I'm hoping you've read my daily diaries and overall review of our Bluestone Wales holiday by now, if not check them out! As mentioned we stayed in a gorgeous Ramsey Lodge during our 4 night stay - although there are a whole selection of different lodges, studios and cottages to stay in! This is going to be a review of our lodge (this is just my opinion and of this certain lodge we stayed in).
The lodges are accessed by key cards which you receive when you check-in. We were provided two however only one worked during our stay. I'm sure this would have been sorted if we went to the Village, however we didn't bother as we were always together anyway. Wi-fi is free within the lodge and the park itself although we sometimes found it a bit slow.
First impressions of our lodge were simply 'wow!'. I was so impressed how big and how lovely it was inside. Ramsey Lodge's are 'upside down' living so the bedrooms were on the bottom floor, and the living space upstairs; to make the most of the beautiful views. It was a bit strange sleeping downstairs and I did find I kept the curtains drawn most of the time as anyone could look in (there were no net curtains for privacy). These curtains were amazing though as they were blackout and kept all of the sunlight out.
The lodge sleeps four with one double bedroom and one twin bedroom, both with en-suite bathrooms. They also come with a travel cot as standard which is what Indiana slept in. The bedrooms had loads of space with both a chest of drawers and a wardrobe in each (not that we unpacked haha). The beds were made on arrival with lovely fresh bedding and towels were provided for each guest. These were really comfortable - although the pillows were so plump we felt you didn't really need two.
The double bedroom's bathroom had a bath with overhead shower. The bath was a lovely size although we did find the taps fiddley to get to a good temperature, and where it was so big it took AGES to fill up haha. The twin bedroom's bathroom was a wet room which we obviously didn't need to use.
The travel cot provided was by Mothercare so we knew it was good quality (Jack took a while to put it up as a typical man he didn't follow the instructions haha). It was tricky to find too as it was tucked behind the wardrobe in the corner. The mattress was very basic so we used extra blankets to pad it out, and you have to bring your own bedding as well. I did see a lot of people bring their own mattresses but I don't think you really need to if you just use extra blankets!
The whole area was open-planned which is what we're used to at home so really liked this. It meant that we could be sorting something out in kitchen, while we could watch Indiana play in the living room.
The kitchen was great and has everything you'd need for a self-catering holiday including fridge (there was only a small freezer section though), microwave, toaster and kettle. We didn't used the oven as we ate out a lot, but Jack did say the hob was confusing at first - there are instructions provided for everything on top of the microwave though which is a good idea.
There was a decent sized bin which had both a rubbish and recycling section; a brilliant idea. We were never told where the main bins were though which we thought was a bit odd. A great addition was the dishwasher as we really didn't fancy washing-up on holiday!
A 'welcome pack' was waiting for us when we arrived which included a sponge, dishcloth, extra bin bags (one of each), a tiny washing up liquid (I would bring your own if you didn't want to use the dishwasher), and a pack of 3 dishwasher tablets. It also explained about additional services such as laundry - there isn't a washing machine in the lodge.
Next to the kitchen was a lovely dining table with enough room for 6 people. A highchair (Ikea Antillop) is provided as standard and was great for Indiana. Ours didn't come with a tray but I did notice others did - luckily Indie can eat from a bowl/plate at the table, but would be worth asking if you wanted the tray. I wasn't so happy it was on carpet though as it wasn't very easy to clean up the mess haha.
The living room was spacious and you could really see the beautiful view from the sofas. There was a TV with Freeview as well as a DVD player provided. The batteries in our DVD remote control weren't working so it was pretty useless - luckily Jack brought his PS3 so we just used that instead. The TV automatically turned on to the 'Bluestone TV' channel which provided information and emails!
Overall we loved our lodge and it really suited our family, however there were a number of negatives we noticed too:
- No cupboard locks in the kitchen - Indiana knows not to go through cupboards as we don't have locks at home, however I know this would be an issue for many!
- Linked with the above is the fact ALL breakables are in low cupboards - who's idea was it to put glass and china in easy reach of children?!
- No plug socket covers - again not very safe!
- Dim lights - we found that the lights didn't really make a difference (especially in the bedrooms), and had to have them all on at night just to be able to see.
- The heaters were quite small and unless turned up quite high (which would have been dangerous around Indie), it got quite chilly in the evening.
- Poor signal - there isn't much phone signal in the lodges so it was hard for Jack to order our takeaway - a service which they provide!
- Heavy doors meant they didn't stay shut properly (this was especially true with the main bedroom door).
We loved our stay and these negatives really wouldn't put us off visiting again. I'd love to come back in the summer to make use of the picnic table, as that's something we didn't really use. As you can tell Indiana was definitely in her element!
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.