I have stayed at The Explorers on many occasions. One of the most family friendly hotels it has had 3 changes of owner. Originally set up and paid for MyTravel which was merged with Thomas Cook and finally Algonquin.
The hotel has always been particularly aimed at the British market. It has one of the most flexible room formats I have ever seen, a superb pool, an indoor and out door play area, a bar, two restaurants, pizza kiosk, sandwich kiosk, arcade games room, a Disney shop and a shuttle service to the parks.
Access is via your own car OR using the free bus shuttle service from the bus station. Shuttles run frequently but call round all the hotels in that area. Historically the route has been Explorers, Kyriad, Magic Circus, Dream Castle and finally B&B. The shuttles do get hectic, fold pushchairs/prams/wheelchairs where possible.
Room prices are very reasonable and it is great value if booked early. If you are an ANNUAL PASS holder it is a good choice.
The hotel was initially loosely themed around the imaginary British explorer Sir Archibald de Bacle and featured various artefacts he acquired from his travels however the recent refurbishment has moved the hotel to a more cartoon-y stylised set of icons.
Reception is large and airy with efficient and friendly staff. Check-in is simple and rooms available from 3pm.
The rooms are bright and well designed with plenty of sockets, a safe, a toilet in a separate room from the bathroom, bunk beds or two single beds and a double bed. Not enough storage/wardrobe space in my opinion but just about sufficient.
The beds are comfy and rooms are quiet, unlike the bar which does get noisy. The irritating thing is the bar closes at 10.30. Breakfast is included and there is an American style hot breakfast available at a supplemental charge.
There are two restaurants:
Plantation is a very reasonably priced buffet restaurant 24.50€ for adults, 12€ for children. The food here is ok, cold collation for starters, carvery (usually pork or beef), variations on chicken casserole, green beans and other vegetables, roasted potatoes. Don’t expect the roast potatoes to be traditional British! They are baked in their skins and are very tasty with salt, onion and a bit of garlic.
Kids food is the obligatory chicken nuggets, pizza slices and chips.
Desserts are excellent apart from the ice cream which was sloppy!
Captain’s Restaurant is a table service restaurant. Personally I found the decor to be fake and unwelcoming so we didn’t eat there in spite of a very good menu.
My kids loved the pool and play areas but I (as a big, plus sized man) have an issue with the pool. Speedo style trunks or tight fitting shorts must be worn, Bermuda type shirts are not permitted.
That said, the pool is the best of the hotels. Three slides, a great water feature with fountains, tipping bucket and a pirate ship.
The indoor play area will be familiar to those whose kids love the “wacky warehouse” type of ball pools, soft play, climbing and sliding areas. It is secure and accessed from the bar. That said, it is unsupervised. There is a pirate ship area in the bar which kids love clambering around. Parents of younger or children who like to wander should be aware that it is relatively easy for children to get in to the pool area so do watch your little ones.
Originally there was two bars however the Smugglers Tavern has been closed the last twice I have been which is a shame.
The lifts take a little working out as they don’t stop at all floors!
I really do enjoy staying here, it is a great value and fun hotel. Give it a whirl.