Last week, we were invited to be one of the first families to experience the brand new LEGOLAND Hotel – which is located right outside the gates of LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad – literally. Seeing as it was spring break for the kids and because it was likely my last hurrah with the boys before the new baby arrives, I sucked up any and all fears of embarking on the journey alone and said, let’s do this!
Upon arrival, we drove through the huge parking lot and up to the roundabout in front of the hotel. While we waited for the valet to direct us to a safe spot, the kids ooh and ahh’d over the gigantic hotel in front of the,, the pool scene to the right and the LEGO tower to our left, which was heavily guarded by LEGO (no-so) mini figures and donned a giant, smoke-breathing dragon near the top. It was a perfect distraction for excited kiddos…
Because we arrived prior to our check-in time, the Bellhop kindly stored our bags for us while we enjoyed an afternoon inside LEGOLAND. The boys ate way too much ice cream, took a few hundred laps on the train and my big kids went on The Dragon – twice… Among many other fun things.
We headed back to the hotel lobby at check-in time (4pm) and the kids played in the giant LEGO pit while I spoke to the front desk. We were made aware of the fun activities for the kids, which included a model building contest and free On Demand movies inside our room. After checking out the castle play space (which is brilliantly located inside the lobby bar), we ventured to our “Kingdom” room to rest our weary feet – or rather, my weary feet.
The kids immediately took part in the treasure hunt – yes, there was a treasure hunt inside the room – and found the gold (chocolate) coins. The tub of LEGOs was found second and promptly dumped on the floor of their room. Speaking of their room, they couldn’t get over the bunk beds (with pullout trundle), the fact that there was a reading light inside the bunk beds, their very own TV (!!) and LEGO creations/creatures at every turn.
I was happy they were entertained because the comfortable queen-sized bed in the other room was calling my name. The coffee was, too.
After relaxing (and playing) and exploring the many fun things within the room, we headed to the Bricks Family Restaurant for a buffet-style dinner. Luckily, my mom joined us to help with the kids – and to help with my sanity. The restaurant, just like the rooms and the rest of the hotel, was filled with LEGO creations, LEGO people and exciting 3D designs, which made it easy to strike up interactive dinner conversations. And when the kids got sick of talking to me, they picked up their crayons and colored all over the table. It was a perfect balance of family fun, interaction and self-expression – mixed with a variety and selection of foods that appealed to each one of my kids. The buffet options were delicious. Tons of healthy options (and plenty of comfort food) and the Chef personally addressed our gluten free dietary needs with suggestions of dishes and simple modifications to the freshly prepared wok veggies. He even went out of his way to bring my 5-year-old his favorite meal (also gluten free) because they didn’t have it available that specific evening, but normally do. Once again, I was blown away by the service and attention to detail.
While there were activities scheduled after dinner, we were all ready (read: there was no nap for the little guy that day) to head back to the room and call it a night. The kids (and I) slept so well and were more than ready to go again the next morning. Well, they were… I would have been if I weren’t 30 weeks pregnant.
After breakfast at the Bricks Family Restaurant (where the fruit was divine and the bacon was crispy), we checked out of the hotel and had the Bellhop hold our luggage once again. We walked the outside path, which leads directly to the front of the park and veered left to SEA LIFE Aquarium for a morning with the fish.
We’re no strangers to SEA LIFE (or LEGOLAND, for that matter), but it had been many months since we had seen our fish friends and it was nice to have a change of pace and scenery.
The kids were sad to go… I was sad, too, but my feet and back were ready to get home and rest up.
MOMMY LOVES COFFEE TIPS AND ADVICE FOR VISITING THE LEGOLAND HOTEL
- Unless you little one travels really well with his or her own travel crib/sleep space, call ahead to reserve one of their pack n’ play portable cribs.
- If you’re going with toddlers with or without older kids, bring along some Duplo blocks for your room (or hide the LEGO tub before your little one sees it). Each room has a tub of regular-sized LEGOs in it for older kiddos.
- Enjoy the many features and amenities of the hotel. Sit and sip on a drink while the kids play in the castle just above the lobby, locate the secret whoopie cushions, explore the sights and LEGO creations in every available space, ride the elevators (even if you’re staying on the first floor) and let your kids pick which themed room they would like to stay in – Kingdom, Pirate or Adventure – ahead of time and book your stay early to ensure you get your first choice of room!
- Check out the planned activities during your stay. The hotel does an amazing job of keeping families busy and entertained.
- Don’t take off your shoes before heading into one of the LEGO pits – ouch!
- If you’re staying at the hotel and purchase items inside the park, they will deliver them to the hotel for you – score!
- Don’t be afraid to bring or rent a stroller. Even though my two youngest are three and five, we still need – and use – a stroller on big adventures. We brought along a side-by-side double stroller (the Britax B-Agile double) to help me manage the three kids better and as a resting spot for the 5-year-old’s legs and feet when he needed it. It was a lifesaver to have available, there’s stroller parking everywhere and I was able to fold it up and store it out of the way while inside the hotel room.
- Take lots of pictures!
Overall, our stay at the LEGOLAND Hotel was so much more than I expected it would be. The hotel (and the employees inside the park) went above and beyond to make sure our stay was as enjoyable as humanly possible and they managed to keep my three (extremely energetic) boys entertained at all times. I would highly recommend experiencing the LEGOLAND Hotel as a vacation destination or even as a Staycation for locals. It’s truly an experience you and your kids will never forget – and the experience leaves you wanting more! We can’t wait to go back… When I’m no longer pregnant and can enjoy the rides (and the walking) a bit more.
Disclosure: LEGOLAND and the LEGOLAND Hotel provided us a free night at the hotel and tickets for the park. All opinions are my own and true to our experience.