This huge holiday complex is probably best known for two things - being one of the iconic buildings you can see from the M4 as you approach Newport and for having a course that was purpose-built to host the Ryder Cup in 2010.
What may not be common-knowledge is just how family-friendly it is. We visited Celtic Manor for a two day break in the Spring half term as a multi-generational family group, myself, my husband and our 10-year-old, my brother and my 80-year-old father. We were looking for a holiday the British weather wouldn't spoil and a location that meant there was something for every age group to enjoy.
Covering 2000 acres in the Usk valley, Celtic Manor resort itself features three places to stay. The modern Resort Hotel is the main building with 334 rooms. There's also the older Manor House right next door (better for romantic stays) and the Newbridge on Usk inn.
Our large group took over one of the Presidential Suites (very swanky!) in the Resort Hotel which was essentially a two-bedroom, two bathroom apartment with a lounge, terrace and separate dining area. They'd also taken into account the fact that two of our group were also in other rooms and arranged it so all the rooms were next to each other - which was useful for checking up on Grandad. The rooms were modern, very clean and had everything you'd need including tea-making facilities, fresh fruit, free mineral water and fudge every night, much to the delight of our daughter.
Over the two days we ate at many of the resort's restaurants - there are seven places in total. Dinner at The Patio in the Manor House on the first night featured the largest bread board we'd EVER seen with classic French dishes on the menu. Rafters, in the Twenty Ten clubhouse, had a beautiful view over the golf course. The key dishes were steaks from the grill and were, frankly, amazing. All were very family-friendly with kids menus if you wanted to choose them.
Staff throughout the resort were friendly and efficient, going the extra mile to make our stay a good one. The hotel was at capacity when we visited, but there was never a sense that we were just one of hundreds of guests - service felt very personal, which is quite an achievement for a resort of this size.
We didn't test out the childcare, but if you have younger children the Evergreen Nanny service will probably be popular. Bookable for a minimum time of two hours, they can either take your child swimming or for a game of adventure golf during the day at £12.50 an hour or look after them in the evening (£15.50 an hour) while you go for dinner. There are also two supervised kids clubs for ages 2-5 and 6-10 which run from two hour sessions outside school holidays and more often during holiday times.
Our 10-year-old loved the indoor pool with its separate jacuzzi area, but what she really raved about was the Forest Jump treetop adventure area with a low and high ropes course depending on your age. Even in half term there was never a queue here and once you book a session kids can go round as many times as they have the energy for.
Every member of our party enjoyed the adventure golf courses, and the real golfers among us said the Twenty Ten course was a real treat to play with superb service in the club house and the course pretty challenging. We also found time to try out the huge Elemis spa and really enjoyed the steam temple treatment (where you cover your other half with various muds and then a warm rainstorm washes it all off).
All in all, Celtic Manor was exactly what we were after. A great resort for ALL the family, whatever their age. Amazingly the sun did shine while we were there, but if it hadn't it honestly wouldn't have mattered.
We stayed as guests of Celtic Manor Hotel.