Review of Drayton Manor Hotel

I knew before we had even reached Drayton Manor that we were going to have an enjoyable stay.  A small but very appreciated gesture by a waitress before we arrived prevented my two young sons from having complete meltdowns…. This is our review of Drayton Manor Hotel and Grill Inn.We had unrealistic hopes of setting off for our weekend away straight from the school pick up but due to having a busy week and being completely unprepared we set off at 5pm and hit rush hour.  I called ahead and put back our table reservation at the Grill Inn (the main Drayton Manor restaurant) from 5.30pm to 6.30pm.  At 6.30pm we were still half an hour away.  With two hungry and tired boys in the back of the car (and a rather grumpy husband) I called the restaurant again and asked if they would take our order over the phone and have it ready for when we arrived.  The waitress did not hesitate and without even requesting a credit card to cover the payment she quickly took our order, I was so grateful.

I could have hugged her when we arrived at the restaurant and our food was quickly served.  I have learnt as a parent that it is the small things that make all the difference when you are travelling with young kids!  We ordered a sharing platter and burger sliders which were all cooked to perfection.  Charlie also enjoyed his kid’s meal of burger and chips.


Tip – Taste card holders can get 50% off the cost of their food bill at the Grill Inn.  During our visit there was also a 40% discount voucher available on the Grill Inn website, so it is worth checking before you dine.

With full tummies and happy but weary children we walked across the car park to the Drayton Manor hotel.  The four star large contemporary hotel is located in 280 acres of lakes and parklands in the theme park grounds.  I had not appreciated in advance of our visit how big Drayton Manor hotel is – It has 150 rooms including some family suites and presidential suites, two bars, two restaurants, conference and wedding facilities.  As we walked through the entrance Harry and Charlie were transfixed with the train engine carousel in the foyer and the Thomas and friends engines decorating the walls.


Our hotel confirmation had stated that we were staying in a double room with sofa bed so we were delighted to walk into our spacious room and find two queen size beds and a baby travel cot set up for Harry.  Our room was very clean and had all the amenities we required.  The hotel caters for families very well with a bath mat provided to prevent youngsters from slipping in the bath, a fully stocked refreshment tray, free nightly kids club in the bar from 6.30-8.30pm and a fully stocked Thomas and Friends shop.  The bar man also kindly refused to allow us to pay for the kids bedtime milks too which we thought was a pleasant gesture.

After a comfortable sleep Charlie and Harry were very excited to go and visit Thomas Land. We all enjoyed the full English breakfast buffet and my boys made the most of being on ‘holiday’ and being allowed to eat what they wanted including coco pops and nutella on toast (a rare sugary treat!)  After breakfast they were delighted to have their photo taken with the Fat Controller.

Drayton Manor Hotel

If we were to visit the hotel again I would love to upgrade to a Thomas and friends themed bedroom for this would be an extra special treat for my little train fans. (Although I’m not sure how we would calm them down enough to actually get any sleep!)  The themed rooms have a Thomas themed bunk bed, bedding and wall decor plus television and Thomas & Friends DVD.  The hotel also offers character breakfasts for an extra cost of £7.95 adult and £5.95 per child.

As we were staying just a short walk from the theme park we could have taken advantage by getting into the attraction early however we were too busy eating a three course breakfast!  The entrance to Drayton Manor is just across the car park (next door to the Grill Inn) and so is very convenient for families staying at the hotel as you do not need to use your car throughout your stay.

Tip – Stay and play packages are available until the 31st December saving guests who wish to stay a night at the hotel and enjoy a day in Drayton Manor Theme Park 20% off normal prices

Need to know
Grill Inn website –
Drayton Manor Hotel website –
For more information about Thomas Land at Drayton Manor, read our review – Family Fun at Thomas Land.

Disclosure – We were kindly invited to stay overnight at Drayton Manor Hotel over the February half term holidays.  All opinions and words are as always our own 

Photos copyright Travel Loving Family

Tried and Tested


  1. Ingrid
    10th November 2016 / 1:18 am

    Really useful. I am taking my family to Drayton Manor soon:)
    Ingrid recently posted…IngridMy Profile

  2. 2nd March 2016 / 4:41 am

    We are not far from Drayton Manor so this isn’t something I would ever consider but for those living further a way than us this looks like a lovely place to stay

    • 3rd March 2016 / 11:55 am

      As you say Candace, it is perfect for families who need to travel a distance to get the Drayton Manor as you wake up ready to hit the theme park and have a fun packed day:)

  3. 1st March 2016 / 9:27 pm

    We really enjoy Drayton Manor but we live so close that it would be silly to stay at the hotel, so we’ve never visited. It looks great! I must admit I’ve been tempted to go and eat at the Grill Inn after a long day at the park though!
    Zoe Corkhill (Mama Geek) recently posted…Lydia’s 3rd birthdayMy Profile

    • 1st March 2016 / 9:38 pm

      Oh you definitely should Zoe. The food is great and incredibly reasonable too. Take a look online before you dine to check for any offers;)

  4. 27th February 2016 / 10:00 pm

    The Drayton Manor Hotel looks amazing. Your room looks great, but I agree what a treat a Thomas Themed room would be. It was so kind of them to help you out so the kids didn’t go hungry. Good customer service is everything isn’t it?
    Zena’s Suitcase recently posted…Why Is Drayton Manor The Best Family Theme Park?My Profile

    • 27th February 2016 / 10:49 pm

      Yes good customer service is absolutely key Zena. I truly feel that spending money on facilities, decor, amenities, etc is in vain if the management cannot get staff who deliver excellent levels of customer service. I also do not think you can necessarily train someone to empathise with parents of young children because unless you have experienced it yourself it is impossible to know the consequences of (in our situation) tired, grumpy kids who have spent hours in a car! We were most impressed with all the staff we encountered during our weekend especially the two mentioned in my article.

      Great to see that you also had a great day at Drayton Manor today Zena:)

  5. 27th February 2016 / 7:25 pm

    This looks so great – we would love to stay! We went to Drayton Manor for the first time last year and can’t wait to go back. Kaz x
    Ickle Pickle recently posted…Vision Direct Baby Sight ToolMy Profile

    • 27th February 2016 / 9:57 pm

      My eldest is already talking about us returning Kaz!

  6. 27th February 2016 / 1:09 pm

    I would love to visit Drayton Manor as I am a huge fan of theme parks and this would be a lot of fun. Thomas the Tank Engine would be a great themed bedroom too!

    • 27th February 2016 / 9:58 pm

      I must admit I was relieved that my boys are not yet old enough to read the posters promoting the themed bedrooms!

  7. 27th February 2016 / 12:40 pm

    It’s so lovely how thoughtful the staff were – I can really imagine how much it must have helped to have the food ready for you. That’s brilliant and sounds like it helped to start off a lovely stay, as opposed to a super-stressful one!

    • 27th February 2016 / 10:00 pm

      It made a huge difference Sarah. It meant that we were able to quickly get our boys fed and into bed ready for the next full day of excitement at Thomas Land, prior to them having bedtime meltdowns! Thanks for stopping by

  8. 27th February 2016 / 7:02 am

    The Thomas themed room sounds amazing – my little boy would absolutely love that! Although, as you said it would probably be impossible to get little ones to sleep there they’d be so excited. Glad you had a lovely stay.

    • 27th February 2016 / 10:05 pm

      Thanks Alana. I think the key to staying in the themed rooms would be to arrive nice and early for your children to enjoy the themed room and become acquainted with it. As we arrived at the hotel after 8pm I was grateful for a regular room to get my boys both in bed and asleep as quick as possible ready for a full day on the Saturday;)

  9. 26th February 2016 / 8:29 pm

    It really is the little things which can make such a difference – and an understanding that kids really can’t wait sometimes, not even one minute more. I’d never thought of staying nearby but lovely not to start the day with a car journey.
    Cathy (MummyTravels) recently posted…10% off the new Warwick Castle lodgesMy Profile

    • 27th February 2016 / 10:08 pm

      Yes it was a real treat Cathy. We had a lovely leisurely breakfast and several coffees before a fun day at Thomas Land. I could have quite happily strolled back into the hotel for another overnight stay after leaving the park!

  10. 26th February 2016 / 7:37 pm

    Looks a great place to visit, and it sounds like the staff were very helpful which really makes so much difference when traveling with kids. Off to check out their website now!

    • 27th February 2016 / 10:11 pm

      Yes it makes a huge difference Sarah. Many restaurants and hotels state that they are family friendly when in fact they are just tolerant of children and families. The Grill Inn and Drayton Manor Hotel staff all made us feel like they knew exactly what it was like to be travelling with young children and went out of their way to ensure we had a thoroughly memorable weekend.

  11. 26th February 2016 / 11:58 am

    What a fantastic adventure! So lovely to be able to get away from the usual routine for a bit. Looks like a great place!

    • 27th February 2016 / 10:15 pm

      Thanks Elizabeth. Yes I do love a few short breaks to break up the routine. Especially in the colder months, gives the whole family an adventure to look forward to

  12. 26th February 2016 / 10:37 am

    I do love those little gestures (like the one from the waitress) staff give to their guests/costumers. They just go beyond their job description which makes the whole experience even more special 🙂
    Dean of Little Steps recently posted…Hopefully the Bright Days are Here To StayMy Profile

    • 27th February 2016 / 10:20 pm

      It truly does, I wish every hotel/restaurant offered the same level of understanding for parents with young children. I often think that as the hospitality industry employs many young staff who do not yet have children they can not empathise with customers who do. It was in the restaurants best interest to serve us as quick as possible as two tired hungry boys are not much fun for fellow diners!

  13. 26th February 2016 / 10:29 am

    Sounds like a lovely place to visit and perfect for children. It’s always great to hear how they cater for little ones and sounds like they were brilliant x

    • 27th February 2016 / 10:22 pm

      Yes the hotel caters for families very well. They have clearly spoken to parents to find out exactly what they need when staying overnight with young children;)

  14. 26th February 2016 / 10:29 am

    That is such wonderful service from the restaurant! I can see that the manager has commented above, but I hope you’ve been able to send some praise to their Head Office too. I’ve not been to Drayton Manor, though my son went there with his mum a few years ago and loved it. recently posted…Having a new baby – Being a first time parentMy Profile

    • 27th February 2016 / 10:25 pm

      The Operations Manager has seen this review and passed on to his team Danny:) I often think as a nation we are quick to complain but not so great at complimenting staff who go above and beyond. I am rather cross at myself for not taking note of the waitresses name and also the bar man (who refused for us to pay for milk). Small gestures but very much appreciated by parents of young children.

    • 27th February 2016 / 10:25 pm

      You most definitely should Leah!

    • 27th February 2016 / 10:36 pm

      Especially for little train fans!

  15. 25th February 2016 / 8:35 pm

    Never been to Drayton Manor but it’s nice to read about a place which clearly understands the needs of families. And you’re right, it’s the small gestures that make all the difference.
    linda hobbis recently posted…Have You Got The Welcome Mat Out For Anxiety?My Profile

    • 27th February 2016 / 10:39 pm

      Absolutely Linda. Good customer service always makes a place memorable more so than any facilities/decor etc

  16. Thomas Burgess
    25th February 2016 / 8:12 pm


    I am the manager at the Grill Inn and I just wanted to say thank you for such a lovely review of the restaurant and the hotel. I’m extremely happy that you had such a wonderful time and hope to welcome you back soon.

    Tom Burgess
    Grill Inn Manager

    • 25th February 2016 / 8:31 pm

      You are very welcome Tom. Please do pass on our thanks to your waitress, being able to order in advance truly did make a huge difference to our evening. Kind regards, Lisa

  17. 25th February 2016 / 11:49 am

    Oooh Ive always been interested in what the hotel was like! Love Drayton manor!

    • 25th February 2016 / 2:03 pm

      Glad we could be of assistance Lianne!

    • 25th February 2016 / 2:00 pm

      Yes I think so too Helen, it is such a small gesture but one really appreciated by parents

  18. Helene Storey
    24th February 2016 / 8:04 am

    sounds like you had a fun stay! ive never heard of this place but i will have to check it out now.x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge