Best luxury and boutique hotels in Wales

Hotels, B&Bs, country houses, inns, restaurants with rooms

Much has changed, mostly for the better, since a British encyclopaedia carried the infamous entry: "For Wales, see England". Cross the border into Wales today and differences are immediately apparent. The country is increasingly politically as well as culturally independent. The road signs are bilingual. Welsh is no longer heard only, or even mainly, in West Wales. The old language is spoken by the professional elite in Cardiff, an ever-more confident capital city with spacious parkland, a fine sports stadium and a world-class opera house. Rugby, not soccer, is the game that captures the popular imagination. Welsh male-voice choirs continue to merit their international renown and in the country's sports stands, as well as its pubs and clubs, people actually sing in tune.

Welsh Hotels and restaurants, once often dire, are improving fast. Chefs use local produce, especially lamb and the meat of Welsh Black cattle, to produce excellent dishes. The cheeses are among the best in Britain. The walks and the beaches are as marvellous as the tourist brochures say they are: along the Lleyn Peninsula, The Gower, the River Wye and the rugged Pembrokeshire Coast. England's medieval King Edward I aimed to subdue the Welsh when he commissioned his still magnificent castles: Harlech, Conwy, Harlech and Beaumaris. Just as impressive are the Italianate fantasy town of Portmeirion designed by Clough Williams-Ellis; the deep disused coal mine ("Big Pit") at Blaenafon, where ex-miners guide visitors around underground; St David's Cathedral; and Dylan Thomas's boathouse at Laughharne. Natural enchantment is provided by hauntingly beautiful national parks: Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire Coast.

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Featured hotels in Wales


‘A pleasant place with comfortable public rooms and very obliging staff.’ Praise in 2015 for Jean-Pierre Mifsud’s traditional country house hotel which stands in extensive grounds by a lake on the


Llangoed Hall, LLYSWEN, Powys

‘Spot on as usual.’ Praise from a returning guest to this ‘splendid’ country house hotel on the banks of the River Wye. Former owner Sir Bernard Ashley’s collection of mainly 20th-century art is


Trefeddian Hotel, ABERDYFI, Gwynedd

‘A real joy: we have been visiting for 40 years, and the standard has not changed.’ Praise this year, from one of many repeat visitors, for the Cave family’s ‘lovely’ hotel on a bluff with ‘glorious’


Hotels in Wales

  • Harbourmaster Hotel, ABERAERON, Ceredigion

    ‘There is a real sense of Welshness,’ says a visitor in 2015 at Glyn and Menna Heulyn’s small hotel. Composed of three characterful converted buildings, it stands on the quayside of this pretty

  • The Angel Hotel, ABERGAVENNY, Monmouthshire

    ‘A social hub’ of this historic market town on the edge of the Brecon Beacons national park, this former coaching inn is ‘very much a town hotel – and all the better for it’, a Guide inspector said.

  • Porth Tocyn Hotel, ABERSOCH, Gwynedd

    Steps from the Welsh Coast Footpath, with ‘stupendous’ views over Cardigan Bay, this ‘lovely, wacky’ hotel has been run by three generations of the Fletcher-Brewer family since 1948. Occupying three

  • Ye Olde Bulls Head, BEAUMARIS, Anglesey

    ‘Highly recommended.’ There are ancient timbers, antique furniture, historic artefacts and real ales in David Robertson and Keith Rothwell’s inn, which has been welcoming travellers to the ferry port

  • Jolyon's at No. 10, CARDIFF

    Occupying a Victorian villa in the Pontcanna area, Jolyon Joseph’s relaxed hotel is behind Sophia Gardens and within walking distance of the city centre. The decoration is bright and eclectic

  • Glangrwyney Court, CRICKHOWELL, Powys

    ‘Everything is top notch’ at this Grade II listed Palladian house. It has been restored and ‘beautifully furnished’ by the owners, Christina and Warwick Jackson, who run it as an upmarket B&B. An

  • Gliffaes, CRICKHOWELL, Powys

    ‘There is nowhere else more calming’ than the ‘magnificent’ grounds of Susie and James Suter’s sporting hotel by the River Usk, a long-time visitor says. The 19th-century Italianate building stands in

  • Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel, NANT GWYNANT, Gwynedd

    In the lee of Snowdonia, this ‘eccentric and old-fashioned’ hotel found fame as the training base for the Everest expedition in 1953. Little has changed in the intervening years: it is owned by the

  • The Felin Fach Griffin, FELIN FACH, Powys

    Entering through the front door of this roadside inn, visitors find themselves in an open sitting area with leather sofas, books, magazines and a log fire. The inn, which has been owned and run in a

  • The Manor Town House, FISHGUARD, Pembrokeshire

    ‘Friendly owners’ Helen and Chris Sheldon run their ‘delightful’ B&B in this Grade II listed Georgian house (painted cornflower blue) near the town square of this lively old fishing town. The lounges

  • Milebrook House, KNIGHTON, Powys

    ‘Pleasant’ owners Beryl and Rodney Marsden run their ‘delightful’ small hotel in this 18th-century stone dower house in ‘lovely’ countryside. Three generations of the family are involved in its

  • Tyddyn Llan, LLANDRILLO, Denbighshire

    Bryan and Susan Webb have run their ‘truly lovely’ restaurant-with-rooms for 14 years, in this former shooting lodge. It stands in well-maintained lawns and gardens with views of the Berwyn Mountains.

  • Bodysgallen Hall and Spa, LLANDUDNO

    A ‘beautiful house in pretty gardens’, this Grade I listed 17th-century mansion has a ‘stunning outlook’ over Snowdonia. It is managed by Matthew Johnson for Historic House Hotels, who run it for the

  • Carlton Riverside, LLANWRTYD WELLS, Powys

    ‘Highly recommended’ in 2015, this restaurant-with rooms stands by an old stone bridge over the River Irfon. It is run by ‘warm, welcoming’ hosts Mary Ann and Alan Gilchrist in one of the oldest

  • Cnapan, NEWPORT, Pembrokeshire

    Family photographs line the staircase of this homely restaurant-with-rooms, in a listed Georgian town house in the centre of a small coastal town. It has been owned and run by Judith and Michael

  • Hotel Portmeirion, PORTMEIRION, Gwynedd

    In a ‘unique’ setting on the coast of Snowdonia national park, this eccentric resort village, developed between 1925 and 1976 by the architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, ‘offers complete

  • Plas Bodegroes, PWLLHELI, Gwynedd

    ‘Our second visit, we thoroughly enjoyed it once again.’ Praise this year from repeat guests at Chris and Gunna Chown’s restaurant-with-rooms, in a Georgian manor house standing in wooded grounds on

  • The Whitebrook, WHITEBROOK, Monmouthshire

    ‘Rethought, refreshed and redecorated, the Whitebrook has been reborn in the hands of chef/patron Chris Harrod and his team – and he fully lives up to the heritage.’ Regular Guide correspondents

  • Castle Cottage, HARLECH , Gwynedd

    On a steep road behind Harlech Castle, Glyn and Jacqueline Roberts have run their contemporary restaurant-with-rooms since 1989. It has ‘an amazing setting with wonderful views’. Decorated in an

  • Patricks with Rooms, MUMBLES

    On the seafront of a pretty village near Swansea, this long-established restaurant-with-rooms is run by two husband-and-wife teams, Sally and Dean Fuller and Catherine and Patrick Walsh, with

  • Crug-Glas, ST DAVID'S, Pembrokeshire

    ‘A good place to stay when visiting St David’s.’ This Georgian farmhouse is run as a restaurant-with-rooms by the ‘hard-working’ owners, Perkin and Janet Evans, who have a long association with the

  • Lasswade Country House, LLANWRTYD WELLS, Powys

    ‘We were impressed.’ Roger and Emma Stevens run their welcoming hotel and restaurant in this large Edwardian house, in a semi-rural location on the edge of the UK’s smallest town. Traditionally

  • The Old Vicarage, DOLFOR, Powys

    Guests are greeted with afternoon tea and cake at this small guest house, in a red brick Victorian vicarage in the hills of the Welsh Marches. Helen and Tim Withers are the ‘charming, helpful’ owners,

  • Gwesty Cymru, ABERYSTWYTH, Ceredigion

    ‘An excellent hotel with a warm welcome’, Huw and Beth Roberts’s stylish restaurant-with-rooms is on the Victorian promenade of this lively resort town. The name translates as ‘Welsh hotel’, and the

  • Y Goeden Eirin, DOLYDD, Gwynedd

    Named in homage to a book of Welsh stories, The Plum Tree (as it translates) is a converted cowshed in pastureland facing the three peaks of Yr Eifl in Snowdonia. We were sorry to learn of the death

  • Fairyhill, REYNOLDSTON

    In ‘wonderful’ grounds with woodland, an orchard and an ornamental lake, this small country hotel, in an 18th-century Georgian mansion, has ‘a lot of positives’, a guest said in 2015. Another comment:

  • Plas Dinas Country House, CAERNARFON

    ‘We had a memorable experience.’ Once the country home of the Armstrong-Jones family, this ‘lovely’ 17th-century Grade II listed building, standing in 15-acre grounds, is packed with history. Owners

  • Osborne House, LLANDUDNO

    Little sister of the Empire Hotel, and sharing its view of promenade, palm trees and beach, this handsome, bay-fronted stone house is managed by Elyse Waddy for the Maddocks family. They have made it

  • Gales, LLANGOLLEN, Denbighshire

    Richard Gale opened his wine bar in the centre of town in 1977; the family-run enterprise eventually expanded to include this quirky hotel and popular restaurant. Pip Gale is the manager. Individually

  • Bryniau Golau, BALA, Gwynedd

    ‘Delightful hosts who make their guests feel like friends’, Katrina Le Saux and Peter Cottee run their small guest house in a ‘beautiful’ Victorian mansion on a secluded hillside overlooking Lake

  • Ynyshir Hall, EGLWYSFACH, Powys

    In a ‘beautiful setting in lovely countryside’, this ‘pretty’ manor house was once Queen Victoria’s country retreat. Today, it is a luxury hotel/restaurant (Relais & Châteaux), owned by Joan and Rob

  • Llys Meddyg, NEWPORT, Pembrokeshire

    In a pretty town between the mountains and the sea, this Georgian coaching inn is run as a contemporary restaurant-with-rooms by Ed and Lou Sykes. Pembrokeshire natives, they are keen to showcase the

  • Llwyndu Farmhouse, BARMOUTH, Gwynedd

    ‘A super little hotel’, Paula and Peter Thompson’s ‘tranquil’ 16th-century farmhouse stands at the base of the Rhinog Mountains, overlooking Cardigan Bay. ‘We received a splendid welcome from Paula

  • Pentre Mawr, LLANDYRNOG, Denbighshire

    ‘Beautifully kept’, this 400-year-old farmstead has ‘excellent’ accommodation spread out between the main house and unusual ‘glamping’ options in the extensive grounds. Bre and Graham Carrington-Sykes

  • The Forest Country Guest House, NEWTOWN, Powys

    In undulating countryside in the Vale of Kerry, Paul and Michelle Martin’s family-friendly B&B is in a Victorian country house, three miles outside the town. Elegantly furnished in period style, it

  • Ffynnon, DOLGELLAU, Gwynedd

    In a small market town within the Snowdonia national park, Debra Harris and Steven Holt run their comfortable B&B in this handsomely refurbished Gothic Victorian rectory. Period features, such as an

  • The Grove, NARBERTH, Pembrokeshire

    Approached by a tree-lined drive, with ‘spectacular’ views of the Preseli hills, this ‘very striking’, early 18th-century mansion in landscaped gardens has been restored by Neil Kedward and Zoë Agar,

  • Escape, LLANDUDNO

    Near sandy beaches and the promenade, Sam Nayar and Gaenor Loftus run their design-conscious B&B in a white-stucco Victorian villa. Beyond the traditional facade, there is a cool, urban interior:

  • Y Garth, NEWPORT, Pembrokeshire

    Joyce Evans, a welcoming hostess, offers complimentary afternoon tea to guests arriving at her ‘faultless’ B&B. Situated between Newport and Fishguard, the house is popular with walkers: the

  • Penbontbren, GLYNARTHEN, Ceredigion

    There is a ‘very happy atmosphere’ at this luxury B&B, a conversion of a 19th-century livestock farm surrounded by ‘beautiful’ countryside. ‘Great hosts’ Richard Morgan-Price and Huw Thomas are the

  • The Kinmel Arms, ABERGELE

    ‘A delightful and relaxed hideaway’, Lynn Cunnah-Watson and Tim Watson’s refurbished inn is in a secluded hamlet in the Elwy valley. The handsome sandstone building has mullioned windows, and a modern

  • Ael y Bryn, EGLWYSWRW, Pembrokeshire

    Guests are ‘welcomed as friends’ at this rural B&B, in a ‘magnificent’ setting near the Pembrokeshire coast. ‘The owners, Robert Smith and Arwel Hughes, are what makes this such a special place,’

  • Ellingham House, COLWYN BAY

    A short walk from the town and the sea, Ian Davies and Chris Jennings’s traditionally furnished B&B is peacefully located in a leafy conservation area. There is a relaxed, informal atmosphere;

  • The Falcondale, LAMPETER, Ceredigion

    Up a drive bordered by bluebells in season, Chris and Lisa Hutton’s ‘striking’ Italianate hotel is ‘run with good traditional taste and without pretension’. Guests praise the ‘very pleasant’ staff and

  • Dolffanog Fawr, TYWYN, Gwynedd

    ‘It was superb: dedicated hosts, excellent accommodation, the best lamb we have eaten anywhere for years.’ A well-travelled visitor was impressed this year by Lorraine Hinkins and Alex Yorke’s

  • Canaston Oaks, Narberth, Pembrokeshire

    Surrounded by woodland and river walks, the Lewis family’s ‘very good’ B&B is in converted barns designed and built by Pembrokeshire craftsmen. Homely bedrooms are equipped with dressing gowns and

  • The Checkers, MONTGOMERY, Powys

    There are smartly rustic bedrooms and much-admired meals at this ‘charming’ restaurant-with-rooms, overlooking the town square of a laid-back border town. It is owned by sisters Kathryn and Sarah

  • The Old Rectory on the Lake, TAL-Y-LLYN, Gwynedd

    ‘Wonderful: our visit is an annual highlight.’ Beneath Cadair Idris, personable owners John Caine and Ricky Francis run their B&B in this tranquil stone-built house on the shore of Lake Tal-y-llyn.

  • Manorhaus Llangollen, LLANGOLLEN, Denbighshire

    In the centre of town, this stylish restaurant-with-rooms occupies a handsomely renovated Victorian town house with a smart black-and-white facade. Christopher Frost and Gavin Harris are the owners.

  • Llwyn Helyg, LLANARTHNE, Carmarthenshire

    ‘Hands-on’ owners Caron and Fiona Jones ‘convey a real pleasure’ in welcoming guests to their ‘superb’ B&B in ‘peaceful’ countryside near the National Botanic Garden of Wales. ‘We had a memorable

  • St Brides Spa Hotel, SAUNDERSFOOT, Pembrokeshire

    ‘We had a good stay.’ High above Carmarthen Bay, this relaxed, modern hotel, on the Coastal Path, has ‘very good views’ of the harbour and up the coast. It is run by Andrew and Lindsey Evans. Light,

  • Cathedral 73, Cardiff

    Guests like the personal touch at Nigel John’s stylishly converted Victorian town house on a leafy thoroughfare within easy walking distance of many of the city’s attractions. A butler and a personal

  • The Coach House, Brecon, Powys

    A short walk from the centre, this modern, ‘beautifully decorated’ B&B is run by friendly owners Tony Morris-Davies and Marc Pearce-Hopkins. Stairs in the former Georgian coaching

  • The Drawing Room, Cwmbach, Powys

    On a quiet country road, this intimate restaurant-with-rooms is run by Colin and Melanie Dawson in a Georgian stone-built house. The sitting room has fresh flowers, comfortable seating and an open

  • Caemorgan Mansion, Cardigan, Ceredigion

    In a peaceful location just beyond the town, David and Beverley Harrison-Wood have remodelled this stately house and transformed it into a ‘startlingly good’, modern guest house and restaurant. It is

  • Mellieha Guest House, Amroth, Pembrokeshire

    ‘Friendly, professional’ hosts, Julia and Stuart Adams run their peaceful, ‘ranch-style’ B&B in a small seaside village at the start of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. ‘Delicate touches make it stand

  • The Outbuildings, Llangaffo, Anglesey

    Down winding country lanes, Judith ‘Bun’ Matthews’s restaurant-with-rooms is ‘very different, and very much enjoyed’. Set in tranquil farmland, the converted barn and granary have glorious views to