LEGOLAND Village family hostel

This item appears on page 17 of the April 2009 issue.

My 7-year-old son, George, was, in his own words, “really into LEGO.” Knowing he would be a little boy for only a little while longer, my husband, Skip, and I decided to indulge him and took him to Denmark’s LEGOLAND in June ’08.

Rick Steves’ “Scandinavia” guidebook recommended staying overnight at either the LEGOLAND hotel or hostel. The hotel was out of our budget, so I booked a 2-day park package at the family hostel LEGOLAND Village (Ellehammers Alle 2, Billund, Denmark DK-7190; phone +45 7533 2777, fax 2877,

The lovely town of Bergen, Norway, recreated in LEGOs. Photo: Eisenlau

I recommend the place, with one big caveat: go with kids. No kids? Give the hostel, the hotel and maybe even the park, itself, a miss.

Our package cost DKK3,800 (about $750 in June ’08). It included the following for two adults and one child: two nights’ lodging, buffet breakfasts, two days’ admission to LEGOLAND, one buffet dinner and one family pass to the Billund Bad Swimming Hall.

We arrived at 9:30 a.m. and checked into the crayon-bright main office at LEGOLAND Village. After signing us in, the clerk doled out pool passes, buffet coupons and LEGOLAND entry cards. We walked 500 meters to the Land of Plastic Bricks. The park was adorable and sweet, filled with kids and LEGO bricks — millions and millions of LEGOs.

At 4 p.m. we were allowed access to our room (absolutely no early check-ins) and were given three bags of linens. We each received a duvet cover, bottom sheet, pillowcase and two towels.

The room key, attached to a yellow LEGO brick, opened a yellow door. The room had linoleum flooring, a table-and-chair set, one double bed and two pull-down bunk beds. There was a flat-screen TV, with lots of kiddie-cable offerings such as Animal Planet, the Disney Channel and Cartoon Network. Naturally, there was a LEGO table filled with blocks.

The bathroom was very basic, with a shower, sink and toilet. After stuffing duvets into their coverings, putting our clothes into the LEGO-colored cupboards and hanging our towels on LEGO hooks, we set off to explore the village grounds. LEGO Village offers a lot to pleasantly distract children: jungle gyms, swings, climbing walls and mini-golf.

For dinner we went to the main hall, where the buffet offered nice salads, fresh breads and a carvery with beef, ham and turkey. The children’s buffet offered frikadeller (Danish-style meatballs), fruit, French fries, chicken legs and steamed red wieners (another standard in Denmark).

Wine, beer and soda all are very expensive in Denmark. Regardless, they were available for purchase with dinner. Tap water, however, was not. I asked for a small glass of water for George (after, I must add, we had purchased two large Carlsberg beers and dessert) and was told that the only water available was bottled.

The ice cream bar was an additional DKK26 ($5). We told George it was either water or ice cream, as they cost about the same. It is probably unnecessary to explain which he chose.

After dinner, we strolled to the camping area so George could jump on the bouncing castle and play on the obstacle course. There were also motorbikes and pony rides for any child with DKK35 in his pocket, but we had shelled out enough cash for one day. George made do with the zip-line ride on the playground. He loved it and played with a few Norwegian boys.

After a night of comfy beds and crying babies next door, we walked to the main building for breakfast. LEGOLAND’s morgenmad (breakfast) buffet included the following: yogurt, juice, coffee from a machine, milk, cereal, cheese, meats, bread, rolls and about a million pushing people, who really put the “mad” into morgenmad.

The buffet was so badly arranged — with silverware placed in the middle of the rolls-and-bread section, for example — the lines could not move smoothly. Also, everyone at the LEGOLAND hostel wants to be at the park at 10 a.m. when the gates open, so they want breakfast at 9. On our second day, we arrived by 8 and avoided the lines.

On our second day, we used our pool pass first thing at Billund Bad, where we could swim from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. Despite the rather specific schedule imposed upon swimmers by the pool, Billund Bad was fun. The water was exceptionally clean and full of float-toys. There was a big slide with flashing lights inside — a wild swirl ride.

The Billund Bad health spa took an extra fee; I sneaked in accidently (lucky me!). I enjoyed a bit of kid-free luxury with a steam bath followed by a Jacuzzi soak for 45 minutes. At 11:44 (to the minute), the pool was cleared by the time-conscious lifeguards.

Showered up and feeling fresh, our family hit the park and stayed until 6:30. (Rides closed at 6. Stores and gift shops closed an hour later for all that last-minute LEGO shopping.)

All in all, I recommend the LEGOLAND Village family hostel. “LEGO” roughly translates from Danish into English as “play well.” The budget accommodations at LEGOLAND were clean, noisy, basic and child-friendly. If you do sleep over at LEGOLAND, you’ll “stay well” at the hostel.


Boulder, CO