23.3.19

Bluestone Wales  | Press Trip Review 

Note - we were asked to visit Bluestone Wales free of charge in return for our honest review. All of the opinions below are my own. 

When booking a holiday, what do you look for? Price, location, travel time, activities, accommodation, food options? For me, I like to find somewhere that is filled with things to do for all the family, as well as having clean, comfortable accommodation and it has to be a good price. We’ve done a few staycation trips in the past year or so and although they have been fun, I’ve never been truly blown away... that was until we went to Bluestone!

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Bluestone is a 5* National Park resort in Pembrokeshire and is billed as 'All weather, free range lodge and cottage breaks for all the family with spa, waterpark and activities for all ages' and that is exactly what it is! There was so much that we loved about this trip that is it so hard to write about it in a comprehension review as I just want to ramble on and on about all of the amazingness that is there. So to avoid any rambling, I figured I would spit this review into a few different sections to hopefully make it more readable!



The resort. 
Bluestone is set in 500 acres of Pembrokeshire countryside which means that it is packed to the brim with facilities, activities and nature! The resort has over 300 lodges as well as it's studios and cottages along with it's own pub, 3 restaurants, 2 cafes/coffee shops, a spa, a convenience store, a clothing and memorabilia shop, a waterpark, an adventure center and so much more!


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There is so much to see and do in the resort and getting around it can be a bit much for little legs so I would definitely recommend taking a pram and buggy board for older children. You can hire bikes to get around the resort (as it is so huge) or if you really want to go all out then you can hire a golf buggy. We hired a golf buggy and it was totally worth the money (it was £95 for the midweek hire when we were there during term time) as the weather was a bit naff so it meant we could all bundle into the buggy and get to wherever we were going as dry as possible. My only regret about our trip was that we didn't explore the resort more.

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We had so many activities booked (which were all brilliant and you can read about in the activities section of this review) that we didn't get a chance to go wandering and explore more which we will definitely be doing when we go back for our next visit.

Accommodation. 

At Bluestone there is a number of different accommodation options available. There are studios and cottages for couples that want a min break away from it all, bigger cottages and small lodges for medium families and then you have big and interconnecting lodges for those that want to go away with all the family. We stayed in a Gateholm lodge which was amazing!

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The Gateholm lodges are classes as 'Upside down living' because they have three bedrooms (with 4 twin beds and 1 double) and two bathrooms (1 on suite and 1 main bathroom) that are on the ground floor and the open plan lounge, kitchen, diner is on the upper floor. At first I thought this was a bit unusually but then I realised that by having the house this way, you got the most gorgeous views across Bluestone and the countryside. We were in Castle Close which was at the top of the resort so we could see all the way down. The lodges are so brilliant that I am going to write a separate post explaining what we had in the lodge and what you need to take with you etc but for the purpose of this general review the main gist of it is that the lodges are immaculately clean, well kitted out, huge and very comfortable.

Activities

The list of things to do and see at Bluestone is HUGE! We obviously couldn't experience everything but the activities that we did do where amazing. The first activity that we did during our stay was Messy Play and both the boys were in their element.


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There was a mud kitchen, sand, slime, clay modeling, leaf rubbing and painting. The best part of it was that it was all inside which was perfect for us because the weather that day was really wet and windy. If you have an arty kid who doesn't mind getting a bit mucky then I would recommend booking onto it. We also saw a couple of shows during our stay including the puppet show 'Tawny Tails'. These were great, interactive sessions which lasted just the right amount of time for the kids. My favourite activity that we did was 'The Secret Village' walk. This was a guided walk with 'Waddle the hobbit' who took us and the children on a journey to find the fairy village and to find fairy dust.

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You can pre book your activities on the app or via the website before you go which I would really recommend doing as some of them get booked up really quick. There are also lots of free activities for the kids including a circus themed soft play for under 5's, a huge adventure play center filled with mini golf, slides, climbing frames and bridges and, not forgetting, the amazing Blue Lagoon waterpark. All of these are included in your holiday price so there is no need to pay any extra.

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Eating out

The facilities in the lodges are so good that you could eat in for your whole trip if you wanted to but we wanted to get out and experience the dining options that Bluestone had on offer so we ate out a few times during our stay.  Firstly lets talk about the quick, cheap and cheerful options. The pub 'Knights Tarfen' was great. It was quick with huge portions and was a good price, in my opinion. We were able to get 2 main meals (because both boys would share what we had as the portions were so big) and two drinks for just over £20. It was pretty much our go to place for lunch as well as it is open from 12pm. We also dined at the 'Oaktree Restaurant' on our last night which is an Italian restaurant and once again it was good value for money with very good sized portions. The kids meal was really big but very well received!!

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Before your stay, you get the option to book dinner shows. I love that kind of thing so we booked two for our stay. 'Smokey Joes Shindig' which was at Camp Smokey and 'Merlins Magic Dinner Show' which was in the Wildwood cafe. The Merlin show was good. It was definitely more aimed at kids as they had to go searching for things and get involved which Pickle loved. The food was okay but nothing amazing. Smokey Joes Shindig, on the other hand, was a whole different matter. I loved this night so much! From the second you arrive you are involved in the fun. You are given a team (either red or blue) and then given tribal marks to match. After that the night is filled with delicious BBQ food, a brilliant live band, singing, dancing on tables and roasting marshmallows around a camp fire! For me, it was the ultimate Bluestone experience and I would 100% recommend it to anyone that is going to Bluestone. It really was the highlight of our trip. I also want to thank the wonderful member of the entertainment staff called Lucy. Pickle was a little in love with her and spent most of the shindig dancing with her and not us!!

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I could go on and on about how amazing Bluestone is and why you should go but it would make this post even longer than it already is! Basically, you NEED to go!!! I promise that you won't regret it!

To price up your trip and to book visit the Bluestone website here: http://scripts.affiliatefuture.com/AFClick.asp?affiliateID=346172&merchantID=3793&programmeID=9597&mediaID=-1&tracking=&url= (note this is an affiliate link which means if you book I will get a small payment BUT your holiday price will be exactly the same as it would normally be).

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