Earlier this week, as the finishing touches were being done to the landscaping, I was given an exclusive first look inside the Alton Towers Stargazing Pods. They are nestled around the Alton Towers Hotel and Enchanted Village and offer guests to Alton Towers Resort a smaller, more affordable, on-site accommodation option. The pods are small and simple, think of it as a step up from glamping. As you walk into the Stargazing Pod, to your left and right are two single beds, then as you move past those, in the back is a double bed. There’s no toilet or shower, those are housed in a separate facility on the edge of the site – this is very much like an improved version of glamping.
Before I take you inside the Alton Towers Stargazing Pods, let’s discover a little more about them.
Alton Towers Stargazing Pods Facts
- Prices start at £88 off peak and from £123 peak. This includes overnight accommodation, bed linen, breakfast bap and a hot drink to collect from Pods Reception. Towels can be hired
- There are 102 Stargazing Pods which will be open 149 days during the Season.
- Each can sleep up to 4 people in 1 double and 2 single beds
- Pods are arranged around a ‘village green’ where guests can enjoy the outdoors and use the telescopes to look at the night sky.
- Pods have been constructed in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, at the factory of Hawthorne Forest Products and each pod takes approx. 1 day to build.
- The timber for the pods are sustainably sourced European Whitewood from managed forests in Finland under Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) guidelines.
- Each pod uses approx. 3 cubic metres of timbers (so more than 300 cubic metres of timber in total) and each pod weighs 1 tonne.
To give you a feel of the exterior of the Stargazing Pods and the area around them, there’s a gallery of images below –
The pods all face a ‘Village Green’ area, which will be a communal area for families staying in the pods. Allowing kids to play together, and everyone to spend time together and away from the worries of the world. This is the ethos of Alton Towers in 2019 as part of the ‘Power of the Towers‘ campaign and their ‘Fantastical Escapism’ brand.
“Stargazing is about igniting your imagination, less so ‘stargazing through your pod’. We’ve created our own Alton Towers Resort constellations, you’ll see in the logo we’ve got the Towers, and then throughout the pods, you’ll see the logo of 10 of our iconic rides in the constellations. The backstory very much being that we live in our little amazing world up here at Alton Towers Resort.” – Laura Gerrard, Senior Brand Manager for Alton Towers Resort
Now we’ve got the information and backstory out of the way, let’s step inside the Alton Towers Stargazing Pods! below is a 360-degree image from inside one of the pods, which will allow you to really look around.
Outside the pod is a small deck with a doormat on, there’s no seating, or room for it either. The ‘Room Number’ is above the door and is lit at night. As you walk inside the Alton Towers Stargazing Pods, to the left-hand side are some small coat hooks, and on the right-hand side is a radiator. There’s no air-con or climate control here. The space under the single beds gives you storage to tuck away bags and suitcases.
Above each single bed is a small shelf with a power socket and USB socket underneath. As you walk through the pod, you reach an open doorway to the double bed. It’s at a 90-degree angle to the other beds. Then, on the far wall is a small, curtained window. There isn’t a skylight or similar, as mentioned above the stargazing is more concentrated outside in the communal area, and of course, the “Alton Towers Constellation” that adorns the curtains.
Have a little look at the gallery below to get a clearer idea on how it looks..
I heard mumblings and rumours about some kind of ‘starry’ artwork going on the ceiling of the pods, but that wasn’t there on our tour. It might be coming though…?
It’s also worth noting that the Stargazing Pods don’t have keycard locks. They use actual keys. This means Alton Towers will take a £10 ‘key deposit’ just in case you don’t return the keys.
There must be more inside Alton Towers Stargazing Pods?
Nope. That’s it! There’s very little else to say about inside Alton Towers Stargazing Pods. If you need the toilet you’ll have to womble across the site to reach them. In the same building are the showers too with Male, Female and ‘Family’ facilities.
They are designed to be simple, and functional, there aren’t any frills here. This is reflected in the pricing, which starts at £88 off peak and from £123 in peak times. You can probably find off-site accommodation in a hotel or B+B which is cheaper, but this is a good way of staying at Alton Towers Resort on a budget. The prices are ‘Bed and Breakfast’, you can get a Breakfast Bap and hot drink from the Stargazing Pods Reception (which is the old ‘Tree Top Quest‘ Reception). There are Veggie and Vegan options available for those too, which is excellent news.
Guests staying there can also make use of the restaurants and bars across the resort, including the Rollercoaster Restaurant. Obviously, you can’t go into the CBeebies Land Hotel, because the entertainment and restaurants are exclusive for guests in there.
Why’s there a Tipi by the Alton Towers Stargazing Pods?
The Tipi, which has previously been used on the ‘Santa’s Sleepover‘, is now on the Stargazing Pods site. It will be used to house entertainment shows and ‘pop-up bars’, which is a relief because the bars and entertainment can be VERY busy during summer months. This will bring more capacity to the resort. It also means it’s another place for guests of the Enchanted Village, Alton Towers Hotel and Splash Landings Hotel to go in the evening. I imagine it will be lovely sitting outside the Tipi or the Village Green in the summer months.
Final thoughts on the Alton Towers Stargazing Pods
Whilst the reaction in the theme park community to the Alton Towers Stargazing Pods has been, uhm.. Well, not entirely complimentary – they are better than I imagined. Once you’re on the Village Green and can see them all, it looks a lot nicer than the vista from the outside. I can pictures families making good use of the Village Green, and once the landscaping has settled and the trees and planting has grown, it will look even better. Inside the Alton Towers Stargazing Pods, you’ll find clean, comfortable, and perfectly usable accommodation. The Alton Towers Stargazing Pods are a step up from ‘glamping’ if you want something more luxurious, then there are four other options on the Resort.
The Alton Towers Stargazing Pods are cheap and perfectly cheerful. Would I stay in one? No. I’ve never camped, or glamped, and never felt the need to. That said I imagine that they’ll be very popular with families looking forward to stay at Alton Towers Resort on a budget.
Do you fancy staying in one of them? How do you think it looks inside the Alton Towers Stargazing Pods? Drop a comment below!
There’s a vlog too – it can be found below –