Knighty night

Le­goland’s new Cas­tle Ho­tel uses ev­ery brick in the book to keep the kids spell­bound

Irish Sunday Mirror - - TRAVEL - BY TOM BRYANT

Just walk­ing into the lobby of the new Cas­tle Ho­tel at Le­goland Windsor is a mag­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence. A mas­sive floor to ceil­ing wizard made en­tirely of Lego bricks greets you as you check in – and that’s only the be­gin­ning.

Right on the edge of the theme park, the brand new ho­tel boasts more than 657 Lego mod­els made up of 2.1 mil­lion bricks.

Ev­ery­where you look there are in­tri­cate mod­els dot­ted around – from the restau­rant which fea­tures a sleep­ing dragon made from 80,500 bricks to the cor­ri­dors which have colour­ful char­ac­ters wel­com­ing you in.

Such is the at­ten­tion to de­tail that the small­est in­di­vid­ual model is a tiny 7cm high drag­on­fly.

My two girls Rosie, eight, and Flor­rie, five, were par­tic­u­larly en­tranced by the ho­tel’s “talk­ing” lifts.

As the doors close, the lights dim and a mys­te­ri­ous wizard’s voice starts talk­ing about spells and po­tions.

The scope of de­tail in the 61 bed­rooms is enough to thrill vis­i­tors young and old. We have a “Wizard” themed room which is adorned ev­ery­where with fig­urines.

My two young com­pan­ions are in­stantly en­thralled, par­tic­u­larly with a fam­ily of three owls which took a mind­numb­ing 90 hours to build.

The high­light, how­ever, was when my small­est spot­ted a map de­tail­ing how we had to find clues hid­den around the room to un­lock the safe with the prom­ise of Lego in­side.

Cue half an hour of scram­bling around in search of po­tion bot­tles and spell books on the car­pets and walls and fi­nally the safe was cracked to huge cheers.

There are two sep­a­rate sleep­ing ar­eas. The girls had cosy bunkbeds op­po­site a flatscreen Tom, Rosie and Flor­rie TV, while I was en­sconced around a cor­ner of the room with my own mini-area, com­plete with dou­ble bed and seat­ing.

But peace and quiet is not what you come to Le­goland for and the ho­tel is per­fect po­si­tioned for ex­plor­ing the rides. It is just yards from the en­trance gate with guests able to en­joy Ex­clu­sive Early Ride Time in the park, be­fore it opens to non-ho­tel guests.

There was much ex­cite­ment as a count­down to the park open­ing was con­ducted by a Lego jester be­fore we were all ush­ered in early doors – with­out a queue in sight.

One of the new­est rides, which opened last month, is Nin­jago World. The At beat­ing Nin­jago bad­dies There are 657 Lego fig­ures in the Cas­tle Solve them to find the Lego trea­sure premise is that each per­son in the ride car fires at ninja vil­lains ap­pear­ing on 3D screens as you travel past.

I’ve been on sim­i­lar rides but the dif­fer­ence here is that in­stead of guns you use your hands to throw fire­balls and light­ning in what’s de­scribed as the UK’S first hand-ges­ture en­abled ride. It’s well worth check­ing out.

Back at the ho­tel, for those feel­ing peck­ish you can head to the á la carte Tour­na­ment Tav­ern Restau­rant, where there is a large se­lec­tion of kids meals, as well as posh nosh for the par­ents. The steaks – fil­let, sir­loin or rump – are good and there’s a fine se­lec­tion of wines by the glass or the bot­tle.

It can all be en­joyed in rel­a­tive peace thanks to the Lego play ar­eas dot­ted around the room.

Break­fast is a great se­lec­tion of hot op­tions in­clud­ing a full English, eggs Bene­dict or the win­ner in our house­hold, pan­cakes with ba­con and choco­late sauce.

It was a break­fast well suited to the Cas­tle Ho­tel – wizard in ev­ery way. le­­tle



TRY YOUR HAND TOP TIP Rent a Q-bot for €25pp to re­serve rides at spe­cific times.

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