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My two daughters have over the last year or so developed a love for Sylvanian Families and last Christmas we bought them the Regency Hotel which is the Crème de la Crème of 'buildings' in the Sylvanian world! To say they were delighted on the big day is an understatement and it is one of the toys that they continue to want to play with rather than getting bored of it quickly. The hotel itself comes with 25 accessories which included the reception desk and luggage trolley a light up chandelier and lovely topiary plants to sit outside of the grand entrance. As any parent will know if they have a child with a love of Sylvanian Families, it is the delicate and small items that make these collections and the detailing really is exceptional. The chandelier that hangs from the ceiling of the entrance has a small watch battery inside and simply removes easily from the ceiling, switches on and then can be fixed back in to the ceiling where it sits elegantly lit up and brings imaginative play to the next level for young children. The building itself is pretty special, and opens up from the back making it easy to play with all the spaces in the Hotel. It is quite a substantial size too measuring just under 50 x 50cm and around 65cm tall. My two girls can sit side by side and happily play together without a shortage of space or any falling out (a rarity nowadays!). The 3 storeys and 9 rooms mean there is endless fun to be had as they can play out all kinds of different scenarios with the little Sylvanian's. You can have bedrooms and sitting rooms, dining rooms and a Kitchen. We had a luggage room at one point! The only negative to the large number of rooms is filling them! The Sylvanian accessories are not cheap, they aren't overpriced though and are worth every penny as the intricacy and detailing are worthy of the prices, however it does become an expensive task trying to fill each of the rooms, and we had to ask aunties and uncles to buy Sylvanian accessories as Christmas presents between £15 - £25 so do bare this in mind if you are considering purchasing this Hotel for a child. The stained glass window, balcony and roof terrace all make the Hotel look really majestic and my children actually named the Hotel 'The Majestic' (with a little nudge from mummy!). Nice details include the pigeon hole and the removable window boxes. The hotel comes with two figures only (which is pretty standard with the Sylvanian sets), and includes a chef and a waitress. We already had a few little figures including a bridge and groom so this meant they could happily play with it straight away. The often play that the bride and groom are getting married at the hotel and they can play for hours with this one scenario! The hotel is suitable for children aged 4+ however I would say 4 is a little too young for the Sylvanian collection. Even waiting a year or two will make all the difference, as some items such as the knives and forks can be literally millimetres tall and so do require that children look after the set. It is a really sturdy set, which we have found as standard with the Sylvanian items, and you won't need to worry about anything snapping off or breaking. The RRP of £109.99 may be off-putting to some however after a very quick search online I have found it for the bargain price of £73.29 on Argos while it is £89.99 on Amazon, proving that researching for the best price online really is worth its weight.
My eldest daughter has a bit of a thing for something that is called 'Sylvanian families', which, for those people that have never heard of it, is a massive collection of small figures, vehicles, houses and more. The figures, which are in the shape of animals, come in different shapes and sizes, usually in the guise of many family members, but all being some kind of animal, such as rabbits, penguins, monkeys and even the good old, and very much in vogue at the moment, meerkats. The vehicles and houses are all designed to accommodate the little figures, although some of the larger figures do seem a little bit on the big side, but most figures look as if they fit there. In the collection of houses, which is growing as we speak, there are such things as little country cottages, to rather funky looking tree houses and, the one I am going to tell you about today, which is the grand Sylvanian Families Regency Hotel. So what does it look like then..? Well, this hotel is a magnificent building, being approximately 490mm long by 470mm wide and 630mm in height, so it will take up a bit of room on a table top. It is made of plastic as per usual with Sylvanian buildings, but the plastic is pretty sturdy and can withstand a bit of heavy handling from the small hands that will no doubt knock it about a bit. There is a balcony on the roof and a veranda above the front door, surrounded by several large windows, which are arched on the lower floor, giving the interior plenty of light, then, when the building is closed the light from the chandelier, which need a battery, really does brighten up the windows. There is some fine detail put into this one, unlike some of the items I have seen in my daughters collection, with the windows looking like actual windows, even going as far as to add a stain glass look-a-like window on the front 'apex' section. Then there's the actual brick work which surrounds the building, giving it more realism, looking quite like real bricks, in a plastic sort of way. In fact this one really does look like the regency hotel that it is supposed to be. Inside the hotel, when it is fully opened, you can see exactly what it has to offer, which three floor consisting of nine rooms, three rooms per folding section. The interior does lose its realism and does look like a toy building but this isn't too bad as when it is on view on a shelf it's the outside you see. This hotel does come with a few accessories, unlike some other Sylvanian houses such as bags, trolley, plants, a little bit of furniture, a few characters, such as a waitress and chef, and more, but you will have to add more characters and furniture to make it more fun, plus the usual imagination that all Sylvanian family items need if you want to play with them. What about the price of it then..? I managed to get this for just under £80.00 and I have seen it advertised for more than that, going up to over a hundred quid in some, personally I can't really understand why things like this have to cost so much. Would I have paid £100 for this? No, not really, unless my daughter forced me too of course, (and when I say forced I really mean if she asked me in her 'kind and gentle' sort of way... no wonder my wife keeps telling me that my daughters can wrap me around their little fingers, maybe I need to stop pampering them so much). As I said, £100 is a bit of a price tag but if it's wanted for part of the Sylvanian collection then it may be £100 well spent, probably better spent than some of the other Sylvanian stuff. This one is solid enough, quite well designed and a very good size indeed, and it will no doubt offer hours of fun for the little ones once they fill it full of their Sylvanian characters. In all, this is one of the better buildings in the Syvanian range, having a little more realism than some others and having more room for more of the figures to move around inside and is probably worth adding to your Sylvanian collection.