Cool Cymru - Places to Stay in Wales

It may be a small country, but there are still plenty of places to stay in Wales. You might be surprised at the sheer variety of accommodation available. There are the places you’d expect in a largely rural area, such as cosy bed and breakfasts and self-catering country cottages. But there are also boutique hotels, chic spas and grand country house hotels. You can even stay in a Welsh lighthouse.

Welsh Luxury Hotels and Resorts

There are some wonderfully luxurious places to stay in Wales. Cardiff, for instance, boasts the sleek St David’s Hotel and Spa (T. 02920 454045, Havannah St) down in trendy Cardiff Bay. Décor is contemporary, there are calming views across the bay and the spa offers a wide range of relaxing treatments: it’s the sort of place that’s popular with visiting celebrities.

Golfers will want to head a few miles outside Cardiff to Newport, Gwent home of the Celtic Manor Resort (T. 01633 413000, Coldra Woods, off M4). This 5-star hotel must be one of the most exclusive places to stay in Wales – and is practically a destination in itself. Celtic Manor has 3 championship golf courses, a restaurant with 3 AA rosettes and 2 spas. It’s due to host the 2010 Ryder Cup, an event which will give visitors the chance to explore some of the attractions of this little corner of Wales – if they can tear themselves away from being pampered. The remains of the Roman town of Caerleon, for instance, are fascinating.

St Brides Hotel in Pembrokeshire is a great stop on a culinary tour.

One of our favourite places to stay in Wales is the St Brides Spa Hotel (Saundersfoot), in Pembrokeshire. It’s a contemporary seaside hotel, with a good spa and a restaurant that makes great efforts to serve dishes made with locally sourced Welsh produce – a great stop on a culinary tour. Make sure you book a room with a sea view, as the hotel is on a clifftop and offers glorious views of St Brides Bay.

Stay in a Lighthouse

There are plenty of unusual places to stay in Wales. The Landmark Trust, for instance, offers self-catering accommodation in the tower of a medieval wall, a former fortress and an 18th-century folly. Or what about staying in a lighthouse? In North Wales, just outside Llandudno, a Victorian lighthouse (T. 01492 876819, Great Orme’s Head) has been converted into an hotel with three comfortable en-suite rooms. In South Wales, near Newport in Gwent, West Usk Lighthouse is now a quirky B&B – complete with a hot tub on the roof, a room with a water-bed and a floatation tank for stressed guests. Wales, of course, is also home to Portmeirion, the extraordinary Italianate village created by Clough Williams-Ellis. The setting for the cult TV series The Prisoner, you can stay at Portmeirion in one of two luxurious hotels, or a self-catering cottage.

Back to Nature

If you want to stay in the heart of the countryside on your culinary tour, then you’ll be pleased to hear that there are several green places to stay in Wales. The largest, ideal for families, is Bluestone (T. 01834 862400). This new holiday village is in the heart of the glorious Pembrokshire National Park. You stay in a luxury lodge, can enjoy treatments in the spa, splash around in the water-park and hire bikes to explore the surrounding area. Wales also has some great campsites. You can choose conventional camping, stay in a tipi in West Wales or opt for a few nights in a yurt in Snowdonia.

Cottage Holidays Wales

If you’re planning to spend more than one week in one place during your holiday stay in Wales, then you might want to check out cottages to rent. Self catering gives you flexibility (get up for breakfast whenever you want) and can be a great money-saving option – especially if you’re travelling with children or with friends. Cottage holidays in Wales can also give you the opportunity to relax in remote spots, in some of the loveliest scenery in Wales. There are a number of agencies offering cottages to rent in Wales, such as English Country Cottages (yes, they also offer cottages in Wales).

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