Legoland Windsor officially opened its new hotel at the weekend, claiming the new facility will help turn its parks into a short-break resorts.
Speaking at the opening, director of corporate affairs for park and hotel owner Merlin, Sally-Anne Wilkinson, said:
“The reason that we’re building hotels everywhere is that we want people to stay in our parks and attractions or two, maybe three days, not just one.
“We’ve now got two hotels at Alton Towers, one at Gardaland in Italy, a holiday village in Germany where they prefer chalet-style accommodation, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we have one in Florida pretty soon.
“We open the second gate water park there this year, and a hotel is another way to encourage people to stay longer as well. They are all designed to get people to stay two or three days.
“Having a hotel makes people think differently about their visit. They are going to have a much nicer experience staying overnight as they will then have time to do everything. They couldn’t possibly otherwise.”
Wilkinson said agents played a key part in selling packages to Merlin’s resorts.
“Travel agents are crucial to filling these hotels. They can often book groups which is important business for us commercially as it fills the shoulder seasons, and once people have come once as a group, they often want to come back with their families.”
She said Legoland Winsdor would be looking at getting travel agents to come and experience the hotel and park, and urged travel industry associations to consider it as a conference venue.
The hotel has meeting space for 300 people in a special executive/corporate area which is child free with specific key access for entry.
For leisure visitors, the hotel boasts 150 rooms, 15 of which are wheelchair accessible.
Each floor of the hotel has a different theme, such as Kingdom or Pirate and the rooms are decorated accordingly with carpet, wallpaper and in-room features to reflect the theme.
Standard rooms have bunk beds just inside the door, plus a television and games area, complete with a huge tub of lego to keep children amused. There is even a treasure trail in each room.
A sheet with four questions is left on each child’s bed, each one requiring them to search the room for the answers.
Each answer is a number, giving children a four-digit code at the end to unlock the padlock to a treasure chest containing Lego prizes.
Hotel director Stephen Cotton said: “Children can sometimes be frightened about staying somewhere new, so this is designed to help familiarise them with their room so they sleep well.”
The bathroom separates the children’s quarters from the adult’s area, where there is a double bed, dressing table, coffee table and chairs and separate TV.
It is very spacious and very well appointed, and the bathroom offers three sizes of white, fluffy towels. The Bricks restaurant offers every food your child might like to eat in a buffet style, with Lego-shaped chips the main attraction.
An enormous Castle-themed play area just outside the eating spaces will keep children entertained after dinner and is also the venue for the night-time kids disco at 7.30pm.
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