From Turin to Tokyo, this month’s hottest hotels
LEGOLAND WINDSOR RESORT HOTEL
BACKSTORY: With 150 acres of Lego-themed rides, sculptures, shops, sideshows and pretty much anything else to which a little plastic brick can be applied (25 million were used in the original construction), Legoland Windsor is not suited to anyone with an aversion to primary colors or hopped-up kids. Opened in 1996 on the grounds of an old safari park, the resort has been operated by mega-resortiers Merlin Entertainments since 2005, and 2012 saw the arrival of a $40 million themed hotel.
DESIGN NOTES: If ever there was a high-concept boutique hotel for kids, this is it. A huge dragon greets you at the entrance, followed by 6,000 Lego figures behind the reception desk, setting the tone for a sensory overload that does not abate. Yet the building-block excess is wonderfully executed, giving the sense that the little ones are being catered to rather than sold to. Adventure Premium rooms have park views and a Johnny Thunder motif, complete with touches like a Lego replica of the adventurer’s hat hanging in the bathroom, Lego creepy-crawlies and an in-room treasure hunt that yields—yep—Lego toys.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND JUST OUTSIDE: Some 55 or so attractions, the closest being the Atlantis submarine ride, which provides an up-close look at sharks and tropical fish, and the Dino Safari cars, which trundle past Lego dinosaurs hiding in the trees. The wider area is a confounding sprawl of mini-parks with names like Knights’ Kingdom and Pirates’ Landing, the debilitating effects of which can be offset by a drink at The Skyline Bar, whose outdoor tables overlook the diversions of a small play area, and whose interior has a meticulous Lego cityscape that’ll keep them occupied while you brace yourself for another manic sortie.