The best guest houses in North Wales
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North Wales has many beautiful places to stay. Here’s a selection of some of the best bijou hotels and guest houses
Plas Dinas, Bontnewydd
Neil Baines and Marco Foares left behind the exotic climes of South Africa to take on the running of this exquisite country house. This lovely building has all the delightful comforts of home – a very nice home at that – as well as all of the luxury perks that transform a break into a wonderful experience.
Still part of Lord Snowdon’s estate, Plas Dinas dates back to the mid 17th century and it was once regularly visited by Princess Margaret. There are items from the Armstrong-Jones family estate, including family portraits, memorabilia and original furniture all around the property. They are on permanent loan from the family and are an exceptional part of the lodging.
There are nine bedrooms and a two bedroom self-catering cottage, all laden with five star comforts. Marco, who has a regular food column for an American travel magazine, is in charge of the kitchen and his home-style cooking is a highlight of any stay here. As well as a stunning interior you can also be sure of a warm welcome, state-of-the-art facilities and lovely views. This is a spectacular place to stay.
Plas Dinas Country House, Bontnewydd, Caernarfon, LL54 7YF, 01286 830214, www.plasdinas.co.uk
Plas Cadnant, Menai Bridge
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The award-winning Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens and Holiday Cottages have been transformed over the last 17 years, since owner Anthony Tavernor, took on the huge challenge. The gardens were completely overgrown when he bought the now stunning place and there were trees growing in some of the ancient buildings. Anthony devoted himself to saving the buildings, including a Welsh longhouse dating back to the 1600s, and bringing them back to life with a practical purpose. At the same time, being a keen plantsman he set about restoring the fantastic Hidden Gardens.
Today, there are now five carefully restored cottages tucked away in the 10 acre gardens of the private Plas Cadnant Estate. The Hidden Gardens are there for cottage guests to enjoy, in the morning you will be awoken by the songs of birds in the woodlands and down in the Lower Valley Garden there are waterfalls, ferns and mosses. During May you’ll be able to see a stunning bluebell display. It is a little piece of paradise.
Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens, Cadnant Road, Menai Bridge, Anglesey, LL59 5NH, 01248 717007, www.plascadnant.co.uk
Plas Bodegroes, Pwhelli
Plas Bodegroes is a charming country house owned by Chris and Gunna Chown in Pwllheli. It is the current recipient of the North Wales Dining Excellence accolade in the Cheshire Life Food & Drink Awards and it is easy to see why.
The location of this restaurant with rooms is between the Llyn Peninsula’s ‘capital’ Pwhelli and Abersoch which has made it a long time favourite of Cheshire folk.
There are wonderful double and twin bedrooms as well as junior suites which can also be used as family rooms. As you may well imagine, the food is also top quality with quality ingredients like seafood from Cardigan Bay and Nefyn on the menu as well as saltmarsh lamb and Welsh Black beef create.
Plas Bodegroes, Nefyn Road, Pwhelli, LL53 5TH, 01758 612363, www.bodegroes.co.uk
Ffynnon Townhouse, Dolgellau
When Steve Holt and Debra Harris took the helm of Ffynnon Townhouse in 2007, they were determined to provide visitors to Dolgellau with somewhere special to stay. They certainly achieved that. This contemporary hotel, located at the foot of Cader Idris in the Snowdonia National Park, combines five star facilities with a warm welcome and a family environment and beautiful rooms you will never want to leave.
If you do manage it you can relax with a good book in the library, take afternoon or soak in the outdoor hot-tub. Steve and Debra’s efforts have certainly paid off. Ffynnon was named Wales’ Leading Boutique Hotel at the World Travel Awards.
Ffynnon Townhouse, Love Lane, Dolgellau, Gwynedd, LL40 1RR, 01341 421774, www.ffynnontownhouse.com
The Kinmel Arms, St George
Lynn Cunnah-Watson and Tim Watson’s delightful restaurant with rooms, tucked away in a tiny village a stone’s throw from the busy A55, offers luxury rooms and exquisite gourmet dining - rated five-star accommodation by the AA and Visit Wales and “one of the best places to eat in North Wales” by the respected Harden Guide.
The pair, who left jobs in teaching and business management, have a passion for good food and good service. And it shows. The awards have come thick and fast since the couple took ownership of The Kinmel Arms 14 years ago.
Tim’s striking artwork graces the walls of the four luxurious suites, which are inspired by the coast, and they will soon launch an art gallery as well as a shop on-site selling some of the treats made in the restaurant.
The Kinmel Arms, The Village, St George, Abergele, Conwy, LL22 9BP, 01745 832207, www.thekinmelarms.co.uk
Escape Boutique B&B, Llandudno
This designer bed and breakfast is away from the crowds but just a short hop from the heart of Llandudno and its beach. Owners Sam Nayer and Gaenor Loftus launched Escape ten years ago as a way to leave behind their busy lives following the birth of daughter, Grace.
They transformed this 19th century Grand Victorian villa from five flats into this stunning place to stay with an eclectic collection of colourful retro furniture they have found across Europe as well as lots of original features. In the nine rooms expect funky wallpapers, contemporary technology and spectacular views from those at the front. Escape’s appeal has not gone unnoticed and celebrities including Jonny Vegas and Janet Street Porter have stayed here.
Escape Boutique B&B, 48 Church Walks, Llandudno, LL30 2HL, 01492 877776, www.escapebandb.co.uk
Castle House Bed and Breakfast, Denbigh
There are few places that can boast they have a cathedral in their back garden. But Angie and Charlie Hobson have just that at their bed and breakfast in Denbigh. The couple originally bought the property as a family home for them and their nine children in 2001. But it was 2009 they decided to open their doors to paying guests.
Castle House is set within the tranquil grounds of Plas Castell Estate which also has Leicester’s Church, the unfinished cathedral built by Robert Dudley, lover of Queen Elizabeth I in 1587, but it was never completed. There is also Denbigh Castle and the ancient town walls and fabulous views of the Vale of Clwyd.
Castle House itself was built around 1720 as a gentleman’s residence and was visited by many famous politicians, including former prime minister Lloyd George, when it was owned by the famous Gee printers family.
Today you’ll find light, spacious bedrooms with en-suites as well as wonderful features as well as lots of comfort, style and luxury.
Castle House Bend and Breakfast, Plas Castell, Bull Lane, Denbigh, LL16 3SN, 01745 816860, www.castlehousebandb.co.uk