Friday 29 August 2014

Potters Resort - worth a visit? (@pottersresort)

Potters Resort advertises itself as Visit Britain's (AKA the tourist board) first 5 star holiday village in the UK. It has held this 5 star award for 12 years now and that speaks volumes. It is also telling when you look at Trip Advisor that you find more good reviews than bad. This site is notorious for being brutally truthful and it is good to see that in the case of Potters Resort the truth is positive.

Whilst Potters has some aspects that duplicate other holiday villages we have been to before, my overriding feeling is that it is really unique and pretty darn special too, I suppose some of that might come from it being the longest serving and still privately owned holiday centre in the UK (the Potters family built and opened it in 1920). When we first drove onto the site we were greeted with the hotel with its balconies and posh looking penthouses at the rear and then you look right and see all the bungalows and yes on the outside they are not that attractive and the paved floor is a bit gloomy but you get inside them and see the luxurious finish and forget about the outside facade.

A walk up to the main complex takes you past tennis courts, adventure golf, an outside bar and a beautiful pool. Everything looks fresh and new and it is clear Potters have an ongoing renovation plan and a commitment to keeping the place updated.

Once in the main building we were first greeted by the enormous garden restaurant, which looks as if it should be on board a luxury cruise liner and then shortly after a small over 18's and children's amusements area and I commented to my husband we were in little Vegas as much of the decor looks a bit mock Grecian. Next up we caught sight of a Zumba class and a group of women and girls following the dance instructor and for a moment I was transported to Kellermans and Dirty Dancing. It really it is a little bit of everything.
On reflection the next day I actually think that the main complex in Potters is like an up-market David Lloyd fitness centre; you can enjoy a beer or coffee whilst watching various sports or children's activities. It was great that all the main areas link and we could allow the children to make friends and go off for short times, this definitely added to their holiday experience and Buzbys basement was particularly appreciated as this allowed them a kids only play and chill out zone.

I can't believe that anyone could be bored at Potters Resort, I understand that organised fun is not for everyone but if you are a sporty family then you can independently book for darts, golf, pool, snooker, table tennis, tennis, squash, badminton, bowls, segway, archery, football, swimming and so many other activities that I can't even recall. Oh and do not worry they are all included in the price you have already paid.

Our family is not really a sporty one but there was still loads to keep us entertained too. The kids enjoyed soft play, an inflatable assault course, the play park, laser quest, the climbing wall, skateboarding, adventure golf, meet the animals, back stage tour, village fete on the green and various activities at their kids clubs like 5 aside football, nail art, crafting and dancing games.

Everyone was exhausted on the first day so we headed home at 9pm after the kids clubs but on the second day after the back stage tour there was no way the kids were going to let us go. So we found seats to watch the show and I'm so glad we did, as the entertainment is really high end. The performers could easily have been in a West End show and after watching once we of course went back the next night too!

Potters is set right on the beach and you can easily walk down to the beach from the football field or golf course. The beach is truly stunning but I see at the moment they are redeveloping the beach to put natural stone breakers in this, this of course spoils parts of it at the moment but once it is all done it will be even better.

As we leave Potters Resort to go home my overriding feeling is one of sadness; I could just do with another couple of days here. I think this is probably JJ's best holiday ever as the park is small enough and he is now old enough that he could go off with his new mates and have so much fun. The girls have tried all sorts of new activities and stayed out for their latest holiday bedtimes ever and Miss M is now convinced that she will be a famous performer one day! And dh and I? We have done what we do best on holiday, we have enjoyed our children having a wonderful time and got to relax and chat together.

I always like to do a balanced review and to tell you the good with the bad. At the moment I'm struggling to find any bad points to talk to you about. The jolly join-in kind of atmosphere might not be for everyone but we did not find it over the top and the staff really do seem to care and enjoy their work. As I mentioned the bungalows do look quite old fashioned on the outside but from my point of view who cares, they are fabulous inside and really practical. I suppose the one thing that was the most annoying for me was the wi-fi was a bit patchy in the main building. At times it was brilliant and I could download to iPlayer at others I struggled to get connected to the cloud and I'd really of liked the option to have wi-fi in my room (but I suppose that was just because I'm a blogger).

I asked dh what his recommendations were to make our stay better and he suggested an optional welcome talk, as there is so much going on it would be great to find out all about it at the beginning of the stay and then we could have planned better and also he said booster seats in the theatre (like you get in a cinema) would have been a great addition and I think he is right.

Thanks so much Potters Resort for having us, we have had a wonderful time and as we left today the kids kept telling their friends they would see them next year so we need to get saving!

Here is just a few more memorable moments from our stay and I'll post about our eating experiences at Potters Resort next week. You can also see our intial reaction over here.

Disclosure: We are staying at Potters for three nights for the purpose of viewing the holiday resort. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.
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