Planning a week-end away in Wales but not sure where to stay? CD-Traveller has done the hard work for you. We’ve selected five chic retreats from Alastair Sawday’s new book Special Places to Stay Wales.
Monmouthshire: The Nurtons
Following the glorious Wye valley to Adrian and Elsa’s history-rich home. The facade is Victorian, the interior rambling and intriguing. This is an old house practicing eco-friendly techniques; your hosts are professional ecologists. At the back are two basic B&B suites, with private sittings areas inside and out; a double room is in the main part of the house. Bed linen is air dried, toiletries are mostly Ecover. The price reflects the simplicity, the plants man’s garden reflects a passion for all things organic and you breakfast well – not on bacon and eggs, but fresh fruits, home-baked bread, muesli, honey from their bees.
Price From £65. Singles from £35
Rooms 3: 1 double. 1 double & sitting room & child bed, 1 twin & sitting room & sofa bed
Meals Evening platter £30 (for 2) with glass of wine. Packed lunch £5. Pub 0.75 miles
Directions A466 just north of Tintern village. Drive to house is opposite Old Station Tintern.
Adrian & Elsa Wood
Tintern NP16 7NX
+44 (0) 1291 689253
Pembrokeshire: The Schoolroom Cottage
Steps from the famous Lily Ponds is an irresistible bolthole for two – or three: bring your dog or your child. The cottage is attached to the handsome rectory, all contemporary and charming: a fat sofa, easy chair, books, a cosy wood-burner and a pretty pine table. Dreamy colors remind you that the sea is close, eggs from the family’s hen nestle in a basket on the kitchen’s beautiful sycamore worktops. Your bedroom has a fabulous big bed and next door is a stylish bedroom. Chase the sun or the shade in your patch of garden: and, just beyond: a jolly pub, a cafe for teas and a 20 minute walk to a very fine sand beach.
Price £330-£490 per week
Rooms Cottage for 2 (4 with extra bed)
Meals Self catering
Directions Given on booking
Bosherton, Pembroke SA71 5DN
+44 (0) 1646 661 787
Powys: The Old Store House
Unbend here with agreeable books, chattering birds, and twinkling Peter, who asks only that you feel at home. Downstairs are a range-warmed kitchen, a sunny conservatory overlooking garden, ducks and canal, and a charmingly ramshackle sitting room with a wood-burner, sofas and a piano – no babbling TV. Bedrooms are large, light and spotless, with more books, soft goose down, new bathrooms, and armchairs facing views. Breakfast, without haste, on toothsome scrambled eggs, local bacon and sausages, blistering coffee. Bliss – but not for those who prefer the comfort of rules. Minimum stay two nights at weekends.
Price £75. Singles £40
Rooms 4: 3 doubles, 1 twin
Meals Packed lunch £4. Pub/restaurant 0.75 miles
Directions From Brecon, Abergavenny A40. After 1 mile, left for Llanfryanach B4558. Cross narrow stone bridge. House is 1.3 miles on right.
Llanfrynach LD3 7LJ
+44 (0) 1874 665499
Swansea: Oriel Gwyr
A product designer by trade, John has, quite literally, carved out his first house – in the sought after hamlet of Rhossili. The roof is insulated and grassed over, the odd sun pipe breaks through the turf to funnel light down, and there’s an air-source heat pump for the under floor heating: you’ll like the toasty floors. The whole house is muted, immaculate, curvaceous and double glazed. You are three miles from groceries but a local and organic welcome hamper will get you started. A cliff top restaurant is a two minute stroll and it’s a tumble down the path to the sweeping sands of Rhossili beach – one of Wale’s finest.
Price £800-£1,600 per week
Rooms House for 8 (3 doubles, 1 twin)
Meals Restaurant 100 yds.
Directions From Swansea, A4118 to Port Eynon. At Scurlage, right onto B4247 until you reach Rhossili; on right 100m before church.
Rhossili SA3 1AU
+44 (0) 1792 391425
Wrexham: Wynnstay Hall
At the end of a beech-line drive is a Grade 11-listed Victorian pile in French Renaissance style. Your share has been adventurously revamped into a 21st century bolthole; the rest is private apartments. A lift takes you to snug attic bedrooms and large sleek mezzanine suites. Downstairs is the Great Hall, oak panelled with a suit of armour and a vast open-tread staircase. Other sitting areas have huge fireplaces, leather sofas and a bar, a pool table, grand piano and a cinema. City escapees will love it – and the Capability Brown landscaped gardens.
Price £1,500-£3,000 per week
Rooms Hall for 18 (20 with sofa bed): 7 doubles, 2 twins
Directions Given on booking
Wynnstay Hall Estate, Overton Road
Ruabon, Wrexham LL14 6LA
+44 (0)1766 780043
Alastair Sawday’s guide, Special Places to Stay Wales, is available to buy online at www.sawdays.co.uk