Reviewed by Tracey Silver
The Retallack Resort and Spa is situated in North Cornwall, with beautiful views over the rolling hills and countryside. It is easily accessible by car and is very close to some popular Cornish towns such as Padstow, Wadebridge and Newquay, and of course has some beautiful beaches in the area.
As a family of 5, including a 4 year old and 2 year old twins we were very excited for our 3 night stay at Retallack, which claims to be not only child friendly but twin and toddler friendly also, and we were not disappointed.
On arrival to the pleasant reception area, we were greeted by the very helpful staff, check-in is available from 4 o’clock but as we were early, the receptionist told us to feel free to explore the facilities and she would ring us as soon as our lodge was ready, which didn’t take long at all.
There are various choices of accommodation available, from a 1 bed apartment to a 6 bed stone house. We stayed in the 2 bedroom Rock Lodge, and I can honestly say it was fantastic and catered for our every need. The decor throughout was very modern and it really was a home from home. The fully equipped and spacious kitchen/diner included a microwave, full size fridge freezer, a dishwasher, and a lovely dining table for 4. We were also pleasantly surprised to find a welcome pack containing tea, coffee, sugar, a lovely pack of Cornish biscuits, a pint of milk in the fridge, dishwasher and washing machine tablets, and washing up liquid. It was extremely modern and light with patio doors leading onto a small decked area. There was also a separate utility area with a downstairs WC, and a washing machine. The only minor point I can think of is that there were no plates for the children to use, and having 3 young ones I was a bit worried that they were going to smash all the bone china!
The living area was very pleasant, and included two very large sofas, a flat screen TV with Freeview, DVD player, radio, phone, and again patio doors leading onto a fairly large terrace, with a BBQ area and seating for 4.
The stairs had a safety gate at the bottom and top, which is great when you have inquisitive toddlers around. Upstairs consisted of the master bedroom, which was a good size, and had lovely wooden wardrobes and chests of drawers, bedside lamps, a clock radio, hairdryer, and sliding doors leading onto a small balcony. The twin bedroom was very similar, only smaller and without the balcony and both had lovely crisp white Egyptian bed linen on the extremely comfortable beds, it really did feel very luxurious.
The bathroom was a nice size and very light and airy with its modern decor, it had a separate bath and a lovely shower cubicle that my husband didn’t want to get out of, and we were supplied with very large white fluffy towels and bathrobes.
We were very impressed that the lodge also had a baby bath, change mat, potty, toddler toilet seat and step, and sterilising unit, making it a fantastic choice if you have a young baby or two! We were also supplied with complimentary toiletries and hand soap, and free WiFi, with the option of upgrading to a faster speed. We had also pre-arranged to have two cots and highchairs at the accommodation on our arrival.
The spa on the resort offers a number of amenities, my 4 year old son loved the indoor heated swimming pool, he went in every day we were there. There is also a steam room, sauna and gym offering personal training sessions, and a wide variety of different fitness classes. The changing facilities were amazing, they were extremely modern with complimentary toiletries and hairdryers, there was even a spinner to dry your swimwear, which my son was very impressed with.
There are a wide array of beauty treatments available at the spa, and I treated myself to a full body massage. The treatment room was dimly lit, there was soft music playing and the therapist was very professional and friendly, the massage was amazing, I didn’t want it to end and felt very relaxed after.
The resort also offers a fantastic restaurant called the Green Room, it serves lunch and dinner cooked by top chef James Nathan. We ate here twice, the menu has something for everyone, and caters for children also. The staff are very friendly and accommodating, and even served us in the lounge next to the restaurant, so that we could keep our young children entertained. The food was of a very high standard and it was nice to be able to indulge in some fine dining, even with children in tow.
The child friendly lounge situated next to the restaurant was a little haven for us, especially as we had awful weather on one of the days we stayed. It is very comfortable with its large cosy sofas, and kept my children entertained for hours. My older son loved the pool table and the Xbox Zone, whilst my younger boys loved the toddler table and chairs and selection of toys, they also found the viewing window looking down onto the pool very interesting, especially when they could see their older brother splashing around.
If you fancy a unique experience whilst staying at Retallack, then try the FlowRider, It is basically a very clever surfing simulator and is suitable for children from 5 years old. Unfortunately we didn’t get to try it out as my son is only 4, but it looks like great fun and we enjoyed watching the other people falling off their boards! There is also a lovely softplay area situated in the FlowRider reception area, my twin boys loved playing in there as did my 4 year old, however we were slightly disappointed to find that there isn’t a seating area to view the children whilst playing, there is plenty of comfortable seating just outside, but with children so young you need to be able to keep a close eye on them.
The children’s park on site was very nice with an enclosed toddler area, and a zip wire which my 4 year old son enjoyed, unfortunately though the zip wire is not enclosed and my 2 year old boys couldn’t resist running inside it, it’s quite hard chasing after two toddlers at the same time, and this could be quite dangerous if someone were to hit them whilst using the wire, therefore we had to leave the park. There are also Tennis courts on site, and my 4 year old had his first game of golf on the 9 hole pitch and putt course, unfortunately to our dismay he’s no Tiger Woods! Equipment for the tennis and golf can be hired from reception at a very reasonable price.
There are many other facilities and activities that the resort has to offer, such as toddler swimming and music classes, a crèche and kids club, babysitting service, fishing lakes, extensive woodland walks and cycling along the cycle trail. Unfortunately we could not make use of some of these as we were only staying for a short period and the weather wasn’t the best.
Set within 100 acres of beautiful countryside and extremely well maintained, I have to say that this resort is really lovely, we even had a farewell visit from two ducks and their 7 ducklings on our final morning. We had a fantastic stay and my son was very sad to be leaving his ‘holiday house’ in Cornwall. We would definitely consider staying here again, but for a longer stretch next time. We stayed for 3 nights over the last weekend in April, and at a price of £399, it is more than we would usually pay but is so worth it for that added touch of luxury, in fact if we would have stayed for 7 nights over the same period, the price was only £479, which I personally think is very reasonable.
I would (and have already!) highly recommend the Retallack Resort and Spa to all, not just for the onsite facilities but also for its easy accessibility and ideal location for local towns, beaches and family attractions. A lovely time was had by all of my family, and despite the few very minor issues I have noted, I would definitely give a well-deserved rating of 5/5.
For more information, to request a brochure or to make a booking call 01637 882500 or visit www.retallackresort.co.uk.
Retallack Resort and Spa, Winnards Perch, St Columb Major, Cornwall, TR9 6DE