I'm not generally an expensive hotel person. My logic is that, when we're on an adventure somewhere, the hotel is strictly a place to leave our stuff and sleep. I don't really understand spending several hundred dollars a night for a fancy place to crash.
When we went to Disneyland for Max's first trip, we opted to stay across the street at an affordable motel, instead of on-property. While lots of folks talk about how staying on-site helps “continue the magic,” when I sat down and looked at the numbers, it just wasn't something I could justify for our family.
That said, I'll never go to Legoland and not stay at the Legoland hotel.
(As I write this, the Legoland Florida Hotel is still under construction, so we won't stay there when we visit Florida in April, but if it were open? We'd be staying there.)
When we started planning Max's birthday surprise vacation last spring, we knew that Legoland was a priority. It was actually the inspiration for the whole trip, even though we only spent one day of the trip there. Because we only had the one day, I wanted to do something to make it extra special, and we decided that staying at the Legoland Hotel was just the way to do that.
So like I said, I'll never to go to Legoland again and not stay at the Legoland Hotel. They did such an amazing job at everything, it truly does extend the experience of the park in a way I've never seen before.
It's clear from the moment you walk in the front door that this isn't just any hotel. From the custom-printed LEGO carpet, to the play areas throughout the lobby, the detail is incredible.
There's a hug play area in the back of the lobby that features big pits full of LEGO, an interactive castle play structure, and seating around the edges so parents can relax and enjoy a snack and/or cocktail while the kids play. (There's also evening entertainment, like building contests and performances, but we missed them on our brief visit)
There are three room themes you can choose from; Adventure (think Indiana Jones), Kingdom (aka Castle), and Pirate (our choice) And every part of the room is themed. There are both Themed and Premium Themed rooms; we went with a standard room this visit, but will most likely spring for the upgrade next time.
Every room has a separate sleeping area for up to three children complete with bunk beds and a pull-out trundle bed; there are two TVs so kids can watch movies and play games in their own sleeping area, and there are at least eight LEGO models in every room. Our pirate room included a monkey, bugs crawling on the bathroom mirrors and a big Jolly Roger hanging on the wall above the bed. (Which I unfortunately cut off in this photo)
The separate kid's sleeping area has All The Themed Things.
The bathroom, you guys. The toilet paper. Nothing misses the touch of LEGO.
Upon entry into your room, you'll see a safe tucked into the corner; when you check in, you're given a code sheet. Kids have to find the answers to some clues to discover the code to open the safe. The clues are simple enough that Max did them without help; things like “How many mirrors are hanging outside the elevator on the first floor?” Once the safe is opened, there are a couple of LEGO sets, a magazine, and some chocolate coins. Ooh, pirate's booty!
There's LEGO everywhere you look; even the ice bucket is a LEGO minifig head!
There is LEGO everywhere. We had a late dinner at the Skyline Café, and that's where we kicked off our adventures in minifig trading (Read more about minifig trading here!) and they brought a little tray of LEGO for Max to play with while we waited for our food to arrive.
There's no way to be bored at the Legoland Hotel. Even though it's only a three-story tall building, we took the elevator as often as we could, because how could you not when, instead of an elevator, it's a DISCO-VATOR?
Again, because it was a short trip, we didn't get to check out the pool, but it's on our must-do list for next time.
So, to answer the question from the title of this post. Is the Legoland Hotel worth the price? A resounding yes! Besides all of these amazing details, staying at the hotel grants you VIP early access to the park, ahead of crowds, and breakfast is included at the Bricks Buffet, which features delicious food, and a special kid-sized buffet section where they can pick their own food for breakfast.
Kicking off our San Diego vacation at the Legoland Hotel was a great way to start off an amazing week; check back soon for more about Legoland itself!