You might call it Lego on steroids.
From the moment young kids are greeted in the hotel lobby by a towering Lego wizard who stages a surprise light show to when they crawl into their bunk beds and gaze up to see a shooting star, they are transported to a medieval castle inhabited by more than 2,000 Lego-crafted characters.
And that’s even before a visit to Legoland next door.
Last month, the Carlsbad, Calif., theme park debuted the 250-room Castle Hotel, its second onsite hotel in five years. Conceived four years ago, the latest lodging project capitalizes on the broad appeal of all things Lego, from licensed films and video games to the brand’s toy sets.
Nightly rates at the Castle Hotel, which can be up to $50 more a night than those at Legoland’s original 250-room hotel, are expected to range from a low of $205 to the $400s during peak season.
Everything about the hotel, from the Dragon’s Den restaurant to the knight-, princess- and wizard-themed rooms, is designed around a simple story line created to captivate Legoland’s key demographic, children. The narrative is that the bad knights, many of whom are hiding in plain sight throughout the hotel, weren’t invited to the upcoming grand tournament, and they’re doing everything in their power to sneak in.
Bryan Brandow, his wife and two young children stayed four nights at the nearby Legoland California, which they used as a home base to visit the park, the Sea Life Aquarium and the San Diego Zoo.
Staying at the resort was all about the “fun factor,” says Brandow.
“It was definitely bingeing on Lego for a few days,” said Brandow, whose sons are 7 and 6. “And the proximity to the park is amazing. If we were staying offsite, we’re the type who would get to the park right when they open but here we could take an afternoon break and then come back before the park closed.
“I got the sense my kids would want to live there.”