To clear up any confusion, the new £20million Butlins spa is not for solitary spa lovers. Oh no, how could we for one moment believe Butlins could forsake its fun-for-all-the-family ethos for calm luxury? No, the Ocean Hotel (in Butlins's home turf, Bognor Regis) is most definitely for fun loving families.
There's still a bit of cheap chic though. The spa itself is made up of a hydrotherepy pool, footspa, sauna, steam rooms, heated beds, Snow Cave and 'disco' showers. Two hours in this colourful haven is mere £19; treatments start at £23 (a 25 min back massage). Dads, meanwhile, can enjoy a massage while watching football highlights projected on the wall.
There may not be a redcoat in sight, but the spa is still counterbalanced with plenty of kid-orientated fun. There's the usual Butlins sports activities, colour coded floors (so the kids know where they are), those disco-singing showers and a den-like space (with plasma TV) to keep the children happy in family sized rooms.
On paper at least, it sounds like Butlins have struck the perfect balance between luxury spa and family resort and the bookings (it's slim pickings until October), speak for themselves.
The facts: A four night stay in a family room is around £180. Tel: 0845 070 4730. www.butlins.co.ukmore blog posts