We were recently lucky enough to be given the opportunity to review the Bluestone National Park resort in Pembrokeshire. It is a long way from where we live but knew the kids would love it, so we decided to go. I have only been to Wales once and I was about 4 myself so had no idea what to expect. We were all very excited just had to get through the 5 hour journey. In total the journey took us 7 hours with stops along the way. For us the roads are fantastic, they are dual carriageway the whole way there. Once we arrived in Wales the scenery was amazing nothing like what we have here in Peterborough.
We arrived at Bluestone Resort at 1630 which was bang on check in time. You are able to check in earlier and can use the park facilities but can only access your lodge from 1630. Personally I do think this is quite late to be able to check in and feel that possibly 1430 would be better, however this wasn’t a problem for us. The check in is a drive-through system which is very easy. You are able to drive up to a window, give either your booking ref number or surname and they can find your booking straight away. You are then given a welcome pack, shown on a map where your lodge is and how to get there. On arriving at 1630 we had about a 25 minute wait to get to the check-in window. This is to be expected though when everyone is arriving at once. The resort is a no car resort so you are able to take your car to your lodge to unload and then you have until midnight to take your car back to the main car park and park up for the week. You can then only have your car back at the lodge when it is time to leave.
We had the Grassholm lodge, with its 1 double bedroom and 3 twin rooms this sleeps up to 8 people. One of the twin rooms is downstairs with a wet room, bath and toilet right next to it. This makes it fantastic for people who may not be able to use the stairs easily. Upstairs is the 2 twin rooms, the double room with en-suite which was toilet, sink and shower and then a separate bathroom with bath, shower over bath, toilet and sink. The bedrooms are all very spacious, clean and modern. Downstairs is a really big modern kitchen with dining table and high chair. I did notice that all of the cupboards are floor level none on the walls. This makes it easier again for people who may not be able to reach up. There was plenty of worktop space, a lovely hob and oven, fridge and separate freezer, dishwasher, toaster, microwave and plenty of pots and pans. Left on the side was dishwasher tablets, a small tub of washing up liquid and a cloth and sponge. We did take all our own but this was a nice touch in-case you have forgotten these essentials. The living room was massive with 3 sofas, TV and dvd player. The staircase went up inside the living room area and then once at the top the landing was a balcony overlooking the living room which was really nice.
The lodge was modern, clean, tidy and had a real homely feeling when we walked in. A big plus about the lodge was, when you walk in the front door there is a big porch area to leave wet shoes, prams, kids bikes etc. This saves everything being inside the living area. We had an issue with the toilet seat downstairs sliding to one side when sitting on it and the batteries in the TV remote were flat. I called the reception and they sent someone out to fix the issues that day. There was no need to wait in as if you give permission the maintenance man can let himself in, this was absolutely fine with us.
The beds were very comfy and the curtains were thick enough to keep the light out in the evenings and mornings.
The resort and its views are amazing. The park is a 5* resort and you really get that 5* feeling when there. It took a team of board members 18 years to be granted permission to build this place due to it being in the Bluestone National Park. So everything is so in keeping with the countryside and surrounding area. Bluestone is fantastic if you are visiting in the hot summer months or the colder Autumn/ winter months there is always something to do. So if you fancy taking a walk around the lake on a cold winter snowy morning or a hot summers day it suits all.
The middle of the resort is like a small village. There are a few shops, couple of eating places and play areas for the kids. With it being a no car zone you have no worries with letting your children use their bikes or run off a bit in front of you. There are golf buggies that people drive around on but these really don’t go fast.
There is plenty to keep those little ones occupied. The Adventure centre is the place to be if you’re a baby, toddler, child or even a big kid like me. Upstairs there is a soft play area for babies and children under 5. It is situated in a really big room with lots and lots of big foam plastic covered shapes to run and jump on. There are balance beams, trikes, big lego type building blocks and lots more the keep the little ones entertained.
Downstairs there is a big adventure centre for the older ones. This is a massive wooden play area that goes right up to the roof. It is a maze of tunnels, rope bridges, slides and lots more. Climb to the top and slide down one of the many slides. There is also a smaller area to the side with a ball pond, soft climbing area and a couple of small slides for the younger ones. There is a crazy golf which is free and is a lot of fun and around the other side is a massive bouncy castle which Little man loved. They also have many ride on machines for the kids, pool table, grab machines etc. Other activities include a climbing wall which looks like a lot of fun. Little man loved running around playing on everything, I did have to go with him on the big wooden climbing area as he was a bit too young to go on this on his own. There was one way in and one way out of the Adventure Centre which is great because Little man ran off playing on his own and I knew as long as I kept my eye on him he really wouldn’t be able to get out of the area without me being able to find him and get lost. In the middle of the Adventure Centre there is a big tree house with an eating area at the top. We didn’t eat here but did go for a look and it looked very nice.
Whilst staying at Bluestone Resort we didn’t manage to eat out. This was mainly due to Bubs being so young and it is hard eating out with a baby. Always so much to sort and plan I find it easier to stay in and eat. One night we decided to have a takeaway from the farmhouse Grill, you order and they deliver to your lodge. It does say there is a delivery charge of £3 for orders under £20. Our order was under £20 and they refused to deliver to us and said they no longer deliver at all for orders under £20. This was a bit of a nightmare as we then had to eat a bit of what we had left in the lodge on our last evening. There are many places to eat out including Camp smokey, Oak Tree, Farmhouse Grill, Wildwood cafe and Knights Tafarn, All looked very nice and it would have been lovely to eat out. Those of your with toddlers and babies will understand at times this can just be too hard.
The Blue Lagoon is the swimming pool. This is exclusive use of park guests from 0900 till 1100 and then any member of the public can use the pool. We only managed to get to the pool once and it really wasn’t busy at all. There are 3 slides and these are height restricted so you may end up with some disappointed little ones. There is the main pool with a wave machine, a lazy river that goes outside and 2 children’s areas. There is plenty of seating around the outside of the pool alongside a snack bar.
We hired a golf buggy which was great fun. Be sure to pre book these though as they go fast and you will not want to be left disappointed when you get there. Some of the lodges are quite a walk from the car park and the resort is quite big so I would say these golf buggy’s are a must have. Not only are they handy to get around they are great fun. They cost around £29 a day but if you hire for 2,3,4 etc days it makes them cheaper each day.
You can also hire bikes and kids bike trailers. We didn’t hire either but we did see a fair few people who had hired them.
There is free wi-fi in all lodges, unlike most places where there is free wi-fi this is very fast. You can use it without wanting to throw your phone across the room. (because usually free wi-fi is so slow)
We absolutely loved our mid-week break at Bluestone Resort. It was great and all of us enjoyed it, whether you’re an adult or a child or baby there is something for everyone to do. We would love to return but would make sure it was for a full week as it was a very long way for us to travel with the kids.
I would highly recommend Bluestone to anyone thinking of going.
To book you break and find out more visit the Bluestone website.
A few extra pictures from our stay Including Bubs first time in the sea.