A few weeks ago we took a little trip to the Alton Towers Resort, and spent a night at the Alton Towers Hotel before spending a day at the park with our Merlin Annual Passes.
Having never stayed at either of the hotels or the lodges that are available at Alton Towers, we were very excited to see what the Alton Towers Hotel was like, and it didn’t disappoint. Ava was so excited to be staying at the place where CBeebies Land is (after going there for a day a few months ago), and getting the chance to go swimming at the Alton Towers Waterpark.
We arrived at the resort early afternoon on a Sunday, parked easily and made our way inside. Check-in was quick and easy, and the lady was lovely with Ava as you’d expect. Throughout our stay I kept noticing how child-friendly the hotel and facilities are – there’s so much for them to look at and little touches like steps for kids to walk up to the reception so that they are level with you, which is such a nice touch.
The Alton Towers Hotel is themed around the explorer Sir Algenon, who has made the Alton Towers Hotel his home after his flying ship crash-landed right in the middle of the hotel. Ava spotted the pirate ship downstairs and couldn’t wait to go and see it (although she was very disappointed that she couldn’t go inside – a bit of a tease for kids I think!).
After a smooth check-in we headed to our room, which was a really good size, with a double bed as well as a single for Ava, and really pretty views out the window. The rooms aren’t the most beautifully decorated and they feel quite old-fashioned to me, although that is because of the theming. They are perfect for what you need when staying a theme park though, and it was all really clean and comfortable. The standard room contains everything you need – towels, tea and coffee making facilities, toiletries, and space for kids to to play about in.
One little niggle with the room is that there are no plug sockets next to the bed – I have found this in so many of the hotels I’ve stayed in recently and I don’t really get it. It’s not a huge problem of course, but my iPhone does always need charging overnight, and I use my phone in bed as well as for my alarm, so a socket would be very helpful!
We then got our swimming stuff on and headed to the Alton Towers Waterpark. It’s a brilliant waterpark, only a few minutes walk away from the hotel. It’s such a fun waterpark for kids (and big kids!) with water shoots to tip on people’s heads below you, a (disappointingly small) lazy river, netting to clamber around on (which I’ve never done at a pool before!) as well as a shallow pool with loads of fun bits for the little ones, and a few fun slides.
The only thing that was slightly disappointing is that the main ‘pool’ area is very small so there’s hardly any room to actually swim about, and very little space where you don’t get splashed constantly by the fountain or shoots. There is so much fun to be had though, that it doesn’t really matter. The slides were absolutely brilliant and once Ava finally plucked up the courage to ride down on a rubber ring on my knee, she really loved it and we went on about ten times! It’s brilliant to be able to feel like you have time to spend a long afternoon at the waterpark before a full day at the theme park the next day, especially knowing you just have a short stroll back to your room for a rest before dinner.
After getting ready for the evening we headed downstairs where we had booked a table at the ‘Secret Garden’ restaurant. It’s a really lovely big room, with so many little features on the walls and ceilings, like butterflies, that really helps keep the kids entertained whilst you’re waiting for your food, but at the same time it’s really nice for adults too. Again the staff were so, so friendly and great with Ava, and all of them made an effort to talk to her. Our lovely waiter was rushing around rather a lot so we did have to wait a bit to order, but he was very apologetic.
It makes such a difference going somewhere where children are completely welcome, and made to feel so too. There’s no worrying that the couple at the next table are expecting a quiet, romantic meal, (they’re daft if they are) which feels like quite a relief, and when Ava had had enough sitting down and we weren’t quite finished she went skipping off to the empty side of the restaurant and danced about there for a while, and entertained the staff. The food and wine were really nice, and it was great getting our 20% discount on all food and drink with our Merlin Annual Passes! It made the meals a really good price for good food in a hotel.
There are other places you can eat at both the Alton Towers Hotel and the nearby Splash Landings Hotel, and there is also entertainment in the evenings at both hotels. We had a couple of drinks in The Atrium before heading back to our room for a good nights sleep.
Breakfast the next morning was included in our stay, which makes such a big difference I think. The buffet style breakfast was served in the bright ‘Secret Garden’ Restaurant that we had eaten at the evening before, and there was loads of choice and it was really good. They even did slightly healthier ‘fry up’ options for the kids which was really nice to see.
It’s a really nice hotel overall. It feels really comfortable being there and the staff are all brilliant. They are not the poshest hotel rooms ever, and they are certainly not cheap, but it is a great place to stay to experience all that the resort offers, especially if you can get an offer. The checkout time of 10am is quite a bit earlier than we are used to, but as you are most likely going to be spending the day at the park, then it really doesn’t matter.
You get some nice extras when you book a room at the Alton Towers Hotel; including your second day at the theme park free, as well as a 1 hour early access to the park. You can also book themed rooms, such as Postman Pat, Mike the Knight and Charlie and Lola, which I’m sure Ava would love!
The Alton Towers Hotel is great for families and the staff are brilliant. We really enjoyed our stay and we’d definitely like to stay again if we could get a room at a good price, and hopefully next time I’ll get to try out the Spa!
We were invited to stay for a night at the Alton Towers Hotel, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.