We were kindly invited to Bluestone Wales for a long weekend (Friday – Monday) and we were so excited to see what it offers families. Bluestone is apparently a similar theme to Centre Parcs – we had not been to either so we really didn’t know what to expect.
Bluestone literally didn’t disappoint, it was one of the best family breaks we have ever had. It genuinely does offer everything a family could ever want or need for the perfect family holiday, I can now see why so many of my friends adore Bluestone.
Most of our breaks offer either fun activities or chilled out relaxation. What is so unique about Bluestone is that it offers you both at the same time – if that’s even possible!
Out of all the holidays we have had with the children none have been easier than this getaway, less than an hour’s drive from our home.
You check into the park via a simple drive-thru where we had a warm Welsh welcome (you don’t even need to get out of your car) to get your key cards for your lodge and information pack.
As we booked the St David’s lodge which can sleep 8, we invited the grandparents along to experience Bluestone with us, which made our trip even more exciting for Chloe 10 and Holly 8.
You can take your car down to your lodge to unpack and the resort is car free (after midnight) with cars parked at the large car park near to the entrance of Bluestone.
Once we dropped off our car we collected our pre-booked golf buggy (£95 for the weekend) which I would highly recommend. Not only was it the most convenient way to get around Bluestone the buggy was one of the many highlights for Chloe and Holly during our weekend.
We loved the serenity offered at Bluestone, with no cars on the streets it’s really family friendly and safe, it’s so much more than a holiday resort – you enter what feels like a magical bubble – providing a little escape from everyday life.
Bluestone is set within 500 acres of the beautiful Pembrokeshire countryside containing 300 luxury lodges, cottages and studio apartments which surround its own private village and lake.
The village is an authentic recreation of something you would find at many towns in Pembrokeshire such as Tenby and Saundersfoot with gorgeous pastel painted buildings.
In the Bluestone village is everything you need including a shop, supermarket, spa, coffee shop, two restaurants, chippie, pub and a great playpark which was a regular stop off for us.
The beauty of a stay at Bluestone is that you can make your stay as affordable as you want, if you don’t want to pay for the paid-for activities there are plenty of free activities to also explore.
The girls favourite was the amazing Blue Lagoon waterpark which we visited each day of our stay – they would have stayed here all weekend if they could have as they were in their element.
The zero-entry beach style pool is perfect for children and the wave machine makes swimming here even more fun with six different wave patterns to contend with. There was a lazy river which took us outside into the cold spring air, a pirates shipwreck and a separate water play area for toddlers.
Our highlights were the four water flumes, each offering different experiences especially the falls – an open flume which took us outside to two relaxation pools before it re-entered the Blue Lagoon via a plunge pool.
There are over 100 paid for activities that families can choose from, many of which I would recommend pre-booking online before you arrive. We tried to add more activities whilst we were there and many of the most popular activities were fully booked.
We also spent a lot of time at Bluestone’s Adventure Centre, the girls loved it here. This giant indoor space had a café and a huge indoor adventure play area (free activity) with plenty of comfy seating for adults to relax taking advantage of the wifi whilst the children play and burn off excess energy.
We purchased an adventure pass for the girls (£25) so they could each try out the Sky Trail (a high ropes course 20 feet in the air that snakes around the centre and is perfect for children) and the Wall (climbing wall).
I was so proud of both of them as they confidently completed the Sky Trail before climbing to nearly the height of the building when scaling the wall.
It was only when they realised how high they actually were they got a little anxious but the activities are supervised by trained staff who were very patient, helpful and encouraging and boosted their confidence to allow them to complete the climb.
You could spend your whole weekend here and on our return visit the following day we got competitive with a family game of crazy golf (free activity). There was also a Circus Zone soft play room which looked great for families with younger children, messy play, ball pools and a bouncy castle – basically it is a dream location for kids and best of all its undercover and can’t be affected by the Welsh weather.
The best part above and beyond was all the quality time we had with each other, Bluestone is the perfect place for a multi-generational family break. Ian and I managed a few hours alone in the Well Spa whilst the girls had fun with their grandparents. It was great to spend time as a couple, particularly at a spa as usually we have to take it in turns to watch the children.
I booked us their flagship seaweed bath treatment (£25 each), the only one of its kind in Wales. Here we both got to unwind in a hot bath full of seaweed and infused with bath salts by candlelight and I would really recommend it.
We were told that seaweed detoxified your body whilst enriching it with over 85 minerals and vitamins and my skin did feel amazing after. When I saw Ian after his treatment I joked that he looked younger – it must have been the anti-ageing properties of the seaweed – ha!
After our treatment, we took advantage of being child free and relaxed at the outdoor hydro pool – my favourite area of the spa.
The spa also has herbal and marine steam rooms, ice cave, rainfall showers, salt room and celtic and brick saunas all of which were really impressive and certainly helped us feel soothed and relaxed, don’t miss out visiting here.
The next day the girls had their own spa experience as they were booked into the Mythical Makeover Pamper Party at the Well Spa (£20 per child and runs until the 22nd April). There will be similar packages offered after this date.
This is a new package at Bluestone designed for children and based on the reaction from Chloe and Holly after their experience it’s going to be really popular. The excited look on their faces as they were given their kimonos ready for their pamper party was a picture.
Over the next hour they had their hair braided, nails painted and the most amazing glitter art on their faces. Chloe and Holly certainly felt like princesses ready for the Myths and Legends parade later that evening and finished their visit with the coolest colour fairy inspired mocktail – they loved it.
That’s not all, as our visit coincided with the Myths and Legends festival (March 29 –June 2nd) there were lots more free activities on offer.
On our last night we caught the Legends parade followed by the jousting tournament, which felt we had stepped back into medieval times through the great theming and the countryside surroundings.
Here we got to meet legendary knights who were showcasing their skills on horseback as they joust with lances to see who becomes the ultimate warrior – the kids loved it.
What I didn’t expect from Bluestone were the amazing walking trails on offer in some of the most beautiful surroundings in the country.
Determined to experience as much as we could we picked up a Legends map as part of the Legends Trail and came across fairytale houses, looked for nature in the woodland, crossed bridges and Holly had the chance to build more dens, so she was in her element.
There is so much to keep you occupied it’s impossible to experience it all. We missed out the knight school, where you could practice your sword fighting skills and Black Barts Dinner Show where you can learn about Pembrokeshire’s famous pirate, Black Bart in a fun dinner. Craft workshops were also available but these were fully booked, but there were plenty of other activities to keep the girls busy.
For us one of the most memorable areas of Bluestone was at Camp Smokey – a rustic woodland hut nestled in the most gorgeous woodland setting next to a stream. As we walked down the boardwalk we could hear the violin playing country music coming from the hut which set the scene for an amazing afternoon.
S’mores are one of our favourite activities so when the girls spotted the giant open log fire we were soon roasting marshmallows to create these delicious snacks. Sitting in this woodland setting and watching the girls faces as they concentrated on cooking their perfect s’more is what a family holiday is all about – creating memories.
We came across Smokey Joe who was taking other guests panning for gold whilst we got closer to nature building dens and constructing make-shift bridges over the stream – good old fashioned fun activities that we seem to overlook in our normal everyday lives – Holly in particular loved it.
At the Deep Ravine is the adventure zone where you can take part in activities from tree climbing and high ropes to the sky wire – a series of four zip lines ranging from 20 to 75m long running through the tree tops of the woods. We will have to book this in for our next visit as it looked brilliant fun.
After busy days enjoying all of the activities on offer at Bluestone it was great to come home to our luxury lodge each day – a luxurious home away from home with every mod con (apart from a washing machine) that a family would need.
We stayed in the four bedroom St David’s lodge, which had a Master bedroom with en-suite, three twin rooms, two bathrooms and a fab playroom for the kids.
A huge open plan kitchen, dining area and lounge provided us with all the space we needed – it really was home from home.
Our St David’s lodge slept 8 people but the range of accommodation options at Bluestone ranges in size from two bedroom cottages to six bedroom lodges accommodating between two and 14 people. Each lodge is painted either green, brown, slate or red which help them blend into the natural surroundings
One of my favourite things to do each morning was to open our French doors of the bedroom, looking over the gorgeous countryside with nothing but birds tweeting around you – bliss. It’s the perfect place to escape to for a family break.
The lodges come with digital TV’s, DVD players, dishwasher, microwave, fridge freezer and wifi. When you check in you are given a welcome pack (containing two dishwasher tablets, scourer, cloth, recycling bags, a toilet roll and hand soap in each of the bathrooms) but it’s worth bringing essentials like anti-bacterial spray, kitchen roll, tin foil, extra dishwasher tablets and toilet roll with you.
If you do forget something the well-stocked shop in the village was great. If you forget anything like I did (teabags) you could get it at the shop. It had a lovely range of Welsh products (Welsh cakes, local cakes, Welsh beer and Whiskey) and it wasn’t as pricey as we had imagined it would be.
With such great self-catering facilities on offer in our lodge we cooked and ate in each evening which was the perfect way to relax after busy days enjoying the resort. We did have dinner on our last evening at Farmhouse Grill which we booked in advance and was a nice treat and opposite the play park which the girls enjoyed afterwards.
The level of service received during our stay was exceptional and this high level of customer service is a credit to the management of Bluestone because it really does make a difference during your stay.
We all had such a great time that we didn’t want to leave on Monday morning, we really did fall in love with Bluestone. We’ll definitely be back.
For more information, visit bluestonewales.com
Thanks to Bluestone National Park Resort for inviting us to stay for the purpose of this review