We wanted to share a magical experience with our family to start the festive season and Bluestone National Park Resort was our choice. Only an hour an a half car journey from our house, a luxury five star timber lodge awaited us. Set in the heart of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Bluestone boasts acres of ‘rolling pastures , historical ruins & an idyllic place to create memories’.
Upon arrival, the staff were friendly, making check-in a really easy experience and within 5 minutes we were in our lodge. However, this is where the luxury began. We booked a 4 bed luxury lodge (Grassholm) as there were 5 of us, but it could have easily slept double this… With its tall pitched ceilings and timber exposed beams, crisp white cotton bed linen, and many quality fixtures and fittings all added to the feel of this luxury experience. The other added features included a 42″ LCD tv, DVD player, 3 bathrooms, under floor heating & free internet access! Those with young families could also have piece of mind with both top & bottom stair gates but I would like to see the roller blinds have a fitted attachment at the bottom of the pull-cord to secure to the window frame as little ones playing could easily get caught out! If there was a negative, the lodge was pretty cold upon arrival, but this was turned around pretty quickly when we put the radiators on in all of the rooms, and within the hour we were “home”. Be aware that they do provide hair dryers and irons for use but you need to collect them from Guest Services with a fully refundable deposit.
We planned a few activities during our stay but The Kingdom of the Elves at Bluestone (sorry The Kingdom of the Elves featuring Cinderella!) definitely proved to be the highlight. Fifteen pounds per head was money well spent. Two hours of entertainment that takes you on a journey meeting many characters and participating in many fun tasks, as well as collecting stamps to complete their journey. Starting with Button’s Boutique dressing like Knights & Princess (also obtaining costumes), decorating cakes with Fairy Upside-down (taking home your very own decorated cake), becoming a band member in the music room, helping to find the key with Father-time, collecting the balls with the Silly Sisters ‘Fruit & Nut’ while all along looking for the missing sliver slipper. Finally in the Star Room (where the missing slipper was found) you got to help Tomorrow Knight to find his Cinderella. A celebration dance to finish marked the end of this magical journey. An experience not to be missed!
The weather was very wet and as we were on a tightish timeframe we decided on hiring a golf buggy. This was an instant hit with the kids and a god-send to us all getting about the park. There is a mini-bus service which was very adaptable and extremely friendly but didn’t give us the freedom we wanted as it only runs once an hour. Hiring a buggy didn’t come cheap but we compromised by eating in our lodge instead of eating out which paid for itself. We did however always make sure that an adult was at the back to hold onto the kids as there weren’t any seatbelts!
Later the same day, we shared story time with Santa and his comical Elf helper who had the children dancing, stretching and chiming along. Santa was just like the pictures, white beard, big belly, round face, a rosy nose and a gentle soft voice. The children made magical reindeer dust and tied it with their names to take home and put on our lawns on Christmas Eve. This will help guide Santa to our houses. He’s not going to miss ours as we have three bags!!! The children all took in turns to meet Santa and each received a gift.
There were many facilities available on the park but we didn’t manage to see and do everything – we barely scratched the surface! We experienced the Adventure Centre (not only for Christmasland) with it’s mini golf, large timber climbing frames with twirly slides, Lego station , and even a climbing wall and tree tops climbing experience (there was an additional cost for these). For younger children there was a bouncy castle, soft play, many ride on toys and a very large chill out tepee.
We went to the Blue Lagoon Water Park on more than one occasion. All pools had walk in ends which instantly gave my youngest confidence. My children loved the water and all the different pools, slides, wave machine & lazy river that took you outside – on this particular wet cold wintery evening you can imagine how quick I swam to get around! The facilities were kept very clean and there always seemed to be an assistant if you needed help.
The most relaxing part for me was my pamper session at The Well Spa (situated in the Village Square ). I had a 30 minute Decleor facial booked to detoxify and rejuvenate my skin. Once I completed the usual paperwork I was escorted upstairs to await my therapist. I was then shown to one of the eleven treatment rooms. With muted lights and soft music there was already a fear of me falling asleep. The treatment & products were explained to me and then it was time to unwind. My therapist had lovely warm gentle hands applying the products and then removing with warm moist flannels. Massaging with each application and finishing with an Indian head massage. The Decleor range was totally natural products and scented with essential oils. I was pleased to say that although I have very sensitive skin I had no adverse reaction with these products. I was actually so taken with the texture and scent that I couldn’t help but purchase an early Christmas present in the form of a Decleor gift set. Before I left it was recommended that I rehydrate with some chilled water and a lie down in the relaxation room but I did feel a little overdressed as everyone else had robes on.
This was our first visit to Bluestone and a memorable one it’s been. Although our short break was quite expensive you were definitely paying for luxury and to save the pennies for our future visits I will always check out the great offers & packages online.
(Sian went to Bluestone with husband George and 3 children 2, 4 and 6)