Will Thorpe Park EVER Build A PERMANENT Hotel?

Will Thorpe Park EVER Build A PERMANENT Hotel & Accommodation?

Thorpe Park may be opening the UK’s NEW tallest & fastest roller coaster in 2024, but with so many planning to flock to the UK’s official home of feel good thrills this year we have to ask, how many of those visiting will choose to stay on park?

Although Thorpe Park does currently offer overnight accommodation in the form of the Thorpe Shark Cabins (also briefly known as the Thorpe Shark Hotel), to date the park has still yet to build a permanent hotel.

What’s more, Thorpe Park is currently the only park out of Merlin Entertainment’s four that they own that doesn’t boast a permanent, purpose built hotel.

Now although the Thorpe Shark Cabins do offer sufficient accommodation for a short term stay (believe us, you wouldn’t want to spend much more than a few days in them) the park have yet to offer accommodation suitable for a week’s stay at the park (and after this year the demand will certainly be there).

In reality, the current hotel experience offered by the Thorpe Shark Cabins is much more akin to glamping given the size of the rooms (and the condensation on the inside of the doors when you wake up certainly isn’t a great either).

So, with all of this in mind we thought it would be fun to ask the question – “will Thorpe Park EVER actually build PERMANENT accommodation?”.

A stay in the Thorpe Shark Cabins is much more akin to glamping in our opinion and doesn't currently offer 'hotel quality' rooms.

Plans For A Permanent Hotel!

Now as we’ve mentioned in a previous article Thorpe Park did actually once have plans to build a permanent hotel.

In fact, the plans even went as far as going to public consultation, but to date no new ‘permanent’ hotel has yet been built.

Instead, Thorpe Park choose to introduce the Thorpe Shark Hotel offering guests the chance to stay in rooms constructed out of converted shipping containers (which is where they’re currently at today).

Original plans for a hotel were submitted to the local council back in 2006 but following this no real news of the parks plans came to light.

Thorpe Park then partnered with Snoozebox – the company who created the park’s current temporary accommodation.

Following a successful first season, Merlin Entertainments decided to take control of the park’s newly created, temporary hotel offering, then in 2014 NEW plans for a 250 room hotel were again put forward to the local council.

The new hotel would be constructed in two phases with the first offering 150 newly created rooms for guests to stay in.

Phase one would also create a brand new cafe, bar, restaurant and health club. Phase two would then see a further 100 newly created rooms  added to created 250 rooms in total & an expansion to the health club too.

The new permanent accommodation would also offer a new, purpose built play area for children and a direct water link between the hotel and park.

The above shows an aerial perspective layout of the plans for the newly created, two phase hotel first put forwards to the council back in 2014 - *Image Credit: Thorpe Park Mania.

Could This New Hotel Still Happen?

When the above plans were first put forward they received largely positive feedback from the council & locals alike. The projected timescale of a 2018 opening also appeared very feasible too.

Construction of the new hotel was originally proposed to begin in 2016 (if plans were approved), but as we now know this sadly never happened.

With the current planning approval for Thorpe Shark Cabins reportedly set to expire this year (2024) however we’re asking the question – what comes next?

Well, there’s certainly no doubt that demand for permanent accommodation at the park is definitely still there given just how popular Thorpe Shark Cabins remain, but as we know the temporary hotel offering was never intended to be permanent.

It would therefore make a lot of sense if part of Thorpe Park’s current 10 year plan includes the introduction of a new, purpose built hotel at the park in the years ahead.

In fact, the increased footfall that Hyperia will likely bring to the park in the years ahead will further justify the need for a much larger scale form of accommodation at the park in the long term.

Building a newly created hotel at Thorpe Park would not only increase attendance but also increase the quality of the facilities offered  for those staying overnight.

Although Vibes Bar is nice it doesn’t really fit into the category of ‘hotel standard’ catering facilities & feels much more on par with the likes of a Wetherspoons than a hotel bar & restaurant.

The Thorpe Shark Cabins was never meant to be a permanent accommodation solution and as such won't fit the park's increased footfall in the years ahead.

Will A NEW Hotel Ever Be Built?

With a brand new waterpark set to open at Chessington World of Adventures in the years ahead it’s clear that accommodation & overnight facilities are still very much at the forefront of Merlin’s plans.

With this in mind, the introduction of a newly created, permanent hotel at Thorpe Park in the next 10 years doesn’t feel too unrealistic.

There is definitely a demand for a higher quality of overnight accommodation at the park & guest attendance in the next 5 years alone will almost certainly justify one being built.

Taking Thorpe Park from it’s current theme park form (The Thorpe Shark Cabins don’t make it a resort) to an actual, fully fledged resort would also open the park up to a much larger, more international audience too.

With this year’s rebrand and change of focus towards the thrill market it’s clear that Thorpe Park are very much in a forward thinking mindset.

With that in mind we definitely expect plans for a new hotel to be put forward (as part of this future vision) in the years that follow.

Would you like to see Thorpe Park exchange their current, temporary accommodation for a newly created, permanent hotel? Let us know in the comments below!

The above shows how the 2014 hotel's proposed facade would have looked if the accommodation had proceeded. -*Image Credit: Thorpe Park Mania.