Ollie building sandcastles in the sun
AS any parent will know, long car journeys and toddlers don’t tend to mix too well. So it was with a sigh of relief that we arrived at Chesil Vista Holiday Park on the Saturday afternoon of a busy Bank Holiday weekend.
The staff were really friendly and welcoming and we were checked in straight away. Our home for the week was a luxury caravan kitted out with top of the range equipment including a flat screen Freeview TV and to my delight a DVD player so that meant the kids would be happy. I was equally impressed with the fabulous view overlooking the natural lagoon and we couldn’t wait to explore.
Chesil Vista is really well equipped for families and Oliver and Warren wasted no time testing out the kids outdoor adventure play area which they loved, the only problem we had was getting them to leave!
That was until they discovered the brand new three storey indoor play area which has a dedicated toddler area with its own slide and ball pool for the under 4s and for older children a climbing wall, an aerial runway and more.
The boys seemed quite happy to go off and explore the indoor play area and we were happy to let them play while we sat outside the window watching and drinking coffee. Open all day from 9am until late it was ideal entertainment for the kids and a chance to relax for us.
We got chance to enjoy the leisure complex on site that is open from 9am – 1pm and 2pm – 7pm. The large pool has easy access for younger children and a shallow section just for young ones. Then for older children there’s a water slide and for the adults, a jacuzzi. The pool is constantly monitored by a lifeguard too.
There is also a small gym on site and a sauna and solarium available too. And if you’ve forgotten to pack your swimsuit there is even a well stocked shop in the leisure complex.
We were really impressed with the cleanliness of the site throughout. The on site reception is manned from 8.30am till 10pm and guests are also provided with an out of hours number which really gave me peace of mind. Especially when I couldn’t work out how to operate the heating on the first evening we were there. After contacting reception someone came over within minutes to sort it out. We couldn’t have asked for a quicker response.
Although the accommodation is equipped with a modern kitchen, there’s plenty of places to eat on site if you don’t fancy cooking. The Venue and The Bistro and pizza bar are all open from 9-11.30am for breakfast, 12-2pm for lunch and 5-9pm for dinner. There is also a take-away on site that sells an extensive hot and cold selection from 12-2pm and 5-11pm each day. We thought the prices were very reasonable and the food was excellent quality too.
And when we did feel like cooking, the on-site shop seemed to have pretty much everything in stock that you could possibly need.
The sun shone for us most of the week and so we visited the local beaches on more than one occasion. Chesil Beach is within walking distance of the park and is a long pebble beach. You have to climb to the top of a pebbly hill and then it shelves quite drastically down to the sea. Weymouth has a beautiful sandy, flat beach. The water was lovely and shallow and the boys dragged us in for a paddle shallow even if it was a little cold in May! There was loads to do with Punch and Judy, Crazy Golf, a children’s fayre, pedalos and deckchairs which all gave it a proper British sea-side feel.
We visited Weymouth town centre which is close to the Esplanade and there is a good range of independent and chain shops, and a retail park nearby too.
As if all that excitement wasn’t enough, the complex also provides entertainment for guests and Oliver and Warren were star struck when they got the chance to meet their favourite TV characters Ben and Holly from Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom.
All afternoon there were character themed activities, face painting, drawing and painting and then afternoon tea while Ben & Holly wandered around meeting children and parents. More activities followed with a picture opportunity with the “stars”.
Unfortunately Oliver decided he was too shy to have his photo taken with them, Warren on the other hand was delighted to be snapped.
Amy, Warren and Vic the Monster!
Evening entertainment was also provided for children and Chesil Vista staff Sasha & Dan were brilliant with children of all ages. Vic the Monster put in a few appearances too but with Oliver yet again too camera shy, it was left to Amy and Warren to do the honours and pose for the camera. After the bank holiday weekend, the site quietened down quite a lot, but we were very impressed that there was still a full range of activities laid on for guests.
On the down side we did have a problem trying to get the Wifi working in the caravan and gave up after an hour of trying. There are some public computers for guests to use, however with an active three and a half year old hanging around wanting to do other things, it didn’t really fit in with our arrangements!
Another slight problem that we experienced was that because our caravan was really close to The Venue, and the smoking area was just over the road, the noise of voices did make it difficult to get to sleep.
I also found the bed linen not entirely ideal. The pillows seemed to be full of air and felt a bit odd when I turned over in bed and the bottom sheet kept coming un-tucked so I ended up lying on the bare mattress. The bed was comfortable though and these were only minor points that I noticed.
All in all we had a fantastic week. It was busy, relaxing, entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable. A great destination for families with plenty to keep children of all ages occupied and the adults too.
Kim and Oliver stayed in a Ridgeway Plus 8 berth for six nights (Sat - Fri) check the website for latest offers. Prices start at £395.
Chesil Holiday Park, Portland Road, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 9AG
Tel: 01305 773233 Fax: 01305 781233 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Kim and family were guests of Chesil Vista on a complementary basis for the purposes of this review.