This is not a review that I have been asked to complete, I am simply sharing with you a family holiday find. I hope that someone might find it useful.
Last week David and I took Esther and William on our first family holiday. After an 8 hour drive we arrived at our chosen destination Sands Resort in Cornwall, between Padstow and Newquay. My first impression of the buildings was not that great to be honest. As we approached in the car it looked rather tired and dated but I cannot fault the location. The resort is beside the sea and the coastal path allowing many of its rooms and suites to have unspoilt sea views. One of these family suites was ours.
The resort has plenty of parking and the reception is clearly signposted. We arrived early at the hotel with the babies and we were given early access to our rooms. The team on reception were so friendly and helpful; they really put us at our ease and made us feel welcome.
We went up to the rooms with the babies and our luggage. Our rooms were described as a sea view family suite and we were not disappointed. The rooms were bright and clean with modern decor and furnishings. The view out over the Atlantic was simply stunning and we were lucky enough to witness a beautiful sunset on the second night of our stay. The room consisted of a king size double room with seating area. There was a floor to ceiling window with black out curtains (a necessity with young babies!). There was a small but well equipped family bathroom and then the children’s room which contained bunk beds, a single bed and a cot.
There really was a lot of space and the room had the temperature displayed clearly on the heating control (We did not need our Gro Egg thermometer after all!). The room was clearly designed with young families in mind. There were tea and coffee facilities, a fridge, two televisions, a DVD player and a Play Station 3.
After we had settled in and used the facilities in the room to make a cup of tea we went down to the pool for a swim. The indoor pool was heated to a balmy 30 degrees. Perfect for Esther and William’s first ever swim. The resort was quiet as it was midweek and out of season so we had the whole pool to ourselves. There is a lovely baby pool and an adult pool. There is also a sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi for guests to use. There was a padded play pen area where you could leave the babies safely to enable the adults to swim some lengths but we did not use this facility. There are changing rooms at the pool but we chose to go up and change in our room.
At dinner time David and I decided to eat without Esther and William. To facilitate this the resort offers a dedicated baby listening system. You turn on a listening device in your room which is connected to a switch board in reception where it is one person’s job to listen in to the babies whilst you have your meal. We used this service both nights of our stay and we were very pleased with it. Every time we passed reception the girl on duty was listening carefully at her station and when she came to tell us that the babies were crying she was very discreet indeed.
The food at the Sands Resort was what I would call wholesome family food. It tasted very nice was filling and not too fancy. The kind of food you would expect from a better than average family resort. Though we did not use it they did have a good children’s menu and they also provided baby food if required.
At lunch times we ordered food from the bar which we ate in the lounge overlooking the sea. This had comfy chairs and lots of carpet space for the babies to practice their crawling. It was a lovely way to spend a day.
Had we wanted to we could have put the babies into a special children’s’ club called Nippers. The resort has a range of clubs for children of different ages. This facility looked very well planned and organised and I can imagine that older children would love to spend some time away from their parents doing arts and crafts or sports. The rooms for these activities were well staffed and equipped.
There was also a games room inside the hotel.
Breakfast each morning was lovely with a real, busy family atmosphere. All the guests that we met were very friendly and seemed very pleased with what the resort had to offer their families. The breakfast buffet was great and again catered for children and babies. We had Esther and William sat on our table in their Bumbo seats and they had a whale of a time.
There was much of the resort that we did not see or use because of the age of our children and the fact that it was winter but the hotel also boasts a spa and gym, an outdoor pool and an adventure playground which looked fantastic.
The resort is perfectly located for exploring Northern Cornwall. In the morning we walked to the beach with our double buggy along the coastal path. It was a very buggy friendly route recommended by the staff.
This family run resort is all about making Cornwall accessible for young families and doing everything possible to make it easy to come on holiday and stay away from home. We had travel cots for our babies but actually did not need them as there were cots provided. The hotel also stocks and sells Calpol, swim nappies and other baby items that you may have left behind or need in an emergency. The whole resort was really very well thought out and the ethos was portrayed impeccably by every member of staff that we met during our stay.
Sands is a great resort, offering real value for money, that I am certain we will be visiting again.
Here are some photos from our holiday.