As soon as I saw the opening of the new Cbeebies hotel at Alton Towers, I knew we needed to go. We have been watching channel 202 in our house nearly every day for the last 3 years, so are big fans! It's not cheap, at nearly £300 per night for a family room including 2 days park entry & breakfast, so we needed a special occasion. We went for our daughters 1st birthday and also took our 2 ½ year old son.
When we arrived, the building itself looks a bit like a Travelodge with some stickers, so not the wow factor that some other themed hotels have. The Cbeebies sculpture type decoration outside the front doors won the children over though and it was excitement from the minute we got out of the car.
The reception area of the hotel is like stepping into another world! The huge interactive ‘book’ has lights and sounds for the children to play with and the street theme with buttons to press and bits that move blew their minds. The check in desk itself has steps so that little guests can get involved in the process and the staff were really lovely. Branded wristbands and lanyards complete the special feeling and add to the excitement.
We opted for the basic ‘Bugbies’ room and weren’t disappointed. Split into 2 sections, it was the perfect space for us. The front half of the room was brightly decorated with rainbows and Cbeebies bugs had a comfortable double bed and a TV. The bathroom is in between the 2 areas of the room, so can be accessed by both sides without disturbing each other. The theme continues in here with a giant picture wall and complimentary kid friendly toiletries. The kids sleeping area is tucked round behind the bathroom and is almost like a separate room without the worry. Decorated in a ‘night time’ theme with bunk beds, TV & interactive play wall it’s a great space. Both of our children needed travel cots (the hotel can only provide 1) which fitted alongside the bunk beds nicely. There are bigger, character themed rooms available too – although I wasn’t sure how conducive to sleep these would be!
The hotel offers entertainment from 7am to 9pm. This is offered in a large lounge/bar area that is decorated like a forest. There are Cbeebies character meet and greets, games, shows, dancing and stories so plenty of options to keep everyone happy, giving the parents a chance to relax with a well-deserved drink. The Windmill restaurant is just beside the lounge and offers a wide selection of family friendly meals and drinks. Its advisable to book your table online before you get there – it can get very busy and after a long journey or day in the park its good to know when you are going to eat! Breakfast is also served here, again a wide variety of meal options to suit every taste.
Included in your stay at the hotel is early access to the park and Cbeebies land. This is very handy, but best to be aware that the hotel itself is quite far from the actual park entrance. There is a 5-10 minute walk to a monorail station, then a 5 minute train ride. Depending on the time of year that you visit, this can get very busy as the other hotels all use the same train. My advice would be to weigh up what is on at the hotel and speak to staff to see if they have an idea on how busy it will be in the park. We went out of peak season, so it was very quiet, but we were given the wrong park opening times so had nearly 40 minutes to wait at the gate when we got there!
The Cbeebies Land itself is excellent! Lots of current and past themed rides which are perfect for little ones of all ages. A Tree Fu Tom park allows the sugar rush to be run off and the live shows give a chance for some audience participation. There are food and drink outlets, toilets and baby change, a photo studio and shops, so along with the rides you almost don’t need to visit the rest of Alton Towers.
Overall, this was an excellent family friendly break. Staying at the hotel made the trip totally worthwhile and made travelling with 2 small children easy and actually quite fun! Highly recommended for Cbeebies fans big and small!