We recently visited Butlins Bognor Regos Resort. I’ve never been before so was actually more excited than I get when I go to abroad. Whilst I was there I was thinking about where I’d like to book our next UK holiday so I weighed up the pros and cons.
Firstly, I’ve been to quite a few different Haven resorts through my childhood, not that I can remember the names of them but we also visited as a family last September to the Hafan y’ mor site in Wales.
So the reason I decided in Butlins this time was purely for the fact I really wanted to take Luca to Chessington World of Adventure and we live really far away. So I booked before Christmas and have looked forward to our little June mini break ever since.
When we arrived I was pleasantly surprised by the size and how close the accommodation was. Compared to Haven it was quite a fair walk away. So one point to Butlins. However, the accommodation was pretty grubby, and room only so we had no cooking facilities whereas for a cheaper price we had newly built apartments at Haven which were lovely and clean with absolutely everything we needed. Haven wins this point. One thing we did do both times was put the single bed next to the double to create space in the single room for toys and luggage.
Entertainment – Haven has lots of cute animal mascots whereas Butlins has characters and some people dressed in strange outfits. Butlins had a huge variety of shows and activities all the time whereas Haven had minimal things throughout the day then a disco and show at night. Personally I prefer the Haven mascots and so did Luca but that probably had something to do with not having a clue who the characters were. The mini disco was all much better at Haven, I found there was so much going on at once at Butlins that Luca just wasn’t interested in the shows or discos there and would just run off. However, the activities at Butlins were regular with lots of choice (sometimes a little too much as we couldn’t decide). I did love the craft session a lot more at Haven than Butlins though as we had the option to pay for a keepsake hand painted item whereas our choice at Butlins was gluing and sticking on paper.
Play areas – Haven has the most amazing outdoor play area but it’s very much aimed at older children with a smaller park nearby for older toddlers. Butlins had a lovely sand park suitable for toddlers which was perfect for us. They also have a larger park. I think depending on age would depend on which you prefer but for us Butlins won this one. In a few more years though I’d definitely say Haven. Butlins also has a huge soft play type area which is great, Haven had a really small one which smelt a bit funny so I definitely preferred Butlins play area.
Arcades and rides –
Haven can’t really compete on the free fairground you get at Butlins, especially the toddler fairground being indoors for rainy weather. Both arcades were onpar with coin and ticket machines but I think Haven had more little ride type things, but I guess that Butlins wouldn’t really need as many £1 rides with having a free fairground. My only moan about the fairground was that I wish it was open all the time.
Haven had a lovely pool with a few slides but Butlins won this one hands down. There was a mini splash park for little ones and they also had little tikes water play toys set out with free to use floats and safety jackets. Butlins have a lot more thought put into there’s.
Food is expensive in both resorts, they both have spar shops, pizza takeaway (Butlins has a restaurant where you can eat in theirs) pub type restaurants, a fancy restaurant, Burger King and Costa. There’s a few different things at each place. There was a chippy at Haven, I actually never really get one but all I fancied at Butlins was chippy chips and they didn’t have one. Butlins did have an amazing pancake place though and they were delicious! Butlins also has an all you can eat buffet which you can pay before your stay or before you go in. We did this twice- once at breakfast and once for Dinner. Being pregnant I actually chose bits of everything and with having a fussy child who was going through the no eating stage I could give him a variety of different thins in hope he would eat.
So all in all they are pretty much on par with each other and there’s pros and cons to both. I do recommend booking through the sun perks though as it can work out an awful lot cheaper. I’ve decided to book Butlins Skegness to try for next year and see how that is then probably try a different Haven the year after. They are cheap, cheerful and a bit tacky but they’re great for children and you can leave the resort whenever you wish to explore the local parks, restatements, museums etc.