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“Good mid-week break despite the storm”

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Bluestone National Park Resort
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Good mid-week break despite the storm”
Reviewed 15 February 2014

Warning...this is a long review! We stayed in a Cadley lodge in Pentre Ifan on a midweek break Mon 10-14 Feb. I had requested this area prior to arriving & so glad we were were accommodated as refused to pay the extortionate cost of the buggies but with a 2 yr old walking takes some time. This area was perfect as less than 5 min walk to the Adventure Centre which meant we could nip between there and the lodge for lunch/pick up swimming gear etc. was also only a 5 min walk (downhill, slightly longer uphill) to the village. Lodge was very nice, clean & perfect setup for us. Only downfalls were: no doormat which meant with the very wet weather the entrance flooring held the water so feet were soaked through whenever remotely touching; the cot reeked of sick/poo when first putting it up; beds are pretty hard, not clear at all where rubbish to be taken.
The adventure centre was great although very cold in there so never took my coat off. The circus room was good too, full of soft play & toys for toddlers but again freezing. Blue lagoon was ok although much smaller than we had thought it would be and the wave machines weren't as frequent as advertised. Only criticism is there weren't many large lockers in family area & many were broke/didn't have a key.
Spa was very good, the use of the facilities is great value for money, but I thought treatments were over priced. Like the fact you can still book online whilst at the resort since we didn't know how our days would pan out so did this last minute.
Also booked the Woody wild show. I thought the concept for this was good although my daughter was scared of the costumed entertainer & wouldn't join in but other kids seemed to like it. Food offered was good for the children but more a finger food for the adults although desert was lovely!
We didn't eat out at any of the restaurants but thought the drinks were overpriced. Peroni was £5.70 a pint & also the Yard sold Corona at £3.70 but on a takeaway menu it was £2.80.
The kids entertainment hour at 5:30 was ok but the venue, Tavern, wasn't adequate for it. just too small for the kids to play & adults all huddled, climbing over each other to move. The day of the storm it was moved to the Granary in the yard which we thought was much better. Lots more space & a kids soft play area/Lego for the play to continue after. Wish we had discovered this earlier & recommend they move kids hour to here.
My main criticism for the whole stay was booking into what was sold as 17 hours of free activities for under 5s. These were free anyway to all guests since there was no check you had booked onto this package. At the start of the week no entertainer turned up to the ' sports play' session until half an hour before then end & there was no sports theme. This improved as the week went on & became much better with face painting & a massive effort from one entertainer to do a bug hunt despite the storm. I later learned that many were new staff starting that week so that may be why. However I would have booked a different package, the spa, had I known it were all free anyway.
The weather was appalling during our stay but we had a good time & this was our first UK family holiday. The staff were great on the day of the storm (90mph winds), being very communicative (through tv msgs) and helpful on site, putting health & safety first by closing pathways, directing alternative routes due to possible falling trees & evacuating the adventure centre when the marquee collapsed.

Room Tip: Pentre Ifan area of lodges is close to the Adventure centre & only a 5 minute (10 min uphill) wa...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
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3 Thank TravelFanatic1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2014 via mobile

We stayed in a Ramsey lodge by the lake from mon 3rd February - fri February 7th. This was our 5th visit to bluestone.
We arrived about 1615 to join the queue to check in. Moved quite quickly and we were done by 1635 so could drive straight to the lodge.
Lodge was clean, I'd say standards have been raised since our last visit. Only found 1 cobweb this time. This is probably why check in is now later so cleaners can do a proper job.
Lodge was well equipped, only thing I wasn't happy with was that the underfloor heating in the wet room didn't work and they'd taken the label off the switch outside the wet room so you didn't know there was underfloor heating there previously! Obviously don't want the expense of fixing it!
Took the car back and got the golf buggy. After showing my driving licence several times and filling in and signing forms (a lot more hassle than it used to be) we were away. They haven't upgraded the buggys since our first visit many years ago, they felt slower than ever and the battery drains a lot faster! At £75 I now found this bad value and may not bother next time or if I do just pay £25 for 24 hours.
The worst part of our stay was the yard buffet restaurant on the first night. My wife's birthday. What a let down. Supposed to be Italian night, no bolognese or lasagne. On arrival the place was dead, only two table with people on. Should have left there n then. I'm glad we didn't go for starters long gone are the days of prawn cocktail and cooked meats being available, just a salad station now!
The mains choice wasn't great, as I mentioned earlier no bolognese or lasagne on an Italian night. The pizzas were as solid as a rock, don't know how long they had been there before we had arrived but they weren't changed in the hour and 15 mins we were there! Wedges cold, nuggets the same. The only good thing was the pasta (hard to mess up) and breaded chicken (hardly Italian but not complaining) the cod was okish aswell. It filled us up but we were both disappointed having remembered how good it was a year or 2 previously. Stung for £30 including a drink each!
After that experience we never ate out on resort again.
The shop is well stocked but you do pay a slight premium but that is to be expected.
Nice to see they have invested in a playground for the kids and also opened up the pub a little. It's also good to see they are keeping the lodges up to date (apart from our underfloor heating) our friends were on site also and they had new carpet in their Ramsey lodge.
We had booked a package to the well spa for the Wednesday, despite town phone calls previously (from them) they were unaware of our booking on arrival! Rather frustrating. However we were fitted in no problem and lunch order taken. Standards have slipped here aswell, with cut backs. No longer do they provide shower gel in the showers or moisturiser by the hand basins. Posh locker keys changed to tacky wristbands.
The spa, sauna steam room etc were all nice and relaxing though. The relaxation room wasn't as good though, no water feature anymore and some magazines over a year old. Biggest disappointment was lunch though. Despite us ordering on arrival and arriving at the dining area at 12 our food wasn't ready. The girl even had to go to reception to find what we had ordered. Another lady who arrived after us and ordered then had her food before us, surely not right! We had to wait nearly 30 minutes for a panini and some chicken and pasta! Despite our package stating we had a glass of bubbly we weren't offered this at any point. Needing go be somewhere at 1300 I didn't have time to raise this issue and frankly couldn't be bothered arguing with them after the long wait for lunch. I will say that the food was good though, such a shame it took so long.
We visited the blue lagoon on Thursday and really enjoyed it. Water was nice and warm. Waves were fun, lazy river good and slides good, especially the outside one.
Despite the awful weather we did enjoy our stay overall, nice accomadation in lovely surroundings in an ideal location to explore pembrokshire.
We have already booked another break in September prior to this trip as part of their early bird offer and are looking forward to trying the bigger skomer lodge.

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank pidgeofcdf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberystwyth
Level Contributor
57 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2014

Returned last week from a 4 night break in Bluestones. We were offered a fantastic deal so booked into the Skomer Lodge for 4 nights.

Accommodation : Skomer lodge had 2 x twin rooms, 1 with en suite and 1 next to a wet room which had a lovely big bath in it, 1 x double room with en suite. Accommodation was faultless. Spotlessly clean, all mod cons such as dishwasher, fridger, freezer, microwave, cooker toaster, kettle], 2 x tv's with dvd players and freeview. No iron in the lodges so please bring your own. Really really chuffed with our lodge, it was gorgeous. Highly recommended.

Facilities : Grocery shop which sold all sorts including large selection of wine, beers etc etc. Reasonably priced too. We ate out one night in the Knights Tavern which was cheap enough, burgers are lush. Only downside was the long wait for food due to a problem with the card machines. Didn't mind waiting but we weren't offered any discount off our meal or a free drink and we were sat there for three hours in total with two kids. Nice atmosphere though and would go there again. There are 3 other restaurants in the Village also but can't comment as didn't visit.

Blue Lagoon and Adventure Centre: Blue Lagoon was great, and changing rooms were clean clean clean! Adventure Centre - our kids did the Big 4 which involved the Swing, The Drop, The Wall and The Sky Trail. Defo worth doing. £18 per child for all 4. Downside was that when we first went we didn;t know about the Big 4 and the cashier didn't tell us either so we paid £10 each for the kids just to go on the Swing. Also when and if having food in the Adventure Centre do not order the kids pasta bolognaise , the portion was ridiculous!!! Tiny!!! I had to send it back.

Buggy hire - £25 quid a day and i think £75 for 4 days, we didn't bother but used the land train instead which goes every hour to the Vilalge, Blue Lagoon and the Adventure Centre. Folks, please note, there is a fair bit of walking involved if you choose to go by foot. Doesn't take long mind.

I would also recommend taking cash as the card machines didn't always seem to work in various places.

The staff throughout were fantastic. From the guy driving the bus, shop workers, lifeguards, Big 4 instructors etc. Very cheerful, always willing to help, no problem when sending food back. Will defo be back.

Helpful?
1 Thank lou1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cowbridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
80 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 247 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2014

Stayed in a Ramsey lodge, bedrooms on lower ground, lounge/kitchen upper level. The bedrooms were clean as were the bathroom and wet room. The kitchen is well equipped with all crockery and utensils. The lounge is very spacious with two sofas but, these could do with replacing as dipped in the centre on both (probably well used). The tv was fine with free view but sound was on its way out. We stayed in forest view with no lodges at the back of us, so quite private looking onto the forestry. The lodges are quite warm, which is great but, remember to turn off before you go to sleep as, quite warm, the towel rail in the bathrooms are great for drying the towels etc, especially during the winter. We brought our own tv's for the bedrooms.
Ensure you bring extra toilet tissue, tea towels, dishcloths and dishwasher tablets and extra black/recycling bags. We removed our rubbish ourselves but, obvious wet weather and no instructions where to take them, it would have been good for all lodges to have a bin cabin/shed to store (you are on holiday after all)! Lovely seating area for each lodge but, due to the weather unable to use, the cigarette bucket had not been emptied on our arrival. We hired a buggy and yes, as previous visitors have written expensive but essential, the only pitfall is, they get very wet hence, you have to use towels etc to dry and sit on, you would think Bluestone would provide a simple plastic cover to keep them dry but, also preserving their upkeep. Definitely not enough lighting when driving back to lodge at night time, and lodge direction signs could be bigger. There are times when you need to drive your car to the lodge to unload and load, the arrival nights weather was atrocious and we were 5 minutes late to collect buggy 19.05hrs. There was no way we would have found our way back if taking the car back that night, however we received 2 texts the following morning, advising remove car to car park, as I'm sure all the other cars as, there were many that particular night.
We paid for the archery, we thought it was an hour but, in fact it was 45 minutes, the young gentleman instructing was polite but liked the sound of his own voice hence minimal time doing archery. Attended the spa twice on different days, be careful if you book upfront and pay in advance as Bluestone tend to send offers by email, we had our entry for £10, which is a vast reduction. I cancelled my original booking 10 days before (hadn't paid upfront) but was sent a text and voicemail asking where I was for the days cancelled!! Changing rooms nice and the vast saunas/steam/ice rooms great, the outdoor jacuzzi was quite warm but, it's a pity there is such a long delay for the jets as you need to try and keep warm, it did rain out side but, the jacuzzi stays open, I'm sure it is very different in the summer, it would be great if there was a heated area outside or even a G&T (asking too much I know)! The second visit to the spa, the ladies changing rooms had a very bad odour (sewerage), I did mention this and they said, this is a problem as the drains have to be cleaned once a week. They were also very lenient about the two hour spa time maybe in the warmer weather it is possibly busier.

We stayed for a week but, locked out on the Monday, which was a trauma as, we had to going to the booking office and rebook ourselves in again ( they find apologise) and replaced all key cards. There is a grocery shop on site with plenty of varied products at a reasonable price, also coffee shop/restaurant and recreational area.

There are plenty of walks in the National Park, don't get lost like me 2 hours!!! Nearly missed my spa time and bring your wellies. Be aware on checkout, the cleaning staff arrive early but, we told her to come back as packing car.

All in all a very enjoyable stay, surprised how many were at bluestone this time of year, also the wildlife (birds and squirrels) visit at the back of the lodges, they had a good feast with the leftovers.

Room Tip: Forest view private with no lodges looking over you
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Debbie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2014

After 12 consecutive years of visiting Centre Parcs, we decided to try Bluestone and we weren't disappointed.
There were 7 in our party consisting of 4 adults and 3 children staying in a Grassholm Lodge.
Upon arrival we did get lost trying to find our lodge as the sign postings were really poor. There were not enough of them and the ones that were there were way too small.
Check in time was 4.30pm which in my opinion is a bit too late really compared to 3pm at Centre Parcs.
When we walked into our lodge it was definitely 'WOW' ! - We were all very impressed by the layout and modern style of it.
Initially we couldn't get the TV to work so I rang Guest Services and within 10 minutes it was fixed.
We all had a meal in the Wildwood Café located in the Adventure Centre which was nice and hot.
Went swimming a few times in Blue Lagoon pool which was great. I did notice that the metalwork in there does need a lick of paint though.
Myself and my wife paid for a 2 hour session in the spa which was very relaxing although we didn't pay for any extra treatments.
My 2 eldest kids tried the Sky Trail (twice) in the Adventure Centre which they loved.
One evening we had a take away delivered to our lodge via The Yard restaurant which was quite pricey (menu and prices are on the TV) and also another evening we had a buffet meal in The Smithy restaurant which was nice.
The Village area has a small/medium sized supermarket which was fine.
We didn't hire a golf buggy because at £25 a day rental I thought was way overpriced.
£10-£15 a day is more realistic.
Overall an enjoyable holiday which I would certainly recommend.

Room Tip: We stayed in a lodge located in the Preseli area which had fantastic views.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Andrew H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
104 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2014

this is similar to a center park,you can only take your car in on the day over arrival or depart.then you can hire a buggy,much needed as its situated on a hill,the wooden log cabins are very spacious,very clean and modern,well furnished there were 5 of us in ours,we had more than enough space.the pub, and the restaurants are very good,but after a week it becomes a bit limited,and its a bit out of the way,so you need to drive to get a change of restaurants,if you cook in the cabin,it would be a nice relaxing stay,there are a variety of things to do during your stay,the views are good,and you do have plenty of space around your cabin

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank vicky and jeff w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pontypridd, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 February 2014 via mobile

The location is wonderful for exploring West Wales. It's so easy to find and not far from the M4. The accommodation is spacious and well equipped with everything you will need to cook a good meal and enjoy time away from home. When the sun is out there is plenty to do on the park, but indoor activities are. Little limited. The pool area is great for families and the slides are lots of fun for all ages! The spa seems reasonably priced and the eateries aren't stupidly over priced like other similar holiday villages. The park is a good size and everything is within easy walking distance. The village is quaint and the selection of places to eat and drink is good too. The shop closes very early so make sure you don't run out of anything after dark! All round good fun and good value for a quick break :)

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Aw19862
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bluestone National Park Resort

Property: Bluestone National Park Resort
Address: The Grange, Canaston Wood, Narberth SA67 8DE, Wales
Region: United Kingdom > Wales > Pembrokeshire > Narberth > Canaston Wood
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Canaston Wood
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 344
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bluestone National Park Resort offers fantastic free range holidays for families, couples and friends! The all-weather luxury short break destination in Pembrokeshire is like no other. Whether you want to relax and unwind or play and have fun during your break there is something for everyone! We offer breaks for generational families wanting to spend quality time together, romantic short breaks, and catch up getaways with friends. Guests can choose from a range of luxury lodges set around a private Welsh village where you will find the cottages and studio apartments, restaurants, shops, a pub and its very own holistic spa and thermal rooms. Choose from heart pumping activities in the Steep Ravine with its high ropes and zip wire around the old Camp Smokey; splashing fun in the Blue Lagoon water park and outdoor fun indoors at the Adventure Centre with its climbing walls, ball pits and Wild Wood Cafe. For those wanting to chill and unwind there’s The Well Spa with its holistic treatments and invigorating thermal rooms. Combine this with opportunities to visit the nearby coastal towns and countryside communities and you have a perfect short break destination, whatever the weather. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bluestone Hotel Narberth
Bluestone Resort Narberth
Bluestone National Park Resort Wales/Pembrokeshire

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