Category Archives: Holidays

Our Review Of The TUI Sensatori Atlantica Rhodes Resort

Back In July we stayed at the TUI Sensatori Atlantica Rhodes Resort for two weeks. We booked it back in February and at the time the hotel itself was still being developed. It was due to open in May but ended up opening in June. To be honest I was worried as a new hotel can come with teething problems, but on the upside everything would be brand new! The photos I had seen posted online looked amazing and we couldn’t wait to get there.

Before I get into everything about our holiday on our return my iCloud had a glitch and lost over 2000 photos which about 400 of them were of our holiday. I have a few so will share those but am gutted that I can’t share with you the videos I made.

This was our fourth Sensatori resort, we had been to Crete, Tenerife and Ibiza previously and know when booking a Sensatori hotel you are getting a 5* hotel with ultimate luxury with lots for the children to do as well.

We flew out to Rhodes from Luton which was fairly easy. I booked the priority lane as always which is £3 a person if you pre book and slightly more expensive if you purchase on the day. It allowed us to fly through security and into the shops! We were lucky to be the first on the plane and the pilot invited the boys into the cockpit. Archie refused but Oscar couldn’t believe it! We arrived in Rhodes quite late and the transfer to the hotel was about 45 minutes. Once we arrived, we had welcome drinks and were offered to go to the restaurant but as the boys were tired we were taken to our room by golf buggy where our luggage was waiting for us, along with a fruit platter and dessert tray.

We booked a family suite with a swim up pool and when we got to our room it looked amazing! A large main bedroom for us with a TV, mini bar which is stocked up everyday and is included in your all-inclusive, a second bedroom for the boys with another TV, desk and wardrobe inside. Hidden between the wardrobes in our room was the entrance to the bathroom which had a large bath/shower, two sinks and a separate toilet cubicle. The sliding doors then opened out on to out terrace and swim up pool. The boys loved having this and we used it everyday. There is tons of storage in the room, two wardrobes in the main and one in the kids room which was great to keep everything organised and room nice and tidy.

Within the resort there is the main buffet restaurant ‘Mesogios’ where you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have different themed nights and the food was really good. I especially loved the fresh honeycomb at breakfast, that was so yummy! The other five restaurants you need to book for either using the screens in the hotel lobby or using the TUI Sensatori app. Caprice is a lovely Italian restaurant, Gaia is a healthy option restaurant, Kuzina is a greek restaurant and Liberty is an American restaurant. The last restaurant, Citrus is an adults only restaurant. Other than Citrus we ate at all of the other restaurants and the food was lovely. You can also eat lunch at Liberty or Kokumi cafe without booking. We were on an all inclusive package so you can eat and drink as much as you like. This is great with kids as they can eat and drink as much as they like and throughout the day waiters/waitresses came around to our sunbeds and took our drink orders and brought it to us.

In the evening there is a entertainment programme which you can view on the app two weeks in advance. For children they have Playhouse Live, movie nights and fun sleepovers. On the boardwalk each night there are different shows either from the Sensatori show team or acts that have been flown in to perform for you. During our stay we also had the World Cup and they showed the England games on the huge screen in the boardwalk, had a BBQ and brought beers around to everyone. The atmosphere was amazing and the Sensatori team made it really special and great fun!

During the day there are so many pools to choose from; the adult only pool (obviously not for us), the splash park and spray ground which was absolutely amazing for the boys with so many great flumes, the indoor pool, the ‘quiet pool’ which wasn’t that at all it was more like another family pool and this is where we spent most of our time, the main pool by the family rooms and the activity pool where they had lots of activities in that ran throughout the day. There was also the beach which is shingle but the sea was lovely and warm and there is also water sports you can do. Oscar and Greg went on the jet skis and Greg learnt to Water Ski, which was rather funny.

There is also a full activity programme for adults and children that run throughout the day as well. There is a kids club and stay and play sessions over in the nursery. I didn’t use this myself as the boys have never been in a club on holiday but other parent’s we spoke to said it was really good. Oscar did go with Greg to the sports hub to take part in a Nintendo DS racing competition which they loved.

An activity which Oscar wanted to do was learn to Scuba Dive. You can do this in the dive school which is located in the indoor pool. He had a lesson in the indoor pool for about 70 euros and then a few days later he got to do it in the sea which was amazing, this was about 100 euros for the hour. He absolutely loved it and can’t wait to do it again, he was a real natural and the instructors were lovely.

When they were building the hotel they came across ancient ruins from 5AD. They excavated it and have built a glass bridge above it so you can walk above and look at the archeological site. The main part was the village that had a church, two live presses and around 80 houses. You can even look down one of the wells. It is an amazing thing to see and we walked across it each night, its beautiful.

On site there is also a car hire office where we hired a car for the day, I think it was 140 euros and we drove to Rhodes Old Town. It was free to park and then you walk inside the medieval walls and there are so many lovely shops and restaurants. We spent the whole day here and also dove to see the Acropolis. I brought lots of bits in the town for the unique shops and we also had a man in the main square draw a picture of Oscar and Archie which he delivered to our hotel the next day. It’s absolutely amazing!

We also ventured to Lindos on one of the days. We got a taxi from the hotel as it’s not to far away. It’s a beautiful town full of little quaint streets, hidden away churches and at the top of the hill an ancient castle. Oscar and Archie had a donkey ride to the castle and back down again.

The rest of the time we spent at the hotel which was lovely and with so much to do you can you won’t get bored.

One thing the TUI reps sold to us was the VIP Lounge at Rhodes airport as it is a nightmare. It was around £150 for the four of us and yes it did get us through check-in much quicker but after that it’s a waste of money. The VIP lounge was small and cramped, the food was terrible and then it was so disorganised getting from the lounge to your boarding gate, at one point the stewardess just pushed us into the queue and everyone behind started moaning and it was a bit embarrassing to be honest. One man even missed his flight. I wouldn’t bother purchasing this if it’s offered to you, it’s a waste of money.

Overall apart from the journey home (Rhodes is famous for being a terrible airport) we had an amazing holiday and would go back and stay again. With all the Sensatori resorts you know you are getting luxury. It’s a beautiful hotel and obviously as it was brand new everything was sparkling clean. We had a fantastic holiday!

*This is a honest review of our holiday and I was not compensated in anyway for this post.

What We Did, Where We Ate & Where We Stayed In Jersey

Last Summer at the end of the holidays we took Greg’s parents to Jersey for five days. I had never been to Jersey before and couldn’t wait to go as so many people had told me what a beautiful island it is. I went online and researched hotels and restaurants so I thought I would put together a post so if you go to Jersey you can see all of the  wonderful places we went too and I might give yous some ideas.

Firstly I booked our flights with EasyJet from Luton which were around £150 each return and the flight itself is only an hour long so perfect when travelling with kids.

I then booked our hotel which was called The Grand Jersey Hotel and Spa which is right on the seafront looking over St Aubin’s Bay in St Helier and has a view of Elizabeth Castle which is beautiful. We booked the St Brelade suite which was huge. It had our main room, the boys room, two bathrooms and a living area with a sea view. On our first night we ate in the restaurant in the hotel and the food was really good. We had breakfast each morning at the hotel, with some much to choose from there was something for everyone. The staff throughout our stay were lovely and friendly and couldn’t do enough for you. The boys especially loved the pool which was indoors and the changing facilities, gym and spa downstairs were all lovely and clean and we used them everyday.

I booked all our restaurants prior to our arrival after looking on the internet at other people’s reviews and some our friend’s recommendations. Our friend’s told us to go to the Crab Shack which is in St Brelade which is the most amazing fresh seafood restaurant right on the beach. I had the Oysters here which were the best I have ever tasted and the restaurant was quite reasonably priced too.

We also went to Doran’s Courtyard Bistro which was in the street next to our hotel in St Helier. It is the most beautiful, quaint restaurant with the most amazing food. The restaurant was just so unexpected when you walk past and then you go inside and the courtyard and decor of the inside of the restaurant made you feel like you were in a french farmhouse.

I booked Mark Jordan At The Beach a few weeks before we went as its such a popular restaurant. It is in St Peter and again has stunning views. We sat outside meters from the beach. It has a  Michelin Bib Gourmand for good food as well as two AA Rosettes and an entry in the Tatler Restaurant Guide 2014. I was really excited to go here as all the reviews I read were so positive. The menu was great and had great food for children too. This restaurant was by far the most expensive of the other four we ate at but was a lovely treat.

St Helier itself is a beautiful town full of lovely shops, coffee bars and restaurants. There is also a lovely park which is directly behind the hotel where we took the boys a couple of times. In the middle of the town is a beautiful clock that plays different songs and I am so please we stumbled across it.

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During our days in Jersey we went to St Brelade and played on the beach and strolled along the beachfront. We visited the famous ‘Jersey Zoo’ which was amazing. You can absolutely not go to Jersey without visiting the Zoo. We spent the whole day here and the boys loved it!

We also got the sea bus over to Elizabeth Castle. We spent a couple of hours here and when we walked around the top of the castle the views were amazing. We then headed back for some lunch. It was lovely to explore and be a ‘tourist’ after being in Ibiza a few weeks before where we just relaxed.

When we visited the zoo and other beaches we took the bus which was so easy to do as the bus station in St Helier is huge with frequently running buses going everywhere on the island. It’s so easy to get around.

We also went to St Martin which is beautiful as my Mother In Law wanted to go to the Jersey Pearl shop. I ended up coming out with a beautiful necklace and a ring. When in Rome and all that!

We absolutely loved Jersey and can’t wait to go back. It’s so quick and easy to get too even for a short break it’s the perfect place. Everything is so beautiful, people are so relaxed and everywhere we ate the service was amazing.

Admittedly it’s not the cheapest of places to go too but it’s definitely worth it! We love Jersey!

The Boys Summer Wardrobe From AlexAndAlexa.com

Last month before we went to Rhodes I sat on the AlexAndAlexa.com website and picked out pieces for the boys Summer Wardrobe, like I do every season. Their website is full to the brim of gorgeous designer clothes for boys and girls who like to be on trend.

As Oscar is now 8 and a half he likes to choose his own clothes and takes pride in his appearance and has become aware of designer brands and different styles. We sat together and he picked out some of his favourite pieces, obviously I picked for Archie with him being only 3. I also brought a few bits so in the evenings I cam dress them in matching shirts as I am sure by next year Oscar won’t let me get away with it. Ha Ha!

Alex and Alexa also have a huge sale on at the moment where you can pick up loads of top designer bargains with up to 60% off plus a flash sale with an extra 30% off sale items with the promo code: FLASH30

Swimwear

Oscar loves the Hugo Boss swim shorts and picks the same ones every year. He finds them really comfortable and they dry quickly when out of the pool which is a bonus. He has them in light blue and navy and they are £43 but now in their sale they are £30.10. They come in various different colours and are available from 6 months old.

In the above photo both Oscar and Archie have Ray Ban sunglasses on. Alex and Alexa have a huge range of designer shades to protect your little ones eyes. The full range can be found HERE.

We also got him the Dolce & Gabbana Blue Cartoon Beach Print Swim Shorts that were £135 but in the sale are £101.30. Oscar loved the design of the swim shorts as it reminded him of when we went to the Harrods Grotto at Christmas and all of the windows were dressed in different Dolce & Gabbana cartoons. This season in particular they have some really amazing prints and designs on the kidswear.

Another pair of swim shorts that we get every Summer are the Burberry classic swim shorts. They come in blue, navy and red and have a drawstring waist and the material dries really quickly and they wash as good as new. They are £71 a pair and start at size 6 moths old. These seem very popular as we saw a few children wearing them in the pool on holiday.

For Archie, being smaller I love the Moschino bear design that they have had for the last few years. It is really cute. With that in mind I picked him a pair of Moschino Navy Stripe Sailor Bear Print Swim Shorts which he loves and we got lots of comments around the pool about how cute he looked in them. They are £58 a pair now reduced to £40.60. They also have a drawstring waist and fitted perfectly over his swim nappy.

Archie also has a few pairs of the Ralph Lauren swim shorts and wears these to his swimming lessons at home too. He has them in Navy and they were £35 each and are now £24.50. Again they have the drawstring waist and the Ralph Lauren pony detail on the front of the shorts. (In photo above with Oscar in the Hugo Boss swim shorts).

Oscar lives in sliders on holiday during the day so picked himself some Moschino ones that are white with Moschino written in black they are £57. They have a sweet girls version too.

Day Wear

Oscar has a Burberry T-shirt that he wears to the pool which compliments his Burberry swim shorts nicely. At home he wears them with navy jersey shorts or navy chino shorts if we are out somewhere nice for the day. Burberry have lots of nice designs in their T-shirt range.

We also picked out a couple of Hugo Boss T-shirts. One which was a special edition England one for the World Cup which is a smarter alternative to a football shirt. It was £43 and is now £30.10. Even though the World Cup is over it’s a really smart T-shirt which Oscar will continue to wear. The other was a BOSS Blue Graphic Branded T-Shirt.

For Archie I picked a lovely Kenzo T-shirt there are so many lovely designs which made it hard to pick a favourite. A couple of months ago I got a sneak peek of their Autumn Winter collection and its fantastic, so I am excited for that.

Another gorgeous T-shirt for Archie was from Gucci. The Light Grey Green Short Sleeve Retro Logo T-Shirt is an iconic simple design and looks great with grey or navy shorts. The T-shirt is £120 and Oscar has gone on at me all holiday that he wants one so I will have to order one for him too as I know it will get worn time and time again and go with everything.

Archie also lived in his Boss Navy Branded Jelly Shoes. They are very cute and come in a couple of different shades if blue. They were easy to slip on and off in the day. They were £43 now £32.30. Archie also had a pair of Havaiana Kids flip flops with the strap around the ankle which make it easier for him to walk and run in them. They are £16.

Evening Wear

One thing I really love about being on holiday is getting dressed up every evening to go to dinner. It makes such a nice change. In the evenings the boys tend to wear chino short, I always get them in navy and stone colour. Oscar’s stone coloured ones are Burberry from last Summer but as they have a button adjustable waist so they still fit perfectly.

Oscar choose a Gucci polo shirt, he really liked the coloured collar and choose it completely on his own. The Gucci Navy Pique Polo with Rainbow Knit Collar is a really lovely polo shirt with the gold Gucci bee embossed on one side of the chest. The knitted collar is think and luxurious and I have washed the shirt today and it looks like new and washes really well. The polo shirt is £135. Gucci have lots of lovely polo shirts to choose from with fun designs on them.

Another lovely polo shirt is the BOSS Blue and Grey Colour Block Jersey Polo which isn’t available anymore but there are still lots of BOSS polo’s to choose from.

Both the boys have a Burberry Light Blue Mini Camber Check Shirt each which look lovely with either coloured chino shorts. They were £76 and are now £53.20. They will also wear these in the Winter with jeans as well. They also come in other colours and in a long sleeved design for the colder months.

Archie also has Burberry chino shorts in the navy checked design which he wears with a white linen shirt. This season they are available in a stone colour instead. They have a adjustable button waist so in my experience last a long time. The shorts are in the above photo with Oscar in his BOSS polo shirt.

I got Oscar and Archie matching Lacoste Navy Palm Trees Print Ribbed Collar Polo Shirt which have a fun design on them. I got lots of comments about how lovely they looked matching one another. There is a huge saving on these shirts! They were £55 and are now £27.50.

We had a lovely holiday in Rhodes (we got back at 2am this morning) the washing is done and I am now looking forward to the rest of the Summer holidays which will be full of fun!

Remember all of the above mentioned discounts will be even less once you add the promo code: FLASH30 and save an extra 30%! 

This post is in collaboration with Alex and Alexa

Our Amazing Day With Yellow Zebra Safari’s

Today we drove into London to a really special event hosted by Yellow Zebra Safari’s. If you haven’t heard of Yellow Zebra Safari’s before they are an award-winning luxury and adventure travel company specialising in African Safari’s. Taking Oscar and Archie on Safari has always been on our bucket list and as I have never been on one myself I just can’t wait to go! Taking your family on Safari is a trip of a life time with memories that are made that will last forever. Both our boys absolutely love animals and wherever we go a bag of Schleich animals comes along too. Oscar has said for a couple of years now that he would love to be a Zoo Keeper. So when we were invited to a fun-filled Safari day out I knew the boys would be so excited!

‘The opportunity to see animals in their natural habitat, to watch a herd of elephant walk past their vehicle, to spot a cheetah with its cubs, or listen to a pride of lions roaring at night. It is a magical experience that they will never forget.’

When we arrived the Safari themed room looked amazing. We had been told before hand that we would have a chance to meet some animals today. We met Safari Pete who Oscar and Greg couldn’t stop asking him questions. He knows everything you need to know about animals and safari’s and is a fountain of knowledge. Safari Pete is a wildlife adventurer and conservationist and works closely with the Yellow Zebra Safari team. His stories of his adventures are amazing and his knowledge of animals is amazing.

We were fortunate enough to meet several of Pete’s animals; Gumbo the Toad, Pinchy the Scorpion, Juliet the Barn Owl, two lizards, Boo-Boo the Monitor Lizard, Jay-Z the Crocodile, a snake, Lady Gaga the Tarantula and Steve and Baby Bear the Meerkat’s. Oscar was so lucky and got called up to hold the crocodile. We also got to see the lizards, snake and crocodile catch and eat their prey, which was really amazing. I had never seen this up close before. It’s incredible how quick the crocodile reacts to his prey and how the snake is able to swallow his meal whole.

We then sat down to our Safari themed lunch which was very yummy!

When booking a Family Safari with Yellow Zebra Safari’s you know you are getting the very best of everything. They will recommend to you based on the ages of your children where is best to travel too. Their team is made up entirely of professional safari guides, camp managers and people who were born and raised in Africa so you are getting the best knowledge and advice when designing your perfect trip. For example if you go on to thier website, we are a family of four with Oscar who is 8 and Archie who is 3. Archie being Under 6 they advise to stay somewhere that is malaria free. For us at this time a Safari in South Africa would be perfect for us. The Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands offer epic ‘Big Five’ viewing, while the malaria-free safari reserves of ‘SA’ cater well for families. The accommodation choices all look out of this World, from lodges to hotels there is the perfect stay to choose from for everyone.

When Archie is 6 we can then all go to Kenya which is home to Maasai Mara National Reserve which is the place to visit if you are looking for a safari, super size. In Kenya is a hotel in particular that has been on my bucket list for a few years now and I know the boys will love it. It is called Giraffe Manor,  most of the hotel grounds incorporates the Giraffe Centre of the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife and a group of giraffes lives in the Manor’s grounds, they even put their heads through the windows to say hello.

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 ‘EUROPE’S LEADING SAFARI TOUR OPERATOR’ IN 2015, 2016 & 2017′

After lunch we got to meet the Meerkat’s again and Oscar and I had one of them on our shoulder. They are Grandad’s favourite animal so he will be very jealous!

Oscar and Archie then got to choose a ceramic animal to paint which was great fun and now has pride of place in the playroom.

We had such a lovely day with Yellow Zebra Safari’s and can’t thank them enough for the wonderful experience the boys had meeting all of the animals and a big thank you to Safari Pete too. I am definitely booking one of his animal parties for Oscar’s next birthday! It was also lovely to catch up with Ruth and her family from Rock ‘N’ Roller Baby Blog.

*This post is in collaboration with Yellow Zebra Safari’s

My Top Toys & Games To Take On Your Travels

With the holidays in full swing and only a couple of months until the Summer holidays I thought I wad write about the top toys and games that the boys love to take on our travels. From a long car journey in the UK for a few nights away or a flight abroad, when you have children keeping them entertained is crucial to a peaceful journey.

Archie is three so keeping him entertained is obviously a little harder at the moment then Oscar who is eight. So here are my top 10 toys and games to take on your travels……

Both the boys love arts and crafts and the Crayola Colour Wonder colouring books are great. They are completely mess free so great for in the car or on an aeroplane so they don’t accidentally get any pen anywhere. I also take them into restaurants on holiday for entertaining them at the table whilst waiting for our meals. Smyths Toys stock the books that come complete with the ‘magic’ pens and have an RRP of £6.49. I always keep a few of the books in the cupboard so I always have one when needed.

An obvious one is Lego. I always buy a couple of little boxes of Lego and Duplo before we go away. They are great for getting the boys to sit quietly in the shade for half an hour and build something.

Great-Nanny brought Archie a Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet which is fantastic. The tablet is £129.99 and comes with a 2-year worry-free guarantee, 1 year of Fire For Kids Unlimited app download and a Kid-Proof Case, available in Blue, Pink and Yellow. For the money its a great deal and we have downloaded so many different apps. On my profile on it I have also downloaded Netfilx and some movies for Archie on Amazon Video. He loves it and plays little educational games on it, watches episodes of his favourite programmes and he likes having something like that of his own when Oscar is playing on his Nintendo Switch.

The Nintendo Switch is a great gaming console. We got it for Oscar for Christmas. It can be used at home in the playroom TV using the docking/charging station or as a handheld when out and about. The controls also detach from the device and using the inbuilt stand you can play against a friend using the device as a screen. He absolutely loves it and as he has never been into using an Ipad or a tablet likes to use his ‘screen’ time playing games like Mario Kart and Super Mario. The Switch is £279.99 and the games are around £40 each.

For an Easter gift Archie got the Masha and the Bear playhouse playset. He loves the programme and watches it on Netflix and we saw a TV advert for the playhouse and Archie really wanted it. He never asks for anything so we got it for him. Why it is on this list is because its nice and small and all fits inside it self and closes so you can take it on your travels. I didn’t know this when I ordered it but its brilliant and fits in my handbag!

Last year I brought some fantastic car road tape from We Are Kidly and stuck some on the aeroplane tray so Archie could play with his cars. I also used it on the sun lounger and on our hotel room floor. It comes off easily leaving no marks behind and the air hostess on the plane couldn’t believe how long it kept Archie entertained and what a genius idea it was. It is £11 for a roll and as well as road they also do a train track tape.

We love Orchard Toys and have tons of their games but they also sell different mini travel games for toddlers which are great. Archie loves playing games and doing puzzles so have mini versions to take away with you is a great idea. Oscar will join in too even if it is a bit easy/young for him.

Orchard Toys Animal Match Mini/Travel Game Orchard Toys Llamas in Pyjamas Mini / Travel GameOrchard Toys Little Bug Bingo Mini / Travel Game

When it comes to games Oscar loves Cluedo and Monopoly and games like that. But recently he has fallen in love with Top Trumps. We have a few sets of cards now, sports cars, predators and dinosaurs. They are the perfect size to fit in your bag and we take them to Nanny and Grandad’s on the weekend so they can play too. It is the perfect family travel game.

I hope you have found this useful and it’s given you a few ideas of how to keep your children entertained whilst traveling! Happy holidays!

Our Holiday To The Sensatori Resort In Ibiza

Sensatori Ibiza

When I started looking for our Summer holiday a few months ago as Archie is two and a half and won’t sit still we thought it was a better option to pick somewhere with a shorter flight like we did last year. I went onto the Thomson website and as we have stayed at two of their 5* Sensatori resorts before in Crete and Tenerife I thought the Sensatori Ibiza one would be great location wise and the only thing that worried me was the size of the rooms in the photos. The rooms/suites we had before at the Tenerife and Crete hotels were lovely, spacious and what a proper 5* room should be like. I rang the Thomson help line and they reassured me that a double/family room would be big enough.

So on Saturday the 8th of July, the day after Oscar broke up from school we flew from Luton to Ibiza. Prior to our flights I had booked the Luton Priority Lane which I couldn’t recommended higher especially if you are travelling with children. For only £3 per person you can use the Priority Lane dedicated to getting you to Security and into Departures faster. It literally took us five minutes to go through with no queues at all. I will be using this every time we fly from Luton from now on without a doubt! You don’t have to pre book you can pay £5 per person on the day to use the priority lane.

Our flight was at 7am so we arrived at the Sensatori Ibiza resort at about midday. The transfer from the airport was only 20 minutes which was great! Our rooms weren’t ready until 3pm so I grabbed the swimming stuff out of one of the cases and we headed to the main buffet restaurant for lunch. As it is an all-inclusive resort you can eat and drink as much as you want and there are a couple of extra payable restaurants on the resort if you wanted to book. There are also …. other restaurants that are included in your package which you can book at the kiosk in reception. We went to the main pool and had a swim and some drinks and then walked down to the beach to see what it was like.


One thing we picked up on immediately is that there are hills everywhere! Anywhere you want to walk to on the resort involves walking up a hill. When we got to the beach it is beautiful, the sea is crystal clear, you can hire jet skis and book water sports and there are some lovely restaurants in the cliffs and on the beach.


Once our room was ready we headed to our room which was in block 9 furthest from everything except the retreat which was only up the hill which we used for the whole holiday instead of the main pool anyway. More about that in a minute. There are also no lifts in the blocks, luckily we had a ground floor room so everyone with rooms upstairs had to leave their pushchairs outside the blocks.

So we got to our room and I was genuinely shocked at how small it was and then on further inspection how filthy it was. I complained at reception and asked to change rooms but as it is peak season they had no rooms to move us too. A few days into the holiday we were offered a family room with a sliding door for an extra 800 euros, we went to look at the room at it was no bigger just configured differently with a sliding door so the boys would be separate. How they can justify asking 800 euros for literally a sliding partition door is a joke and we turned it down. To be honest after a few days we got used to it but as Oscar is at private school we can get our holidays cheaper as its outside of state school holidays and when I did a comparison and it would have been almost £6000 for the identical holiday in August I would not have been happy with the room at all if we had paid that sort of money. Even for us paying a bit less than that is too much in my opinion for the standard of the hotel compared to Tenerife and Crete!

Now on a positive note just up the hill is the retreat. You can also get a free shuttle bus from reception if you don’t want to walk anymore hills. The retreat is fantastic! It has two normal swimming pools, a children’s splash pool, tennis courts, archery, football pitch, kids playgrounds and a spa. Also at the retreat is a buffet restaurant so if your there all day you can get lunch there too. The lunch is the same most days so if you want to change it up a bit you can go to the main buffet which has loads of choice. Also by the children’s splash pool is a big freezer full of ice creams and the kids can just help themselves (obviously after asking us first) to an ice cream. The retreat also do water orb sessions that you can book on to and we also booked the tennis courts for an hour as well which is all included. The prestige spa is amazing and I had a Swedish massage and it was one of the best I’ve ever had. Massages are around 90 euros.


They have a nursery and kids club on site but I can’t give you a review as we didn’t use them. There is also a kids sleepover club once a week and a movie club in the evenings. If you children like kids club then there were a lot of activities on offer.


Opposite the retreat is a supermarket that sells inflatable toys, gifts, clothes, snacks and drinks which is great and about half a mile down the road is a pharmacy if you need it. There is also a doctor on site that is 90 euros a visit, I got an ear infection after diving in the pool and you can claim the money back once your home on your travel insurance.

In the evenings there is a play house live show which is indoors for the younger children but Oscar who is 7 didn’t want to go as it was a bit young for him. The evening show then didn’t start until 9.45pm and really they could do with putting on a little show/disco for children aged 5 upwards to enjoy as there is nothing really to entertain that age group in the evening without putting them into a club. The main shows in the evening are hit and miss, when they bring in tribute acts; we had Robbie Williams and Jesse J they were great but the Sensatori shows weren’t great. We often left half way through. ​


We booked one of the extra restaurants included in our package, the Trattoria La Torre restaurant which is an Italian, the food was lovely. The food in the main buffet and the retreat was always good and tons of choice in the main restaurant as well. Other restaurants on the resort are the Sunset Mediterranean restaurant, the Pan-American restaurant which in total are the four restaurants included in the all-inclusive package and at an extra cost you can book the T-Beach restaurant and the Le Souk restaurant. You can look on the Thomson website as to what restaurant serves what type of food.


On one evening we booked the Cotton Club restaurant which is on the cliff by the beach. It is a beautiful restaurant and is famous for having the best sunset on the Island. The food was amazing and the sunset was fantastic. If you go to the reception in the hotel they will book it for you. It is a bit on the expensive side for a family of four with no alcohol it was around 200 euros. It was a lovely treat!

On three occasions after dinner we got a taxi from reception to Ibiza town which is 80 euros there and back and takes 25 minutes to get to, but well worth the trip. There is a beautiful port with some fantastic super yachts docked in it. There is also a beautiful square in the town with lovely shops and places to get a coffee. On all three occasions we went and sat outside of the Cafe Montesol Ibiza where we had ice cream and coffees. It’s a beautiful hotel! On the way back the taxi driver showed us a few of the gigantic night clubs that we drove past. We couldn’t get over the size of the club called privilege that can hold over 10,000 people at any one time! Crazy!


Overall we had a lovely holiday and the boys loved the water slides at the retreat and spent all day long in the pool. The hotel rooms in my opinion were not up to scratch and I am surprised that they claim they are a 5* hotel. The food was great, the staff were lovely especially in the restaurants, they were so friendly. The cleanliness of the rooms is awful, in fact after a few days we only let the maid change the sheets and towels and we cleaned the floor with floor wipes (the floors were black with dirt) and cleaned the rest of the room ourselves. Location wise it was good and the beach is beautiful. I would defiantly go back to Ibiza as the island is beautiful and we loved the town but I wouldn’t stay at the Sensatori resort again unfortunately. Next time when I book a Sensatori holiday I will do more research on the rooms etc as after going to the other resorts in Crete and Tenerife we expected the same level of luxury and room size which Ibiza doesn’t offer.

Our Day At Legoland To See The New LEGO Scooby Doo Blowout Beach Bash Movie

Yesterday we were invited to Legoland Windsor for the screening of the new Lego Movie; Scooby Doo Blowout Beach Bash. It is the brand new film from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment and is available on DVD and to download now.


Once we got to Legoland we headed to the 4D cinema in the imagiantion centre and sat down to watch the film. The cinema there is great, it’s really laid back and it didn’t matter if Archie wandered around a bit. Oscar always loves the Lego films and the computer animation is just brilliant. They get it right every time! The Scooby Doo Blowout Beach Bash is a fun, comical and spooky film where Scooby-Doo and his pals Fred, Daphne, Velma and Shaggy are on their way to have fun at the annual Blowout Beach party. It is three days of fun, dancing, singing, partying and food. Once they arrive at their hotel they realise the whole town is deserted and soon learn from the hotel owners that the ghost pirates have scared all the partying teens away. So now there three-day break has turned into a mystery solving break instead, much to Scooby and Shaggy’s disappointment. So it’s up to Scooby and the gang to solve the mystery and get the party back up and running. Obviously with a few twists and turns on the way! I won’t let on anymore as I don’t want to ruin it for you. The Blu-Ray DVD is £7.99 and to download on Sky Store to rent in HD is £5.49, or buy and keep is £13.99. We already downloaded it as soon as we got home as Oscar wanted to watch it again!

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After the viewing we then went off around the park to go on the rides. We had fast track passes which was absolutely fantastic as we got to go on all the rides we wanted to without queuing once. In the future we decided we will always purchase these as it makes the day so much more enjoyable without queuing for ages with excitable children! We have been to Legoland lots of times but this was the first time that Archie (now 2) was tall enough to go on most of the rides and he really enjoyed himself.

We followed the map, until I realised there was an app to download which was much easier to use and check off which rides we had been on. Firstly we went on Sky Rider, Archie got so excited waving at everybody as we travelled 20 feet above everyone. You get a great view of the whole of Legoland. Then the space tower  by the imagination centre.


We made our way down to Duplo Valley which is fantastic for the younger children. If the weather is nice there is a fantastic splash park ‘Splash Safari’, some children were on it and were having a great time. In Duplo Valley we went on fairy tale brook, raft river racers and the Duplo valley airport. There is also a fantastic playground, Brickville soft play area and the Duplo theatre where they put on puppet shows.


We then walked to Lego City, where Oscar went on the driving school, we all went on coastguard HQ, balloon school and the fire academy. Archie was just a little to young to go on the L-Drivers but when he is three he can go on it.


We then ventured down to adventure land where we went on the Atlantis submarine voyage. It’s a really good ride and both the boys loved being ‘under the sea’ searching for the ancient ruins whilst lots of different fishes and sharks passed us by. Afterwards you walk out through a little aquarium.


We the went at got some lunch at the Pirate’s burger kitchen. There are lots of different places to eat around the park, four quick service restaurants like the one we went to, two A la carte restaurants, two buffet restaurants, three grab and go restaurants and then plenty of snack and coffee shops. There are also lots of picnic areas if you want to bring your own food with you.


After lunch we stayed in Pirate Falls and Oscar panned for gold and got a medal. Oscar and Daddy then went on the Pirate Falls: Treasure Quest log flume, they got absolutely soaked! I had to buy the photo as Oscar’s face is absolutely hilarious. When they got off the ride they were literally dripping wet. For £2 you can use the drying machine which warmed them up and dried them off a bit. I was glad I had to skip that ride and wait with Archie!


As they were already soaked we walked to the Land of the Vikings and they went on the Viking’s river splash. They didn’t actually get that wet and Oscar loved this ride.


Oscar had been desperate to visit the Ninjago World which is new for 2017 since it had opened. When we got there the Ninjago building is really impressive. All four of us could go on this ride and you wear 4D glasses and it is a 4D interactive game where all of your ninja skills will be put to the test as you battle through ice, wind and fire with the Ninjago heroes. It got a bet competitive (haha) and of course I won with a score of 134,750. I was absolutely knackered afterwards as you are constantly jabbing for about three minutes!


We then went on the Heartlake City Express train where I got soaked this time, I sat on the wrong side of the carriage! I will know for next time! We then watched the Lego Friends to the rescue show as we had an ice-cream before we looked around miniland then made our way home.


We had an absolutely fantastic day and we can’t wait to go back!

The Boys Summer Wardrobes From AlexAndAlexa.com

With only a couple of weeks until we go away to Ibiza, over the last month I have been putting together the boys swimwear, day and evening outfits and making sure I have everything I need for them whilst we are away. So I wanted to show you The Boys Summer Wardrobes From AlexAndAlexa.com.

I have always brought a lot of Oscar and Archie’s clothes from AlexAndAlexa.com as I like buying higher end clothing for them and the service when buying from Alex And Alexa has always been second to none! The boys also both modelled for a collaboration with Stokke and Alex and Alexa a few months ago and the array of boys and girls clothes there for the children to wear were gorgeous!


They sell a huge range of top designer brands such as Burberry, Dolce and Gabbana, Kenzo, Fendi, Hugo Boss and loads more. They also have an amazing sale running at the moment and for a limited time only you can get an extra 15%off the sale using the code AA15!

From the clothes I am about to show you some of them I have brought myself and Alex and Alexa also kindly sent me a few bits for each of the boys as well.

A pair of shorts that Oscar has had for awhile is these lovely blue camouflage ones from Stella McCartney. They go with a lovely crisp white tee or a nice shirt in the evening and are a great pair of shorts to have in his wardrobe as I can team it up with various tops and Oscar will get lots of wear out of them in the evenings on holiday. They are currently reduced from £55 to £41.30 and then don’t forget you can use the extra 15% off code too!


Another pair of shorts that are great to have are a beige pair of chino shorts. There are lots to chose from but my favourite were the Burberry Taupe Chino shorts as they have a great fit and go well with  a smart tee or a lovely shirt, especially a plain linen one. They are reduced from £80 to £64. I’ve put it with the Burberry Blue check pocket tee which I have for both of the boys as I like some of their clothes to be matching. Again it is reduced, from £50 to £40.


I brought a couple of pair of swimming shorts for Oscar as he asked for some ‘big boy’ ones like Daddy and I got the Burberry Bright Blue Check Swim Shorts which you can get in a few different colours and the Hugo Boss BOSS Blue Swim Shorts which again come in other colours too. Both of these are in the sale at the moment and the Burberry ones are £55.30 and the BOSS ones are £36.


For one of Archie’s evening outfits I picked the Burberry Navy Classic Check Shorts which are £56 reduced from £70 and again will go with shirts and tees and he can wear them on a few evenings whilst on holiday with different tops. One of the tees I have got it the Burberry ‘White Use Your Head Beefeater Print Junior Tee’ which I think is really cute. Burberry have some lovely tees this season with fun graphics on them like Thomas the bear and the Full English breakfast Summer tee which are great fun!


I like the boys to match on a few occasions when we are away and having a 5 year age gap between them can often prove difficult to find nice matching items on the high street. With designer clothing this is never really an issue as they have the same pieces in loads of different sizes. I wanted to find a nice evening shirt for them both and absolutely love the Burberry Pale Blue Check Short Sleeve Shirt. There is a range of different colours in this design but I picked the blue as it will go well with the taupe chino shorts that they have. The shirt was £70 and is now reduced to £56. As you can probably tell I am really loving the boys Burberry clothing this season.



I also got a Hugo Boss tee for Archie which is worn a few times already and can be worn in the day or with his chino shorts in the evening. I love the stripes in the bright green and blue and think it is a really great item for his Summer wardrobe which can be put with lots of different shorts or trousers.


As well as the boys having a pair of Havaianas for holiday and some Tom’s Canvas shoes I wanted to get them each a pair of smart trainers for the evening and they will last for the whole Summer into Winter. The Burberry Heacham velcro trainers are to die for and I got a pair of the black ones for Oscar which were £135. They also do them in a gorgeous baby blue colour which I will get for Archie. I did pick Archie up some BOSS jelly sandals last year in the Summer sale and they finally fit him now.



Last but not least, Oscar loves his new baseball caps from Mini Rodini. He has the Light Green Lion Embroidered Cap and the Off White Music cap which are both £26. Then to keep their little eyes protected from the Sun the boys each have a pair of Zoobug Sunglasses which are really funky. Oscar has the Blue Camouflage Round Sunglasses which were £60 and are now reduced to £42 and Archie has the Black and White Clubmaster Baby Sunglasses which were also £60 and are now reduced to £48.



As you can probably guess I absolutely love the AlexandAlexa.com website and wouldn’t shop anywhere else when picking up the boys some designer clothes! I have also had a sneak preview of their Autumn/Winter 2017 collection and it is all totally amazing, so watch out for that going on their website very soon!



 

Bluestone National Park Resort, Wales Review

Last month the most exciting email landed in my inbox, inviting us to come to the 5*Bluestone National Park Resort for a Monday to Friday mid week break. As Oscar broke up for half term last Friday it was perfect timing. The boys were so excited and it is their first ‘outdoors’ holiday that involved being outdoors, activities and getting muddy! Normally we go abroad and I am ashamed to see that I have only even been to Wales once before which was only last month for the opening of our trampoline park in Newport. So needless to say I was really looking forward to a different type of holiday for us in a totally new place!

Day 1

So on Monday we arrived at the Bluestone National Park Resort in Wales. We left at about 11am from home as Greg had some work to do first and it took us around 5 hours to get here which included a stop off for lunch and a quick coffee break further on. We arrived at about 3.30pm and we drove up to the check in kiosk and the whole process only took a few minutes. With our key cards and welcome pack in hand we headed to the car park as we couldn’t go to our lodge until 4.30pm. We walked over to the adventure centre and Oscar and Archie played on the soft play and bouncy castle. At half 4 we went back to the car and drove around to our lodge to unload and unpack. When we arrived at our ‘Ramsey’ lodge Oscar was so excited and as soon as we opened the door he was running around to explore his new home for the week. Our lodge consisted of two bedrooms, one with a doubled bed and one with two singles and a travel cot, two en suite bathrooms and upstairs an open planned kitchen, living room and diner. I actually brought my own travel cot but a travel cot is included. All bedding and towels are included too (not bedding for the travel cot) but I would use my own anyway. On first impressions the lodge was lovely and clean and we had everything we needed.

I unpacked quickly and then we had to return the car to the car park as it is a car free zone. We walked to the buggy and bike hire station where I had pre booked buggy hire for the week and two bikes and a trailer. We picked up the buggy first which Greg and Oscar were very excited about and drove around the park to get our bearings. We drove to the village and grabbed some bits for breakfast from Newton’s Store and as we were shattered from the long drive went straight into the Farmhouse Grill for an early dinner. The food came really quickly and was very nice. I had liver and bacon, one of my childhood favourites. The only grumble was for Archie’s age (1, or 21 months to be precise) there wasn’t a great deal for him to choose from. Afterwards we headed back to the lodge and bathed and we were all in bed by 9pm.


Day 2 – Tuesday

Today was our first full day at Bluestone. Archie and Oscar were awake at 6.30am so we watched Cbebbies upstairs in the lounge and waited for Daddy to get up. Archie slept in with Oscar last night and woke up 9 times, he has a bit of a cold but it was a huge milestone as up until now Archie had never not slept in a room with us. I then cooked us all breakfast and Oscar had been begging since we arrived to go to the blue lagoon swimming pool so we got ready and drove the buggy up to the pool.

We got ready in one of the family changing cubicles which was really clean and as we walked in a member of staff was cleaning the floors. The lockers are £1 but when you open them you get your money back which was great as you know with children your always going back again to grab goggles or nappies/wipes. Inside the blue lagoon is a main pool with a wave machine, baby pool, pirate pool, jacuzzi, lazy river and water slides. I took Archie into the baby pool whilst Greg and Oscar went on the water slides, we then switched so I could go on the slides too. The lazy river is amazing, it takes you outside which was a bit cold to start with but is so refreshing. I got out with Archie after an hour as he was a bit cold and with the £1 from the locker we went in the drying machine. You get 3 minutes for a £1 and its amazing, my hair was dried and Archie was lovely and warm. Greg and Oscar stayed in the pool for another half hour and then we met in the cafe for lunch upstairs whilst Archie had a nap. They serve jacket potatoes, sandwiches and chips.

We then drove the buggy back to our lodge and then went back to the buggy and bike hire to pick up the bikes. The boys thought being in the trailer was very funny and we headed on to one of the bike paths and ended up deep in the woods by the high ropes and the Camp Smokey restaurant. The scenery is absolutely stunning, trickling streams and some of the tallest trees I have ever seen. It is simply breathtaking.

We rode back to the village and had a cup of tea whilst Oscar and Archie played in the play area then headed back to the lodge for showers before going out for dinner. We booked the Oak Tree restaurant and the food was absolutely amazing. I had the lamb, Oscar and Greg had the cod pasta and Archie had pizza. All the food was freshly cooked to order and tasted fantastic. Topped off with a chocolate brownie we headed home full and tired from an action packed day. Again we were in bed by 9.30pm!

Day 3 – Wednesday

I was up at 6am with Archie who coughed pretty much all night. We had a cooked breakfast at the lodge again and Oscar really wanted to go swimming so Greg and Oscar went off to the blue lagoon pool for a couple of hours on their own as Archie wasn’t 100% we stayed at the lodge so he could have a two hour nap instead. When the boys got back we put on our coats and wellies and drove to the village for a quick coffee then to Camp Smokey’s as we had a lunch reservation at 2pm. As we were a bit early we walked through the woods and the boys walked in the stream and jumped in puddles.


At 2pm we walked back to Camp Smokey’s for lunch. Camp Smokey’s is outside in the woods and served barbecued food. The setting is fantastic. I had chicken fajitas and the boys had pulled pork baps. The food was great. Pudding was what Oscar was super excited for, we had smores and marshmallows and roasted them on the fire. Afterwards we walked back to the buggy and drove to the village where one of the nature trails started and walked the 2.5km trail. Oscar took his creepy crawly I spy book that he brought in the village shop and ticked them off as we walked round. After the walk we were shattered, Archie with his little legs impressively walked most of the way. We wanted to go and Pan for Gold but it was fully booked from now until we go home so we have put ourselves on a waiting list at the booking office.

We went to the Knights Tafern at 6.45pm for dinner, you can’t book this restaurant but we turned up and got a table straight away. The menu is pub food. Oscar had sausage and chips which he loved, Archie had fish fingers and Greg had BBQ chicken and I had fish and chips. To be honest the food wasn’t great and I left most of it, compared to the other three restaurants we went to where the food has been of such a high standard I wouldn’t eat here again. I tried to book the Oak Tree for the Thursday night but it was fully booked so booked the Farmhouse Grill instead. Looking back now I would recommend booking all your restaurants on the first day as they all get booked up really quickly! We drove the buggy back to the lodge and watched some TV then went to bed.

Day 4 – Thursday

We got up at 7.30am and we had breakfast at home again and then drove our buggy up to the car park and drove the short 5 mile drive to Folly Farm. We had read loads of great reviews about Folly Farm and decided it was a must do day out. Folly Farm has a farm, zoo, fairground and play area and we couldn’t believe how cheap it was to get in. Only £13.95 for adults and £11.95 for children aged 3-15 and senior citizens. So for the four of us to get in as Archie was free it was only £39.85 which is great value for the amount on offer inside. The only optional extras are the the Vintage Fairground, The Pembrokeshire Wheel, Follystone racetrack and The Big Dig which you can buy 50p tokens for. I looked at the daily timetable online the night before so we knew what was on and at what time so we didn’t miss anything we wanted to see.

We arrived at 11am and went around the farm and the zoo and stopped for some lunch. There is so much to do at Folly Farm and it is well worth a trip if you are staying at Bluestone. The boys had a great day and the amount of different animals they have there is amazing! The lions were my favourite and we got so close to them.

We left Folly Farm at 2.45pm and drove pack to Bluestone. We rode our bikes back to the buggy and bike hire so we didn’t have to worry about doing it in the morning. Oscar was desperate to go swimming again so we went back to the Blue Lagoon for an hour for our final swim of the holiday.

We had booked dinner for 7.15pm at the Farmhouse Grill so headed back to the lodge at about 5.30pm to shower before dinner. Dinner at the Farmhouse Grill was great again. I had the steak this time, Oscar and Greg had the beef burger again and Archie shared mine. In the Farmhouse Grill is a small children’s play area where the boys played why we waited for our meals. After dinner Oscar had the build your own ice cream which is great fun for the kids with four different sweet toppings to build his own sundae. I was a piggy and had the biggest ice cream sundae which came in a huge bath dish. It was delicious. We headed back to the lodge on the buggy and I packed our bags before we went to bed. We are sad that we are going home in the morning.

Day 5 – Friday

We are going home today 🙁 You have to check out of your lodge by 10am (but you can use the facilities until 3pm( so we had breakfast and then Greg went and got the car so we could load all of the bags into the boot.

We then went to the village for a coffee then returned our buggy to the buggy and bike hire station. Hiring the buggy has been well worth it, we have used it to go everywhere and it is big enough to fit Archie’s pushchair folded on to it as well so if he fell asleep after dinner it wasn’t a problem. To hire the buggy for the week it is £85 and I would completely recommend hiring one, especially if you have young children. To hire the bikes and the trailer for the week was £65. On reflection I should of just hired them for the day as we only went on one long bike ride and didn’t use them to get around the park as we had the buggy. I used the Bluestone website to add on all our extras and the booking system is so easy to use to book in your activities, restaurant reservations and bikes/buggys.

We left for home at 11.00am as we had a five hour drive home. We have had the most amazing week at Bluestone and as you can see we have had an action packed week of fun. I asked Oscar what his favourite bits where and he said the Blue Lagoon pool, lunch at Camp Smokey, the golf buggy and walking in the outdoors. We will defiantly be coming back again soon and have loved every minute of our holiday.

Here our some top tips for your Bluestone holiday:

  • Hire a buggy, the park is quite hilly and with small children having the buggy has made getting around so much quicker and easier.
  • In the lodge towels and bedding are included. Bring some extra towels to take to the pool with you. I hung ours in the inside of the airing cupboard along with our trunks/bikini so they dried over night.
  • A small paper bag with a few kitchen cleaning essentials are included but bring a few black sacks, dishwasher tablets and surface cleanser. Also bring kitchen roll and toilet rolls.
  • I brought with us tea bags and sugar and a few other snacks.
  • The kitchen is fully equipped for you to cook a breakfast/meal. We had breakfast in the lodge everyday and picked up fresh bread and eggs for the store in the village.
  • Book your activities and restaurants in advance. Some activities like the panning for gold that Oscar really wanted to do was only on one day during the week and when I went to book it on the Tuesday it was already fully booked.
  • Go for lunch at Camp Smokey. The lunch is lovely and roasting marshmallows over the fire in the middle of the forest is great fun!
  • If your not serious bike riders like us then hire your bikes for the day as we hired them for the week and didn’t use them as much as we thought.
  • Have loads of fun!

Disclaimer: We stayed at Bluestone free of charge for the purpose of this review. However we paid for all activities, food, buggy and bikes. All opinions are completely honest and my own! We love Bluestone!