Cbeebies Land Hotel, Alton Towers - travel review
Streamers, stilt walkers, jugglers, and a long purple carpet for guests to make their eagerly anticipated entrance! This can mean only one thing, another press launch at Alton towers resort.
The theme park has now added to the success of itsr CBeebies Land spin off by building a hotel solely based on the popular children's BBC channel and myself, my wife and six year old daughter were delighted to be invited to be one of the first families to experience the new hotel and all it had to offer.
On arrival at the entrance, guests are greeted by a Cbeebies Land plane and a brightly coloured lit rainbow archway which is an instant attraction for parents to take mobile phone pics of their excited child pretending to fly through the clouds sitting next to a CBeebies bug, which my daughter enjoyed immensely.
The CBeebies Land Hotel is the only hotel uniquely designed for pre-schoolers and young families, and this is instantly evident when walking through the doors of the thoroughly imaginative hotel.
As we entered the brand new hotel we were treated to an explosion of bright colours, animated light sculptures, favourite characters and an overall feeling that we had just jumped through the television screen onto the set of Justin's House as soon as we began to approach the reception desk. There were interactive areas, a huge story book and a painted ceiling that looked like a blue sky that would stretch as far as the imagination of the visiting child, and to add to the excitement we were greeted by favourite characters Postman Pat, Bing and Justin's House little monster.
After being received by overly enthusiastic reception staff we made our way towards our hotel room not quite knowing what to expect when we opened the door. My daughter was the first one through the door and was quick to shout out the title of the popular CBeebies pirate game programme "Swashbuckle!".
"Mom, dad, we've got a Swashbuckle room!" and she was right, in fact there was no denying it as my wife and I made our way into our fully themed premium room. The walls were adorned with characters from the show, plastic jewels were all around the room and a giant light up pirate flag hung over the bed. The imagination involved in creating the room really was exceptional and the detailed additions, including a large pile of gold coins next to the coffee cups, really had been considered carefully to allow youngsters to enter their own world of wonder.
Throughout the hotel there are 76 fully themed rooms, CBeebies bugs adorn the standard rooms while premium rooms are themed to Swashbuckle, Something Special, In The Night Garden, Postman Pat and Octonauts. In keeping with the design aimed at young children, every room has toddler friendly features such as bathroom steps to the sink, children's toilet seats, baby baths and a cot. The hotel also provides five fully accessible rooms, designed to take into account the needs of those with special requirements.
Also, the hotel has its own small theatre area where an extensive entertainment schedule is on offer to keep youngsters happy, offering the chance to meet and greet characters such as Bing and Postman Pat, a Swashbuckle game show and Andy's Prehistoric Quest in which the children follow clues to find various missing prehistoric items. Children can also join Bing in a live show and enjoy a disco hosted by Go Jetters favourite Ubercorn, and later at night guests can take part in some stargazing activities with the CBeebies Land Hotel presenters.
The new hotel is conveniently located in the heart of the Alton Towers Resort, and just a stone's throw away from the main theme park where the popular CBeebies Land is situated and hotel guests are offered an extra hour to explore the attractions dedicated to youngsters, before the park opens in the morning which is a great idea as families can avoid the huge queues for at least the first hour of their visit.
The windmill restaurant is also in keeping with the colourful and imaginative theme of the hotel and is divided into three sections, the castle area, library area and central area. We were particularly impressed how the same meals are offered to adults and children but in different sized portions. Another nice touch is that children are handed stickers to create their own pizza toppings which are given to the chef to make for real. My daughter loved this idea.
My daughter Freya is a huge CBeebies fan, and she gave her stay a big thumbs up, saying she would tell all of her friends it was "amazing!"
By Tim Thursfield