Take a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, pack them into the car, drive for a couple of hours, surround them with the characters and themes they know and love from TV, fill them with food, stick them in a room full of fun, take them swimming. Oh, and all on the 3-year-old’s birthday.
Best. Weekend. Ever!
This much excitement, on top of the standard birthday excitement, could have proven too much. It could have backfired. A couple of times it nearly did. And yet CBeebies Land Hotel worked its magic on its opening weekend, adding to the brilliance of CBeebies Land, and the Splash Landings waterpark, resulting in a weekend that we won’t ever forget (for the right reasons!)
CBeebies Land Hotel
As soon as I heard about this hotel, I wanted to take the kids there! I tagged Phil in a news article about it sometime last year, so when we were chosen to be Konfidence Swimologists, and were told that we were going to that all-new holy grail of toddler wonder, we were pretty excited!
The entrance alone is awesome and the kids both spent ages exploring the main foyer area. Check-in was simple enough, although we couldn’t get into our room until early afternoon, so the lounge bar area beckoned. Picture the scene: CBeebies on a huge screen, with bean bags scattered around what becomes the stage area for shows. Tables and chairs, and a bar. That’s right mums and dads – true inclusivity for the whole family! (Please drink responsibly!)
On our return to reception after a drink then a few hours at the park, we were given our room key. Everything in the hotel is bright and fun, including the hallways and – of course – the rooms. After an initial pang of disappointment at not being in the Mr Tumble room (from Phil), we were absolutely not disappointed by what we did find:
- The whole room decorated in the CBeebies Bugs theme
- A kids’ area, separate from the main room but without a door – complete with a bunk bed, small TV, a wall of toys and a stool to sit on
- A large main bedroom with a big double bed, tea and coffee making facilities, a bottle warmer, a desk and chair, TV, and mirrors
- A bathroom with a toilet, toddler toilet seat, sink, bath, shower, toddler step, baby bath, and Cussons toiletries
- A travel cot (packed away in the drawer – took a while to find it!
One thing that was notably – and surprisingly – missing was a changing mat. Not a big deal, but with so much thought having gone into making it such a family friendly place, I would have thought there would have been a nice changing mat if not a whole unit.
Toby was also treated to a special birthday gift of some helium balloons, an Alton Towers teddy, and a cake! You can pre-book this as a lovely treat for the special birthday boy or girl and he was so happy!
We went to the hotel’s Windmill restaurant for tea, which is really nicely laid out with a windmill salad and bread buffet in the centre. The menu wasn’t mind-blowing, but the choices were okay if a little pricey for what you actually got. The staff seemed a little inexperienced, but we put this down to it being the opening weekend and I’m sure that these things (Think Toby spilling a whole jug of water and the waitress barely showing the mop to the huge puddle!) will iron out as everyone gets used to their roles and the hotel overall.
There is entertainment on for pretty much every waking hour, although apart from a bit of CBeebies viewing when we arrived, we didn’t go to any of the shows. They looked like a lot of fun for kids, but ours were pretty exhausted from such a big day, so we gave the Bing appearance and mini disco a miss.
Overall, the hotel is such a lovely place to stay with the kids, and we would definitely look at going back again next year!
Set within the main Alton Towers park, CBeebies Land is a huge separate area full of themed rides and experiences.
Slightly older children would probably spend an entire day there, but ours got a bit overwhelmed after a while so we just focused on a few key rides.
Toby and I went on the Octonauts rollercoaster first, which he was barely tall enough for! He was pretty terrified on it and clung to me for dear life, but said afterwards “It made my tummy tickle and I was good scared!”
Justin’s House was a HUGE hit, thanks to it being a free-for-all to get as many foam balls as possible into a pouch you’re given, then load them into guns and fire them around the room at everyone – a 3-year-old’s dream! (The 30- and 40-year-olds had fun too)
The In The Night Garden boat ride was lovely and gentle, as was a trip in Postman Pat’s van. We wandered through Mr Tumble’s sensory garden, and went on the Numtums Number-Go-Round a couple of times. There was so much more to do, but I’m glad that we took it fairly steady.
Toby wore his Konfidence Octonauts floatsuit from the CBeebies Land Hotel to the Splash Landings Hotel, beneath which is the Splash Landings waterpark. We got Martha into her Babywarma wetsuit, changed into our swimwear, and went for a splash!
The main swimming pool is large, with fountains, waterfalls, a lazy river, and a wave machine. Separately, there’s a smaller area for the little people which has a slide Toby loved, buckets, water toys, and is more shallow than the main pool. There are loads of slides, river rapids, and an abundance of bridges and cabins above the swimming pool, from which you can reach the big slides and also shoot water down on unsuspecting swimmers below!
I was initially disappointed that there didn’t seem to be toddler-friendly water slides that they could sit on our laps to go on. There are a few at Center Parcs and my initial impression was that there wasn’t enough at Splash Landings for the toddlers. In actual fact, the kids were both able to come on some of the main slides with us and they loved them! Martha sat on my lap for one, and when we got to the bottom she clapped her hands in glee!
There’s a cafe area selling Costa coffee (always a winner!), a small beach/sand pit with foam blocks, and plenty of changing rooms and lockers. Take a few 20p coins with you for the lockers – you get them back but the lockers aren’t huge so you may need 2 if you have a lot of stuff.
The kids had an absolutely brilliant time at Splash Landings, and their amazing Konfidence swimwear meant no ‘accidents’ from nappy leaks, flotation to help Toby gain confidence with his swimming, and warmth to stop their dinky little bodies from getting too cold.
You can save 10% on all the amazing Konfidence products on their website, using code BUDDS1710
I have made a little video of the highlights from the weekend; it could have been so much longer but I tried to keep it short and sweet!
Have you been to CBeebies Land and Splash Landings? A fellow fan of Konfidence? Let me know what you’ve been up to as a family in the comments below, or pop over to Facebook and say hi!
** Konfidence kindly sent us to Alton Towers for the weekend in exchange for our honest review and comments about their fantastic products. All words, opinions, and images are my own **