I’ve always been a fan of Andy Warhol and I love Pop Art.
So imagine my suprise when I began to review my photos of our recent jaunt to Bognor Regis to experience the new Butlins Ocean Hotel & Spa, when I noticed a lot more of a Warhol intonation than Martin Parr in them. As you’ll see this is more of a photoblog than editorial but it does paint a picture of what we did.
The Train Journey
Miniminx was really excited about going to Butlins and as I mentioned in my earlier post, the train ride was pretty action packed and our carriage was carnival-like with a magician, red coats, beauticians and lots of busy people catering to our every whim. Quite an achievement I have to say when you put broadsheet, tabloid, trade and consumer journalists together and then add Mummy bloggers with kids to the mix. We all muddled along nicely and the atmosphere was really peppy thanks to people visiting us regularly to chat.
We arrived at Bognor Regis and transferred to the resort in a mini coach and there was a sense of anticipation among all the passengers. I never went to Butlins as a kid so I had only second hand stories of what it would be like and was very intrigued to see how my daughter would react when she arrived.
Needless to say she was very excited and we enjoyed the party atmosphere and the sun was shining. Music was supplied by this electro-classical trio which played interpretations of pop songs. They were great. And specially created for the day was this lovely Mermaid sand sculpture.
As well as giant seagulls and a giant robot (which I was terrified of), there were also beautiful butterflies wandering around and I felt like we had walked through the looking glass and into a Lewis Carroll creation.
The Grand Opening
We assembled in the vestibule of the new Ocean hotel where the dignitaries sat awaiting the opening speeches.
And our noisy children were entertained by a Red Coat who tried to keep them as quiet as possible throughout the proceedings.
We all moved into the new restaurant to enjoy a buffet lunch.
This is where it gets quite abstract and I was quite taken with a few things. These glass lights really reminded me of the restaurant at the Mandalay Bay in Vegas – but obviously on a smaller scale but I liked the reference whether it is intentional or not.
These mirror balls are also a fabulous touch. As is the disco lift which has flashing lights and plays music including the Bee Gees!
And these very Pop Art occasional sculptures, don’t they remind you of those Iced Gem biscuits?
I love staying in hotels and quite often if it is just the two of us, Miniminx and I have to share a bed which is not ideal. We did a tour of the hotel and were shown all the different rooms but it wasn’t until we were ready to go to bed that the true experience began.
Check this telly in the kids bedroom…so post modern it hurts. Miniminx was entranced by the lighting so it became more an objet d’art and the telly stayed off!
There were two single beds in the kids room, which by the way has no door but is tucked away neatly. Above each bed were these great images with more than a nod to Lichtenstein.
We both slept very well and I loved my bed – very high, lots of plump non feather pillows and the furnishings were pretty cool. I managed to get online which was a big tick in the box as I was posting from the event and sat out on the balcony which overlooked the fountains outside the hotel and the sea.
After a great sleep, we were keen to go and have another look around. Breakfast was great and the restaurant staff, as all Butlins staff are, were enthusiastic and eager to please.
Thanks to everyone at Butlins for inviting us along for this experience, I appreciate all the hard effort and work they put in to make this event happen and I know it has been a long time in the planning.
When we checked out on Wednesday, the place was really open for business and as I was chatting to the staff on reception, I spotted a few people coming to check in. And that really is the main event – now the launch is out of the way, there are lots of people who are very keen to come and see the embodiment of the new Butlins Hotel – it’s bright, breezy and unashamedly bubbly.
I’ll be posting about the spa in a few days, so please come back to read more.
As for Andy Warhol, his Factory Studio was next to an Amusement Park so, I guess he’d feel right at home in Butlins.