With Alton Towers Resort set to open its latest accommodation offering – Alton Towers Stargazing Pods – next month, the Resort invited TowersTimes, alongside other enthusiast communities, to a special ‘Meet the Maker’ event to explore the new accommodation site. TowersTimes explores the latest details to be revealed.
Alton Towers Stargazing Pods is the fifth accommodation offering from Alton Towers Resort. Located next to The Enchanted Village, which opened in 2015, the Stargazing Pods will offer families a different experience to anything the Resort’s current accommodation has to offer, giving them the chance to create memorable experiences and escape the every day. In creating the Stargazing Pods, Alton Towers Resort have taken the concept of the pods and given them a creative twist, using the idea of stargazing as a way to ignite the imagination using a set of constellations specially created for the Resort, helping to give the sense that Alton Towers Resort is its own amazing world and adding to the feeling of ‘fantastical escapism’ families can feel when visiting the Resort.
Perhaps one of the key things to note is how different the Pods look and feel once inside the site when compared to looking at the pods from the outside. At the heart of the site is a ‘village green’ where guests can enjoy some games and use the telescopes to gaze at the night sky. From the green, the site has a welcoming feel and will be especially nice during the warmer, summer weather. From the green you can also see the tipi, which will offer drinks and live entertainment, creating a kind of pop up festival feel to the area and what will be much needed additional bar capacity for the Resort.
Guests staying in the Alton Towers Stargazing Pods will have their own dedicated reception and check-in located in the building which was previously used for the Resort’s high ropes attraction, Tree Top Quest. Here, guests can check-in, hire towels, and collect their breakfast which consists of a hot drink and breakfast bap. Once checked in, guests make their way down the path and underneath the entrance portal to the site.
In total, there are 102 Stargazing Pods, each of which has been individually constructed at the factory of Hawthorne Forest Products in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. Each pod takes approximately one day to build, with the timber used to construct the pods being sustainably sourced European Whitewood from managed forests in Finland. Each piece of timber in the pods can be traced back to its place of origin. The first pods arrived at the Resort on 3rd October 2018, and it has taken just over four months for all the pods to arrive with the final pods being delivered on 18th February 2019. Once complete, each pod will have additional theming details inside featuring the specially created Resort constellations, including curtains picturing the constellations, something which will add a nice finishing touch to the pods.
Careful consideration has also been given to the landscaping throughout the site with nearly 900 trees and bushes being planted in total. Overall, 16 different varieties have been planted, all of which are native to the area and include field maple, silver birch, hazel, English oak, willow, and mountain ash. Although all the planting is currently very young, once established this will add to the overall look of the area.
Prices for the Alton Towers Stargazing Pods start from £88 a night off-peak and from £123 a night peak, although some dates have seen prices as high as £168 a night quoted (for Saturday 2nd November). Each pod can sleep up to 4 guests in 1 double and 2 single beds, with shower and toilet facilities available in a Facilities Block located on the site. Guests will be able to enjoy the live entertainment on offer in the tipi or will be able to enjoy the restaurants and entertainment in the other Resort hotels during their stay, although with the hotel restaurants already extremely busy some have expressed concern that an additional 102 rooms may mean some guests are unable to secure a table. The Stargazing Pods are aimed at a different audience to the Resort’s existing accommodation, with the pods likely to particularly appeal to those who may have tried the glamping at Warwick Castle’s Knight’s Village, or Chessington World of Adventures Resort’s Explorer Glamping and would likely best suit either couples, or families of up to four rather than groups of four adults.