We’ve had an incredibly stressful few weeks with car troubles. Having to rent a car for two weeks and the garage messing us around big time. I was extremely welcome of an email from Bluestone Wales inviting me along to a last minute weekend break. Although we had no car, this was an offer I couldn’t refuse and we really needed a break. We had been promised the car back for Thursday evening so things would be OK, because the little rental car wasn’t going to fit a family of five’s gear for a weekend away.
Thursday came and the car wasn’t fixed. Surprise surprise. Things got a little, OK a lot, panicky and it was too late to extend our rental car. We were in complete chaos and limbo trying to figure out how we were going to get to Wales. The short story of it all was that at about 10:30pm Friday, after spending an entire day with the mechanics, hubby popped to his mums to borrow their car for the weekend. Paid for insurance and we eventually made our way to Bluestone at about 11:45pm.
It’s a nearly five hour journey to Wales but thankfully the girls slept the entire way despite being transferred from their beds to the car. It’s definitely a good time to travel with only a few cars on the road the entire way. We arrived at Bluestone Wales at 3:45am and we were greeted by the lovely arrivals staff. He explained a few bits to us and then offered us an escort to take us to our lodge, which we were grateful for as the sun was only just coming up at this point. The girls were wide awake and ready for the day, whereas hubby and I was definitely not after not sleeping at all.
I have broken my review of Bluestone up in sections. I felt this was the best way to explain our trip and can enjoy more photos too. I have a video of our stay right at the bottom too which I hope you’ll enjoy. I also want to record a more chatty video review but that will come at a later date. I took over 500 photos and over 200 videos this weekend and I need anoyher break to recover.
The accommodation at Bluestone is arranged into 10 sections all circling the village. We had a 4 bedroom Dinas Lodge in the Preseli View area which is on the outskirts. Our lodge had 2 double bedrooms and 2 twins. It had one bathroom and one shower room, a kitchen, a dining area and the living area. Space is definitely not compromised at all inside the lodge and you can tell that as it’s extremely echoey.
The kitchen has all the utensil you would need. Bluestone is a self catering holiday resort so the kitchen had ample fridge and freezer space, two in fact, a dish washer, oven and microwave. It also had a toaster. There seemed to be a lack of instructions inside the lodge like what to do in an emergency, how to operate the oven and I would have really liked a booklet on Bluestone and the local area. You are given a paper map and a list of activities on arrival.
The weather was kind to us for the most part of our weekend. Saturday was a bit more drizzly here and there but the girls still enjoyed being able to explore outside the lodge and as there is a strict no car rule, it’s relatively safe although there are golf buggies and bikes passing by every now and then. The girls especially enjoyed feeding the seagulls and we seemed to have attracted quite a few by Sunday evening. P2 made friends with a little girl next door which was extremely sweet.
Bluestone is definitely an active holiday. There’s the option to hire a buggy (see below) to get yourself around but actually I don’t think it’s impossible to walk the resort too which we did on the first day. The Village has a lovely little outdoor playground, various places to eat and the village shop. There’s also a Spa in Bluestone too which I didn’t get the chance to visit this time.
Everywhere is so incredibly clean at Bluestone despite there not being many bins around in the Village area. There’s a little lake you can walk around and on Sunday morning we took the buggy for an explore and we wandered up to the lack. All across the floor was tiny little frogs hopping back and forth. The girls loved it. There’s also a nature trail but the girls were a little exhausted from lack of sleep the previous two days that we didn’t want to over exhausted them, or us.
We weren’t going to hire a buggy. They are £29 a day and we just felt that was a little expensive when we had the double pushchair and our own legs to exercise. Like I said above, I really do believe Bluestone would be manageable on foot. However, the girls were really begging us to have a go on a buggy every time one went past which was frequently as everyone seemed to have hired them or bicycles. You are able to hire pedal bikes by the way for all ages. Hubby agreed to getting one for the Sunday and thankfully they had one left. It made things so much easier and I’m really grateful that we did hire one. The girls really enjoyed it too. You must have a full UK driving license though.
Blue Lagoon Swimming
On site there’s a swimming pool called the Blue Lagoon. This is actually open to the public from 12pm but they have exclusive guest swim between 9am-12pm. We didn’t actually go during the exclusive guest period and went during public session at around 3pm each day. I didn’t think it was too busy at all. There is ample changing room space, plenty of family cub lives which were huge with a bench and baby changer inside some even had a chair too. There’s also separate female and male changing cubicles too. Everything was incredibly clean and unlike public pools around here the floor wasn’t overalls wet either.
If I’m completely honest we didn’t have a pleasant experience on our first time at the pool. They have a very strict 1 adult to 1 child ratio if they are under 8 years old so when we arrived we were nearly turned away as we didn’t have an extra adult to “help” us. We tried to argue our corner that we obviously swim as a family frequently but their rules were not budged. Instead I had to sign a declaration and agree to be supervised in the pool by a lifeguard. It clearly said on that declaration that these rules were there to make us “feel welcome at Blue Lagoon” and I can tell you that it made me feel the complete opposite. P1 and P2 had to wear Blue Lagoon life vests and all three had to wear wrists bands. We had to tell the lifeguard that we were entering and we were only allowed to stay in the Nippers Cove, if we wanted to go in the other pools it had to be just one adult and one child to leave at a time. This caused many tantrums with the girls as they love to do things as a threesome and I felt we were being separate from very important family time.
On the Sunday, although I wouldn’t recommend this, I filled the forms in and then broke the rules by leaving the wristbands and life vests in the locker, putting the girls in our own buoyancy aids and entering the pool as a family. We were able to experience the lazy river and pirate pool as a family. Our Sunday experience was so much more relaxed and not once were we questioned despite clearly being outnumbered by kids. Although I don’t usually break rules, I’m glad I did in this instance especially as predicted all children are still alive and no one drowned. I definitely believe that the rules for families of more than two children should be at the parents risk as all children are individuals.
Forgetting the strictness, the pool was clean and the Nippers Cove especially was so amaxing! They had tons of floats, toys and balls to play with and interactive parts too. All pools were a perfect temperature, not too cold or too warm and it enabled us to stay in the pool a very long time. We all had wrinkly fingers and toes. Unfortunately we were unable to experience the slides as you have to be 1.1m tall and again they are very strict on this too despite P1 being 1.07m.
We didn’t get to explor the Adventure Centre fully as P3 was exhausted which ended our time there pretty quickly but the parts we did see were incredible. Everything is so clean and designed with children in mind. There’s a younger soft play area, a much harder to navigate older play area, LEGO, arcades, a bouncy castle and mini golf. There’s also a cafe which we briefly explored but decided to have lunch at the lodge. Everything is super colourful inside the Adventure Centre too. I quite liked the look of the climbing walls and sky trail but the girls are a little too small at the moment.
There are plenty of pay for a ivories at Bluestone, from a 4×4 experience for kids, laser shooting, baby sensory classes and massage. There’s something for everyone. On the Saturday, after hubby had a short nap and we all got showered and dressed, we headed to the Village for some free activities to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday. There was a giant bouncy slide, flag making, balls modelling and face painting. They had more activities in the evening and live music too but we went swimming instead. The girls really enjoyed themselves and it was all free too.
On the Sunday evening they had a Shadow Puppet activity in the Village Hall which we attended as it was free. I didn’t know what to expect at all but I’m so glad we went. Bluestone seem very strict with everything and they didn’t open the doors until the exact time it was due to start but once in we had lots of fun. The entertainers were amazing at keeping the kids engaged whilst the adults sat and watched. It was basically lots of silly fun and was a perfect way to end our last full day at Bluestone.
Bluestone Wales is a self catering resort, however there are 10 places to eat out. Ranging from a pool side cafe to a Farmhouse Grill. We took our own food to Bluestone so had no need to eat out at all but did stop by The Chippy for some cheeky chips. The prices weren’t that bad although the portion was a little small that bag of chips was apparently a medium. We had to pop to the Village shop to buy some more milk, butter and cheese and we were pleasantly surprised to find that the prices weren’t that much different to our local shops. Places tend to put a premium on their foods so this was very pleasing. The shop stocks all the basics along with a great selection of frozen foods and even Almond milk for my oats.
A Video Of Our Stay
Disclosure: We were offered a complimentary 3 night stay at Bluestone in return for this blog post. All photos and content are my own