C&IT explores new Welsh resort

Pembrokeshire retreat Bluestone offers seclusion, meeting spaces and outdoor pursuits.

C&IT explores new Welsh resort
C&IT explores new Welsh resort

Where is it? Located in the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Bluestone is primarily a drive-to destination. It is two hours from Cardiff Airport, taking the M4 and A40. The nearest train station is Haverfordwest, eight miles away, with London Paddington four and a half hours away. Bluestone can arrange coach transfers for groups.

First impressions: The manicured grounds and rural views offer a welcome break from the city, and the security-guarded arrivals lodge makes for a low-key entrance. However, the service creates a stronger impression - staff couldn't be more helpful.

Group check-in: Staff will meet and greet at the arrivals lodge, handing out welcome packs with a map of the 500-acre site. They will direct delegates to the car park and walk them to their accommodation. There are also shuttles if needed.

Sleep tight: The total bedstock is currently 456, with some shared accommodation. The plan is to add a further 130 lodges by summer 2010.
Corporate clients favour the 14 studios in the village. These are more hotel-style with tea and coffee-making facilities, wi-fi and a contemporary finish. Alternatively, four styles of timber lodge offer a more 'village' feel.

The duplex: Ramsey lodges have two en-suite bedrooms and a lounge/kitchenette upstairs. While the standard is high, there is only wired internet access in the lodge - you have to buy a £2.50 cable from the shop or use the free public wi-fi in the Tafarn bar - and there is no welcome pack or tea and coffee facilities in the rooms.

Meetings menu: There are two main event spaces - the intimate Barn with capacity for 40 theatre-style, and the larger, more private Landsker Suite, which can hold 120 theatre-style. The former has high ceilings but is next door to the Tafarn (bar). The latter is set away from the sports facilities and offers a large room with natural daylight. It can cater for 84 for a dinner dance.
The main Landsker sports hall can also be dressed for large-scale events, with capacity for 400 at a gala dinner.

Added value: Pembrokeshire offers a wealth of outdoor activities on Bluestone's doorstep - around 60 per cent of delegates spend time off-site. Bluestone is working with local activity providers to offer incentive programmes, ranging from bushcraft and foraging to the more active coasteering.
Back on-site, packages at the Well Spa are popular with delegates, while families can use the Blue Lagoon waterpark and Landsker Sports Club.

Client fit: CSR-conscious clients will like the green ethos built into the design of the project, while incentives are also a natural fit for both on-site and nearby outdoor activities. Exclusive hire is possible and the Bluestone team stresses that, as a young company, it is flexible when it comes to tailoring packages.

Buyer view: Oxford Motivation account manager Sarah Jocelyn says: "This really is a place of natural beauty. You will escape the rat race, with lodges surrounding a tranquil lake in a tastefully designed and well thought-out village."
Delegate rack rate: Day delegate rates are from £40, including refreshments, buffet lunch, conference packs and a pass for sports facilities. A 24-hour delegate rate starts from £130, including the above plus dinner and B&B in a studio apartment.

Contact book: Eirian Price, corporate and events executive; 01834 869900; events@bluestonewales.com; www.bluestonewales.com/corporate

 

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