Canaston Wood, The Grange, Narberth, SA67 8DE, United Kingdom
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More about Bluestone

Came home early but no bad feelings

by TripAdvisor Member wookeywarn

Ok, i will start by saying that I am just a working Mum with 2 kids who went on holiday to Bluestone. I have no bias and am not a disgruntled Bluestone neighbour. I have been home for over a week now and now feel I am able to write a fair and objective review. We stayed near the lake at the bottom - Bartholomew Rise.

I went on 4 August with my husband and 2 kids aged 2 & 6. The day before i went i had a feeling that i ought to call the resort to enquire about cot bedding. I was told that i couldn't be guaranteed a cot as i hadn't called sooner to reserve one. You could argue that this is true but their literature makes no mention of calling to reserve so make sure you check! Centerparcs veterans will know that they are provided as standard.

This brings me nicely onto the Centerparcs comparison with which there is no getting away from. They do market themselves as a similar resort and if you've been to CP you can't help but compare. This is actually dangerous because Bluestone just isn't up there with the likes of CP and you, like me, will end up disappointed.

We were the first ever residents in our lodge and there were several problems in the 1st 24 hours of our stay:

- our TV didn't work - when you have 2 young kids and it's chucking it down outside, this is a big deal
- we were told not to put the large plates into the dishwasher as they don't fit. Not tested but could be a problem if true!
- only 1 mirror in the whole 2 bed lodge AND it's in the bathroom. So if you want to dry your hair in front of a mirror then you'll need to take one
- the newly assembled bedroom furniture was covered in sawdust. They had needed a full clean before you put any clothes in them.

We didn't actually realise some of these problems until nearly 9pm on our first night. I then walked down (in the pouring rain) to the information office to find it shut - with no sign mentioning when they would reopen or a telephone number to call. I reluctantly called (from my mobile as no phones in the lodges) the security guard who politely told me that the maintenance guys were long gone home. I have to say that this astounded me - a brand new development not having enough maintenance cover on arrivals day when all the problems would surface.

The most significant problem, actually, was the rain. I would normally say that this shouldn't hamper your holiday and that it's not the fault of the resort but sadly the rain brought with it the mud problem which should have been foreseen by Bluestone. The main village & accommodation is in a valley and they are still building up the valley. Most significantly they are building the Spa just on the edge of the village. When the rain came, and came, it just turned into a mud bath with mud from the building works. It couldn't actually be avoided and by the end of Tuesday we looked like we'd spent a week at a Glastonbury festival.

The pool complex is up a fairly steep hill. We had rented bikes with a tag-along and trailer for the kids. I am not a seasoned cyclist and there was NO WAY that we could do anything but pull the bikes & kids up the hill. I suspect it would be a challenge for anyone if you're towing kids behind you. The path is gravel which made it even more difficult but add mud and rain and the novelty wore off very quickly. We didn't even try to push a buggy up there. To their credit the staff did offer you a lift on their golf buggys if they were passing but with no formal/regular bus or buggy from the bottom to the top - it just wasn't enough.

We tried a couple of the restaurants during our stay which were excellent. They don't have much for the kids to do (which Centerparcs excel at) and they were fairly expensive. Top quality though and worth it for a holiday treat.

There is an onsite bakery which sells fresh bread and cakes and there's is a very small & poorly stocked shop. When you arrive you will probably see that they don't provide you with even a sliver of loo roll in your lodge - the shop only holds about 4 in stock so get there quick!

On the plus side the lodges are brand new and lovely. The towels in the lodges are actually proper towels – large enough to wrap round you, and the provision of towels at the pool is another great touch as it does save you lugging towels back & forth every time.

The site is much smaller than I had anticipated – about a 10th the size of a Centerparcs. Oakwood park is next door and probably worth a visit if Bluestone are still giving away free tickets.

By the end of our 2nd day I went back to see the Duty Manager and couldn’t help but cry! I had worked all year to pay for the luxury they had promised (and I had paid for) and I felt like it was a permanent struggle and too stressful for the relaxing time I wanted. We were offered all of our money back which we accepted and came home the following morning.

So I guess if you’ve been to, & enjoyed, Centerparcs you could well be disappointed. If you have young children, a buggy or a wheelchair you could find it harder work than you had expected. If neither of those apply then you will have a great time and if the sun comes out it could be fantastic!

I do hope someone from Bluestone reads & takes on board my feedback as they are not impossible issues to overcome. As they did the right thing & refunded all my money I actually feel very positively about it and may consider it again the in future. But right now, they need to reduce their prices to compensate for the under-par quality and hope that people will recommend their experiences & return in the future.

very wet weekend in wales

by TripAdvisor Member dtgsouthwales

booked weekend at bluestone, and after reading various reviews
rang them to enquire about negative reviews, was told apart from spa all up and running,also spa treatments being offered in converted cabins decided to carry on with trip
arrived friday lunchtime weather good we had booked skomer privelege which came with golf buggy-champagne-and £150 spa treatments. lodge was superb definately superior to what we had experienced in center parcs
went for nice lunch at granary pizza/pasta then up to aquadrome in buggy very lazy not at all in the spirit of adventure holidays saw lots of families on bikes struggling to get up hill.
enjoyed pool very clean loads to do, small but nice cafe stayed about 2 hrs not overcrowded even though open to public ( they charge them about £12:95 to go in )
back to cabin for nice night in with the rain lashing down ( this lasted all weekend ) saturday back up to aqua dome as kids wanted to swin 5 mins in buggy 15-20 mins on bike uphill in by now torrential rain families were really struggling on their bikes.
visited sports centre in afternoon played badminton& pool ,bar upstairs with small soft play area good service they also do food.
that evening ate at careg las ( fine dining as they had given us meal vouchers for £150) o.k. some nice touches but not overly child friendly and very expensive not sure if concept will work maybe for couples having spa weekend but otherwise not convinced bill was £160 for four of us
decided to visit oakwood on sunday and because of rain they drove us to front door of park and told us to ring when we needed picking up gave us complimentary tickets it would have cost £73
stayed 2 hrs then back for swim
sunday night ate at the tafarn ( village pub ) very nice good pub food loads of kids ther and they even put a quiz on for us with nice prizes
have read all reviews and cannot really argue with any of them bluestone is not centre parcs and if you needs loads of organised activities and you are not really bothered by accomadation then stick to centre parcs
there are teething problems but i have to say staff were superb
my wife had 3 spa treatments and although in makeshift cabins still enjoyed
in a nut shell we paid £1000 for two families in a fabulous up market log cabin they gave us 2 x £150 worth of vouchers ,free
entry to oakwood, and champagne to kick off weekend.
also as previously mentioned exclusive use of golf buggy
if it wasn,t for latter we would of had a miserable weekend getting soaked ( like the majority of families on their bikes )
hope this is helpful as a family blustone suits us more than
centre parcs but i would imagine we are in the minority on that one

Bluestone Wales Fantastic

by TripAdvisor Member timmy112

We travel to centre parc Longleat every year,sowe thought we'd try Bluestone. In a word Excellent.We had Caldey lodge, which was cheapest, and it was great, large, clean, fully loaded, nice deck area and from what i seen all have excellent views etc. ALL staff were excellent...something which i couldn't say about centre parcs. Its still early days there but you can tell that in 1or 2 more summers it will look stunning. Info sercive very helpfull.
We are going back for new year where they'll have snow at the village, my 6 and 3 years are looking forward to going back.
The Lagoon is fantastic. Its quit hilly would recommend bikes, although shuttle bus service is good.
Don't be put off by neative reviews...we found it very relaxing, more so than centre parks - and we love longleat forest!

NOT FOR US -we will stick to center parcs

by TripAdvisor Member john_from_warwick

We stayed at Bluestone the first weekend in August 2008.
We (myself, partner and 2 boys aged 13 & 15) stayed in a 2 bedroom upside down lodge.
After travelling over 200 miles to reach Bluestone I had planned our arrival so we could get into our lodge, However, on arrival we were informed that the cleaning hadn’t even started in our lodge and would be another hour before we could unload.(we were given a free drink at the pub for our trouble, but I would have preferred to unload the car and put my feet up) In fact it was nearly 2 hours before we could unload. (the lodge was very clean)
The lodge although virtually brand new had signs of wear with grubby hand prints on the walls and stains on the carpet. It was over looked on all sides and you could see into all the lodges down the hill.
The shops were neat and tidy but small and lacked any choice and were very expensive. The shop keepers were very friendly, polite and helpful.
We had taken our bikes but they were never used as the whole site is based in a valley making it very hard work for cycling. (Plus there was nowhere to go)
The pool was nice and new but lacked any charm. The boys were bored after 30 minutes and didn’t want to go back for the rest of our stay. (We go to center parcs about twice a year and then you can’t get them out of the sub tropical paradise pool)
We went to the amusement park (as we had been given free tickets) and some of the rides looked quite good but overall the whole park looked shabby and dated.
Because we are regulars to center parcs I was expecting something similar. But in reality you could fit the whole site into the car park at center parcs with room left over. So in my opinion if you are expecting anything like Center Parcs you will be disappointed.
If they reduce the cost of the lodges by at least 50% it may make them a good bet for a base to explore the surroundings. (As there is nothing to do, even for a weekend within the site).
Otherwise I would suggest renting a cottage nearer the coast for better value for money.
My only good point would be that all the staff I found to be very friendly.

A Promising Start

by TripAdvisor Member Cookiemonsta

We stayed at bluestone in probably the wettest week in August and it rained for 6 of the 7 days we were there! That is probably the downside to this place, it is very weather relient. Many people have written negative reviews of the site because of bad weather and I can see where they are coming from. But if you get good weather I can imagine the place to be glorious!
The one thing you cannot fault here is the staff. They are so friendly and helpful. bending over backwards to help in any way.
Don't get me wrong the place has teething troubles, but overall I imagine it is going to be a fantastic place to stay (if its sunny!!!).
The Good Bits
The accomodation is fantastic and very luxurious. Beds are extremely comfortable and the kitchen, lounge and dining areas are very well set out with all mod cons (we stayed in an lodge for 8).
There's plenty to do, even in bad weather, the pool is great during guest only times (but terribly busy at other times, and I wouldn't pay to go in then!). The theme park next door was a real hit with the kids (aged 5-11).
Nearby Tenby is a great day out.
The food is great in the posh restaurant and the service is second to none (we went there twice).
The kids loved to be in the outdoors and in a safe environment.
The staff are great.

The Bad Bits
The weather was terrible and if you look on the British forcast most night there is a cloud over the area!
The wet rooms are a nice idea, but they are too small to work, meaning the toilet gets soaked if you have a shower and it's not very hygenic.
The staff can be inflexible. One day when the weather was very bad, my husband asked if he could drop me and our 10 week old baby down to the lodge to prevent us getting totally soaked (again). As no vehicles are allowed in the 'village' we were refused and they offered to take us in the minibus. But the minibuses are very old and have no facilities for a baby seat (we were told to hold her on our lap!!). I do agree with the no vehicle rule, but in extreme circumstances I think flexibility should exist.
The dishes provided in the lodges dont fit in the dishwashers!
I saw young children driving golf buggies when they are not allowed to under 16 but security didn't seem to care.
There is no mobile reception and although the lodges have phone points, they have decided to put in telephone boxes instead (great when they install them, but what if there is an emergency meanwhile????). We were told to phone security if we saw underage children driving buggies, but we couldn't use any phone!
No bath... an issue when you have a small baby (and there were plenty on site- take a baby bath).

I went on one trip out to go horse riding which was a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours, but don't be fooled by the 'ride along the beach' scenario as the 'beach' they use is about 50 metres wide and there are a large number of horses (23 when we went) with a variety of different rider abilities. So its not the romantic vision you may have in your head!

But all in all, my husband wants to go back next year as our son aged 9) and his two cousins (5 and 11) really enjoyed themselves and gave it 50 out of 10!

Pleasantly suprised

by TripAdvisor Member ClaireBW

Well, despite all of the negative reviews I'd read 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 a couple even sunny. We weren’t too bothered as it was only a week and wasn’t our main holiday and just made the best of it. I can imagine it would be lovely with good weather. That said, the surrounding area has plenty on offer, even in the rain! There’s Oakwood Theme Park right next door (you can walk there) and we enjoyed their firework displays each night! The nearest town is Narberth which is a lovely market town with some nice shops (home of Jellyegg!) and good places to eat. Folly Farm was a great day out, the beaches are gorgeous and the seaside towns are all great for a wander around. It’s an area we’ll certainly go back to – and hope for better weather.

Finally, one of the things which really stands out about Bluestone is the staff. They were all, without exception, extremely friendly, keen to hear what you thought about the place, eager to help and genuinely seemed happy to be working there. It was quite refreshing and makes such a difference.

So all in all we had a very positive experience of Bluestone. My top tips would be:
Be prepared for hills!
Be prepared for slight inconvenience of leaving your car in a main car park away from your accommodation
Take something to mop the wetroom floor
Take a small mirror, as there is just the one which is in the bathroom and nowhere near an electric point.

fantastic break especially with young ones

by TripAdvisor Member shellybells71

We have just returned from a fantastic family break at Bluestone. I was a little apprehensive because of the negative reviews but we went ahead and booked anyway. The main reasons for booking here was that we wanted a centre parcs style holiday but near the beach. Also with two young children (4 years and 7 months) our evenings would be spent indoors so we wanted a nice place to relax in the evening. (something I disliked about my Centre Parcs experience was I found it hard to relax on their sofas!) Also we wanted an indoor pool as the weather is never guaranteed.

I will not dwell on the negatives as most have been raised already but yes it is hilly but you can great views when walking across the site and yes the place is a little lacking in atmosphere but that will change as it become established. Also small things like no mirror in bedroom, hooks in bathroom etc.. but I think they are taking feedback on board as whilst we were there we had deliveries of a chest of drawers for both bedrooms and table mats. Plus there was a welcome pack of dishwasher tablets etc.

Onto the positives, again many of which have been mentioned. All the staff are very helpful & genuinely friendly. Blue lagoon was brilliant, very clean and great facilities plus it was very quiet in the mornings - we had to drag my 4 year old out kicking and screaming every time we had to leave! The accomodation was lovely, a real home from home with all mod cons and a great place to relax in the evening. We ate in the Smithy restaurant twice and the food was excellent. The sports hall had a great little soft play area which was great for my 2. My 4 year old did one if the junior ranger activities which was £5, a pirate party and he loved it. The areas around are gorgeous - Narbeth and Tenby which has a gorgeous beach. There are also lots of other things to do like Folly Farm.

There is a very regular minibus service which takes you around although we never used it as liked the walk. However the last comment raised the point about them being inflexible about not allowing cars on site even when it is raining which is a good point as we experienced the same thing. It is great that there are no cars but yes there was one occassion when it was torrential rain and the thought of venturing out to either walk or get the bus to the blue lagoon with two small children, pushchair, swimming stuff etc was not a pleasing one so my husband did persist and managed to get the car to pick us up but it was the only time we did that. But then I felt guilty as if everyone was allowed that then it wouldn't be the great car free zone that it is so I can see them be pretty inflexible and I wouldn't ask to do it again.

We will definitely be going back and if you are thinking of going my advice is go with an open mind and no comparisons of centre parcs and you may be pleasantly suprised!

Had a warm and relaxing time

by A TripAdvisor Member

We knew the weather would be terrible so wanted accomodation that was comfortable and relaxing and that is what we got. We stayed for a week in a Skomer Lodge and opted for the privilege package as we needed the use of the golf buggy for my parents.

I can not fault the accomodation. The furniture is all of top quality and the kitchen equipment is not cheap. The downstairs wet room was huge with a bath and heated flooring. Sofas were comfortable and beds very cosy.

We stayed in forest view looking into the forest which was lovely, once in the lodge you felt like you were the only ones there which was just perfect.

The site is hilly as it is in Wales, I dont think I would hire bikes but would just rent a golf buggy again as I couldnt imagine trying to cycle up the hill to the swimming pool or sports club in the rain or heat.

As always the staff were amazing, we enjoyed some massages in the lodges and if that is a taster of the standard to come I am sure future visitors will really enjoy the spa.

The driving range and nature trail were closed due to the rain, but as my husband is a massive golf fan he was dissappointed with the 'chipping green' and 'driving range' standards. He ended having to use local golf courses instead.

I heard rumours that there may be building a indoor snow dome in the future, which would just compliment the site and make it inviting all year round.

We enjoyed our stay and would stay again in the future as the standards were excellent.

Had a great time

by TripAdvisor Member jane087

We have just returned from a 3 night break at Bluestone which we really enjoyed.
We stayed in a 1 bed cottage which was furnished to a high standard with a very spacious ,well equipped bathroom.
Towels , loo roll , shower gel were provided .
We went to visit Tenby ,St David's and Solva. And even went to 3 or 4 beautiful beaches. We were really lucky with the weather ,the sun shone all weekend and we didn't mind walking up and down the hill to the car park.
The staff were all helpful and friendly .
We had a fun morning in the water park whizzing down slides.
My only gripe was the lack of mirror in the bedroom to dry my hair.
Other reviewers have commented that Bluestone compares badly to Center Parks .And i admit there are fewer facilities but it would be a shame to stay in the village all day anyway as Pembrokeshire is so beautiful and lots to see and do. {my last experience of center parks was horse blankets on the bed ,out dated furnishings and shag pile ,brown carpetsWhereas our cottage at Bluestone was spotlessly clean, very comfortable and stylish.}We wished we were there longer and would visit again.

Bluestone...precious stone in the beautiful countryside!

by TripAdvisor Member letsallquitwork

My husband and I went to bluestone last minute ( under the autumn deal) to celebrate our anniversary.
I have to say ( havu=ing read various negative reviews) it exceeded our expectations in every respect.

I was worried that it would be 'like centre parcs' in the sense that it would be commercial adn a blot on the landscape and was feeling rather guilty about our last minute booking but I shouldn't have worried. It was in keeping with the picturesque landscape in every sense and the fact that residents are actively encouraged to explore the surrounding areas really sold it to me. It meant for us that we could enjoy the luxury that Bluestone offered ( wonderful spacious modern lodge interior, restaurants,flat scrren digital tv,powere shower , fancy swimming pool etc) but feel that we were still putting money into the local community by meals out, costal walks and appreciation of the wildlife surrounding it.

We had no gripes. I am glad that we took an extra mirror to dry wet hair in the bedroom but that is THE ONLY problem ( which wasn't a problem) we had.
We had a small problem with getting the tv to work, but i think that was my own inability with technology and not the tv itself as the guys who came out to fix it literally flicked a switich and it was working fine !

We went in a very quiet week which was wonderful for us. All the staff were helpful, friendly and accomadating.



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We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Bluestone Hotel Narberth
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Address: Canaston Wood, The Grange, Narberth, SA67 8DE, United Kingdom