Sally who travelled with her husband and 5 children.
This was our second visit to Bluestone and we have already booked another two breaks, so its safe to say that I loved it last year and I loved it even more this year!
The low down:
Tots are tots as long as they are in cots!
I have triplets and we can easily fit three travel cots into one room in most places we have visited, however most places deem them as a full person past the age of 23 months. Mine are three, and for safety reasons they still sleep in travel cots when we go away! mainly due to door handles being low and the fact that they would be out of their room and the front door before we knew they had gone! so for me, tots being tots in cots is fantastic! this means that until they are old enough to sleep in beds they do not count towards the occupancy and we can still all fit in a 4 bed and be together in one lodge with my mum and sister also.
Wow – the views are to die for and I marvel everyday from the comfort of the sofa at how the landscape changes. Sitting outside on the picnic bench you could hear a pin drop and it totally relaxes me! the kids could be running riot inside, and they usually are yet I feel completely peaceful!
It feels free range:
Bluestone sell their holidays as free range holidays, and they really do feel that way! its hard to explain but they have managed to achieve a branded professionalism to their resort without it feeling commercialised -I really hope it stays this way.
Indoor free play:
We all know that until your children are a certain age, they just need to play! Many other holiday villages offer organised activities and sports all at a cost and the indoor choice for youngsters can be limited. Bluestone get this right on lots of levels in their Adventure centre. For babies and toddlers there is a circus themed play room with a door that closes and a sofa for parents – the room is small enough that you wont lose sight of your children and large enough that they can run around!
The adventure centre itself has lots of soft play for all ages, plus an expansive wooden tree house area for older children. There is also mini golf, a lego area, a lego room and bouncy castle all free!
Central to this is the woodland cafe – one of my favourite places, a cafe serving good value food that cannot help but set your children imagination free! this is also the central point to a lot of the evening dining shows which I highly recommend.
Open to the public after 10am with a guest only hour from 9am – this never gets too busy and has the obligatory flumes and lazy river. Its not the largest we have been to, but that works as it is never over crowded and the kids love the freedom the pool offers from being a bit smaller. Mine love the lazy river and with our newly purchased Puddle Jumpers the kids can float around without us holding onto them – I highly recommend these by the way! – worth a visit, we tend to go most mornings for an hour but I wouldnt spend all day in there as its not big enough in my view.
You can also book a lifeguard if you have more young children than adults
A lot of the places in Bluestone cry out for you to unleash your inner child, I have to admit that more than once I used the excuse of looking for the kids to explore the large tree house and run through the playground and camp smokey is another of these places – its down in the steep ravine and as you walk down the zig zag pathway you can see people flying by on zip wires and climbing the tress past you. Camp smokey itself is a wooden built lunchtime resaurant at the bottom with a little stream running through it and a fire pit for roasting marsh mallows! the food is camp style food with style and the experience is great!
Luxury on one level:
There is only one class of cabin and all the cabins are the same standard which is luxury, I would say its more high quality – there are no hotubs or whirlpool baths for instance and large! some could do with a bit of a touch up here and there as they have come across some wear and tear, however its minor and knowing Bluestone on their list! there are lots of cabin style to choose from and we have stayed in both a grassholm and a dinas and loved both! If you want the views you really cant beat Priselli View and that is my area of choice!
Customer Services as it should be:
I have never been able to fault the staff at Bluestone they are helpful and friendly and have always tried to accommodate our requests.
Things to change:
I really have to think hard to critise this place but my suggestions for change would be the following:
Travel cots – if you have multiples then you have to pay for extra travel cots – I have triplets and have never been asked to pay before so was dissapointed at this – howewver they did accomodate my request this time when I contacted them – its hard for us to fit 2 extra in the boot and also adds up if you are then asked to pay on top.
Choosing your lodge – this is a minimum of £100 which also gets you early check in and I think access to the spa, would be nice if they broke this down like other venues as we dont require early check in or use of the spa so to be honest it s a lot to pay!
later please – We went during term time and camp smokey closed at 2 and the adventure centre at 6pm. We had activities in the steep ravine and would have been nice to be able to get a drink. The adventgure center shuts too early especially when raining and the kids have nowhere to play or burn off energy after this time !
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