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Bluestone National Park Resort | Review

Thursday, 16 April 2015


We were recently lucky enough to be given the opportunity to be a #bluestoneblogger. We enjoyed an amazing 4 night break at the Bluestone National Park Resort in the gorgeous Pembrokeshire in Wales. I'm hoping you've read my daily diaries by now, if not definitely check them out as there's plenty of pictures and more information about what we got up each day. This is going to be a review of the resort itself and what it has to offer.

Resort
Bluestone is situated within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and is the perfect destination for a self catering break. Whether you want to relax and take it easy at the Blue Lagoon Water park or Spa, or get out and about for some adventure - Bluestone has it all! The views are breathtaking and it was so surprising how quiet it was even though the car park was always full.

We stayed in a luxury lodge - of which there are 9 types, although they also offer cottages and studio apartments to suit any party size. These are all situated within the hills of the park and are all set for a self catering holiday the second you arrive. There's free wi-fi throughout the resort - a nice bonus and perfect for us bloggers.




To check-in the run a sort of 'drive through' system which is so easy and quick. We had to wait in a short queue as we arrived around the check-in time of 4.30pm, but once to the front we were all checked in within about 5 minutes (all they need is the party booking name or reference number). To check out you simply return your keys into a box by the barriers by 10am, however you are free to use the facilities until 3.30pm.

The park runs a strict no car policy which we thought was a brilliant idea; especially as Indiana loved to run wild the whole time we were there haha. There's a long stay car park by the entrance where you leave your car throughout your stay - there are obviously exceptions for those that require their car. The barrier opens at 4.30pm and cars had to be back in the car park by 10pm. After that they had to stay there until the Friday morning when we were able to pack the car back up to leave.


The park is quite hilly, and depending on where you were staying it meant walking up and down hills a lot. This wasn't a problem for us as we loved the fresh air and the weather was great. However there is the option to hire a buggy for £80 which did look very fun to whizz around in. You can also hire bikes from the same area too.




The centre of the resort focuses on The Village which is the hub for the shops, customer services and most of the places to eat. There's also a beautiful play park ideal for both younger and older children. We found it cheaper to buy from the local supermarket but if you do need any extra bits Newton's store is perfect (a little over priced but that's to be expected). We found the little milk vending machine SO sweet for those milk emergencies too.


Activities
There are endless activities to enjoy while at Bluestone. We were so lucky with the weather as it was beautifully sunny, if a little windy, the whole week. There is something to do in all weathers though if you do travel during worse weather. Plenty of those are included in the price of your holiday which we thought was brilliant. Then you can also pay extra for optional activities - these can either be pre-booked before you arrive or booked once you arrive (although there isn't a guarantee there will be spaces left).

The main free activities are the Blue Lagoon swimming pool and the Adventure Centre which is home to soft play, a bouncy castle, a Lego wall, the NRG Games Room, The Circus Room (under 5s play room) and a huge play area.



The Blue Lagoon is absolutely amazing and perfect for all ages, especially families. They have family changing rooms which is a huge positive for us and plenty to do inside. The main pool also doubles as a wave pool and is the entrance to the lazy river too. There's a separate gated kid's pool and a range of flumes for the older kids and adults. If you fancy a bite to eat while you swim there's the Fish Shack which offers a range of snacks, drinks and meals.

The Adventure Centre was our favourite place to let off some steam. As well as the free activities inside there's also the 'Big Four' - The Swing, The Drop, The Wall and the Sky Trail, a climbing wall and more all for a small extra charge. We obviously didn't try any of these out as Indie is a little too young, but they looked like loads of fun!







Turn right as you go into the building and you can make your way to the Circus Room - perfect for 16 month old Indiana! With soft play, a sensory tube, building blocks, tents and plenty of seats for the adults, it's the perfect place for babies and toddlers to run around safely.

We paid a little extra (£7 a session) for both Toddler Sensory and Messy Play, both of which we enjoyed thoroughly. The toddler sensory wasn't as great as it took place in the Circus Room, which proved too much distraction for most of the kids and it was free to use anyway! They also have a fully licensed crèche for if you want some 'me' time away from the kiddies. These are just two of the extra activities available at Bluestone, you can see a full list here.










One of the older activities we did try out was the Crossbow lesson over at the Tournament Field. Jack was very excited to have a go and Indie seemed pretty keen too haha. The lesson was very good and he had great fun trying to hit the targets (he was very proud to hit the smallest target for the highest points haha).




Another brilliant free thing to do are the nature trails and exploring! We had a lovely adventure down to Camp Smokey in the Steep Ravine and then on one of the easy trails towards The Village. The trails are definitely not buggy friendly though so keep that in mind if you do plan to go on an adventure! The Steep Ravine is also the location for more exciting and daring activities for older children and adults. These are charged extra but definitely looked like a lot of fun.

One area we didn't see or get to enjoy was the Well Spa Retreat. We simply didn't have time, and we wanted to spend as much time as a family as possible. The Spa is a 5* resort and offers a range of treatments including massages, beauty treatments and even a little something for the men! Prices range from £30 to £170 so definitely more of a treat I think.

Food & Drink
Bluestone is perfect for a self-catering break, however if you fancy having a break from the cooking completely, there are plenty of places to eat and drink. We only cooked on one occasion during our stay as we wanted to make the most of it. The kitchens are well equipped, however Jack did have trouble with our hob as it took about 20 minutes to heat up!

Miller's Bakery is perfect for those lazy mornings offering fresh bread and pastries (which was absolutely delicious), as well as ice creams, snacks and lunch time food. They have tables inside and out so it's perfect for a sit down bite to eat or food on the go!





Our first night we ate at The Farmhouse Grill. They offer a variety of meat and fish grill dishes, using fresh ingredients (as well as a carvery on a Sunday). We didn't have the best experience when we went - read day 1 of our holiday to find out more. The food was tasty though!




We also tried out The Knight's Tafarn which is a more relaxed pub like restaurant. It definitely felt more kid friendly and I loved the atmosphere. The service was so quick and portions were generous (especially the kids meal). It did mention about entertainment most evenings but we didn't see any of this.



On our final night we used the takeaway service - a brilliant touch we thought. Perfect for those lazy evenings and for parents like us who wanted a relaxing, tasty meal but while the baby slept peacefully. It was easy to order; however due to lack of phone signal Jack did say it was slightly hard to hear. The food arrived exactly when we asked and in their own little takeaway tubs. They deliver between 4-10pm and there's free delivery for orders over £20.


We didn't get to try out any other places to eat as we simply didn't have the time! While we were there the newest restaurant called the Oak Tree had it's grand opening; serving traditional Welsh meals with an Italian twist. It looked lovely but the food wasn't food us and didn't seem kid friendly.

There was the Wildwood Cafe which is located upstairs in the Adventure Centre. The room was beautifully decorated and had a pirate theme while we were there. They even do a dinner show which would be fab for those with older children. Finally there was also Camp Smokey which we didn't go into but it was too early for food. They offer rustic bbq food as well as the chance to roast marshmallows over an open fire!






Overall we had an absolutely amazing time at Bluestone. There were a few negatives such as the poor service at The Farmhouse Grill and the lack of cupboard locks in the lodge (I'll go into more detail of this in my review of the lodge). However we found that these were nothing compared to all the positives and the brilliant time we had!

I'd totally recommend Bluestone and will definitely be going back - this time as a family of 4 and without the bump so I can join in more of the fun!

Bluestone Diaries:
Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday

Disclaimer - We were provided with a 4-night stay free of charge in exchange for a honest and personal review. All opinions are honest and my own.

2 comments :

  1. So much to do! Seems like a great place for all ages, and for people with all sorts of hobbies. Looks and sounds like you all had a great time. How grown up is Indiana looking!? Xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great review! I can't wait to go now! Yay! Sounds like you had a great time ��

    ReplyDelete

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