Make the most of Thorpe Park with an overnight stay in a bite-sized room, says Jane Anderson
If you fancy making the most of your time at Thorpe Park, a night at the Thorpe Shark Hotel is in order. This quirky hotel is slap bang between the thrilling park roller-coasters and its tranquil lake, and is one of the most unusual hotels you’re likely to encounter as it’s largely constructed of second-hand shipping containers and recycled materials.
After checking in at the shark shack-themed reception (another container) with its nautical fishing nets, anchors, fishy murals and ‘snappy checkout’ and bite-sized rooms’ signs, guests are guided through the mouth of a mammoth shark which forms a striking metal tunnel made of recycled parts left over from the theme park rides construction. Once out the other side of Mega Mouth Shark, rows of pale blue containers sit side by side, a bit like a box park. Each one is a snug place to lay your heads with a double bed and single bunks, perfect for a family of four. ‘An Island Like No Other’ murals showing the steam punk shark and rollercoasters over an ocean adorn the walls.
There’s clever storage under the beds for luggage and enough room for a cabinet with unlimited tea and coffee making bits and pieces on top. The A/C makes it pleasant in summer and there’s a neat, if small, en-suite shower/wet room. The only view out is through the porthole in the main door, but if you have a lakeside room, it’s pleasant to gaze out. Thorpe Shark Hotel has 87 standard rooms and three disabled rooms, all geared up for easy wheelchair access.
It’s easy to get to the Dome which has restaurants, coffee shops and bars and arcade games for kids. Each night, there’s a kids’ film screening in there too. After the rides close at 5pm, hotel guests have access to the Dome and the park itself 24-hours. The Dome and its restaurant Fin’s Bar & Grill, which also has a kids’ menu, stays open til 11pm.
Guests can have as much as they want for breakfast at Fin’s Bar & Grill, and have unlimited fast pass access to the park between 10am and 11am – an exclusive offer for hotel guests. On departure day, guests can store their luggage at reception and enjoy the park.
How to book
An overnight stay at Thorpe Shark Hotel costs from £240 for a family of four including park entrance tickets with the second day free, breakfast, unlimited fastrack on your second day between 10am-11am on selected rides, free WIFI plus free car parking.
How to get there
Thorpe Park is 20 miles from West London and close to the M25, M3 and M4. Travelling by train from London Waterloo to Staines is just 35 minutes. Then catch the Thorpe Park Express shuttle bus directly from Staines train station to the theme park.