You can't help but compare Bluestone to Center Parcs and yet actually you need to look at it totally different. It's smaller and, when I went, it was about two thirds the price of Centre Parcs. So you should expect less for your money right? Well yes and no.
The swimming pool is smaller and there isn't a jungle river but there are plenty of flumes and a lazy river which our four year old and one year old loved.
The Adventure Centre is in a large building with various activities available inside from a lego room to a big inside adventure playground. A lot of these activities are free which is a pleasant surprise and again gives you a different feel from Center Parcs (where you feel like you are being charged for EVERYTHING you do).
There isn't a sports centre and it's not really that kind of place, it's got more of an outdoor feel to the place. There's an outdoor assault course, archery and cross bows which looked pretty cool although we didn't try them.
The site is fairly spread out and quite hilly so there are golf buggies for hire. We decided not to do that, partly because of cost but mainly to work off all the bad food we'd be eating while we were there. In fact that for me is the only downside, with two young children carting them around was hard work but I'd rather that than have people driving around the site. Plus when they're older we can all cycle around the site.
We ate out quite a lot when we were there, we ate in the pub, the all you can eat place and in the woodland cafe. The food was of a good quality but the prices were a bit higher that you would expect for far west Wales. The all you can eat felt particularly expensive for our four year old and when you compare it to other all you can eat places (see one of my other reviews) the selection was limited. I don't think they could change that but maybe they could look at the pricing, for children in particular.
The accommodation is nice, of a higher standard than CP (in my opinion) and was very comfortable, not quite 5* as they describe it but still pretty good. It was slightly overlooked by other accommodation and the roads which may be something they want to look at when they expand, which I'm told they are going to do.
To sum it up I would recommend it but you need to go with an open mind (especially if you've been to Center Parcs as many times as I have). We've booked to go again so we must have liked it!
I was very lucky in that I won a holiday to Bluestone. So I took my Mum on a four night mid-week stay. I really enjoyed my stay but there were several things that we were more than a little disappointed with. From the lodges at the bottom of the hill (Forest View) it's quite a walk to the car park. On arrival we were told that if it's raining heavily then they would get security to give us a lift - however when we asked about this at guest services the woman belittled us saying 'yeah sure...unless they have real work to do. Which they do.' So then myself and my 60 year old mother marched up the hill in the pouring rain and she twisted her ankle. Not their fault, but in the rain their stone paths are a little loose and also pitch black at night so take a torch.
The accommodation though is wonderful. We stayed in a two bed two storey Ramsey lodge. It was decorated very nicely with big sofas, flatscreen TV, dvd player and a wonderful modern kitchen. The plates however are too big for the dishwasher which we found quite funny. Nice plates, Royal Doulton no less, but still too big.
Mobile reception can be a problem in the lower lodges as well just to forewarn people. We were on Orange and could get no reception until we walked up to the village.
On the whole we had a great time exploring West Wales and found everything we needed. It's just a shame that we went off season so the shuttle buses around site weren't working.
Have just returned from a three night stay here yesterday and do not have a bad word to say about the place, loved it.
My boyfriend, myself and his 3 year old daughter went here. We won the trip, which made it even better.
I disagree with some of the statements that others have made. I think it is brilliant that cars are not allowed on site, as it allowed our 3 year old to ride her bike safely without fear of being mowed down. If you have a disabled badge then you are allowed to park your vehicle outside the lodge. You drive your vehicle to the lodge to load and unload, and there are awesome golf buggys to hire which you can take anywhere around the site. We also took our own bikes, but you can hire those quite reasonably there.
I had a mobile signal the whole stay (o2) but to be honest, would rather not use it.
The staff were excellent, very professional and friendly.
It is very quiet, especially as we were in low season, but I quite liked that.
There are a number of shops on site which give you everything you could need.
We had a Ramsey lodge, which has two bedrooms, each with an en suite bathroom. They are decorated to a very high standard, all of the appliances are Smeg or Bosch, and even the dinner service (even the giant plates fitted in the dishwasher) is Royal Daulton. You are provided with everything you could ever need, including dishwasher tablets, tea towels, bin bags - things which are often missing from self catering. There is freeview and a dvd player. The leather sofa's are huge and very comfortable.
The wet room is amazing, the biggest shower I've ever seen. There is underfloor heating and heated towel rails, so the floor dried out in no time. There is also a mop under the stairs if you need it, but we didn't. even though our 3 year old spent about 45 minutes splashing around in the shower. The bath in our room was also a good size, and they provided shower gel.
There is a small patio area at the back of the lodge and a picnic table, so we had a barbeque.
The lagoon is excellent and included in the price. Only thing I would say there is it was quite chilly. Changing rooms are spacious and very clean, and they provide you with plastic bags for wet gear.
We did some off road mountain biking on one of the trails across a river, which was very beautiful. There is an iron age fort there. In fact, there are an awful lot of natural things to do here.
There are also a lot of family activities for all age groups. For £5, our 3 year old went on "mini rangers" where the parents accompanied staff around the park collecting moss leaves and twigs armed with a giant magnifying glass, which the children then made into hats. She loved it.
For adults, there is a well equipped spa with a lot of treatments available.
All in all, an excellent stay and will definitely go back.
Wales' answer to Center Parcs. Set in the beautiful Pembrokeshire countryside, this holiday park is like a scaled down Center Parcs. Accomodation is provided in cottages and log cabins spread around a lake. The scenery is beautiful and the air is fresh. The central "village" houses a choice of pubs and restaurants, a grocery store and some other shops selling various items and souvenirs. There is an onsite sports centre and Blue Lagoon swimming pool, as well as a Spa for full relaxation. Service was very welcoming and the accomodation could not be faulted. Highly recommended!
Although I haven't been to the Bluestone village I have been to the Blue Lagoon subtropical waterpark. Being local to the park we have visited a few times with very mixed experiences.
The first time we had a free ticket and thought we'd try it out. We could not fault our visit, it was fantastic to see something so good in our area. We especially liked the 'lazy river', the wave pool and the water cannons. The changing areas are large, clean and modern - everything you need. It was pleasantly busy, nice that it wasn't empty with no atmosphere but no fighting for space either.
We were so impressed that we visited again, paying full rate this time although at the reduced winter rates. Our experience was so much worse. We arrived at approximately 10.15am and found the park to be not as warm as previously. We aren't sure why: maybe it hadn't warmed up so much in the day, maybe the outside temperature was lower? All was going well until I went on the flume. There was no lifeguard on duty at the top of the flume as it was before 11am when they start. The red/green light system was obviously not working properly as it went green as soon as the person before me entered the flume. It was then up to me to decide when to enter. I judged this wrong and caught up the previous person and collided in the flume. I ended up with a bloody nose and they hurt their foot.
The incident shook me up quite a lot and I doubt I will visit again. It's a real pity as I was a big fan of this place as I feel their safety procedures could be improved.
Let's hope they learn from this incident and tighten up their procedures.
Well, despite all of the negative reviews I'd read on other sites we had a really lovely time.
At this point I should stress that we have never been to Centerparks so I'm unable to draw any comparisons (which I know a lot of people will do) and we weren't really looking for anything of that ilk. We wanted a week away in a part of the country that we'd not visited before, nice comfortable accommodation and the availability of indoor swimming should the weather be dreadful. I'm happy to say that this ticked all of the boxes.
We'd booked a 7-night stay (these are Friday-Friday) and drove up Friday evening. We had a great journey, left home at 7.30pm and with a total of 45 mins stops we arrived at 11.45pm (we're in Surrey).
Despite our late arrival we received a very warm and efficient welcome at reception and a vehicle was dispatched to show us to our lodge. The guy even offered to carry our bags in.
Bluestone itself is a beautiful setting and there are some wonderful views. Once the planting and landscaping is established it will be really lovely. At present it can appear a little stark and there is still building work going on in some areas. The Spa still isn't open but they are offering treatments in a temporary building (DH had a massage and said it was very good)
The accommodation is of a very good and comfortable standard. We had a single story semi detached 2 bed Caldey Lodge. It is of course all new and I guess that makes a difference. They are spacious and the with a good kitchen area with high spec quality appliances, dining area with doors onto a decking area with a lovely view, 2 big leather sofas, TV with freeview (yes Cbeebies!) and DVD, 2 comfortable double bedrooms with lovely fresh white bed linen and plenty of storage space.
The wet room (which has been subject to much complaint) was better than I'd expected. I think it could have been improved a little with some careful thought, but it was fine. Good powerful shower and plentiful supply of hot water. Lovely big fluffy towels and a heated towel rail. Forewarned is forearmed and I took a couple of those huge orange soak up cloths with me and we just put them down on the floor once we'd all showered and coupled with the underfloor heating the floor dried pretty quickly. It would have been nice to have had a shelf and a couple of hooks on the back of the door as you couldn't really leave things on the floor.
I think they have been taking on board their feedback as several things which I'd seen mentioned in reviews had been remedied, one of which was the provision of essentials on arrival and our lodge was equipped with a welcome pack with dishwasher tabs, washing up liquid, a tea towel and dishcloth, bin liners, toilet roll, liquid soap.
The village area itself is nice. Maybe lacking a bit of atmosphere but it was very quiet (and wet) when we were there and I think this will change with time. There is a good selection of shops and I thought the prices in the grocery shop were pretty reasonable. The bakers with fresh baked bread was great.
There are 4 (I think) restaurants to eat at. We only tried one, The Smithy, which is a grillhouse and was very good. Food was excellent and very fresh. Unfortunately we were the only people eating in there and the atmosphere didn't really match the food which was a shame but not their fault. We cooked in a couple of nights and ate out locally for a few others and it was nice to have the option to pick and choose.
The Blue Lagoon Water Park was great and very welcome in the wet weather. It was never particularly busy and I guess I may have thought differently had it been. It is open to the public at certain times and I guess its popularity will grow within the area once established. There's a big wave pool where the waves roll every 30 mins and which DD loved, a lazy river which takes you outside, 2 hot tubs, 4 flumes (restricted to +110cm) a baby pool (which I thought was a little too cold) and a toddler/kids pool with water cannon type stuff. Lots of very comfy loungers and a wet side café bar. Everywhere was spotlessly clean and there were plenty of staff around. We really enjoyed it and I think we used it 6 times including the day we left when you are free to use the facilities even after checkout from your lodge.
We didn't use any of the other facilities as we were out and about, but there seemed plenty to do and a good programme of kids stuff laid on for nominal charges. There was a crèche (we didn't use it) which was £15 for 3 hours, so pretty reasonable. There's also bike hire, but we didn't do this either, mainly as it was so wet, but the whole place is built on a hill and those who did have bikes seemed to spend a lot of time pushing up hills, so I'm not sure quite how much fun that would be unless you're pretty fit, particularly with a tag along trailer.
It was pretty wet whilst we were there, but only one day was totally miserable, the others were just showery and
i agree 100% with everything brookie has written
what we thought was a bargain - 4 night mid week break, usually 400 quid in November for 199
trouble was a week later they slashed the price further to 99 pounds!!!
to be fair to them when i rang to complain they did upgrade us - so we got a larger detached 2 bedroom 2 floor lodge for that price
The accomodation itself was 1st class
very clean and everything you could need (well, almost everything, rather irritiatingly there was no bottle opener or peeler, and the main plates were too large for the dishwasher!)
We also ate at the Smithy, and we were also on our own!
no real atmosphere as a result, but food was lovely if a little overpriced IMHO
the staff couldn't do enough and were very keen to know our opinion as they obviously listen to feedback and do something about it.
Pub Quiz on Weds was very good and the compere entertaining
The bacon sold at the store was fantastic!
we did lots of day trips as the weather was amazing for the tiem of year
St Davids, Whitesands, DInas Head, Tenby, Pentre Ifan all recommended
On the whole i think it is well worth a visit
better in spring when a bit livelier i imagine!
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