We were lucky enough to visit Bluestone in Wales. I have read so many blog reviews about family holidays to Bluestone Wales in so was incredibly excited to try out the family friendly accommodation. We stayed in a four bed Grassholm lodge on Preseli View. We went with my mother and father in law and our 3 kids who are aged 6 and 22 month and this is what we thought.
Super simple – you drive up to the window and are given your pack, car pass and key cards for your lodge. We arrived early and were told we could explore the site which we did. The barrier is lifted at 4.30pm to allow you to drive and unload – word of warning it is 4.30pm on the dot. My husband was told off for trying to go in at 4.28pm and made to drive round and go to the back of the queue so they are incredibly strict on timings!
It was spotless and very spacious. From the outside it looked huge and it was! We stayed in a two storey Grassholm lodge
My husband is a builder and he was impressed that they hadn’t sacrificed space in order to cram more lodges in. Our lodge was 4 bedrooms; three twins and one double with three bathrooms (two baths, one walk in shower, one ensuite) The very well stocked kitchen had a fridge/freezer, kettle, dishwasher, grill, toaster, microwave, cooker and hobs – perfect self catering with the added bonus you don’t need to wash up! Charlie absolutely loved his room as he could spy on us sitting downstairs in the lounge!! We all slept upstairs and my in laws had their own bedroom downstairs so it was nice as we didn’t want to wake them with rather early morning get ups. We had the ensuite with a fabulous fabulous shower. I had two every day because I loved it that much! All towels and linen are provided.
I was really impressed as we had two travel cots provided for free so both girls had their own. We have hired before and they have looked a little worse for wear but these looked brand new! Girls slept every night too so big thumbs up. There was a stairgate at the top and bottom of the stairs making life safer for us all.
Charlie only participated in one which was the 4×4 driving. He loved it and he “got his licence” at the end. The instructor was incredibly friendly and made sure she involved every child and learnt their names. He really enjoyed it but I felt that at £19 for 45 minutes it was very steep price wise.
There are cheaper activities and lots that are free including meeting the characters. We met Buzbee on the Friday which was very quiet as most people were getting up and going so if you aren’t in a rush I’d definitely recommend hanging around then.
Of course the Blue Lagoon is a massive hit for everyone. Make sure you bring your own towels, swimming nappies for the little ones and a pound for a locker. There are family changing rooms which made it much easier for us. There is a strict 1 adult to 1 child ratio so luckily we had our in laws to help us out and avoid any tantrums! You can use the pool as many times as you like throughout your stay and I hate to admit we don’t take the kids as much as we should back at home due to such high costs at our local pool so we really utilised. A tip would be to get there as early as possible. We went as close to 9am as we could as it’s only open to guests between 9-11am then it’s open to the public so it’s best to get in early so there’s less people.
There is a huge indoor soft play with a bouncy castle, slides, crazy golf and a Lego building area but as we had such nice weather we spent a lot of time on the Treetop play area which is in the middle of the “village” The kids absolutely loved playing and there’s stuff for all ages but is more suited to 3+ I’d say personally.
We did go in the Circus Room too which is a toddler orientated soft play zone which was fantastic! Whilst I watched Charlie on his driving activity my husband took the girls into the Circus Room. Now usually soft play on you own with twins is nigh on impossible but he even managed to sit down and watch them. Everything is suitable for them so they can play to their hearts desire and there is so much variety to keep them entertained.
Things we really loved
We went to the evening dinner at the WildWood cafe and all the kids were absolutely mesmerised. I wasn’t sure how they would all react but the girls were up dancing and Charlie was off hunting for Hewie the Hedgehog. I was really glad we went along as it was so nice to have a happy family evening and its on early so we weren’t keeping the kids up late. You get a meal provided during the show which is a mixed platter with sausages, chicken gougons, corn on the cob and chips plus ice cream for the kids and a brownie for the adults.
Again not the cheapest but we all really really enjoyed ourselves and would say if you have kids ages around 2+ it’s perfect and my 6 and 22month olds loved it. The room us absolutely beautifully decorated with this big tree in the middle with hanging fairies and decorations. The kids were mesmerised and it was such a gorgeous centre piece.
We had a walk down to Camp Smokey on Thursday afternoon and wish we had gone earlier. Put on your wellies to have a splash in the streams and make sure to buy a few marshmallows to toast on their open fire. We all loved it down there and really wish we had had a meal down there as it looked fabulous and had such a great vibe about the place. It is a bit of a trek down there but the girls managed to walk down there.
Charlie really wanted to hire a golf buggy, he was so so excited that we decided to treat him. We thought it would also be easier getting the girls about with one and with four adults to split it between we halves the cost with the in laws for the week (it cost £80 Monday-Friday) but I have to say it was so much fun! I’d never driven one before and I loved popping out on it.
We left it too late to have a treatment as we only decided Wednesday night that we wanted to go on Thursday but they fit my husband and I in on Thursday for a Celtic Spa experience which was £35 each for two hours. We enjoyed the different rooms and really loved the little pool with the lovely jets.
We had an early morning spa which lasted two hours and my husband was a bit miffed they didn’t serve cake as we fancied a piece but they don’t serve food until 12pm – so please Spa – hear our cries and feed this hungry pair! It’s such a gorgeous place and we had complimentary robes and towels as part of the price. I really wish we had been more on the ball and managed to get in for a treatment as the whole décor and feel of the place was lovely and the staff were incredibly helpful and friendly.
We tried to sample as much as we could when we were there to get the full experience. On arrival day we went to Millers Bakery for a drink and ice cream. It was a lovely little place with very tasty hot chocolate and Charlie was impressed with the variety of ice cream flavours! They also serve fresh baked goods and we got some lovely bread for breakfasts which were still warm when we bought it!
On Monday night we decided touse their takeaway service as we were a bit tired from travelling. We had two kids lasagnes, two kids goujons and my husband had a korma. It came to around £26 and didn’t take too long to arrive. We were all rather hungry so I only managed to snap the box – oops bad blogger! I chose a kids meal and I’m glad I did as it was HUGE!
We also had a meal out at the Knights Tafarn. Charlie is a but of a fussy eater so the only thing he would have eaten was the sausage and mash. We saw that the adults came with onion gravy so we asked if Charlie could have normal gravy but we were told that they only did onion gravy. I know it’s rather pedantic but I would have thought they’d have been able to serve regular gravy for kids – in the end he ended up not having gravy which he was a but disappointed about but onion gravy can be quite strong for someone who doesn’t like it!
Things that could make it better
- Healthier options for the kids. Perhaps make more fruit and vegetables available for children in the restaurants and takeaway menu. Most things tend to be chips and ice cream in the restaurants so there wasn’t really much variety. However as the lodges are designed for self catering we topped up with their 5 a day
- Plug socket covers in the lodge and Circus Room – I was fretting about the girls poking their fingers in open ones and to their credit there are so many sockets which is so handy but with toddlers it’s a double edged sword!
- Discounted activities. Charlie was the only one who did any activities but in a few years I know the girls would definitely want to join in there. I would love if they had some form of discount if you have more than one child attend. I know that’s probably the twin Mom in me but it is expensive! Charlie’s car experience was £19 for 45 minutes; I think if all three had wanted to do it and me paying almost £60 for 45 minutes then we wouldn’t be doing any at all.
I don’t want to sound moany because we had an absolutely fabulous week but just thought I would ut forward honest and hopefully constructive criticism. Bluestone has made me think more about our holidays as a family in the future. We are off to Dorset in the summer and our accommodation is just a lodge with nothing else to do so I am wondering if on site entertainment and activities when the girls are a bit bigger will be beneficial. We all really enjoyed such a variety of things to do and I know that when the girls are big enough that we could spend so much longer in the Blue Lagoon on all the slides. I’m so glad we decided we chose to go to the evening show on the Thursday evening as it finished our holiday on a high.
Thank you Bluestone for our trip. I think in a few years we will be back to do some more exploring!
Disclosure: we were given a complimentary 4 night stay at Bluestone in exchange for this honest review. All pictures, words and views are my own