Theresa May is currently rambling the Welsh countryside on a five-day walking holiday with her husband Philip. If she fancies a taste of the high life during this rare bit of time off, here are five of the best luxury hotels Snowdonia has to offer.
Grade II-listed Palé Hall, opened in 2016, has had a substantial refurb since it was a private home that once hosted the likes of Queen Victoria and, later, Winston Churchill. Now a country house hotel, it has 18 guest rooms and suites, each individually decorated with William Morris prints and luxurious fabrics. Although, to really feel like royalty check in to the Victoria Suite to lie in the original bed the Queen once slept in. One of the hotel’s biggest selling points, however, is the restaurant. Serving a menu devised by Michael Caines, who earned two Michelin stars at Devon’s Gidleigh Park, there are three dining areas, each with a distinctive look, from an intimate library to a Venetian-themed room.
Palé Estate, Llandderfel, Bala, Gwynedd LL23 7PS(01678 530 285; palehall.co.uk). Doubles from £190, room only.
Formerly describing itself as a hotel, this grand hall relaunched in autumn 2016 as a restaurant with rooms, with a new focus on its Michelin-starred dining. The Ynyshr restaurant specialises in tasting menus, with head chef Gareth Ward using local ingredients in his Japanese-inspired dishes. And while Palé may have hosted Queen Victoria, the monarch actually once owned Ynyshr, using it as a holiday retreat. The 10 bedrooms have views of the gardens, the RSPB Ynys-hir Nature Reserve or the mountains of Snowdonia National Park.
Eglwysfach, Machynlleth, Powys SY20 8TA (01654 781209; ynyshirhall.co.uk). Doubles from £200, B&B.
Dating back to the mid-17th century, this country house sits within nine acres of land between the Menai Straits and mountains of Snowdonia. The rooms range from suites with four-poster beds to cosy affairs tucked into the eaves. There is a self-catering option on the grounds, the Gatekeeper’s Lodge, which can sleep groups of up to four. The décor is largely traditional, but the vibe is homely; guests can help themselves to a drink from the honesty bar or throw a log on the fire if they want. For those who want to arrive in style, helicopter landings can be arranged.
Bontnewydd, Caernarfon, Gwynedd LL54 7YF(01286 830214; plasdinas.co.uk). Doubles from £139, B&B.
Bodysgallen Hall & Spa
Perched on a hill outside Llandudno, Bodysgallen Hall certainly isn’t short on great views, whether it’s the 200 acres of parkland and manicured gardens, Conwy Castle or Snowdonia’s peaks. Interiors are formal but cosy — think wood-panelled sitting rooms with open fires, and bedrooms decked out with floral four-posters. After a day out exploring, head to the spa, with its pool, steam room, sauna and treatment rooms,
The Royal Welsh Way, Llandudno LL30 1RS (0800 089 3929; prideofbritainhotels.com). Doubles from £185, B&B.
Okay, this isn’t quite a hotel, but we couldn’t miss out these beautifully designed holiday apartments in Betws-y-Coed. Housed in the village’s historic railway station, artist Jacha Potgieter individually decorated each of the five flats with quirky features such as scalloped metal worktops, feathered flamingo lampshades and vast roll-top baths. Lovebirds should check in to No 10, with its hot pink decor, bedroom-cum-bathroom and champagne on arrival.
6 Station Road, Betws-y-Coed LL24 0AE (01690 733796; betwsaccommodation.co.uk). One-bed apartments from £250 for two nights (minimum stay), self-catering.