With all that’s been going on in our lives at the moment- wedding planning, loft converting, living all over the place, what has been keeping me going is the fact that it’s only 40 DAYS (squeeee!) until our much anticipated trip to Butlins Minehead Resort. We are going for 4 nights – Adam, myself, the children and my in-laws – and I seriously can’t wait, in my role as a Butlins Ambassador, to check out all the resort has to offer. AND hopefully enjoy some sun (come on British Summer, do it for us!).
What I’m also looking forward to test-driving, is one of the smashing, new, swanky, self-catering chalets in their £16 Million ‘West Lakes Chalet Village’, that were recently unveiled by the iconic holiday company.
The idea of founder, Billy Butlin, the original chalets were his idea for a family resort, and changed the way Britain holidayed by giving families a key to their very own holiday home and undreamed-of luxuries in a post-war Britain.
Each chalet then was surrounded by its own garden of roses, as Billy wanted to create a home from home for families to enjoy perfect quality time – so with 1,000 Mumsnet users, Butlin’s has reinvented both the roses and the chalets for 21st century families to enjoy the same experience.
Made of 1,936 roses – to commemorate Butlin’s first resort opening in 1936 – the rosy replica lies at the foot of one of the brand new chalets as a ‘reflection’ into Butlin’s glorious past and to show the journey of the brand – and of British holidays.
The ‘Sir William Butlin’ rose bushes will be planted across all three resorts as part of Butlin’s commitment to creating perfect family time – and some of the blooms will be sold to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, Billy’s favourite charity and Butlin’s official charity partner in 2015.
The new chalets are inspired by the original accommodation, which were designed by Billy Butlin himself. Basic but homely and painted in pastel pink, blue or yellow, each chalet in 1936 had electricity, running water and pretty textiles featuring little yachts or embroidered with the famous Butlin’s ‘B’.
Today, the same pastel colours and little touches from yesteryear run through each chalet, from the embroidered ‘B’ to the framed vintage Butlin’s adverts hanging on the walls and the return of that pretty yacht print.
To ensure that West Lakes Chalet Village meet the needs of modern families, Butlin’s teamed up with the UK’s largest online parenting communities, Mumsnet, to take all that was loved about the original Butlin’s chalet and reinvent them to provide the perfect place for a family seaside break in the 21st century.
Dermot King, Butlin’s managing director, commented: “Nearly 80 years on from when Billy Butlin opened his first resort, we’re continuing to innovate our offering alongside partners like Mumsnet to ensure that we’re providing the very best accommodation and facilities for short breaks in the UK, while also creating the perfect place to create family memories for many years to come. This magnificent rose installation recognises all that Billy created, with West Lakes Chalet Village being a continuation of his legacy but also to represent how far Butlin’s has come.”
Mumsnet founder, Carrie Longton, adds: “Families are becoming increasingly time poor so it is so important to get the most of the time we get to spend together. We were delighted to work alongside Butlin’s, to whom we awarded our Gold Family Friendly award 2013 and 2014, as they shape the future of the great British family break by the sea. The insight Butlin’s gleaned from Mumsnet users as they redesigned their iconic chalets shows just how leisure brands can get families involved and listen to what they have to say in order to innovate.”
Kathryn Ferry, historian specialising in the British seaside and holiday camps, added: “Billy Butlin had a talent for giving British holidaymakers what they wanted before they knew that they wanted it. The chalet was a key part of his vision because it gave people freedom. With their own key they could come and go, take part in the huge range of sports and activities or just relax in their own space. It seems obvious now but it was revolutionary in the 1930s and the things people expect on their holidays today really owe a lot to his vision all those years ago.”
So what do you think? I am seriously SO excited for our stay in one, and I can’t wait, as my role as a Butlins Ambassador, to report back in detail about our stay and experience of them- watch this space come July!
West Lakes Chalet Village at Butlin’s Minehead, Somerset is now open. To book, visit www.butlins.com/chalets.