We love Legoland. Forget the other theme parks that Central Florida is known for -- our family has major Legoland loyalty. We've been members for a couple of years now and frequently make the not-too-terrible day trip (two and a half hours each way) often. A couple of years ago, we got to take a sneak peek at the Legoland Hotel and were so impressed that it was hard to contain our excitement at the news that Legoland was set to open their brand new Beach Retreat! The Beach Retreat is now open, but we were honored to be able to take another behind the scenes stay to check out the property prior to the public opening. Unlike the hotel which is located on theme park grounds, the Beach Retreat is conveniently located across from the theme park. This gives it a more vacation-y (work with me) feel and really gives it the full #BrickBeach effect. If you're thinking that staying adjacent to the park is an inconvenience, think again -- because literally everything about the Beach Retreat screams convenience (especially if you're a parent).
For starters, as soon as we drove onto the Beach Retreat property we were greeted by check-in staff. Yes, you read that correctly: it's a drive up check-in. No getting out of the car, yielding luggage and overly excited kids. Everything is done from the car. Once checked in, you are given directions to the cove where your villa is located. The villas, keeping in typical Lego theme, are bright and bold and colorful.
Each cove has it's own playground and I feel the need to touch on that, because the focus on play that Lego and Legoland always brings to the table makes my heart so happy. Play is always the focus when it comes to Legoland -- imagination, creativity, all of it -- and I love that so much about the park. The Beach Retreat is no different. As I mentioned, each cove has it's own playground, nestled in the center of a cluster of villas. This means that parents can sit on the little porch, sip coffee and watch the kids burn the last of their energy. Our villa in particular had a beautiful lake view. You don't really think picturesque views when you think theme park hotels, but that's one of the things that sets the Beach Retreat apart -- the view was very scenic and relaxing!
Once we entered the villa, Ethan was the first to notice the flower leis on the bed which totally tied in the tropical vibe! A big box of brand new Duplo blocks awaited both kids who couldn't wait to tear into them and get building. The villas have a main bedroom that includes a safe, drawers, a refrigerator and a coffee maker (a necessity when traveling with kids, of course). To the left is the kid's nook which actually sleeps three, as the bottom bunk is also a trundle bed. There is a privacy curtain that you can pull closed to give both parents and kids some privacy and a good night of sleep. The bathrooms are also pleasantly big and I loved that the toilets included a kid-sized toilet seat! (It's the little things.)
We changed the kids into swimsuits and then made the short trek to the main resort lobby which houses a gorgeous (and gigantic!) pool. I love that the pool had a beach-style entry so kids could walk in at their leisure -- and play with all of the big, floating Lego bricks. In addition to an awesome pool, the pool area (which has floors made of sand to perfectly keep with the beach theme) also has a walk-up bar, live music (which encourages kids to join in the fun with some percussion instruments), a popsicle cart and an incredible playground.
Inside the lobby itself is the resort restaurant, as well as a gift shop (that carries all of the essentials parents inevitably forget, even pacifiers). After getting the kids changed back into regular clothes, we checked out the restaurant for dinner. Even with our food allergies (my husband has Celiac disease and must be gluten-free), everyone was able to find something to eat. Dinner was buffet style and there was something for everyone: Carmen went the black beans and rice route, whereas Ethan opted for Italian food.
As soon as you enter the restaurant, there is a massive Lego structure for kids to build. The little hands and little minds never stop! This building activity was especially fun for Ethan the next morning while I talked to friends and fellow bloggers after breakfast (which was also delicious and I wholly recommend the French toast sticks).
Check out was just as easy as check-in, and done as a drive-through service on our way out of the hotel and into the park. All Beach Retreat guests receive early access into the park which is a perk in itself when you have early risers. The new Beach Retreat is fantastic and is a definite must to check out for your next trip to Legoland Florida. We promise -- you'll get hooked as much as we did! At Legoland, everything is awesome -- and the new Beach Retreat is no exception!