Welsh Rarebits Hotels of Distinction
With nearly 30 independently owned hotels spread across Wales coast and countryside, every member of the Welsh Rarebits Hotels of Distinction is different but all offer great Welsh hospitality, fine food and a personal welcome.
Members range from country house hotels, boutique boltholes and romantic retreats to relaxing spas and historic inns as well as tasty restaurants with rooms.
Founded over 30 years ago, membership of the Rarebits Club is by invitation only ensuring consistent high quality for a comfortable stay with great food, stylish décor and attention to-detail, including those small touches that add up to so much.
To help you choose where to stay Rarebits has divided their collection into three regions – north, mid and south Wales.
With 11 hotels to choose from, this region takes in the north coast, Anglesy, the Llŷn Peninsula and Snowdonia National Park with its 2,000 miles of routes and pathways as well as Wales’ and England’s highest summit, Mount Snowdon.
On the edge of the Victorian seaside resort of Llandudno is historic Bodysgallen Hall & Spa, now a National Trust property. Tyddyn Llan at Corwen attracts foodies for its highly acclaimed cuisine, while Penmaenuchaf Hall at Dolgellau is a great base to explore southern Snowdonia, as is the relaxing Coes Faen Spa Lodge. Set in the little known Mawddach Estuary, near Barmouth this romantic hideaway offers individual in-room spa experiences.
Make your choice from two very different hotels or a serviced cottage suite in the Italianate village of Portmeirion. Cross over the Menai Strait to Anglesey and stay at either the 400 year-old Bull, a stylish coaching inn on the coast at Beaumaris, or the Grade II listed Château Rhianfa, a new member of the Rarebits Collection for 2021. Inspired by the châteaux of the Loire Valley, Sir John Hay-Williams built Château Rhianfa for his wife and daughters between 1849 and 1851.
A quieter region taking in the rural heartland of Wales stretching from the border country to the Ceredigion Heritage Coast, where you can see bottlenose dolphins swim in Cardigan Bay’s clear water. The Brecon Beacons National Park lies in the southern corner, look out for rare Red Kites by day and stargaze at night from Wales first International Dark Skies Reserve.
The Rarebits Collection includes a further 11 hotels throughout mid-Wales. New members include the Trefeddian, a family hotel on the coast at Aberdyfi and Gliffaes Country House Hotel, in the heart of the Brecon Beacons, near Crickhowell. Set in 33 acres of stunning grounds including a 19th century arboretum, Gliffaes boasts its own stretch of the river Usk offering excellent game and fly fishing in season (wild brown trout and salmon).
Perched on a hillside in splendid isolation amongst protected woodlands, Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa has one of the most mesmerising lake views in Britain. The hotel makes the most of its location and 24,000 acre estate, offering everything from birdwatching to clay shooting and classic fly fishing. Other wellknown hotels in the collection include the boutique Harbourmaster at Aberaeron, Y Talbot at Tregaron, which has an AA two rosette restaurant and The Bear, an old coaching inn in the centre of Crickhowell.
For a small area south Wales packs in a lot from Cardiff in the east to Britain’s smallest city of St Davids in the west. Explore the woods and riverbanks in the Wye Valley, take in the golden sands of the Gower Peninsula, discover industrial heritage in the South Wales Valleys, see the rich Carmarthenshire countryside that inspired Dylan Thomas and walk a section of the 186 mile long Pembrokeshire coast path in Britain’s only Coastal National Park.
Rarebits have seven hotels to tempt you to come and stay in south Wales. Within easy reach of Cardiff is Holm House, a boutique spa hotel on the coast at Penarth, while a little inland in Llandeilo, the recently refurbished Cawdor is a great central location for exploring the region’s coast and country. At Brechfa, just outside Carmarthen is Tŷ Mawr Country Hotel (main image), an intimate, cream-washed 15th century hideaway with aged beams, low ceilings, log fires and cosy nooks.
Continue west into Pembrokeshire and make your choice from four delightful places to stay. On a cliff in the south coast resort of Saundersfoot is stylish St Brides Spa Hotel with stunning views over Carmarthen Bay; a little inland on the edge of Narbeth is The Grove. Luxurious romantic interiors, beautifully kept gardens and critically-acclaimed fine dining places this hotel amongst Wales finest and a favourite with foodies.
Heading north and within easy reach of St Davids is Crug Glâs Country House offering boutique accommodation in individually designed rooms on a 600 acre working farm. Further north in the fashionable seaside of Newport is Llys Meddyg restaurant wth rooms. The cleverly remodelled Georgian townhouse now has an enviable reputation for its seasonal Pembrokeshire menus.
Book directly through Welsh Rarebits on www.rarebits.co.uk or call 01570 470785.
Travel Begins at 40 Editor
- Mark Bibby Jackson
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