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"Paradise for pre-schoolers…"
We were invited to review Bedruthan Steps for Mumsnet.
We’d been reluctant to take our children, aged three and 20 months, to a hotel as we felt it would be stressful but it has to be said, Bedruthan Steps makes it a great experience for everyone. Bedruthan was one of the first hotels to offer family-friendly breaks and has been doing so for more than 40 years, so they’ve got it down to a fine art.
The children loved the soft play room and the huge outdoor play areas, which look out to sea – I couldn’t think of a more pleasant spot to sit with a book, smugly watching them get their fill of sea air and wondering how much earlier than usual they were likely to fall asleep as a result. And obviously the beach itself, just minutes away, is a big draw.
We were impressed with the set-up for kids’ food. Buffet-style meals – veg sticks, cheese, rolls, fruit etc – as well as hot meals available to order meant even the fussiest of fusspots would be hard-pushed to find something they didn’t like to eat here. After the early kids’ tea, the on-site entertainment was ideal for tiring them out before bed – everything from magicians to mini beasts on tour.
Despite sneakily snacking on the children’s fish and chips and stir-fry, we tried out The Herring restaurant one evening – lovely and fancy, but perhaps just slightly overpriced for what it is. Annoyingly, our kids are just at the wrong stage to use the hotel’s excellent listening service, being able to run a bath themselves, and get in it, silent and ninja-like, but we hired a babysitter through the hotel who was fantastic. The following night, we had food delivered to our room from the Wild Café which was very good value and the food was lovely. The rooms are spacious and well-designed with pull-down screens between adult and child sleeping areas so we spent a happy evening watching TV with a bottle of wine and stone-baked pizzas, while the children were asleep just feet away.
For parents of pre-schoolers, what’s most precious is the chance to get some time to yourselves. While the DCs were covering the well-equipped kids’ club rooms in all manner of glitter and gunge, we had a facial in the wonderful spa, soaked in the Jacuzzi, swam, napped and sat in the adult-only ‘tranquility’ room with the papers – amazing what you can fit into a few hours when you’ve barely enjoyed a moment’s peace in three and a half years.
The best bits? Well, we all came back exhausted yet rested and with lots of happy memories. The stand-out plus has to be the staff, who could not do enough for any of the guests. You want six yoghurts for your son’s tea? It’s there. Need to work out how tide times fit round two naps? No problem. And there aren’t many places you could go this well set up for families. There are even dedicated break-out landings off the corridors where you can take your screaming baby in the middle of the night, equipped with microwaves, tea and coffee stations and comfy seats for weary parents.
The downsides? It is a bit pricey. If you have pre-schoolers, make the most of it now because high-season it’s pretty expensive. And be prepared to be slightly underwhelmed as you approach. The building is very fifties, with a vague hint of Communist Russia about it! But then step inside and it all makes sense. They’ve gone to town on the fifties interior details, with mid-century modern furniture, Orla Kiely prints and acres of calm, well-designed space. And that view of the sea, from the bedrooms, the playground, the restaurants… totally lifts the heart.Read moreLess
"Great for younger kids…"
When we pulled up I almost refused to go in and immediately started looking on my phone for other hotels in the area, the architecture and buildings from the exterior are a complete eyesore.
It has a retro theme inside which it somehow pulls off, but not to my taste, but I appreciate others like it.
The staff are fantastic and will do anything to help.
The food at both restaurants is really very good, and would eat there again.
They have many facilities for children and actvities etc, it suited our 4 year old perfectly but our 8 year was almost a bit too old for it. The hotel is absolutely full of families and children, and seems to be entirely designed for them, which is not a bad thing, I personally prefer a less child orientated hotel, but I can see how it may well be a godsend to someone with children aged 3 and under.Read moreLess
5 people found this review helpful.
"A fantastic place that I recommend to everyone…"
I should start off by saying that I love this hotel. My husband and I and our 2 little ones (Little Boy (LB) 2.5 and Little Girl (LG) 11 months) spent 4 days there last autumn. Since then I have recommended it to everyone I know with kids and a number of them have also gone and loved it.
To give you feel for it I will describe a typical day that we spent there:
•Get up and head to the Wild Café for a lovely breakfast with lots of things the kids love (cereal, yogurt, fruit etc) all served with plastic bowls and spoons and wipe clean bibs (there are also microwaves in the restaurant and on each bedroom level for heating bottles). There are multiple highchairs and even booster cushions so LB could sit in a big seat and still reach the table. Its included so we all eat heaps and then someone else clears the food from the floor and the highchair and washes the multiple dirty plastic dishes - bliss! The café doubles as brasserie for lunch and evenings and looks out down to the beach and the sea which are beautiful
•Head to soft play (not the biggest we’ve been to but plenty big enough to keep the kids happy for 45 mins while my husband and I drink coffee)
•On to the indoor pool which we have to ourselves and is lovely, super clean, and very new and nice feeling (I am funny about standards in swimming pools and this one was great)
•Head back to the café for lunch (we had a food allowance as part of our deal which we could spend however we wanted in the restaurants) again loads of kids options and fantastic salads and local fish for us grown ups
•The kids go back to the room with my husband for their nap and I head to the adults only spa which is lovely. I chill out in a Jacuzzi looking down over the bay and remember when life used to be like this full time! I then spend 30 mins in the adult only library chilling out with my book. I did feel a bit bad for my husband in the room with the kids but it turns out he napped too so everyone won!
•We wake the kids and go for a play on the huge outdoor playground (complete with pirate ship, ice cream van and trampolines). The kids go wild and we get cold
•Then a brisk walk down to the bay (a fairly steep and non-pushchair friendly walk but only 10 minutes each way) where we are very English and make sandcastles in the drizzle and pretend it is lovely weather (the bay is beautiful even in the rain so I can only imagine how lovely it would be in the summer)
•Back to the hotel for free tea and coffee for myself and my husband while the kids enjoy their tea in the cafe. There are about 10 hot options and a cold buffet with crudities and a selection of deserts. Your food allowance can be put against this too but it is only £5 for the hot option with unlimited buffet and the portions are so huge both of my kids share one
•Into the ‘ballroom’ where us grown-ups sit down to a nice glass of wine while a man with a snake, an owl and lots of creepy crawlies – not my highlight but definitely my sons, enthrals LB and LG. This is then followed by a disco with musical bumps and the kids run wild for an hour expending the little energy they have left. Every night the entertainment is different and the kids loved the lot
•We drag weary kids upstairs to our room (the kids are in the same room as us but screened off from our bed with a blind). We put them down and they went straight off (the wonders of sea air working on city kids). To be fair our kids are very good at going down so I imagine this could be more challenging all in one room, but after such an action packed day they were shattered
•My husband and I go down to reception where they tune in the baby listening service (free) and give us a buzzer to carry with us (if there is any noise we are buzzed back to reception to sort things out – luckily this doesn’t happen). We drink cocktails, watch the sunset, eat in one of the 2 restaurants (there is the brasserie and a more fine dining option) and enjoy a 3 course, locally sourced meal which isn’t quite Michelin standards but isn’t that far off either. We almost forget we have kids and wonder at how fantastic it feels to do this when we so rarely get to these days (due to the exorbitant cost of babysitters)
•Off we go to bed where we manage not to disturb the kids (due to the screen) and sleep brilliantly ready to do the whole thing again the next day
In addition to all of the above there are full crèche and kids club facilities which looked fantastic. Personally I like the kids to be with us when we’re on holiday but if you did want a break I would have no problems with putting them in there and in the evening the ones who had gone were all best friends at the disco!
Negatives (if I were to name some)
1)Price – it isn’t cheap but to be fair I didn’t feel it was bad value. That said I think it is super expensive in school holidays
2)From the outside the hotel looks monstrous! It is a piece of very very bad 1960s architecture and my initial reaction when I saw it was ‘OMG get me out of here’. Inside though it is lovely and has a very modern Scandinavian feel
3)The bedrooms aren’t the biggest for a family of four but then we were barely in it (we had the cheapest room so I can’t comment on the more expensive rooms)
4)There is entertainment for the adults in the evening. This really isn’t my thing at all but the magician was very polite when we asked to be left to our dinner and we didn’t see any more of him. I have to say if I were the owners I would drop this as it feels a bit more butlins and a bit less resort but then other people didn’t seem to feel the same so it is a personal thing
5)It’s a shame that baby listening isn’t offered during the day so both my husband and I could have gone to the spa together
6)It can be a challenge to navigate the hotel with a pushchair. Not a disaster but not the easiest either
7)Other children! I know, I know, but I have to confess that for me the drawback of going somewhere so great for kids is that there are a lot of other kids there and that comes with a noise level and hectic-ness that takes some getting used to
Still, all in all I think it’s an awesome place. 4 days was enough for us and I think a week might feel a bit like groundhog day if you didn’t get out and about. For a 4 day break though I think it is one of the best getaways in the UK for families with young kids. We will be back this yearRead moreLess
3 people found this review helpful.
"Had a week here over the October half term with…"
Had a week here over the October half term with my 3 sons (7, 5 and 18 months). If money were no object then I would probably return but as I'm not a millionaire then I expect value for money and unfortunately I didn't feel we got it here. Yes, it's a nice hotel but it's not outstanding and for overRead moreLess
7 people found this review helpful.