lot earlier. We managed to tuck the curtains up to make it a little bit darker, but a black-out blind such as in the children’s room would really be a good addition.
Other than that I really can’t fault the lodge at all. The kitchen was well stocked, the sofas comfortable and the wall mural just gorgeous. Handily there were also a lot of plug sockets as well, including by the beds for charging our phones.
There was a DVD player in the lounge, which on one of the evenings the boys and I snuggled up in front of to watch a film. With the quality of the accommodation, staying in feels more of a pleasure than you would expect. Perfect for those with younger children who they want to put to bed earlier, as they can still enjoy the feeling of being on holiday.
However, being Butlin’s pretty much everything including the evening entertainment is family friendly and there was lots to do during the day and night. The boys were a bit old for the Mr Men, but I enjoyed seeing a bit of it in the Skyline Pavillion.
There are a lot more shows inside the pavilion now than there used to be, which I really like as it’s a lot cooler in there, temperature wise than in some of the other entertainment places, plus it spaced everyone out a bit more so it made the other places less busy.
For our Monday to Friday stay we spent a lot of time on the amusement arcade machines, which are in the skyline pavilion and a couple of other places. The boys love collecting tickets all week and then spending them in the ticket shop at the end. For lots of tickets, the Monopoly machine is ace by the way and some of the fruit machine style ones. I hit the jackpot on one … 700 tickets … it was a little bit embarrassing with it shooting tickets out way faster than I could fold them.
We also spent plenty of time at the fairground, especially Lisa and the boys who loved the waltzers. The boys both loved the swings, as you can see below.
We watched Lego Batman at the cinema just the four of us. Lisa and Trev’s boys are 2 years old and 7 months, so they didn’t attempt the film. The cinema was mostly good, though it could really do with a bit of tlc in decor and seating. Unfortunately there were a lot of noisy people in there and children that weren’t hushed at all by their parents. We always love that Butlin’s show the latest film though, last time we watched one of the X Men films.
On one of the days we all headed into Minehead for some shopping and a wander around. It isn’t the biggest town, but there are quite a lot of shops and a nice beach. The beach is pretty much right outside the Butlin’s entrance, which must be a real bonus for those who usually live far from a beach.
We did watch some entertainment whilst there, mostly singers all of whom were good. Having friends there meant that on some nights we really were happy to just sit and have a few drinks whilst the boys enjoyed playing on the machines or running around after Jack the two-year old. I’d forgotten just how fast a two-year old can move and he kept us on our toes.
It really was just such a lovely break, I think if we were to go to Butlin’s again then we would try to go during a Half Term that was different from everyone else’s again. Although there were a lot of people there still, a lot had smaller children and it was just a lot calmer than we have found it there before.
I loved having baby cuddles with baby Hudson whilst we were there and laughing at the antics of the cute whirlwind that is Jack. I think we may need more holidays with friends in the future.
I have loved being a Butlin’s Ambassador for the last year and our last visit for this really was a wonderful way to finish it all off. The West Lake lodges are stunning and Butlin’s should be very proud of them.