we are going in May and I really can't wait! x
Bluestone Wales Review
It felt like we were in the middle of nowhere... isolated from the chaos of everyday life but without the loss of our comforts and amenities. Artificial light was at a minimum and the nights were dark. Traffic was limited to golf buggys and we could sleep amongst the silence. We were a captive audience to a host that forced us to relax and that was perfect. It was true, we really were in the middle of nowhere but we still had several choices of restaurants, were spoilt for choice for activities and still had access to the wi-fi the world runs on. The world at Bluestone spins fast enough to keep you entertained, but not too fast so that it prevents you from relaxing. It was an ideal place to escape with the family. We just wish we were there longer!
Bluestone is an award winning, five star rated resort that uses its 500 acres of stunning countryside to house almost 300 luxury lodges and a host of amenities. They pride themselves on offering free range fun and relaxation all year round in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK - Pembrokeshire, West Wales. It's eco-friendly wooden lodges are an impressive home from home and make an ideal base that would rival that of any self catering accomodation. The lodges surround a lake and 'village' that is home to a play park, shops, restaurants, cafe, pub and spa. The car fee resort is well pathed with nature trails, cycle routes and stunning views. Further afield on site you will find an indoor play area known as the Adventure Centre, outdoor activity areas and an impressive indoor water park. No matter your age or the weather... you will find something to keep you entertained both day and night!
The accomodation options are varied at Bluestone but all are designed and kept to the same high standard. We were lucky enough to stay in a 'Grassholm Lodge' - a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom cosy residence for 4 nights. It was lovely and warm despite being open plan and with huge windows to enjoy the spectacular views over the Welsh countryside. The property had it's own private terrace and outdoor seating that would have been lovely in the warmer months. We holidayed with friends and had a total of 3 children in our party, all under the age of 2 but didn't have to worry too much thanks to there being stair gates both up and downstairs which was a nice feature for a holiday home that clearly welcomed families. The cupboards however possessed no child locks and with the living space being open plan, those curious hands certainly found out for themselves that the kitchen was well stocked enough to attempt any meal and benefitted from a dishwasher for afterwards. The free wi-fi in the lodge, television with built in freeview and the DVD player were all welcome features that reminded us that technology existed and helped occupy the evenings after the children hit the sack. All in all, I'd have to agree with its billing of being luxury comfort.
Whether you want to relax, play or get your adrenaline pumping... Bluestone can serve it up to you with ease. You can book in for beauty treatments, massages or a day of relaxation at the on site Well Spa Retreat. You can swing from the trees at their outdoor zip wire course, cycle, canoe or rock climb to feed your inner adventurer. You can splash, swim and slide at the Blue Lagoon indoor water park or you can stay dry and enjoy the soft play centre, ball pools and bouncy castle. Your children need not play alone either, as the Adventure Centre offers a variety of organised group activities too. We didn't get to experience everything so I can't review them all, but we kept busy and had a ton of fun every day. Here's what we did manage to do;
Baby Sensory Group
As a working Dad, I rarely get to attend group sessions with my children like a lot of parents would. This hour was arguably my favourite hour of the whole trip. I took baby Alice by myself and loved every second of it. Me and Alice really bonded overall on this holiday and its hard to imagine that I was writing posts like this one not too long ago. We sat as part of a group, in a very relaxed atmosphere and sang songs, played games and had quality time together as parent and baby. Alice fell asleep half way through but I didn't mind. I still sang to her and enjoyed just being with my baby girl without anyone else to share mine or her attention with.
The indoor activity centre is home to all kinds of fun. We enjoyed playing in the arcade, tried our hands at mini golf, burnt energy in the soft play area and rolled around in the ball pool. We bounced on the bouncy castle, rode indoor tricycles and designed murals on the wall in the lego zone. We played giant Connect 4, climbed climbing frames and slid down slides. Had our children been a bit bigger and older, there would have been a whole other list of things we could have done too! Your kids will want to come here every day and thats why they've made sure there are sofas, tables, a cafe and free wifi so that the parents can take breaks in between bouts of play time.
Blue Lagoon Waterpark
We were advised that there was some improvement work being done in the changing facilities but we experienced no disruption at all. The changing areas were spacious and we didn't struggle to get changed, or change a toddler and a baby all in the same cubicle. Whats more, one locker was big enough to hold all of our family of 4's gear too. The indoor waterpark was as impressive as any waterpark I have been to in the UK. There was a baby pool with its own mini slide, bubble zone and rock pool exploration area. The whole park is made to feel like a beach and with a domed glass roof providing natural light it certainly achieves what it set out to do. The main pool is home to a wave machine, the 'shore' is lined with deckchairs and the temperature and humidity levels are controlled to a perfect level to the point where you can quite easily forget you're in te UK. The Blue Lagoon also features a rapids river ride, 2 enclosed flume rides that leave and re-enter the building, a lazy river and a fun splash and play area for children. You could easily spend a good half day or longer soaking up all the the Blue Lagoon has to offer, and although we didn't sample it ourselves, there is a cafe at pool level to refuel midway through.
Toddler Messy Play
Organised chaos at its finest! Bring a change of clothes, leave your sensible head at the door and let your toddler run wild. Clayton had a blast here. The room was filled with tables that each were covered in different textures, tastes, colours but ultimately mess! Our little man started fully clothed and ended up sat in coloured water in just his nappy having spent an hour smearing custard, and spaghetti through his hair and eating handfuls of marshmallows. A great time!
Treetops Adventure Playground
We didn't want to limit all of our fun to indoor activities when we were slap bang in the middle of the countryside and so we definitely made use of the outdoor playground. There was a seperate area for the very young, and a well stocked playground for the slightly older children. We enjoyed the swings, slides, rope bridges, tunnels and much more and will definitely return when our children are old enough to make use of the climbing wall. The great thing about this playground is that it's in view from the bakery, so you can enjoy your coffee whilst the children keep themselves entertained and earn that hot chocolate.
The toddler sensory session took place in a room filled with soft play toys and furniture. The whole play session was fun and set to music. The children interacted with their parents, as well as eachother as they played games, sang songs and stimulated their senses. Highlights included the lights being dimmed and playing with flashing coloured balls, stacking blocks whilst the bubble machine blew and dancing to high energy music. We had a great time working up an appetite before dinner and was lucky enough to meet fellow blogger Katy from What Katy Said at the same time.
With so much to do and so many activities to partake in, we inevitably worked up an appetite on a regular basis. The kitchen in our lodge was very well stocked and cooking even complex dishes wouldn't have been a problem. But who wants to cook every night on holiday? We certainly didn't and were glad to see so many food options on site. There's a bakery, a pub, 3 restaurants, 2 cafes and takeaway options all available. We managed to visit 3 of them...
This friendly little bakery is central to everything in the village and is the perfect spot to get a caffeine fix. We visited here at least once every day to get coffee, hot chocolate, freshly baked bread, pies or cakes. It's ideal for elevenses, lunch, snacks or drinks and is in plain view of the Treetops Adventure Playground. What's more is the free wifi here means you'll get the chance to show off your hot chocolate photo on social media; or meet a friend like we did when we bumped into the lovely Michelle, who blogs at Crowther Clan.
We didn't use the cafe in the day but did book to attend one of the Woody Wild Character Dinner Shows which are held there. The cafe is very impressive on the eye and is fantastically themed as an enchanted wood. It features it's own giant tree house, forester's cottage, newst pod and squirrels' drey all around the a central 20ft tree. You can hear bird and animal sounds whilst you eat, and there was so much for the kids to look at. The dinner show itself invited the children to gather on giant cushions and listen in on storytime - only for the story to come to life and the main character appear. Depending on the day of the week you visit, you could be joined by Shelby Snail, Lola Ladybird, Buzby Bee or as we was... Huwie Hedgehog. Our new woodland friend joined the adventure and sang songs, played games and danced with the children. Or at least most of them. Clayton sat at a very safe distance and was petrified. The food was basic, but tasty enough and everyone had their fill. The dinner doesn't offer menu options but is set, with every table being served its own platter of sausages, chicken fingers, chips, beans, coleslaw, corn on the cob and dipping sauces with desserts of brownies and ice cream. It's an experience that focuses on having a good time, more than being culinary impressed but the food wasn't bad.
We enjoyed the Farmhouse Grill so much that we visited twice. It was a relaxed family dining experience with a varied menu focused entirely on using locally sourced produce. Our party enjoyed steaks, fish, pork medallions, roast chicken, gamon and pastas and couldn't fault any aspect of any plate. Every order offered the chance to visit the sumptuous salad bar and an unlimited supply of freshly baked warm bread which was a nice treat. Satisfying our toddler with food isn't always easy depending on his mood and this restaurant made our task so much easier. There is the option for the children to dine from a buffet which was a great way for him to try a variety of foods and help himself to more once he realised what he fancied that particular day. The childrens buffet was definitely a hit; keeping them entertained and full! We enjoyed the food so much at the Farmhouse Grill that the plates were empty and clean by the time we ever remembered to photograph the food - now thats a good sign!
We had a great 4 nights at Bluestone Wales and only wish we could have stayed longer. We were there in the middle of January and still had a fantastic time which isn't an easy feat in the UK but we definitely want to return in warmer months for a new outlook on the place. We travelled with children under the age of 2 and would recommend it to anyone in the same boat but saw enough that made me firmly believe we could return year after year as the children grow older and still have just as much (if not more) fun. For me, it's as good a holiday option you will come across in Britain. I'd like to thank everyone at Bluestone for helping us create new memories for our little family - we will be back!
Disclosure - We were gifted a 4 night/5day stay at Bluestone Wales in return for this review. All words and opinions are my own and honest.
Topic: Bluestone Wales Review
Looks like a lovely day out you guys had! And those photos are so cute :) Love looking at Dad and kids moments :)
Awww looks like you guys had so much fun!! We went to Bluestones also :D Its so beautiful out there and it really does feel like you're in the middle of nowhere doesn't it.
I didn't even know they served that monster meal at the Wildwood Cafe, my other half would have loved that. Glad you guys had an awesome time :D
Subject: Sounds like the family holiday from heaven!
Our Emma is 5 and for the last few months has been begging for a family-friendly holiday. Reading your review and seeing the pictures I think we will definitely have to give it some serious thought!
Subject: We went there last year
We went there last year, my boy loved it! xxx
Looks a great place for families. We always holiday in the UK.
Bluestone is a lovely relaxing place. I think the surroundings are so beautiful too. We went there recently as well. Your children look like they had a fab time!
Looks like you had a really amazing time. I've not read one bad thing about Bluestone yet!
We loved it there and can't wait to go back and do the adrenalin activities. That lego wall is awesome isn't it
what a fabulous review , what beautiful pictures xx