We were recently given the opportunity to spend a 5 day break in the Bluestone National Park resort in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
For those unfamiliar (as I was) with Bluestone - they describe themselves as a luxury short break provider offering all-year and all-weather activities from the thrilling to the relaxing, set in 500 acres of stunning Pembrokeshire countryside.
Our stay was supposed to run from Monday-Friday, but unfortunately I was taken ill on Sunday night with another gallstone attack which lasted through to Monday evening so we had to miss our entire first day.
Instead we travelled on Tuesday morning and arrived at Bluestone after a 4 hour car journey from Devon at around 2pm Tuesday afternoon.
So what did we think?
Let's break it down and take a look....
(*This was not our lodge!)
Bluestone pride themselves on their luxury lodges, so I was very much looking forward to getting inside our lodge and having a look around.
Having read some other blog reviews, I was looking forward to the views described as a result of the "Upside-down" living concept and the large baths which I had seen discussed.
The lodge was very large and spacious and very well decorated in a modern yet rustic, simplistic style but unfortunately we hadn't been allocated one with a bath.
It appeared to be very clean, and every amenity had been provided in the kitchen - if you are visiting with self-catering in mind you'll want for nothing, everything from a microwave to a dishwasher are provided...even the incidentals such as butter dishes are there.
There was also a little bag containing some washing up liquid, a couple of dishwasher tablets and some cleaning equipment.
There was a lovely large dining table with plenty of seating, and the bedrooms were well spread out giving plenty of space for up 8 people.
There was a TV and DVD player in the living room area, and plenty of towels provided.
There was also a travel cot provided, and in lodges with stairs a baby safety gate is also provided.
The free wifi was a definite bonus and worked absolutely perfect for our entire stay. No annoying passwords needed, just connect to Bluestone wifi and you're away!
I was a bit surprised by the lack of phones in the lodges though, it seemed a bit silly in such a secluded place to not have a main phoneline to connect to guest services in case of an emergency - particularly given that our lodge was some distance from them, that the resort isn't lit of an evening and that neither me and Jon had any phone signal during our stay - being quite close to the end of my pregnancy I found that quite alarming as had I needed to contact someone in an emergency, I'd have been a bit snookered!
Bluestone is set in the beautiful Pembrokeshire countryside, and as you would expect the resulting views both within Bluestone itself and on the drive to it are really breath taking.
Being 31 weeks pregnant at the time of our visit, we had no intention of going on any of the nature trails available - but if that is your thing then you will be well catered for at Bluestone as the scenery is really something to behold.
We did take a walk around the pretty lake one day, where Tyne enjoyed jumping in Muddy puddles and feeding the ducks.
Our lodge was located within a few minutes walk of The Village, which looks very pretty when lit up of an evening - The Village is home to a little play area for the children, the Bakery, the restaurants, a little toy shop (which was very reasonably priced!) and a convenience store.
Closer to the entrance of Bluestone was the Blue Lagoon swimming pool and the Adventure Centre which houses the creche, soft play and adventure activities.
The surrounding area outside of Bluestone is definitely worth a look, we visited Haverfordwest and Tenby on a couple of occasions and I would say that Tenby beach is certainly worth a visit - the town itself was very picturesque too.
The activities included in the cost of your stay on site include:
*Use of the Blue Lagoon pool
*Use of the soft play area
*Use of the various play parks on site
*Character meet & greet activities
There are also optional extras provided, including activities such as fishing or bug hunting for older children, adult-led themed play sessions in the creche areas, spa treatments for the adults, and themed character dinners for the children.
We did go along to one of the Toddler Sensory sessions, which cost £7 for an hour - it was themed around space and involved a few games and songs, and a little obstacle course designed to be a "walk on the moon" - it was certainly good fun and the girl running the class was very good and engaging with the children. Tyne really enjoyed the Circus room where the session was held and enjoyed playing with the toys in there.
The soft play area itself is quite small but Tyne had a lot of fun in it nonetheless, and he absolutely adored the bouncy castle - I think the provision of an indoor bouncy castle is a great idea!
The rest of the adventure centre was high slides and wooden climbing areas which Tyne was too young for but would have been a lot of fun for older children.
There was also rock climbing, a sky walk, indoor mini golf and various rides and arcade style games around - so plenty to keep children entertained in poor weather.
The look of the soft play/adventure centre area was very impressive!
We didn't use the spa facilities as with me currently being pregnant I didn't think I'd be allowed to use the thermal rooms so didn't bother - we also didn't attend the character dinner though I do wish we had gone along to one.
We did go to a Character meet & greet on the last morning - Tyne met Buzby Bee who played some games with the children, he absolutely ADORED him and cried when it was time to leave! I'd highly recommend going along to the character sessions if you do have young children.
On our last day, we went to the Blue Lagoon pool which I was very impressed by.
The changing areas were being worked on so I can't comment too much on those, but the pool itself was fantastic.
The toddler area had a slide which Tyne loved, and the main pool had a fun zone with tipping buckets of water and a half-pirate ship feature which was great fun - there were water slides too which none of us used but looked great!
The main pool had geysers in the middle which Tyne referred to as "Bubble Monsters" and absolutely loved, and every so often there would be water sprayed out across the whole pool - so don't expect to be able to keep your hair dry Mums!! But it was a lot of fun.
Every 15 minutes or so, the lifeguards signal a warning and then the waves are turned on in the main pool - they are pretty rigorous but a lot of fun, Tyne absolutely adored them!
Our favourite feature of the pool was definitely the Lazy River - this was a section of the pool where the current swept you along - we didn't realise on our first go but it actually carries you outside into the open air and back in again! There are water sprays along the way to surprise you - it was great fun and Tyne loved it! So did I!
To find out more about Bluestone, please visit www.bluestonewales.com
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