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“Cold, and rather unwelcoming”

Bluewater Shopping Mall
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Since Bluewater opened its doors on March 16, 1999, it has set the benchmark for the ultimate shopping and leisure experience and the rest as they say is retail history. Rising out of a former chalk quarry among 50 metre-high cliffs, Bluewater's striking architecture is simply unique. Located in Kent, traditionally known as the Garden of England, our overall site of 240 acres is surrounded by a 50 acre landscape of lakes, parkland and trees making it the perfect place for the whole family to enjoy. We have 300 stores, over 50 bars, restaurants and cafes along with 13,000 free car parking spaces attracting 28.1 Million visitors per annum.As well as offering a wide range of services, our team will endeavour to ensure that your Bluewater experience is fun, memorable and exciting. Bluewater's triangular design with a flagship store at each point - Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and House of Fraser - over two levels make shopping a breeze. In between the flagship stores are three distinct shopping malls boasting stylish stores along with restaurants, cafes and bars catering to every taste.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Stairs / elevator, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Cold, and rather unwelcoming”
Reviewed May 21, 2013

I went on my first ever trip to blue water on 13th May 2013, and quite frankly would never return!

The place is absolutely massive and at first a rather nice change from the older Lakeside Shopping Centre just over the water in Essex.

The array of shops is impressive and they do have a good selection, albeit mostly in the higher end league of expensive shops (there are a few "low cost" stores, but even these are quite expensive).

My main gripe with this place is the lack of information. I arrived early on Monday morning and asked for a few pointerrs (i.e. best food place for breakfast etc, were there any events on that day) and received a blank look from the assistant (ask that question at Lakeside and they're only more than happy to help - I think because they Lakeside staff actually shop at their place of work, where as Bluewater staff don't have a clue because they never set foot in there for anything other than work - a telling indication that the place is unwelcoming).

So after finding a small eatery that served a rather expensive breakfast bun style concoction with coffee, I started to meander around the place.

I then made the mistake of returning to the same information point and asking if Bluewater have any kind of loyalty scheme for regular customers or those intending to spend large amounts (as Lakeside does occasionally run)... again... a completely blank expression.

At that point I gave up, went to lakeside and got exactly what I wanted (spending rather a lot of money in the process) and had excellent customer service and assistance in the process.

It just goes to show... just because it's all spangly and new doesn't make it better than the alternative just around the corner.

Sorry Bluewater, it's Lakeside every time for me in future!

Visited May 2013
2 Thank shazzy67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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891 reviews from our community

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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Always enjoy a meal with Cote”
Reviewed May 3, 2013

Have never had a disappointing meal in Cote at Bluewater. On Monday, 29th April had lunch with two friends and we all enjoyed our meal. One niggle, the crepes we had for dessert were a little tough as if they had been made the day before.

Visited May 2013
Thank tericollins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Regular shopper”
Reviewed April 29, 2013 via mobile

I'm a regular visiter to blue water.

In comparisment to its closest rival lakeside, blue water wins hands down.

It has a vast array of different shops, from your cheap and cheerful, to a few boutiques.

It has a number of different restaurants to choose from, such as Jamie Oliver and Browns, as well as your typical fast food area.

It is always clean and tidy. There are plenty of clean and large toilets, which include a great baby changing area, and a feeding room for babies which I've never seen anywhere else.

There is loads of parking spaces, but it can take a while to find one it you go on a weekend or bank holiday.

If I ever need to go shopping, this is always my first choice. It's inside, so it's always warm, and the shop selection means I can always find what I'm looking for.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Amanda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Bluewater here I come”
Reviewed April 26, 2013

A designer built, almost triangular shopping experience on two floors. Excellent facilities, 50+ restaurants, cinemas and exhibiton hall too. My favourite shopping experience

Visited April 2013
Thank JSB1958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Basildon, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
850 reviews
243 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 428 helpful votes
“Even Bluewater cant avoid the downturn”
Reviewed April 23, 2013

It is worrying that a few more units are starting to have advertising hoardings on them as there aremore shops closing. I arrived at 0940 and it was lovely to see plenty of parking spaces before the centre opened.
There is no doubt that its spotless image is tarnishbed a little, after 10 when all shops are due to be open there were still some small units that were hoovering. When the p[lace first opened was very certain that all units were ready for 10.
It does start to feel a little uncared for, it is still smart but just feels a little less focussedd than when it fiorst opened
The foodcourts are ok but really not special.

Visited April 2013
Thank Hoppityskip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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