When I was looking at places to go for my eldest son’s birthday, I had a long list of ideas. However, Big K loves trains and theme park rides which meant Drayton Manor Hotel ticked all the boxes. I booked roughly 3 weeks before we travelled down via their website. The Drayton Manor Hotel website was easy to use and I booked the Stay and Play package in one of their family rooms.
Drayton Manor Hotel
Drayton Manor Hotel Rooms
The hotel has a number of rooms that you can book from their family rooms (1 x double bed and a sofa bed) to their presidential suite. I expect one of the common rooms to get booked are the themed Thomas rooms. I, however, opted for their family room to try to keep the costs down. The Thomas rooms, however, look a lot of fun and I think Big K would have loved to stay in one if I had booked it.
Stay and Play Package
In the stay and play package I booked, we had the following included:
- Full English Breakfast
- Theme Park tickets for each nights stay
- Free car parking (we drove from Scotland if you are looking on how to keep your kids entertained in the car I have just the post for you!)
- Pay in advance and save 20% (this was the offer we took to save some pennies)
For what I paid, I think it was well worth the money; the breakfast was decent, free car parking was great. Although I didn’t use the WiFi as I had bought along with my own dongle.
Upon arrival, check-in went smoothly. I had to ask a few questions to clarify a number of things (booking a table for dinner, where the restaurants were etc) Upon check-in you receive your theme park tickets for your stay and if you had ordered a Thomas pack, then you receive your bag (I only ordered 1 but got 2! Bonus!) After receiving our key cards we headed up to our room to settle in and unpack.
The room was spacious with the sofa bed and travel cot all set up – it is the first time we have been to a hotel and the travel cot has been set up. Usually, I have to go back down to reception and ask where it is. The room was clean and modern looking, just what you need after a 6 hour drive!
The Grill Inn Restaurant
This is the restaurant that is across from the hotel, near to the entrance to the theme park. Upon check-in at the hotel we had booked a table at the restaurant, so we were sure we would get a table early enough for the boys.
Upon arrival, we were seated at our reserved table. We waited a few minutes for a highchair to be brought to us and then the lady took our drinks order. I also ordered garlic bread as the boys were getting hungry. I asked without cheese as Little K is dairy intolerant, which didn’t seem to go down well but after a few minutes of going back and forth, the lady took the order.
Maybe it is because I am slightly fussy when it comes to eating but I found the menu very selective. I ended up with just the “Grill Inn Burger”. The kids’ menu was pretty standard in the items you could order which is fine as chicken nuggets are always my safe meal for Little K! It took another 15 minutes from ordering drinks to ordering our main courses.
By the time our “garlic bread” had been served and the boys were eating away. Now we are not too sure but when ordering the “garlic bread” the lady mentioned that it is already set up with cheese on it. I wrongly thought they would make one fresh as I mentioned Little K being dairy intolerant. However within 10 minutes of him eating the “garlic bread,” his skin had reacted, which I think was because they had just wiped the cheese off and then cooked it. In future, I will be more careful when asking for food!
The staff were great, all the usual prompt asking if the food was okay and if we needed anything else. However, it took nearly an hour between starters and mains to be served. The boys at this point were very restless. A member of staff did come up and ask if our mains hadn’t arrived yet. When I mentioned we were still waiting, she seemed pretty shocked and asked if we wanted to order anything else in the meantime. I responded by saying just our main courses would be okay.
Eventually, after another 10 minutes, our main courses arrived. The food was okay, my burger was black on the outside but nice on the inside. Which didn’t taste the best but I ate as much as I could as I was hungry and both boys liked their food.
Our bill came to £52. This was for 2 adult meals, 2 kids meals, 3 x drinks and our starters. Was the food worth the price no, but then from eating at a restaurant which is at an attraction, you would expect the prices to be higher than usual.
I liked the feel of the restaurant and it was nicely set out and looked great. However, the adult meals and service I thought could have been better. Would we go back to The Grill Inn again…no probably not. I would try somewhere else first, possibly in the nearby town. It met all the family-friendly options that you look for in a restaurant (highchairs, baby changing facilities, decent kids menu and colouring kit to keep the kids entertained) but for me, the long wait really put me off.
This is the restaurant in the actual Drayton Manor Hotel and it is the same place you would eat your breakfast if you decide to stay at the hotel. I had prebooked our table in the morning before we headed across the park.
Upon arrival, we were seated at our reserved table. After a few minutes, a highchair was bought over for Little K to use. Our drinks order was taken, and we ordered garlic bread while we waited. While waiting for the garlic bread we looked over the menus to see what was available.
The Parklands restaurant has a much wider choice on its menu compared to the Grill Inn. The kids’ menu also seemed to have a bigger selection which was great. Both boys had chicken nuggets and chips, and I decided on a burger.
The staff were great, all the usual prompts asking if the food was okay and if we needed anything else. They also were very good when I asked for Big K’s birthday cake to be bought out. They even sang Happy Birthday to him, much to his embarrassment.
The only let down in the service was waiting for the bill. In the end, I had to go up and wait near the till area, which still took them a while to come and see me.
Our bill came to roughly £45. This was for 2 adult meals, 2 kids meals, 3 x drinks and our starters. I found the food to be much nicer than the food we had the previous night in the Grill Inn. It was a much nicer experience and I would definitely recommend the restaurant to other families.
I liked the feel of the restaurant and it was nicely set out. It met all the family-friendly options that you look for in a restaurant (highchairs, baby changing facilities, decent kids menu and colouring kit to keep the kids entertained) so for me, if we visited again I would definitely eat here again. Also, the breakfast we had was very good. Self-service with all your hot breakfast items and also you continental breakfast items too. It filled us up for our days’ adventures.
One thing I didn’t realise was that the hotel offers kids entertainment every night. The first night it was outside in the garden area and involved lots of outdoor games. Both Big K and Little K got involved and were loving the whole experience. However it lacked direction and organisation as the team didn’t seem to get involved, it was the parents having fun and playing with the kids. That said though it is great to have to keep your kids entertained before bed. On our second night, I decided to skip the entertainment so I could give the boys a bath.
I really enjoyed our stay at the Drayton Manor Hotel. I was very impressed with the security at the hotel (you need a key card to get up the stairs and the lifts!) and I was also impressed how little noise we heard late at night and during the night. Normally you hear loud guests all night long when we have stayed in hotels previously. The beds were comfy.
If we decide to go to Drayton Manor again in the future (which I am sure we will) then I would definitely go back to the hotel as it is very nice and in a convenient location.