We recently got invited to review Bluestone luxury resort. After looking at the website, it’s not hard to get excited about this mini holiday before Christmas.
We live about 3 hours away and that’s not including coffee stops. So we decided to leave nice and early. Bags pack in the car. Kids all safely in and snacks for the road ready with the kids’ toys. What I didn’t do was read the email properly. (Typical thing I do as a dyslexic)
CHECK IN TIME
The email said arrival time at 11 am and check in time at 4:30. We arrived at around 2 pm. As we turned onto the road and realised there was a queue, my daughter projectile vomited everywhere! Hoping that it wasn’t a long wait, I had to keep her in the seat so we could park up and get her sorted. That was a long wait. This was the first time I have been to a resort so was actually expecting to park up, while one adult goes in and gets the keys to the chalet so we can begin our much need mini holiday. Nope. It’s drive in check in, and it seems many other people wanted to arrive at a similar time. I would hate to know what it’s like at peak times.
Eventually with the realisation that we can only enter our chalet at 4:30 we had to get the car clean and get my daughter clean, dry and warm. You can imagine what we are thinking right now.
They recommended us to go to the adventure centre, which we did. It’s been a long drive, tired adults and overtired kids was what hit us. Waiting around hoping that time would just move quicker.
We left around 4 pm hoping that we could take our risen to get to the car. When they say check in at 4:30 pm they mean it, not a second sooner. So we waited. Then the queue began. The sun was saying its last goodbye of the day. By the time we drove all the way to the chalet, it was so dark. We had to unpack the car in the darkness.
No cars are allowed in the resort except in the main car park which means we had to drive the car back to the car park and the walk back to the chalet.
This was an interesting start to our holiday break. We pretty much had to write off Monday from our holiday.
Tuesday was better. The beds we slept on were really comfortable and the bathroom and kitchens were extremely clean. No feeling at all that we need to do some extra cleaning.
We had breakfast and left my hubby to do some work as it was still a work week. My friend and I got the kids ready and went to go rent some bikes. We rented two bikes and a trailer which our little ones fit in just perfect.
Off we went to the waterpark which was what we were excited about. We got our swimming costumes on and off we went swimming. They had great areas for our little ones to swim and play. There was the large area of water which was like a beach without the sand. Waves were made a few time an hour which was a lovely surprise. Attached to this was a sleepy river that moved you from the one side away from the main swimming area and looped around to the other side back into the main swimming area.
The biggest surprise of all was that the sleepy river flowed outside and then back inside. My friend and I were over the moon with this. We both agreed that our holiday officially began. This was such a magical feeling to be in the lovely warm water while outside.
Living in the UK, it’s not very often that we can be outside in water due to the freezing temperatures. So this was a treat.
There was an area where you could chill outside in the water, if you wanted to brave the cold, you could rush up the stairs to the jacuzzi where the water is warmer than the main area.
The first time I sat in the jacuzzi, I had the view of some of the resort, it was partly cloudy and I could just see a rainbow. If I could have taken a picture, I would have. That would be a picture I would have loved to view again and again.
We spent about 2 and a half hours swimming so you can imagine how tired we were.
Just before we went back to the chalet, we took a ride to the village which was equipped with a few restaurants, a pub, a village shop and other shops. It looked so cosy.
I popped into the information centre to enquire where I could get my laundry done as there were no washing machines in the chalet. My daughter was still in nappies and we use cloth nappies. I didn’t have enough nappies for the week. The lady said I could get them done with the laundry service which was a 48hr turnaround. That wouldn’t work. She then recommended I go into the local town and get them done in a laundromat. I explain that I would have to wait more than a couple of hours to do a load and dry it. This was extremely frustrating as this resort was very much into being environmentally friendly. They even had special bin to recycle reusable nappies. So you can imagine how annoyed I was having to buy a bag of reusable nappies.
I felt frustrated but a little relieved that these nappies would be recycled and not sent to landfill along with however many nappies already make their way there.
The rest of the time was spent making food and getting the kids ready for bed.
The next day we headed straight back to the waterpark, this time with the hubby in tow.
A lot more fun was had especially going through the sleepy river. The hubby decided to get out sooner than us and got some chips at the water parks shop. He was able to sit and watch while we carried on enjoying ourselves.
THE KINGDOM OF ELVES
Later that day we were booked in to see the kingdom of elves. We had no idea what to expect. Our expectations were low.
We arrived and both Eris and her friend got a Christmas elf outfit and a passport for her mini journey. Starting with going through customs, and then onto an aeroplane. So far so magical. At no point did I think this was a cheap skit. The ‘Elves’ played their roles amazingly. Eris’ friend who was 4.5 yrs old enjoyed every minute. They made each room just as magical.
We made lovely reindeer food and even saw the snow queen. Each room we went into the little ones got their passport stamped.
The downside was that it was hot, the only room which was cool was the games room, not even the snow queen room was cool. I feel that even if just that room was cooler it would have made it perfect considering that it was the snow room.
Would I do it again? Yes. At no point did I think this was a cheap little throw together of a performance. Even I left feeling happy.
You can imagine what it’s like going to a mainstream place and trying to find a meal that does not have either meat or cheese in. To our delight, the local village pub had a few vegan or items that could be changed. There was a chickpea, rocket and avocado wrap for example. To every vegan who has attempted menu reshuffling, this is the sort of wrap we want to see. They had a kale stew which if I was hungry, I would have gone for.
Even the village shop catered for us, biscuit, desserts, sandwiches. So if you really wanted, you could eat and be happy with the options. We brought most of our own food which worked out perfect.
ALL IN ALL
We had a brilliant time tiring ourselves out in the waterpark and then having not much energy to do anything else. Would we go again? Absolutely, just being prepared next time for waiting around.