Top six places to spend Christmas in Wales

The 100-day countdown to the most wonderful time of the year has begun. If you have yet to decide how to spend Christmas, we’ve done the hard work for you and compiled a list of recommendations.

1.Laugharne 

If you’re familiar with the classic Christmas film ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’, you’ll recognise this town in Carmarthenshire, West Wales.

Pronounced ‘Larn’ and known for being the home of Dylan Thomas, it holds many of the wonders of Dylan’s world, including his old boathouse and his favourite pub – Brown’s.

The Corran Resort & Spa is a great place to stay to explore Dylan Thomas’s Christmas world. The hotel is pet-friendly and offers Christmas Day lunch to enjoy with all the family.

2.Crickhowell

Gliffaes-Crickhowell-Christmas-Break-Snow

image credit: http://www.gliffaeshotel.com/2015/10/christmas-afternoon-teas/

Crickhowell is a small, cosy town located in South Wales. The variety of local shops make it perfect to stock up on Christmas nick-nacks, and its proximity to the Brecon Beacons National Park means you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking scenery.

Gliffaes Country House Hotel is the perfect luxury base for your exploration of the Brecon Beacons. It’s located in the heart of the national park, and offers spectacular views combined with delicious meals made from local produce.

3.Lake Vyrnwy

Lake-Vyrnwy-Christmas-Break

image credit: http://showmewales.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/a-fairytale-welsh-christmas-at-lake.html

You will have seen pictures of Lake Vyrnwy, even if you haven’t heard the name before. Situated in beautiful mid Wales, the lake itself is a protected reservoir and is home to some incredible scenery.

The area provides the perfect location for an escape in Wales, and the hotel itself offers a staycation deal during the Christmas period. The four star hotel and spa hosts events to entertain you from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day and provides traditional food to really indulge this festive season.

4.Aberaeron

Aberaeron is a small harbour town on the coastline of Cardigan Bay, home to an impressive range of colourful Georgian architecture. Visitors will be able to revel in the bustling atmosphere of the fishing town while enjoying views along the harbour.

The Harbourmaster offers both beautiful sights and delicious seafood, giving visitors over the festive period a Christmas dinner with a difference.

5.Llandudno

Located in north Wales, Llandudno provided the inspiration for ‘Alice in Wonderland’ meaning your Christmas break is sure to be injected with a bit of magic.

Adults and children alike can follow the ‘Alice Trail’, taking you on a tour of the pretty town.

The seafront-based St George’s Hotel offers traditional Christmas delights between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day within its award-winning restaurant.

6.Portmeirion – near Porthmadog

image credit: http://www.portmeiriononline.co.uk/product/5_Cerdyn_Nadolig_Portmeirion_5_Christmas_Cards_0

image credit: http://www.portmeiriononline.co.uk/product/5_Cerdyn_Nadolig_Portmeirion_5_Christmas_Cards_0

The last, but by no means the least interesting, destination on our list is Portmeirion. A small village in north Wales built in an Italian style, it has a unique charm that will appeal to those after something a bit different this Christmas.

The three-night Christmas package at Hotel Portmeirion includes a festive afternoon tea, Christmas lunch and a black tie dinner.

Wales’ Best Beach – our top five picks

Wales is full of breathtaking coastlines with endless stretches of golden sand and beautiful clear water. With our pick of the top five to visit, you’ll never need to travel abroad for a relaxing beach break again.

1. Abersoch, Llyn Peninsula

abersoch-beach-north-wales

Located in the Llyn Peninsula, the peace and beauty of the beach will be sure to capture your heart. The area has been designated an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ and we can see why. The sheltered conditions are ideal for sunbathing and watersports alike, and the beach is a popular destination for international events like sailing, wakeboarding and windsurfing.

Why not stay at Porth Tocyn Hotel in Abersoch? The coastal location and superb views make it the perfect place to spend a summer weekend.

2. Harbour Beach Tenby, Pembrokeshire

tenby-beach-pembrokeshire

Tenby is host to several glorious beaches, but this is our personal favourite. Tenby North is an enclosed golden beach that creates a glorious suntrap, even in the colder weather. The beach surrounding the prominent Goskar rock is overlooked by Tenby town and the impressive North Cliffs. Offering superb views over Carmarthen Bay, we can see why it is such a popular tourist destination. It has even received a coveted Blue Flag for its cleanliness.

Penally Abbey Hotel is just minutes away from Tenby and offers the perfect combination of feeling secluded whilst being so close to the town.

3. New Quay Beach, Cardigan Bay

new quay-beach-cardigan bay

The seaside resort of New Quay is renowned for being the inspiration of the famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. With its pretty harbour and stunning beaches, it has become an extremely popular visitor attraction. The area is also home to the UK’s largest pod of dolphins, making it the perfect place to take a boat trip and enjoy some wildlife spotting this summer.

4. Cefn Sidan, Camarthenshire

cefn sidan-beach-carmarthen bay

Cefn Sidan translates to ‘silk back’, which accurately describes the smooth eight-mile stretch of golden sand. Located within Pembrey Country Park, the beach is surrounded by a belt of impressive sand dunes that are a site of Special Scientific Interest. It’s ideal for long walks, and there are also many historical shipwrecks to explore – the most visible being the SV Paul, dating back to 1919. This beach is also easily accessible making it a great spot for family trips.

5. Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire

saundersfoot-beach-pembroekshire

The wide sandy beach and harbour is situated in front of the quaint village of Saundersfoot. It’s a beautiful and tranquil place during the summer months, and should therefore be a definite on your list to visit this year. As another Blue Flag beach, it’s the perfect place to go for a refreshing dip in the clear water. The gradual slope of sand also creates plenty of safe paddling opportunities for children.

St. Brides hotel overlooks Saundersfoot beach, and the stunning view can be seen from almost every room.

Mid Wales’ Best Spa Hotels

It’s all about the Spa, it’s the latest must-have travel experience. Let’s take a look at what’s on offer from Welsh Rarebits hotels, focusing on MID WALES.

Lake Country House, Llangammarch WellsLake Spa PoolLake Spa

Spa stats. The Lake’s Kingfisher Spa has a proper, grown-up indoor pool, 50ft/15m long. Go swimming, chill out in the hot tub on the balcony overlooking the lake or use the sauna and gymnasium. Treatments and therapies include aromatherapy, reflexology, various massages, manicures, pedicures and facials.

In a sentence. This away-from-it-all hotel’s rest-and-relaxation rating has soared even higher thanks to its spa.

Metropole Spa Mid Wales Spa Hotel The MetropoleMetropole Hotel & Spa, Llandrindod Wells

Spa stats. This hotel has the heritage – it played the leading role in Llandrindod Wells’s booming Victorian spa era. How times change. The Metropole’s conservatory might be Victorian in style, but it houses a thoroughly modern spa with a ‘fantastic, surprisingly large’ 65ft/18m pool, thermal suites, Jacuzzi, fully equipped gymnasium and wide range of holistic, beauty and complementary therapy treatments.

In a sentence. A role model in turning yesterday’s hair-shirted spa holidays into the soothing, sybaritic experiences of today.

Peterstone Court Hotel & Spa, BreconMid Wales Spa Hotel Peterstone Court9651

Spa stats. Its old cellars have been imaginatively converted into a spa where beauty therapists offer a wide range of treatments, from luxury facials and relaxing massages to aromatherapy. There’s also a stress-busting relaxation room finished in soothing red tones. Other facilities include a sauna, Jacuzzi, air-conditioned gymnasium and outdoor heated swimming pool.

In a sentence. An intimate boutique spa that uses only natural organic products.

The hotels featured here have comprehensive spa facilities and are identified as such in their titles. Quite a few Rarebits Collection members in Mid Wales not mentioned above also offer treatments or have indoor pools and facilities.

The Falcondale, Lampeter offer a unique treatment called The Bowen Technique. Available by prior arrangement a qualified therapist will meet you at the hotel and the treatment will last for 1 hour. Other treatments available by request are reflexology, Indian head massage, sports massage, deep tissue and holistic massage.

Spa Hotels, the best in North Wales

It’s all about the spas, it’s the latest must-have travel experience. Let’s take a look at what’s on offer from Welsh Rarebits hotels, focusing on the NORTH.

Bodysgallen Hall & Spa, LlandudnoSpa hotelsSpa hotels

Spa stats. It’s an immaculately restored farmhouse within Bodysgallen’s beautiful grounds. The centrepiece is a big 50ft/15m pool lined with blue mosaic tiles. Ranged around the pool there’s the full complement of top-end facilities: bubbling spa bath, steam room, sauna, large gymnasium and a wide choice of modern treatments.

In a sentence. Utterly superb, a true spa for today – with an exceptionally inviting pool.

 

Spa Hotels

Spa HotelsLake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa, Llanwddyn

Spa stats. The spa pool’s ability to soak away your stress is aided and abetted by a jaw-dropping view of the mountain-ringed Lake Vyrnwy. Other features include a sauna, Japanese salt steam room, ice fountain, mist and monsoon showers, rasul therapy and exotic treatments from around the world.

In a sentence. The ultimate spa with a view.

 

Tre-Ysgawen Hall & Spa, AngleseySpa HotelsSpa Hotels

Spa stats.  It’s one of the finest, with a large indoor swimming pool – 62ft/16m, Jacuzzi, fully equipped gym and a thermal suite with an experience shower, ice fountain and salt inhalation therapy room that releases particles of prized Halen Môn, Anglesey Sea Salt.

In a sentence. Tre-Ysgawen’s forward thinking demeanor is summed up in its fabulous spa.

The hotels featured here have comprehensive spa facilities and are identified as such in their titles. Quite a few Rarebits Collection members in North Wales not mentioned also offer treatments or have indoor pools and facilities. These are listed below for you to check out.

The Hand at Llanarmon offer bespoke treatments in their new spa which is tucked away in a quiet corner of the Inn. Treatments range from facials to aromatherapy and manicures.

Manorhaus in Ruthin has a sauna and steam room for guests to use during their stay as well as a cinema and library!

Portmeirion Village, built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis is home to Mermaid Spa, with a variety of treatments and use of the outdoor pool (May to September).

Coes Faen Spa Lodge, Barmouth. There are individual spas in each bedroom so that you can have your own private, personalised treatments from fully qualified massage and complementary health specialists.

Celebrating Father’s Day

Whether he’s seeking adventure, dreaming of luxury or just looking for a quiet place to have a pint, we’ve picked our top 10 destinations to spoil your Dad this Father’s Day.

Father's Day gift ideas

Fishing at Gliffaes Hotel, Crickhowell.

Father's Day gift ideas

Gastronomic adventure at Hammet House, Pembrokeshire

Father's Day gift ideas

Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Hammet House on the Pembrokeshire coast for a gastronomic experience.
  2. Stay at The Metropole Hotel & Spa in Llandrindod Wells and visit the Red Kite feeding center nearby.
  3. Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa for activities along the lake including cycling, fishing, clay pigeon shooting, bird watching (the hotel is set in a 24,000 acre RSPB reserve) and many more water activities.
  4. Gliffaes Country House in the Brecon Beacons for a spot of fishing on the River Usk, they have 1.5 miles of trout and salmon fishing exclusively.
  5. Castle Cottage in Harlech has the famous Royal St Davids golf course nearby to test Dad’s skills.
  6. If he’s a pet lover, why not take the dog along with him to The Falcondale in Lampeter, with 14 acres of lawns, gardens and woodland on site to explore.
  7. Relax at St Brides Spa Hotel in Saundersfoot whilst treating him to a session in the alfresco Hydrotherapy pool which is heated to body temperature.
  8. Harbourmaster in Aberaeron – make sure he makes use of the mountain bike for some serious adventure in the local area. There are two mountain bikes available at the hotel for guests to use free of charge! Ask Glyn for some local cycle routes.
  9. For Foodie Dads why not treat him to a Michelin starred dining experience at Tyddyn Llan Restaurant with Rooms in Llandrillo.
  10. Indulge in the award winning real ales and ciders on tap at Y Talbot in Tregaron, the heart of the Cambrian Mountains. You could even stretch to a hearty meal in this historic and characterful Inn.
Father's Day gift ideas

Cycling recommended at Harbourmaster, Aberaeron

Father's Day gift ideas

Real Ales & Ciders at Y Talbot, Tregaron

Father's Day gift ideas

Alfresco Hydrotherapy pool at St Brides Spa, Saundersfoot

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can’t decide which destination to choose, check out our gift vouchers, he can use these towards booking his favorite break.

Enter our competition on Twitter and Facebook – just tell us where you would take your Dad using #WelshRarebitDads for a chance to win a £100 gift voucher. We will pick the winner on Monday 13th June and will post the gift voucher immediately so you can give it to your dad on Father’s Day – Sunday 19th June.