Blackpool’s first-class staycation at Pleasure Beach’s Boulevard hotel

Blackpool Pleasure Beach was founded way back in 1896 by A. W. G. Bean and family-owned and operated ever since – with the current managing director Amanda Thompson actually Bean’s great-granddaughter.

In 2003 the resort opened the four-star Big Blue Hotel which has become a must for visitors to relax after a day riding The Big One, The Big Dipper and the park’s latest adrenaline rollercoaster ride … Icon.

Then The Big Blue’s success led them to open their second four-star hotel on the site of the former Star pub – and already boasting five stars and rave reviews on – with 10 suites and 120 rooms from just £110 per night. 

Now the Daily Express has paid a trip to Boulevard Hotel, to see what the resort’s newest accommodation offers Staycation Brits this summer – and those looking to explore the stunning visual delights of the autumn Illuminations, which now run all the way through to January 2nd 2023.

With its onsite parking for guests, right by part of the famous Big One rollercoaster’s thundering track, you approach the front of the hotel which faces away from the sea.

An impressive globe metal sculpture lights up the smart slate grey exterior before you enter the lobby and bar area with the sumptuous Beachside Restaurant dining area sporting plush grey comfortable seating, mirrored walls, chandeliers and raised wooden tables with stools, or more intimate round booths.

Staff are attentive and polite – we were greeted constantly by smiling staff in neat uniforms asking if we needed anything, while for those concerned of covid, the front of house team sported facemasks.

The restaurant offers a bar menu of delicious steak burgers (£14.95), sourdough pizzas and hot and cold sandwiches like a flat iron steak sandwich (£14.95) – for the kids there’s meals like Spaghetti Bolognese; Linguine Pomodoro and Honeywell’s Sausage.

For those looking for a more exclusive experience the a ‘a carte menus offers starters like Morecambe Bay Shrimp Ravioli (£11) or a Twice Baked Souffle (£8) with main dishes like feather blade of beef (£18), fillet of seabass (£23), goats cheese tart (£17.50), Forest of Bowland sirloin steak (£30).

The breakfasts offer a wide array of continental fare like pastries, fresh fruit, cereals and meats and cheeses – with a staff member in a central hub serving you your chosen selection of full English.

You don’t help yourself which I sense is a fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic about sharing buffet utensils etc but as my son discovered you can still ask for as many sausages and rashers of bacon as you want as he fuelled up for what would end up being a day of getting soaked on water rides, and then blow-dried on rip-roaring rollercoasters. 

Then we get to the bedrooms – surely among the smartest in Blackpool with dressing gowns and slippers and proper thick white towels, a powerful shower-in-a-bath, and plenty of space to swing a cat – not that we brought one.

Our room had little in the mini-bar/fridge except milk capsules and bottled water but there is a full room service menu for those too exhausted by riding the coasters all day to stagger down to the restaurant.

The views from the rooms are impressive and whether they are into the Pleasure Beach or facing the sea, they remind you you’re in Blackpool to relax and have some fun.

Blackpool, one of the UK’s best-loved resorts, reported earlier in the year that saw a “huge upsurge” in visitors as it “bounced back in spectacular fashion” from the impact of Covid-19

Blackpool Council said it saw a 75 percent increase on pre-pandemic levels of footfall in the last quarter of 2021.

The resort has extended its famous Illuminations until January to boost the industry with a Christmas By The Sea event, aimed at bringing people to the seaside in what would usually be off-season.

As a result, more than 17 million people visited its promenade between September and December in 2021, compared to just over 10 million in 2019, council figures showed.

The town centre attracted more than 12 million in 2021, compared to  9 million in 2019.

Council leader Lynn Williams said in January this year the town had “witnessed extraordinary volumes of people” and had the “best Christmas figures seen in living memory”. 

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