Address: Winkfield Road, Windsor, SL4 4AY
Over the last couple of years we have enjoyed a trip to the Legoland Hotel for Junior Builders Week. This is a fab opportunity to stay at the hotel and experience it in all its Lego glory without the price tag that it usually carries. Junior Builders Week is held during February half term and has a different theme each year. The theme park itself is closed so you do not have access to any of the rides. However,there are always lots of activities going on in the hotel centred around that years theme plus you have access to the hotel swimming pool. Last year’s theme was pirates so there was a treasure hunt around the hotel, Lego pirate flag building competition, etc. In 2015 it was a Lego Movie theme. One of the activities that year was to build a huge Lego mosaic of minifigure characters which is now on display in the hotel play area. Lois is pictured pointing to the section which she contributed to the mosaic.
For 2017 the theme is Ninjago which I’m sure will be hugely popular. See my Facebook page for a fab competition to win some Lego goodies to celebrate this review!
Now about the whole Legoland Hotel experience. The car park is directly opposite the hotel and is free for guests. You walk under a large smoke breathing dragon to enter the hotel into an incredible foyer filled with Lego models and so many things to see.
It’s quite breathtaking when you walk in as there is literally so much to see and take in all at once. It is bright, full of colour and has so many intricate little details, this is a Lego fan’s idea of paradise! My absolute favourite is the minifigure wall behind the reception desk. It literally has thousands of minifigures on there and if you are lucky enough the receptionist’s may let you take a closer look during quieter periods. There is also a brick pit in the reception area where children can make their own models and they have a challenge each day for them to take part in.
There is a small shop in the foyer selling Lego merchandise, including a couple of things which are exclusive to Legoland. As part of the hotel stay package deal all of the children receive a Lego polybag set in their accommodation and usually a small box set as well to take part in the builders workshop activity which takes place during your stay. These are the ones we received in 2016 as part of the pirate theme. To find the polybag in the bedroom the children have to solve a number of puzzles to get the safe code. Great fun!
There are a variety of different themed bedrooms to choose from at the hotel. In 2015 we stayed in an ‘Kingdom’ themed room. For 2016 as it was a pirate themed week we opted for the ‘Pirate’ themed bedroom. Like the other Merlin hotels we have stayed in the bedrooms are always decorated to a high standard and are very comfortable. The children’s area has bunk beds with a 3rd trundle bed underneath to accommodate up to 3 children. They get their own TV and a puzzle game built into the wall. The adult’s area has a large kingsize bed, dressing table, TV and armchair. There is also an ensuite and wardrobe/storage space separating the 2 sleeping areas plus a kettle and selection of hot drinks to help yourself to. The pictures below show the ‘Kingdom’ themed bedroom.
The activities which take place during your stay vary depending on the theme of the week but there is usually a builders workshop on your first day. This is where everyone gathers in the main entertainment area at the centre of the hotel and builds their free Lego set with the help of staff members. This can get extremely crowded so be warned if you want a seat get there early.
Another activity they always have is character meet and greets. A variety of Lego characters wander round the hotel at different times for the children to meet and have photos with. Generally there is one in reception during check in time (around 3pm), during the evening entertainment and outside the Bricks restaurant at breakfast time. Again the characters tend to match the theme of the week although there are some generic ones too. Of course Lego t-shirts, and fancy dress are always encouraged.
The evening entertainment consists of party games and childrens disco followed by a bedtime story. In 2016 for the pirate themed week they held a pirate fancy dress competition which was judged by Captain Blackbeard himself. The only downside we found was that the entertainment finishes around 9pm which we felt was quite early.
Your evening meal is not included in the package deal for your stay but you can book a table at the Bricks Restaurant in the hotel or go somewhere off site. We always go to Bricks as its easier and the food is generally good. It is a buffet style restaurant where you pay a fixed price and help yourself to whatever you like. There is a good variety from meat and veg to pasta dishes and curry plus a special kids counter with all their favourites. Make sure you try the brick chips which are a firm favourite of ours. Your breakfast (which is included in the package) is also buffet style in the Bricks restaurant. For breakfast you can have traditional English cooked breakfast or continental pastries, yoghurts, cereal, fruit, etc.
On the 2nd day of your stay there are more activities to take part in around the hotel as well as access to the on-site swimming pool which has a very cool pirate ship slide in the kids area. There is also an outdoor play area for the kids to run around and burn off some energy plus the main entertainment area by the Bricks restaurant has large Lego bricks for building with and several Xbox’s to play Lego games on.
The organised activities vary depending on the theme of the week but we have done a Lego flag building competition, giant mosaic builders and pirate treasure hunt around the hotel.
Once completed they received either a certificate or an exclusive pop badge depending on the activity. Kids love collecting the pop badges and you can get them from all Merlin venues. The staff will swap with you too if you see one you like. Get yourselves a lanyard to keep them on and don’t forget to take it with you whenever you visit a Merlin attraction. We have a large collection of them now so the kids have a lanyard each to wear. We also have a Lego luggage tag attached to each one so if they ever get lost they know to go to a member of staff and show the the contact details on the luggage tag. Not only a cool collectors thing to wear but great for safety too!
So if you have any Lego fans in the family I highly recommend booking a trip to the Legoland Hotel during Junior Builders Week (February half term). Its great fun and a great way to experience the fab themed hotel without the price tag it comes with during the theme park season. Just remember you CANNOT access the theme park during this week so it is hotel access and activities only. Pack your swim kits and your camera and enjoy!
Merlin and Legoland have had no involvement in this review and all photos, words and opinions are that of my own 🙂