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Take the Family › 18 Unmissable Themepark Hotels around the World

18 Unmissable Themepark Hotels around the World

Dodging cacti at the Wild West themed Hotel Gold River at PortAventura.Dodging cacti at the Wild West themed Hotel Gold River at PortAventura.Rhonda Carrier

Staying at a themepark was once strictly a Disney thing. These days, however, a whole array of parks around the UK, Europe and the world encourage visitors to stay overnight and make the most of their visit. Benefits of doing so often include early entry to the park, so you can get on the best rides without queuing, special activities or experiences exclusive overnight guests, and live entertainment in the evenings.

Packages often comprise a night’s accommodation (sometimes in themed rooms designed for families) and two days’ park entry, meaning you can enjoy all the rides/attractions at a more leisurely pace – with the bonus that the second day generally works out free. Though there's always the opportunity to stay longer – some of the below hotels are resorts in their own right.

UK

Safari Hotel and Azteca Hotel, Chessington World of Adventures, Surrey

This brilliant themepark, zoo and aquarium a short hop from central London has an African-themed hotel (formerly the Holiday Inn) and a newer jungle-themed option, with the two sharing an indoor fun pool. Get the flavour by reading our review of a short break at Chessington World of Adventures, including a giraffe-feeding experience exclusive to hotel guests. New to the Safari Hotel for 2017 are a number of Gruffalo-themed rooms to accompany the new Gruffalo ride on the park.

LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort Hotel, Berkshire

Brimming with LEGO models, including in its themed Pirate, Adventure, Kingdom and Friends rooms, this jolly option also offers an indoor pool and pirate-themed waterpark, an indoor play area (handily located beside the bar and restaurant) and live entertainment galore.  Read our review of the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort. Watch out too for the LEGOLAND® Castle Hotel, opening in July 2017.

THORPE SHARK Hotel, Thorpe Park, Surrey

This funky shark-themed property at the thrill-seekers’ paradise has cute capsule-style rooms with a double bed and two bunks, perfect for families here to frighten themselves daft on the likes of Saw: the Ride and Swarm Backwards. Overnighters get exclusive 'first to ride' access before the gates open in the morning.

Splash Landings, Alton Towers Hotel and the Enchanted Village, Alton Towers, Staffordshire

Britain’s biggest themepark grows by the year – the latest addition is treehouses and cute woodland lodges, perfect for little Hobbits. As well as early access to the themepark itself, overnight guests at these or one of the two hotels (one Caribbean-themed and the other explorer-themed) get free use of the excellent waterpark. See our reviews of the Alton Towers Hotel and the Splash Landings Hotel, and look out for the new CBeebies Land Hotel, opening in July 2017.

REST OF EUROPE

Hotel des Trois Hiboux, Parc Astérix, Northern France

A very French themepark and a quirky alternative to the the big players, Parc Astérix also offers its own refreshingly different accommodation – the charming, rustically styled ‘Three Owls’, complete with character breakfasts, balconies with woodland views, a games room and a play area. The hotel is expanding by 50 rooms in time for the 2017 season, and two further hotels are scheduled to open in 2018 and 2019.

Disneyland® Hotel, Disney’s Sequoia Lodge and Disney’s Hotel New York, Disneyland Paris, Northern France

Of countless official Disneyland and other family-friendly hotels and apartments around France’s second most popular attraction, these three score most highly in TripAdvisor ratings for their leisure facilities and optional extras, which include indoor pools, character breakfasts and fast-track tickets and/or early access to the themeparks for those who abhor queues.

Hotel Portaventura and Hotel Gold River, PortAventura, Spain

Of five on-site hotels at Spain’s most exciting themepark – home to Europe’s tallest fastest rollercoaster, as well a great Sesame Street themed area for younger kids – these two stand out. PortAventura has a Mediterranean village feel, while Gold River brings together tacky but fun Wild West theming, including cacti-dotted ‘streets’, with surprisingly stylish rooms. Both have swimming pools, and both include tickets to PortAventura and discounts for its fantastic waterpark, Costa Caribe. See our review of a stay at the Hotel PortAventura.

Gardaland Adventure Hotel, Italian Lakes

Cute igloo-themed kids’ rooms are among the options at this latest hotel offering at the Gardaland Resort. As an alternative to the Arctic accommodation, you can also choose from Wild West, jungle and Arabian themed rooms, all sleeping up to five. In addition to themepark access, guests get use of a pool complex and access to three restaurants – one Tutankhamun-themed.

REST OF THE WORLD

Lapita Hotel, Dubai Parks and Resorts

This luxury Polynesian-themed option sits in the heart of Dubai's vast new themepark and leisure complex, with views towards the rollercoasters and other rides and attractions from its swanky rooftop terrace. When you're not out thrill-seeking, there's a lazy river, a kids' pool, and kids' clubs allowing you to slink off to the spa or get in a fitness class.

Paradise Pier Hotel, Disneyland Resort, California

Guests at this colourful hotel get great views of the Disneyland Park Fireworks Show from the rooftop with its pool and slide, and some rooms also enjoy themepark views. Other treats include a seaside-themed cinema with deckchairs, and character meet-and-greets at mealtimes. Guests use a private entrance to Disney California Adventure® Park and enjoy early admission to the various Disney attractions.

Hard Rock Hotel and Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal Studios Florida®

Of the official Universal Hotels, these stand out. The music-themed, surprisingly stylish Hard Rock Hotel is in the heart of the action and includes the likes of character meet-and-greets and ‘dive-in’ pool movies. The Cabana Bay is one for lovers of retro Americana, with bright and quirky rooms and an iconic dive-tower waterslide. Both have sandy beach areas with cabana hire.

JAPAN

Hotel Universal Port, Universal Studios Japan, Osaka

Right next to the themepark, this stylish option takes the sea, dinosaurs and movies as its theme, with decor including a 15m-long fish tank behind the front desk, a giant dino-egg and even dinosaur skeletons hanging from the restaurant ceiling. Regular events include the likes of Minion invasions.  

See more of our favourite themepark breaks.

By Rhonda Carrier

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