October 3, 2023


Fly with us

New places to stay in Wales in 2022, from glamping and historic hotels to family-friendly options near a beach

By The Wye, Hay-on-Wye, Hereford

Safari-style luxury tented camping now lines the banks of the river Wye in Wales where this glampsite sports five high-end tents perched on platforms overlooking the valley’s rolling green hills.

By the Wye, which opened in late 2020, is within walking distance of the small market town of Hay, which hosts its annual spring festival of literature and is home to more than 20 bookshops.

Pitched close to Brecon Beacons National Park, all tents have en suite power showers, flushing loos and kitchens. Beds, towel rails and cupboard handles are handcrafted from local ash.

Solar panels power the lighting and log burners and fire pits keep guests warm at night.

Guests can order hampers full of Welsh produce for breakfasts and barbecues from £30.

Three nights’ self-catering from £700 for five; the Cwtch (sleeping two) has good availability in July and August, bythewye.uk

By the Wye’s safari-style tents (Photo: Adam Tatton-Reid/By the Wye)

Cwtsh Hostel, Swansea

This Swansea city centre hostel opened in November 2021, with free introductory Welsh classes and quirky pod-bed dorms.

Cwtsh (roughly translated as cuddle or embrace) has a mix of accommodation, from small double bedrooms with en suite bathrooms to large 12-bed dormitories.

Self-described as a “trendsetting and uniquely Welsh Hostel chain”, it is in a central location with easy access to the train station, buses, and a short walk from the new Swansea Arena.

Pods in a 12-bed mixed dorm are from £19.80, private doubles from £49.50, cwtsh-hostel.co.uk

The Grove Hotel, Narbeth, Pembrokeshire

The five-star Grove of Narberth, a boutique bolthole in a secluded glade, has recently renovated its relaxed dining restaurant, The Artisan Rooms and the final eight of its 25 spacious bedrooms.

The refurb by Martin Hulbert Design has added luxurious furnishings with a modern touch and a sprinkling of local art and antiques.

With views over the Preseli Hills, The Grove – part of Pride of Britain Hotels – is a few miles from the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and its harbour villages, beaches, and coastal paths.

Dog-friendly rooms are available, with plenty of space for walks across the estate’s 300 acre grounds.

Doubles from £245, thegrove-narberth.co.uk

One of The Grove’s bedrooms (Photo: Phil Boorman)

Siôr, near St George, Conwy County

Brand new this spring and exclusive to Quality Unearthed, Siôr (pronounced “shore”) is a remote hillside shepherd’s hut with views across fields and white-washed farm buildings towards the sea.

Rustic interiors showcase Welsh craftsmanship, including hand-woven tapestry blankets. There is a wood-burning stove surrounded by antique Delft tiles, a well-equipped kitchen, modern bathroom and wifi. Outside are two wooden loungers with sheepskin throws, a fire pit and little light pollution for bright, starry skies.

Walks from the front door might take you to the village of St George, home to the award-winning Kinmel Arms, two miles away. The beaches of the North Wales coast are a short drive and Snowdonia is also within easy reach.

Self-catering for two from £130 per night, qualityunearthed.co.uk.

Ty’r Gof “Blacksmith’s House”, Llandysul, Ceredigion

New to Sawday’s portfolio is a former blacksmiths forge in western mid Wales. Ideal for couples, the dinky forge-turned-cottage has cobbles and flagstones flooring, a high beamed ceiling and fireplace.

A wide ladder leads to the loft and a sleeping platform complete with a window in the roof for stargazing.

The snug open-plan kitchen comes with a welcome bottle of wine and freshly baked Welsh cakes.

A stable door leads directly to country walks and bike rides or travel three miles to the coast for National Trust Penbryn beach and ice creams and fresh seafood at Cardigan Bay.

Self-catering from £100 per night; sleeps two, sawdays.co.uk/blacksmithshouse

More on Hotels

Hilton Garden Inn, Adventure Parc Snowdonia, Conwy

Wales’s top new surf hotel may be miles from the beach but promises the most consistent waves in the country.

The Hilton Garden Inn opened in 2021 at Adventure Parc Snowdonia on the edge of a world-first inland surf lagoon in the magnificent Conwy Valley.

The unique four-star location includes an indoor and outdoor wellbeing spa as well as a restaurant and bar overlooking the lagoon. An “Adventure Concierge” service can help guests book instructor-led activities in the natural playground of North Wales.

Doubles from £112, hgisnowdonia.com. One-hour surf sessions from £40, adventureparcsnowdonia.com

Penhein Glamping, Chepstow, Monmouthshire

This glamping site has a Persian twist. Husband and wife owners Helen and James Hearn have created a site by their home with tents inspired by James’s mother’s Iranian heritage. Two more of the signature, high-domed Alachighs have been added for this summer.

All eight of the tents, inspired by those of the nomadic Shahsavan tribe in Northern Iran, feature Persian hand blocked motifs on headboards and quilted throws. Each is off grid and tucked away in a peaceful corner of a coppiced woodland for complete privacy.

Each has a private flushing loo, the two new tents have en suite showers and the others share a dedicated shower room with Mandarin Stone tiling, underfloor heating and roll-top bath.

There’s a woodland children’s playground onsite, communal outdoor seating areas and social fire pits.

Two nights’ self-catering midweek is from £295 with five sharing, penhein.co.uk

Inside Penhein’s domed tents (Photo: Rory Lindsay)

The Albion, Cardigan

The Albion, a new hotel in the heart of Cardigan, is due to open later this month, with 23 guestrooms overlooking the river Teifi.

It’s housed in two historic warehouses, and owners say the project has been designed to celebrate the town’s maritime heritage with sections left “raw” to “tell its own stories”.

The project is by Fforest, which offers camping and self-catering accommodation across three sites nearby – in the historic port town, at a nearby farm and on the coast.

Fforest also operates Tafarn Smwglin, an old ale house on the Teifi wharfside at Cambrian Quay. In summer The Pizzatipi tent is pitched up outside for wood fired pizzas, outdoor drinks and music on the riverside.

The hotel opens 28 July, coldatnight.co.uk/the-albion-aberteifi

Parkgate Hotel, Cardiff

Rugby fans can now sleep in luxurious comfort a drop kick away from the Welsh national stadium in Cardiff. The five-star Parkgate Hotel, right next to Principality Stadium, is the perfect base for match days or a trip to explore the Welsh capital.

Dating from the turn of the 20th century, the Grade II-listed former post office and county court have been tastefully transformed into a modern hotel with spacious rooms offering a classic-meets-contemporary design.

There is a restaurant and bar, elegant tea lounge, and a rooftop spa with views over the Cardiff skyline.

Room only doubles from £157, theparkgatehotel.wales

Plas Weunydd, Llechwedd Quarry, Gwynedd

Adrenaline junkies seeking an outdoor adventure should look no further than this boutique hotel at the entrance to Unesco-listed Llechwedd slate quarry.

The quarry is now home to Zip World Llechwedd, the former mine features zip lines, underground net adventure Bounce Below and much more.

Four-star Plas Weunydd includes 24 stylish rooms, a bar and restaurant plus six en suite safari tents pitched in the stunning World Heritage landscape.

Family rooms are from £140 sleeping four, plasweunydd.co.uk