Nathan’s Mumma Says….
Further to my previous post about getting Nathan ready for his holiday by doing crafts and activities based on what we would be doing and seeing on our holiday I’ve come up with, what I think, is an honest review of our week at Bluestone Wales.
Myself, my husband, Nathan and Nathan’s Nana and Grandpa chose Bluestone Wales based on it similarity to Center Parcs (where we had been the previous year and enjoyed) but being less remote and less commercial. We were rewarded in our choice as the Bluestone Wales location is in beautiful Pembrokeshire contryside but is within easy reach of several daytrips such as Folly Farm, Oakwood theme park, Tenby, Carew Castle, Saundersfoot and Stackpole nature reserve.The resort itself has all the amenities and facilities you could need without feeling oppressive or commercialised.
We took the opportunity to visit family in Saundersfoot and Nathan liked playing on the beach with his Grandparents, Aunt and Uncle. Mummy had a wandered round the quaint shops and Daddy stocked up on sweets at Chobbles Traditional Sweetshop. It’s a delightful seaside town and well worth a visit. Tenby is bigger but just as lovely, we only managed a drive through on our way to an evening concert by the Tenby Male Voice Choir but we’d defintiely go back next time for a day on the beach and walk round the town.
The shops on site are few and small but blend in well with the accomodation within the village setting. There is a lovely coffee shop that we particularly enjoyed for a snack break in the sunshine and the food shop sells all the usual bits you might run out of like milk, bread, chocolates, newspapers etc. The swimwear shop is located at the swimming pool and is on the expensive side but has a good selection of costumes, goggles, floatation devices and other swimming aids. The activity centre sells a selection of cuddly toys in their foyer with the typical welsh dragon amongst them.
The Swimming pool is really very nice, we spent many hours of our week long holiday in there, taking turns to play and swim with Nathan. There is a specific area for babies and toddlers with a shallow pool, sprinklers and ‘rock pools’. Nathan enjoyed this area very much. There is another area for slightly older children with a deeper pool, waterfalls, sprinklers and climbing tower. Once Nathan had overcome his apprehension about the waterfalls he really enjoyed this bit too. The gradual slope of the main pool is brilliant for little ones, and its perfect to sit in to enjoy the waves when they come on. Our favourite part however was the lazy river that has a gentle current taking you outside, where there is a sitting area and hot tub, and ends back into the main pool again. With his Sevylor Puddle Jumper Deluxe Flotation Device – Red on Nathan became very good at kicking his legs to swim along.
The Activity Centre was our first port of call when we arrived. After a 4 hour drive, with only 1 stop, we were more than ready to stretch our legs and burn off some energy. We found the Wildwood Cafe for a snack and drink then ventured into the circus room, a wonderful combination of softplay and toys for babies, toddlers and small children. Nathan thouroughly enjoyed this bit and didn’t really want to leave to find Nana and Grandpa. We took him back several times as it was never busy and there’s plenty of space for him to run about. The downstairs area is designed for older children really, with high climbing frames, diggers, computer games, rope bridges and mini golf. Naturally my daredevil son wanted to explore this bit so he and daddy, along with Grandpa, ventured off onto the trees.
Once we ventured down to unload the cars we found our villa to be situated by the lake, where you can take a walk round. This quickly became a favourite activity for Nathan and Grandpa. They enjoyed watching the birds and other wildlife that is abundant at Bluestone. We frequently had rabbits, ducks, small birds and even a woodpecker on the patio outside. We stayed in a 3 bedroomed villa, with 2 ensuites and a huge family wetroom. The kitchen diner was a great size for the 5 of us and the villa came equipped with an Ikea antilop highchair and 2 stairgates (at the top and bottom of the stairs). The villas are lovely and light, plenty of space and brilliantly equipped. The only downside is that you aren’t informed where abouts your villa is before you arrive, this impacted our decision to not pre-book a golf buggy (£80 per week). Had we realised our accomodation was at the bottom of the steep hill we would have booked one, as the walk isn’t far distance wise but is quite steep. Fortunately there is a site minibus which was a godsend on the hot days, armed with a days worth of toddler stuff, and after a busy day running round. The activity centre and swimming pool are located at the top of the hill.
As it was our wedding anniversary during our stay my husband and I booked a table at the Oak Tree restaurant which was convieniently situated not far from our villa, the food is described as ‘welsh with an italian twist’ and was delicious. The restaurant is nicely decorated and the service is good. The food was delicious and we enjoyed a quiet meal just the two of us.
As I mentioned we tested out the coffee shop, Miller’s Bakery, in the village at snack time one day, their coffee is very nice and it was lovely to sit in the sunshine deciding what to do with our day. It very close to the little wooden play area in the village which Nathan fell in love with. It has lots of tunnels and climbing to do, very apt for a little boy to drag his Daddy and Grandpa to on a sunny day. This play area, the pool and the fairy tunnel (half way up the hill) were definitely his favourite things to do.
Nathan’s Nana and I took the opportunity to visit the Well Spa at Bluestone and though it’s small it’s very well designed and offers all the things you would expect from a Spa. They provide numerous ESPA treatments There are several experience rooms such as 2 different saunas, salt inhalation room, 2 different steam rooms, ice room, experience showers and a relaxation room. There is a great outdoor courtyard area with sunbeds, tables and chairs and a jet pool. There is also a small Cafe, Caffi Mor, on site which you need to pre-book. We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon session and treatments, feeling very relaxed when we returned to the villa for the evening.
Overall our holiday was very relaxing and very energetic all rolled into one. It is a fair distance from our home in the Midlands but we all felt it was worth it. The space outside and the relaxed atmosphere put it ahead of its competitors in our view. You also don’t feel the need to stay on site in order to get your moneys worth and there are places to visit nearby for all ages and tastes. It was ideal for Nathan at 2 years old and my parents both enjoyed it in their 60’s. Best of all was the quality time it gave Nathan with his Grandparents and us, just having a traditional british holiday. We’d definitely go back!
Overall rating: 4/5
Value for money: 4/5 (It is expensive but the inclusive swimming and activity centre are great for British summers)
Pushchair friendliness: 2/5 (Paths are just hardcore and very steep site)
Scenery: 5/5 (It’s beautiful and so very quiet)
Bluestone Resorts Ltd
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