This week, here at Tripility, we are bringing you another guest blogger! So far we have covered a few areas of access and gluten free holidaying (or just general waffle if it was written by me), so this week, we are looking at holidaying with children. Our lovely blogger Jackie, became a Mum in December of last year, at the beginning of this month, she and her husband had their first family holiday with the delicious Freddie. They stayed in Cornwall, at the Retallack Resort and Spa; she has given her thoughts on this below…enjoy!
Written by Jackie: an honorary member of the Tripility team!
I came across the Retallack resort whilst on the hunt for a baby friendly UK based holiday for my husband, myself and our 5 month old son. The website was great and they offered baby friendly packages, which consisted of the accommodation, alongside other activities such as baby swimming, baby sensory and a meal in the restaurant (although you had to pay extra for the babysitting service which was available). I was impressed by the packages but we decided against buying into this as we didn’t want to utilise all of the activies (we weren’t ready to leave our son with strangers!). So we just booked a baby friendly lodge.
The lodge itself was over two levels and was considered baby friendly as the following equipment was provided: a highchair, a baby bath, a travel cot, a small steriliser and a potty. Whilst these were all useful, we didn’t use any of the equipment, mainly down to our newness to parenthood (we wanted to use our own mattress and travel cot etc). However, we would have used the baby bath but this had been placed under the boiler and was filthy. Thankfully, this did not reflect the rest of the lodge, which was on the whole very clean.; again, because of being new parents this was very important to us. The floorboards downstairs in the lodge were very creaky and made a whole load of noise…not so good when your baby’s just going off to sleep. We had a lodge with a hot tub which was lovely to use on an evening when the baby was asleep. On the whole, the lodge provided us with a great space and base for the holiday.
However, we couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed with the resort itself after viewing it on the website. The website suggested that it was much bigger with ‘baby friendly walks’, we struggled to find these walks. There were not many tarmac footpaths, nor many paths at all, thus making it difficult to maneuver with a pram.
On the other hand, the facilities were good, we used the pool a few times and the changing rooms were very baby friendly. There were baby change facilities in both male and female changing rooms, as well as a small family changing room. A nice touch was that the floor of the pool and the few steps going into the pool were padded. The changing rooms were always clean and there was also a Bumbo chair and a playpen for babies, in the female changing rooms .
There was a restaurant with adjacent lounge which was very child friendly, we had lunch with a friend and her 2 and a half year old and there were toys and plenty of space for small children to play. Other facilities for children include a small soft play area and an outdoor playground for older children. All of these areas were accessible with pushchairs, but we usually just carried our son as the lodge was close to all of the facilities.
The resort also runs baby sensory classes for local people, which people staying at the resort can take part in. We took advantage of this and we all loved it, it was great to do a class like this as a family, rather than just me and our son. There was a charge of £3.00 for the class but this was a bargain.
I also took the opportunity to use the spa and had a massage and my husband used the gym. The massage was lovely, but the gym is limited with respect to equipment.
From a baby friendly perspective, the resort was good, but we were expecting a little more from a 5 star resort. We had hoped there would be much more with respect to baby friendly walks and some of the touches to the lodge could have been better, for example the balcony was covered in spider’s webs…but overall a decent base with some good facilities for our first family holiday.