The Thorpe Shark Hotel has been at Thorpe Park for several years now. It’s unusual in several senses. Firstly, because I’ve never stayed there, and secondly it’s very different from your ‘normal’ hotel. It’s a ‘Snoozebox’ Hotel – these hotels, on a basic level have their rooms built inside shipping containers. They pop up at festivals and similar as temporary ‘posh’ accommodation, rather than roughing it in a tent.
I must admit, I was hesitant staying in a glorified metal box. I expected something a little bit – ‘meh’.
Thankfully – I was wrong.
There’s no entrance to the Hotel from outside the theme park, you rock up, park in the ‘Hotel’ parking and head for the park entrance. It felt a bit strange dragging my wheelie suitcase among the thrill seekers! The Hotel is accessed from a walkway off the bridge to the ‘Dome’, on the right-hand side.
You check in to the Thorpe Shark Hotel at the reception building. You’re given a wristband that lets staff know you’re a hotel guest (and is your UNLIMITED fastrack from 9.30am-11am the following day). Check in was beautifully smooth – and once it’s done you make your way ‘through the shark’ to the rooms.
Whilst the accommodation is fairly temporary (Thorpe Park Resort are building a ‘proper’ hotel right now!), it’s still themed nicely and looks permanent.
The rooms are advertised as ‘cosy’ and they are – not perhaps as small as a Tune Hotel, or an Easy Hotel – but small. The space is well used though. There is space for luggage under the beds. The bathroom is a wet-room with a shower. There are drawers, hanging space and a ‘dressing table’ too. Each room will sleep 4 – with a double bed, and two single bunk beds. As just two of us were booked in, the top bunk was folded away. This gives a feeling of more space, it’s all very white, and bright and the air-con was a godsend during the heatwave!
These hotel rooms aren’t really designed for young families – there’s no space for a cot. But, for Thorpe Park’s older family / young adult market – it’s perfect. If there’s a group of you sharing, it’s actually a very cost effective way of spending time at the resort. During the holidays, a group of 4 can stay for £254. That includes two days theme park entrance, breakfast, the Unlimited Fastrack and free parking. All for just over £60 per person – considering one day ‘on the day’ pricing for theme park is nearly £50. It’s a bargain!
The room was adequately finished, no tea and coffee facilities, just some bottles of water and glasses. There aren’t any hairdryers or ironing facilities in the room either – but you can get them from Reception. There’s just one TV – it’s positioned high on the wall to keep it out of the way and view-able wherever you are. As with the entire Thorpe Park Resort, there is free WiFi from ‘The Cloud’ – super handy as my Mobile Data was a little sketchy! I quite liked the pulsing ‘mood lighting’ that offers a softer alternative to the ‘big light’ – it’s relaxing as you’re dozing. Speaking of which..
Obviously, the crux of staying over somewhere is getting a decent sleep. Again, knowing I was in a metal box made me concerned that I’d be bothered by noise or uncomfortable. This wasn’t the case – I didn’t hear another soul, and the bed was perfectly comfy. There aren’t any windows in the room (aside from a port hole on the door) so it’s DARK at night. Great to get a sound snooze!
Breakfast is included, and served from 7.30 – 10am in Fin’s Bar and Grill within the ‘Dome’. I wasn’t expecting world class dining – and I didn’t get it. It’s a pretty standard breakfast buffet – not the best I’ve had, not the worst. It did the job though, and filled me up enough for a morning on park!
Unlimited Fastrack (until 11am)
This was an added benefit I didn’t know I’d be getting, and in the Summer Holidays it’s SO good. You can visit the Fastrack entrance of any ride until 11am and have a short wait. We clocked up five rides before 11am, and at that point some of the queues were over an hour. You can spend more time enjoying the park if you’ve done so many rides to start with!
Despite being bite-sized, and relatively inexpensive – the Thorpe Shark Hotel is fantastic value for money. They aren’t rooms you’d spend all day in, but they are on of the UK’s best Theme Parks – you wouldn’t WANT to. It’s simple, practical, accommodation at a good price. There are no frills, but all the bundled extras make up for it. It was a dream come true waking up in a theme park, watching the rides have their daily tests.
If you’ve got babies or toddlers – this perhaps isn’t the hotel for you. But if your kids are older, or indeed you’re a big kid, give it go. You’ll enjoy it.
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