After our baby son ended up in hospital during our holiday to France, we wanted to take a much needed break closer to home. The Retallack Resort
in Cornwall was perfect for a family holiday.
My husband, my daughter, aged 2 years and 9 months, my baby son, aged 5 months, and I, spent 3 nights in a self-catered, two-bed room log cabin style house, with all the mod-cons you could wish for. They had thought of everything - a steriliser, a microwave, a baby mat, stair gates, cot, electric socket covers, high chair and feeding equipment. There were also useful items such as washing up liquid, dishwasher and washing machine tablets, tea, coffee, fresh milk in the fridge and biscuits to get you started. Even the ice cube tray was filled and frozen ready for that oh so special “after-kids-are-in-bed drink” that I was looking forward to after the journey!
The Journey to CornwallThe journey had, in fact, been fairly straight forward (although during peak season, plan for heavy traffic entering Cornwall), and we arrived earlier than planned. Although check-in was officially not until 4pm, they had baby change facilities immediately available in reception and the resort took my mobile number to ring us as soon as they were ready. As it was, we were having such a lovely time eating Rick Stein’s delicious fish and chips in the picturesque town of Padstow and wandering around the gorgeous little gift shops that we didn’t make it back to the resort until 6pm. I would recommend trying Mr Stein’s special battered oysters, which were surprisingly delicious!
PadstowWe were so taken with the town in fact (only 6 miles from the resort), that we decided to head back the following day and hire bicycles to tackle the "Camel trail". It cost us £34.50 to hire a bike with a trailer for the baby and one with a bike seat for our toddler and we set off on a 10 mile round trip from Padstow to Wadebridge, taking in the lovely scenery of the estuary. We stopped for a picnic lunch on route and basked in the sun of what turned out to be a glorious autumn day. My little girl loved doing this and particularly enjoyed making Mummy huff and puff to continuously overtake her and Daddy, so that she could wave at me cheekily as Daddy effortlessly sauntered past! However it was good for trying to shed some baby weight and even my son didn’t make a murmur as he watched the world whizz by. One small tip though; try to do the trail earlier in the morning, as it gets very busy and dogs can be a menace around your wheels.
On the Sunday, it was a typical British rainy day, so we decided to take advantage of the ample child-friendly facilities they have on offer at The Retallack Resort. We put our daughter into a “stay and play” session which is available Mon-Thurs and Sundays, either from 9pm-12pm or from 1pm-5pm, depending on the day. We found this surprisingly inexpensive at £6 per hour and well worth the money as it gave me a chance to have a swim and enjoy the outdoor Jacuzzi and the sauna, whilst my husband looked after the baby poolside. There was a gym and Beauty/Relaxation salon, with all manner of fitness classes and treatments on offer. I found these too expensive (approximately £60 per treatment) for my modest budget, but I was more than happy with the rest of the facilities to enjoy my “time off”. My husband was keen to try the “loop flow rider”, which is an awesome artificial surf wave machine. This is reasonably priced at £25/hour and looks like brilliant fun. I was actually tempted to try it myself, but unfortunately, it is so popular, that advance bookings are a must if you want to ensure you get chance to try it while you are there.
The PoolWe then picked up our daughter and spent the rest of the afternoon with both kids in and out of the pool, which was a nice baby friendly temperature. There were many other activities on offer for toddlers and kids, including tea parties, face painting and little chef sessions. I had been looking forward to the “Big cook, little cook” session on the Sunday afternoon, but unfortunately this was disappointingly cancelled, probably due to off-peak season lack of demand.
In the evening , we took advantage of the babysitting service, with a very friendly lady, who child-minds and baby-sits as her main job. We felt instantly at ease leaving our two sleeping babes with her and had a very nice (and rare!) meal together in the onsite restaurant. The restaurant, at first glance, appeared to be a burger and chips style café, but actually served delicious and high quality meals with a specials board including fresh fish every evening.
Brilliant StaffThe staff were, without exception, excellent with children. We had a small incident when the lower stair gate fell off, which ordinarily would have concerned me, but the maintenance gentleman arrived within half and hour of reporting the problem and beautifully engaged our daughter in the process of fixing it! The Chef in the restaurant also personally engaged with our very excitable daughter and the staff couldn’t do enough to help us when our car broke down.
Would I therefore recommend the The Retallack Resort for families looking for a stress free child and baby friendly holiday experience? - wholeheartedly, yes! We had a very relaxing and fun filled experience and would definitely go back.
Kim Morgan & Family