Harbourmaster Hotel

César award in 2005

'Very lovely, very Welsh', this Grade II listed former harbourmaster's residence on the harbour of a Georgian town is today a 'buzzy' small hotel with 'delightful service'. Glyn and Menna Heulyn, the owners, are 'hard working and much in evidence': 'They ought to write a book for those who think it is a doddle to run a good hotel.' The bedrooms, 'comfortable, well equipped', are divided between the original building, a converted grain store next door, and a historic cottage two doors away. Each has bold colours, Welsh blankets and a cafetière with proper coffee; two have a terrace facing Cardigan Bay. There is 'good gastropub food' in the restaurant and 'chic' bar, where Ludovic Dieumegard (who joined as executive chef in June 2013) and Kelly Thomas cook modern Welsh dishes, eg, potted duck, cognac and onion marmalade, walnut toast; loin of Brecon venison, artichoke mash, game croquette. 'Excellent lobster is usually available.' 'Super' breakfasts have fresh croissants, 'unusual' juices and smoked salmon from a smokery in Rhydlewis. The Ceredigion Coastal Path is nearby; bicycles are available to borrow. (FT, LW, PA)
  • One of the perils of travellng alone is that single rooms tend to be small. This one was, but it was also clean, comfortable well equipped, and had a lovely view onto the harbour and sea. I would definitely stay there again. The food was excellent, both in the evening (lemon sole on the bone) and at breakfast: a tasty full breakfast with all the extras you could wish for. Brisk service. The bar had a real buzz about it, and it was good to hear Welsh being spoken by so many. A little gem.

    Mike Craddock, 29/08/2014

  • Harbourmaster continues to be excellent. This was our second visit - there was a 'welcome back' note in the room on arrival. Once again, was struck by way the friendly and helpful staff were happy to speak English or Welsh, including speakers of both languages rather than making anyone feel excluded; and the sense that Harbourmaster is part of Aberaeron rather than just located there - particularly in the bar, which is basically a local's pub.

    SA Mathieson, 18/04/2014

  • We have been many times and enjoyed seeing it grow in size and popularity. It is still a wonderful place to stay, and we especially like the room Aeron Queen, with its large windows, including French balcony and panoramic views. Excellent sound-proofing from the buzzing bar below. Very diligent manager, and owners still much in evidence. What makes it so special is that all the staff seem motivated, cheerful and happy; many are local. New since our last visit is the daily newsletter on the breakfast tables. Food is pretty good, (different menus in the bar and restaurant). Especially good is the breakfast, which is freshly prepared using good local ingredients. The small car park to the rear is also useful.

    Lynn Wildgoose, 20/08/2013

  • A really buzzy olkace to stay. Delightful service by local girls and good gastropub food.

    Peter Adam, 15/07/2012

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Local attractions

An 18th-century Welsh estate.
Dolphin spotting
Take boat trips from Aberaeron.
A seaside town nestled between three hills and two beaches.
Dornoch Cathedral
A 13th-century cathedral, housing the reconstructed remains of the medieval palace of the Bishops of Caithness.

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Contact Details

Harbourmaster Hotel

Pen Cei, Aberaeron ABERAERON Ceredigion Wales SA46 0BT


01545 570755

Further Information


13, 2 in cottage, 1 suitable for disabled.


all year except 25 Dec.


bar, restaurant, free Wi-Fi (in bar and original bedrooms; broadband in warehouse rooms), pebble beach (safe bathing nearby).

Background music

'modern, relaxed'.


under-5s in cottage only.


not allowed.

Credit cards

MasterCard, Visa.


[2013] per room B&B single £65, double £110-£250. D,B&B (min. 2 nights) £80-£150 per person, set dinner £25-£30, à la carte £30. 1-night bookings refused weekends.