Legoland recently opened up a new hotel option, the Legoland Beach Retreat. Our kids had heard about it during our previous visit when we tried out a Pirate room. They had been begging us to go back and try out the Beach Retreat. I was surprised by the pricing for Beach Retreat, especially since we had chosen to stay during Spring Break. I chalked it up to people not knowing about the option yet.
Legoland Beach Retreat is located across the street from the Legoland theme park. There’s no good way to walk it, but a shuttle bus does run between the hotel and the theme park. To be clear, there’s no “beach” at the beach retreat. It is located alongside a lake, though it’s fenced off.
We arrived later in the evening. The “front desk” is actually a drive-thru lane at the front of the resort. They handed us our key packet and gave us directions to our room. We were a bit hungry so we stopped for a quick snack at the restaurant on our way to the room. We ordered some nachos and wings. They were okay. Nothing spectacular but priced very reasonably.
Each set of cottages is named after a Lego character. You’ll find Shark Suit Guy, Sea Captain and more. You’ll also find small play areas in each of the groups of cottages. All of the cottages form a circle around the play area, so your kids can play while you keep an eye on them from the front of your cottage.
To my knowledge, there’s only one room type at Beach Retreat. Our cottage was essentially one room with a small area for two bunk beds and a bathroom. It may be the same square feet as our Pirate room at Legoland Hotel. But, the layout made it feel smaller. The main room had a King bed with 3 pillows on it and each bunk bed had a pillow. The trend nowadays in hotels is for much thinner blankets/duvets on hotel beds. Legoland takes this to a bit of an extreme with Beach Retreat. We called the front desk to ask for more pillows and blankets. After about 30 minutes an employee showed up with one blanket and no pillows. She told us that was all she had left. Maybe just growing pains from being open less than a year?
The area opposite the bed had a small luggage stand, some drawers and a flat screen TV. The room also has a small refrigerator and a Keurig (complete with hot chocolate for the kids). There’s a Lego mural in the room and some Lego sculptures on the wall. However, the theming felt decidedly less “involved” than even the regular rooms at the Legoland Hotel. Most upsetting to our kids? There was no treasure hunt like in the regular hotel.
The kids bunk bed area came with a box of Legos to play with and some well-placed USB ports for charging. There were two bunks and a trundle-bed. The kids each got a small lego kit to keep as well.
The bathroom was pretty straightforward with a sink, toilet and bathtub. It could have used a bit more light but was otherwise clean and organized.
One unique feature of the cottages was a small seating area out in front of our room. The only close-up picture I have contains a sleepy Michelle after a bit of a rough night sleeping with the kids.
Just as with the Legoland Hotel, breakfast is included with your stay. Beach Retreat has their own restaurant, Sandy’s Castle. We visited during spring break and I’m guessing the Beach Retreat was sold out. Breakfast was something of a zoo. And, the variety definitely felt a bit streamlined compared to what we experienced at Legoland Hotel. The breakfast buffet has standard fare that you’d expect. The kitchen seemed a bit overwhelmed during breakfast. The lines for breakfast were longer at Beach Retreat as compared to Legoland Hotel where there are more stations located in different places.
There was a kids play area with plenty of Lego building stations. Those kept the kids occupied while Michelle and I grabbed their breakfast. The breakfast area had a fun theme and the kids had activities to distract them while we were waiting. Still, we definitely felt like we had a better experience at Legoland Hotel.
The pool area at Beach Retreat is pretty similar to the pool at Legoland Hotel. There were plenty of chairs and umbrellas for parents, though not the most comfortable chairs in the world. There are tons of big bricks for building Lego structures in the pool. And, there was a fairly large playground with plenty of shade.
The Final Two Pennies
Legoland Beach Retreat didn’t impress us as much as Legoland Hotel. Maybe it was the built-up anticipation our kids had, the spring break crowds or the fact that they were still working out some kinks. While these may have been a factor, I tend to think that Beach Retreat just isn’t as “cool” as Legoland Hotel. There was a lot of thought put into many of the elements at Legoland Hotel. Crazy elevator effects, treasure hunts, innovative Lego sculptures. It was an over-the-top experience.
Beach Retreat is definitely geared towards families with kids. Your kids will have fun. But, our kids really had no desire to go back once we checked out. They both agreed they would really rather stay at Legoland Hotel. If you can grab a room at Beach Retreat affordably, I’d say go for it. If it’s the same price as Legoland Hotel, do yourself a favor and stay at the main hotel instead. When you consider some of the small downsides to Beach Retreat and combine that with the tons of activities at Legoland Hotel with the proximity to the theme park (a 30-second walk) it’s hard to beat.
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