Wednesday, 22 November 2017

John Fowler Holidays - Sandy Meadows Lodge Park Review

A couple of weeks ago, we had the pleasure of spending a lovely few days at Sandy Meadows Lodge Park, located in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset. Sandy Meadows is owned by John Fowler Holidays, who have been established for over 60 years. Their aim is to provide families with a wonderful UK holiday that includes comfortable accommodation, an action packed entertainment programme and on-site facilities.

We couldn't wait for our holiday to begin and a few days prior to our arrival, we received a welcome email that also provided our check in time. We had booked to stay in a 4 bedroom luxury hot tub lodge on the Sandy Meadows Lodge Park, which is adjacent to Sandy Glade. The facilities here are shared, so although the lodge park has a separate name, you are free to enjoy the entertainment and facilities on offer at the adjoining site. This includes the swimming pool, park, shop, on-site cafe, bar and evening entertainment. There is also an activities programme that is run by the 'Stripeys' that children from both sites are welcome to participate in.

Our Arrival

We live approximately three and a half hours away from Burnham-on-Sea and didn't fancy travelling in heavy traffic, so we set off at around 6am. With a stop on the way, this meant we reached the site by 10am. I visited reception to make them aware that we had arrived early and although we were unable to check in until 2pm, they said that we were more than welcome to enjoy the facilities available whilst we waited. The lady at the desk was very friendly and helpful and also told us to check back in a couple of hours, just in case our lodge was ready slightly earlier. We rummaged through the boot of the car to find all our swimwear and towels and made our way over to the swimming pool.

After a relaxing hour long swim and a short play on the park, I popped back to reception on the off chance that our lodge was ready. I was delighted to find that it was and so the receptionist handed me the key, an entertainment booklet, passcode for the swimming pool and the entry code for the Sandy Meadows gates, as well as providing me with directions to our lodge. This was neatly presented in a John Fowler Holidays envelope which gave me a safe and secure place to store all the information I had been given.

From the main reception on Sandy Glade to the lodge park on Sandy Meadows it takes approximately 10 minutes to walk, or just a couple of minutes in the car. We drove over excitedly, ready to explore our accommodation and unpack.

Accommodation

The accommodation was absolutely stunning and featured everything we could have hoped for. As soon as we arrived on the park, we could tell this was going to be luxurious, with both the lodges and their surroundings well cared for and maintained.


Our lodge looked huge from the outside and had a lovely large decking area that overlooked the fields in front. In addition to this, there was a nice modern hot tub, that had privacy screening all around it. The maintenance man on site saw us arrive and informed us that we would be unable to use the hot tub until at least 5pm as it had just been cleaned and refilled, so it would take a while to heat up. This was fine with us, as by the time we had unpacked and had a look around, it would probably be early evening before we had the chance to use it anyway.


We stayed in a 4 bedroom lodge, which featured 2 double bedrooms and 2 twin rooms. This was of ample size for our party of 7 and there was plenty of space for all of us. As we entered the lodge we walked into a small cloakroom area which led into the open plan lounge, dining and kitchen area.




It was immediately apparent how luxurious and comfortable the lodge was. The children excitedly ran from room to room to explore what was going to be their home for the week. We were all shocked at how big the bedrooms were and all the storage that was available. There were two shower rooms, which both had two doors, meaning that it could be used as a en-suite from the bedroom, or alternatively, they could be accessed from the hallway. This worked out really well for us as it meant that my parents could have one bathroom to themselves, whilst the kids and I had the other.



The kitchen had everything that you could think of, including a washing machine, dishwasher, microwave and oven. Plates, cups, glasses and utensils were also provided. We did notice that there were only 4 tumbler style glasses and we also couldn't find any placemats for the dining table. I therefore simply made a note of this and alerted reception when we went over to Dunes in the evening. By the time we had got back from bingo on our first evening, these had been placed in the lodge ready for our return. Excellent service!



Facilities

There were plenty of on-site facilities, to help ensure that all guests have everything they need. Chef's Corner provided tasty takeaway and sit down cafe meals, that were all of a reasonable price. There was a nice selection of comfort food available, which is always a nice treat when you are on holiday. The service was very friendly and quick and although it certainly isn't a five star fine dining restaurant, it does offer you a relaxing place to go, for when you just don't fancy cooking yourself, which is always a great option to have.

Located next door to Chef's Corner, was a well stocked shop, that had all the daily essentials that you would need, as well as a selection of toys for the children. We had already done a big shop prior to our arrival, but it was useful for us to pop to this shop to get a couple of small things we had forgotten.


Another facility that was popular with my children was the NextGen arcade, that was located to the right hand side of the Dunes Bar. My children enjoyed playing on the 2p machines and would spend £1 each night trying to win some little prizes, whilst we waited for the bingo games to start. Riley really enjoyed another game too, where you had to steer a wheel that was connected to a basket and catch the eggs that dropped from above. This was a really fun game and at 50p a go, it didn't break the bank either.


The Dunes bar was a lovely place to go in the evening, with modern decor and comfortable seating throughout. We enjoyed spending our evenings in here and felt that there were plenty of tables and seating options for groups & families of all sizes.


Our favourite facility though, had to be the one that was back at our lodge, The Hot Tub! We loved being able to relax in here everyday and we were also very impressed with how well maintained they are. During our stay a maintenance worker, would come and check the chemical levels of it twice a day which we thought was really good. We have stayed in lodges with hot tubs, owned by other holiday parks in the past and the hot tubs haven't been checked once during our stay, so we felt that this showed excellent customer care by John Fowler Holidays.



Activities

Activities were scheduled for each day, which were ran by the Stripeys or leisure staff. During the week that we stayed there was football, water walking zorbs, pool kayaking & games. We had hoped that there would be some Halloween activities planned, but I was told that these had taken place the week before, as that had been the local half term and they were busier then. Whilst I can understand this, it would have been nice if there had been something on the 31st at least for all the children on site. The activities seemed well run and organised and there were certainly many happy participants, especially at the football!

The swimming pool offered a fun place to go for a swim and it didn't feel too crowded at any point. There were a couple of changing cubicles, showers and toilets located around the outside of the pool, as well as some seating and tables for anyone wanting to supervise their children. The water temperature was just right, a little cool on entry but absolutely perfect once you are in and have started swimming. There was also a lifeguard on duty, which I always find very reassuring.

Evening Entertainment

Evening entertainment is held on the sister park of Sandy Glade in the Dunes Bar. This would begin at 6pm with kids club, which involved some games, dancing and the chance to have a meet and greet with one of the on site mascots. My children took part in this every night and loved the games, especially Hide & Seek and Shuffle Bum!


The Dunes Bar was very clean and tidy, with nice and modern decor throughout. There was plenty of seating, however I can imagine that it probably gets extremely busy during the peak season. Television screens were displayed in several areas, that provided details on entertainment or activities that were taking place throughout the week and there were also some larger screens near the main bar, that showed the sports channels for anyone wanting to catch up on the football. The bar service was friendly and the drinks were reasonably priced.


Once kids club was over then it was time to purchase your bingo tickets, with kids being able to buy theirs from the Foxy Shop for £1 and adults could buy theirs at the bar. Each bingo booklet contains five games and both the kids and adults bingo are played at the same time, which seems to work really well. The first four games are for a line only, with the final game being for a full house. Prizes are calculated based on ticket sales, so the value of these changed each night, dependent on how many booklets were sold. Children's prizes were for toys to a certain value from the Foxy Shop, whilst adults played for a cash prize. My husband won £15 on our first night which paid for a nice round of drinks for us all.

Once the bingo games were finished, then there would be further entertainment that continued on til late. This varied from quizzes to live cabaret acts, however we always chose to leave after the Bingo games as Riley would start to get tired. There was certainly a nice selection of acts available throughout the week though, so we felt that there was something for everyone in terms of evening entertainment.

Nearby

There is a huge amount to do in the local area, ranging from museums & fairgrounds to beaches and beauty spots, such as Cheddar Gorge and Wells. Popular attractions include Brean Leisure Park, Wookey Hole, Cheddar Gorge, Weston-Super-Mare Pier, Puxton Park, The World's Largest Helicopter Museum, Animal Park and Bristol Zoo to name a few. There are also many others that are within driving distance of the holiday park.

During our stay we visited Bristol Zoo, Puxton Park and Brean Leisure Park, which all offered fantastic family fun days out.

There were several supermarkets nearby including Tesco & Lidl, so if you didn't fancy taking food with you, there is no worry about doing a big shop once you get there. A well stocked co-op store is also only a couple of minutes down the road.

Overall

Overall, we had an absolutely wonderful time at Sandy Meadows Lodge Park. The site was well cared for, clean and tidy, which made the park a pleasure to be on. The staff were all very friendly and worked extremely hard to try and ensure that the guests have a wonderful holiday.


Our lodge was a comfortable and luxurious place to stay and it was lovely to be able to sit out on the verandah in the afternoon and enjoy a glass of wine, whilst just watching the clouds float by. The outdoor seating was also really good quality so again the feeling of luxury continued outdoors too.


The view was very peaceful and despite visiting at the end of October and beginning of November, we were fortunate to have lovely weather for that time of year, which improved our stay even further.
From the tranquility of the lodge park, to the music and atmosphere in the bar, everything was just perfect for our stay. If you are looking for a lovely UK family break, with plenty to do both onsite and nearby, then I highly recommend Sandy Meadows by John Fowler Holidays.


Further Information

If you would like to obtain further information on Sandy Meadows, or learn more about their other parks located in the South West of England, then you can find more information on their website, or social media channels which can be found here:

Website: John Fowler Holidays
Facebook: John Fowler Holiday Parks
Twitter: @JohnFowlerHols
Instagram: @johnfowlerholidays
YouTube: John Fowler Holidays

There are also some fantastic savings to be made on 2018 holidays at the moment, which makes it a great time to book your holiday for next year!


*Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post & we received a discounted media rate stay for our visit. All opinions and photographs are my own unless stated otherwise.

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