After much anticipation, the all-new Legoland Hotel opened on Friday, April 5, 2013. Located right next to the theme park in Carlsbad, California, the three-storey 250-room hotel does not disappoint, especially for those that can't get enough of those colourful plastic bricks.
We visited the hotel just two days after it opened to scope out some of the 3500 Lego models scattered throughout the hotel. Made from more than three million Lego bricks, these sculptures were like individual artworks in and of themselves, starting with the huge dragon in the tower, guarding the hotel's entrance. The green, smoke-breathing dragon, alone, was made out of 400,000 Lego bricks and took roughly 4000 man hours to construct.
This is the very first Legoland in North America. (There are two more in the world: one in Windsor, England, the other in Billund, Denmark.) The moment you walk in the door you'll notice how this hotel was made with kids in mind from the many play pits to the huge Castle Play area. As Peter Ronchetti, general manager of Legoland California Resort, told Yahoo! Travel, "In the parks, we call children the heroes. Parents will find that in Legoland Hotel, as well. All of the design, finishing touches and play areas are designed around children, making it the most child-friendly environment in a hotel. Ultimately, children come first."
While you'll continue to bump into Lego models wherever you go, head to the back patio for one that you soon won't forget. Named "Bubbles", this interactive LEGO dragon talks and squirts water. (There's a Legoland Hotel employee watching the action nearby who speaks on behalf of the dragon.) At check-in, you'll come face-to-face with a cool display of 5000 Lego mini-figures or, if you prefer, you can marvel at the potted plant that's filled with flowers made with, of course, Legos. The best part is that the hotel gives off the illusion that it was built out of Legos themselves, with minifigs eagerly showing you what's underneath a few bare white walls. It's a wonderful, magical touch to a dream-like space.
Pictures: Alice Yoo
Alice Yoo is the founder of MyModernMet, a blog about art and design where this post originally appeared.