The new LEGOLAND Hotel at LEGOLAND California officially opened to the public on April 5, 2013, offering visitors the chance to stay on-site at the Carlsbad theme park.
The 3-story, 250-room hotel is located close to the park's entrance, on the site of the former bus parking lot. It offers three different categories of themed room - Kingdom, Adventure and Pirate. It also boasts a swimming pool area and a restaurant, and incorporates LEGO brick-style decor.
Owner Merlin Entertainments Group has installed the hotel in a bid to transform LEGOLAND California into a multi-day destination. It first submitted the plans for the hotel in 2009, but put the expensive project on hold due to the impact of the economic downturn. It has since opened a similar hotel at sister park LEGOLAND Windsor in the UK.
The hotel includes more than 3,500 LEGO models, built using more than three million individual LEGO bricks. Five thousand mini-figures are visible on the wall behind the reception desk, with a LEGO model of a bicycle-riding surfer highlighting the individual figures with his magnified wheels.
Themed and premium themed rooms are available, along with junior and family suites. The premium rooms host additional LEGO models and other elements such as themed wall paper. Children have their own sleeping area in every room, which includes a bunk bed, a trundle bed and a television set.
A Castle Play Area, a LEGO play pit in the reception area and a treasure hunt inside each room add to the overall theme. The Castle Play Area is based around a pirate ship attempting to dock in a LEGO-filled moat next to an nteractive castle. Pulling a handle near the castle's entrance causes a LEGO ogre to roar. Every night, live shows will be performed on the castle stage.
The LEGOLAND Hotel offers several dining options. This includes the Bricks Family Restaurant, which serves a breakfast and dinner buffet. Mini's Lounge is located next to the Castle Play Area and offers drinks and snacks, while the Skyline Café features 35 scenes based around the LEGO City toy line.
The hotel's outdoor pool area includes a 5-foot-deep swimming pool, and will host showings of Swim Up movies on Friday and Saturdays nights during peak seasons.
At the opening ceremony, LEGOLAND Hotel General Manager Frank Idris said: "LEGOLAND Hotel is the perfect complement and extension to the experience guests enjoy when they visit LEGOLAND California, Sea Life Aquarium and LEGOLAND Water Park. I am ready to get this adventure started!"
LEGOLAND California's General Manager Peter Ronchetti added: "Everything we do here is done to enhance the guest experience and help them create memories that will last a lifetime. Now they can extend their experience even further by staying and playing in an entire Hotel that builds on fun."