Azteca Hotel Review

azteca_hotel

 

Last week we were invited to the launch of the new Azteca Hotel at Chessington World of Adventures.

 

The boys have never stayed in a hotel before, and with Luca having FINALLY broken through the 0.9m height restriction for rides it was too good an opportunity to miss.

 

Had we Janet been paying, the price for a one night stay peak-season is roughly £350, for which you get:

  • Tickets to the theme park, Zoo, and SEA LIFE centre.

  • An overnight stay at the Azteca Hotel.

  • Breakfast.

  • Animal meet and greets.

  • Use of the Splash pool and gym.

  • Evening entertainment.

 

By staying at the hotel you also get:

  • Free parking

  • Early entry (9am) to the theme park and priority access to certain rides.

  • Use of the Fastrack queue on all rides before 11am.

  • Exclusive evening access to the AMAZU Treetop Adventure and Wanyama Village.

 

azteca-lift
The hotel has an Aztec theme throughout (who’d have thought it?) Amazingly my impromptu lesson on all things Aztecan during the drive down was pretty near the mark; except for the pyramids which in my head were so far off the mark they *may have been in Egypt.

(*They were. I’m not proud).

 

 

 

azteca-safariThe hotel lobby makes for an impressive welcome, looking out over the safari park with its giraffes, zebras and ostriches. The boys attention however was taken by the two large tortoises in reception giving each other a piggyback. No, it was definitely a piggyback. It was!

 

We stayed in a Discovery room which sleeps five (2 adults and up to 3 children).

 

Now if this had been a social experiment it would have been cancelled early due to dangerous levels of over-stimulation. Seriously, if you suck out all their enthusiasm with a six-hour drive then throw them into an Aztecan Narnia with a welcome pack, their own bunk-beds, and their own TV. Then throw in as much ice-cream and chocolate as they can eat for dinner and it’s a miracle we got them to sleep the right side of midnight … a week on Tuesday!

 

azteca-discovery-roomOverall our room was very impressive with all the facilities you’d expect including free WiFi. I only had a few little niggles in so much as our room was missing a bin and the plug in the sink didn’t work, but I’m sure both would have been resolved with a call to reception had it bothered us more.

 

We also had an automatic door with a mind of its own that needed a lot of convincing we wanted it to close, but again it wasn’t anything that detracted from our stay which was VERY comfortable.

 

My only other small gripe was the noise. It wasn’t excessive and you’d expect to hear the odd door closing, but there was also no doubting the rooms above and either side of us were occupied. Maybe like our two their kids were bouncing of the walls with excitement, but for the money invested in the hotel it would have been nice if some of it had gone on sound-proofing.

 

amazu-treetop-adventureOne of the benefits of staying at the hotel is you get exclusive access to the Wanyama Village and AMAZU Treetop Adventure after the park has closed to the general public, which the boys loved.

 

Luca noticed the height restrictions and unsure as to whether he met them sneaked through like a ninja on tiptoes.

 

 

tribal-dancersThe entertainment was wonderful too. Aside from the cocktails and canapes we were treated to stilt-walkers, illusionist and the boys favourite, tribal dancers.

 

Luca is a little obsessed with dancing although I may struggle to find him a class that teaches him how to spin bowls on every limb or juggling hats.

 

Dinner was an all-you-can-eat buffet in the Temple Restaurant and served a decent selection of food.

 

As well as meat, fish and vegetarian dishes there was also a specific kids section which to their credit at least attempts to lure them into choosing a healthier option.

 

temple-restaurantThe food, though nothing spectacular was still pretty good, and there were certainly no complaints from the kids when it came to desert with endless ice-cream and a chocolate fondue fountain.

 

The price for an adult is £19.459.45 for under 12‘s) which might elicit a Northern penny-pinching grumble from me but I guess it’s about average for a hotel of this type.

 

The staff however were superb, particularly when it came to interacting with the kids. There were characters for Madagascar walking around and an interactive volcano type thing(?) in the middle of the room too, so I guess when you consider it’s more an experience than just a buffet tea I should probably leave my cynical mutterings at the door.

 

Breakfast was a similar experience with a wide selection of cooked food, cereals, pastries, fruit and smoothies.

 

chessington-ride1Another benefit of staying at the hotel is you get into the theme park early (9am) with priority access to certain rides.

 

Unfortunately the two we chose weren’t working so our hour was for the most part wasted but we did get to look around SEA LIFE before the crowds arrived.

 

You also get to use the Fastrack queues before 11am so it should be possible to get on most of the more popular rides before lunch.

 

It’s impossible to have a day at a theme park without comparing it to the others, particularly that towery one in Alton, and Chessington comes out on top for me.

 

chessington-ride2The queues for the most part felt shorter and I didn’t feel quite so ripped off when buying food and drinks or attempting to win an over-sized teddy.

 

Luca discovered that he most definitely is a thrill-seeker, and never more thrilled than when he sees his brother feeling the complete opposite?

 

Sonny discovered his cockiness at not being frightened to go through Hocus Pocus Hall was VERY misplaced, again much to the amusement of his brother.

 

And Janet and I discovered we really should make more time for family days out.

 

sonnyandmummy

 

We had a fantastic time, which if measured by the size of Luca’s tantrum when he realised we weren’t staying at the hotel for longer, was off the scale! Thankfully he was fast asleep before we’d even left the car park.

 

I asked the boys what their favourite part of the trip was. Their unanimous response was,

 

“EVERYTHING!”

 

As for the hotel, overall we were very impressed and I’d definitely recommend booking a stay if you can afford it.

 

Would we go back? As wonderful as it was I personally couldn’t justify the cost during peak-season. Obviously it’s substantially cheaper off-peak, so maybe then I could be convinced otherwise.

 

The problem I’ve now given myself is that the next time we stay at a hotel the kids will expect to see giraffes roaming the car park, and lets face it, the chances of seeing that from the window of a Travel Lodge in some generic industrial estate is pretty slim.

 

{We were provided with a free nights stay at the hotel and tickets for the theme park for the purposes of this review. All opinions are honest and my own.}

  • http://hurrahforgin.com/ Hurrah for gin

    How do you get all the good gigs! ;) Looks fab but at £350 for a night even a southerner would wince! x

    • Mark

      Must admit I was a bit shocked at the price. For that I’d not only fill my pockets at breakfast but back the car in to fill the boot!