All I Want for Christmas is… a Welsh Rarebits Gift Voucher!

With October creeping to a close it’s time to start thinking about Christmas. Whether or not the festive season fills you with joy, you’re probably still set on picking out some perfect gifts for those special people in your life. This year, if you’re looking for something a little bit different, why not invest in an experience, rather than that standard handbag, jumper or bottle or fragrance?

At Welsh Rarebits we supply gift vouchers and gift experiences that the lucky recipient can put towards a booking at one of our luxury properties. If you know someone who could use a fantastic holiday in beautiful Wales, read on – your Christmas gift list will be ticked off in no time.

Gift Vouchers start from £25

A Welsh Rarebits gift voucher is the ideal gift for somebody who’s notoriously hard to buy for – after all, who wouldn’t jump at the chance of a weekend away in the Welsh countryside? We have a huge variety of member properties to choose from, meaning there’s something for everyone. We can offer vibrant city breaks in Cardiff packed with shopping, dining, museums and galleries; scenic getaways by the sea complete with coastal walks and plenty of wildlife, and luxury spa retreats in historic countryside mansions.

Our gift vouchers are valid for 12 months and are easily redeemed – the holder of the voucher simply books a hotel of their choice from our list of member properties, then hands over the voucher upon arrival (the value will be deducted from the final bill). When buying your voucher you can select a value between £25 and £1000 – enough to contribute to a stay of several days. Your gift voucher can be delivered directly to the recipient, or be posted to your home address (ideal if you want to stick it in a card and pop it under the tree). Alternatively, you can make things even simpler and print your gift voucher at home.

To find out more about our gift vouchers, click here.

Gift Experiences – Gold, Silver & Bronze

In addition to standard gift vouchers with a set value, we also offer gift experiences. This is the perfect option if you would rather keep the price of your gift a secret. Instead of having a monetary value which is deducted from the final bill for the booking, these vouchers cover the entire cost of the stay.

Our gift experiences are ideal if you have a specific hotel or holiday style in mind. We offer Gold, Silver and Bronze stays, with our Gold hotels offering the most luxurious experiences (click here, and you can view the hotels available within each category). Your loved one can enjoy a revitalising stay in a 5-star spa hotel in the heart of the Welsh countryside, a cosy weekend in a seaside B&B, or one special night at a hotel with an award-winning restaurant. It’s a Christmas present that takes all the hassle out of planning a trip away.

To find out more about our gift experiences, or to make a booking, give us a call today on 01570 470785, or email us at [email protected].

Traditional Seaside Towns

Make the most of the beautiful weather this summer, and plan a trip to Wales for a long weekend by the seaside. Other UK hotspots such as Brighton and Blackpool may deliver on the amusement arcades, pubs and nightclubs, but Wales is hard to beat when it comes to traditional seaside towns and villages.

If you’re seeking a quiet getaway beside the sea where you can wander cobbled backstreets, visit quaint tearooms, and enjoy strolls along untouched stretches of beach, read on for some inspiration.

Beaumaris, Anglesey

Anglesey, a large island sitting just off the coast of North Wales, is the ideal destination for a summer getaway famed for its lovely beaches, excellent seafood and historic sites. In the town of Beaumaris, on Anglesey’s eastern coast, you can enjoy an iconic seaside experience.

Explore the famous 13th century Beaumaris Castle, wander down the quaint pier (first constructed in the 19th century), and admire the Georgian and Edwardian architecture on display, before heading to the beach with an ice cream.

Nearest Welsh Rarebit Hotel: The Bull

Aberystwyth, Ceredigion

Though this charming town is famous for its university, it transforms in the summer months when the students return home and holidaymakers arrive in search of sea, sun and sand. A historic market town with a sandy stretch of beach, it’s the ideal place to take a restorative seaside holiday.

The ultimate Aberystwyth day out involves a tour of the seafront 13th century castle ruins, a wander along the Promenade, which is lined with colourful Georgian houses, and a few hours spent lounging on the beach. Aberystwyth is also the starting point for the Edwardian Vale of Rheidol Railway.

Nearest Welsh Rarebit Hotel: Gwesty Cymru 

Tenby, Pembrokeshire

One of the most picturesque seaside towns in South Wales is Tenby, which is famous for its sandy beaches, medieval walls and offshore islands. Built on a hilltop and dotted with traditional pastel-coloured cottages and Georgian mansions, Tenby is an incredibly scenic town. Spend time here and you can laze down by the water, swimming, sunbathing and soaking up the views, or get lost in the cobbled backstreets, uncovering the town’s rich medieval history.

Nearest Welsh Rarebit Hotel: St Brides Spa Hotel and Grove of Narberth

Llandudno, Conwy

This seaside town in North Wales is perhaps the most historic resort on the list. Home to a 19th century pier, an Edwardian tramway and Bronze Age mines, it’s a place steeped in centuries of history. Llandudno was a favoured resort for the Victorians, and this can be seen reflected in its beautiful waterfront promenade, grand hotels, and attractions such as the Happy Valley; public gardens built to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887.

Stroll along the immaculate beach, entertain yourself with the traditional amusements at the pier, and immerse yourself in ancient history at the megalithic hillfort and ancient mines.

Nearest Welsh Rarebit Hotel: St George’s Hotel, Sychnant Pass Country House and Bodysgallen Hall & Spa

Mumbles, Swansea

This historic resort area just outside Swansea first became a holiday destination in the early 19th century after the opening of a coal railway in the region. Home to a Victorian pier, an 18th century lighthouse and a hilltop castle, Mumbles is another seaside town steeped in history.

Mumbles is also an excellent place for foodies, known for its fresh seafood, superb ice cream parlours, and world-class restaurants. Who said a seaside holiday was all about fish and chips on the beach?

Nearest Welsh Rarebit Hotel: The Corran Resort & Spa and The Cawdor

Images supplied by © Crown copyright (2018) Visit Wales

Glorious Gardens

Summer has officially arrived, which means it’s time to slap on some sun cream, pull out that picnic blanket, and plan a delightful getaway in the UK. In Wales, you can make the most of the sunshine by heading to one of these gorgeous hotels, all of which are known for their fantastic gardens.

Tre-Ysgawen Hall & Spa, Anglesey

Tre-Ysgawen is a country house hotel and spa dating back to 1882 which is known for its fine dining. The gardens surrounding the hotel are a key attraction, and feature a laburnum arch, an old well, a snowdrop wood, and – most notably – a number of sculptures, including the 19th century “Lady”.

Bodysgallen Hall & Spa, Llandudno

This historic hotel is situated within 200 stunning acres of wooded parkland and gardens. Book a stay here and you can wander through the lovingly maintained grounds admiring the walled gardens, lily ponds, rockery, rose bushes, and follies. The crowning glory is the 17th century formal garden filled with precise box hedges.

Holm House, Penarth

Head to picturesque Penarth, a coastal town just south of Cardiff, and you can stay at Holm House. Penarth is known as “The Garden of the Sea”, so it’s fitting that Holm House boasts immaculately manicured gardens, where you can enjoy gorgeous sea views. Experience the luxury of a Holm House break by making use of this fantastic Midweek Sunset Escape offer, which includes a 25-minute spa treatment.

Bear Hotel, Crickhowell

Just named one of the Best Summer Pubs in Britain by The Times, The Bear Hotel in Crickhowell is the perfect place for a summer escape. Plan a stay in this former stagecoach inn, or simply stop by for lunch, and you can dine in the beautiful summer garden, which boasts some spectacular floral displays.

Lake Country House & Spa, Llangammarch Wells

You might book into the Lake Country House to enjoy the luxury spa treatments, but you’ll want to stay for the beautiful grounds. Stroll past the lakes and along the banks of the River Irfon, fish and play tennis, and spot resident woodpeckers in the trees.

Llansantffraed Court, Abergavenny

Llansantffraed Court is a hotel and restaurant housed in a spectacular redbrick building. Best known for its award-winning food, the hotel is also notable for its beautiful gardens. The 20 acres of grounds feature a walled kitchen garden, manicured lawns, ancient trees, a lake and fountain, and even a 16th century church.

Grove of Narberth, Narberth

The Grove of Narberth is a luxury hotel situated in the rolling Pembrokeshire hills, just a 12 minute drive from the coast. In the beautiful grounds you’ll discover centuries-old oaks and beeches, formal box hedges, a restored 17th century walled garden, and a kitchen garden. Visit during the summer, and you can expect to see rhododendrons and colourful flower borders in bloom.

Portmeirion, near Porthmadog

We couldn’t talk about glorious gardens without mentioning Portmeirion, the coastal town famously designed and constructed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in the style of an Italian village. Visit this curious place and take a tour of the quirky, beautifully kept gardens. Notable features include the pagoda and lily pond of the Japanese Garden, the rhododendrons, and the monkey puzzle trees.

Making a Splash!

With the mercury rising across the UK, it’s a fantastic time to plan a poolside holiday. To avoid the hassle of booking flights and accommodation abroad, arrange a stay in beautiful Wales. All the properties listed below have their own swimming pools, which means you’re guaranteed a cool, refreshing and oh-so-relaxing stay!

Porth Tocyn Country House Hotel, Abersoch

Porth Tocyn is a coastal country house hotel situated a short distance from some excellent beaches. Stay at this establishment, though, and you won’t even have to venture outside to sunbathe by the water. The surrounding gardens feature a secluded outdoor swimming pool, lined with loungers, chairs, and plenty of greenery.

Peterstone Court, Brecon

Housed in a Georgian building that still boasts traditional features, Peterstone Court is, on the one hand, a classic example of a country hotel. On the other, it’s a modern and vibrant establishment that boasts a fully equipped gym, excellent spa facilities, and – best of all – a heated outdoor pool, which rests in the centre of a lovingly maintained garden.

Sychnant Pass Country House, Conwy

This 5-star hotel nestles on the edge of Snowdonia National Park amidst three gorgeous acres of landscaped gardens. Book a stay here and you can spend your days golfing, hiking, and sightseeing in the historic local towns and villages. Alternatively, stay put and make use of the excellent onsite facilities. Work out in the gym, enjoy spa treatments, and enjoy a relaxing swim in the heated indoor pool.

The Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod

The Metropole is housed in a distinctive green building that dates back to the late 19th century. Home to an award-winning restaurant and a spa housed in a Victorian conservatory, this 4-star hotel frequently tops the list of mid-Wales establishments. Stay here and you can enjoy leisurely swims in the 18 metre heated indoor swimming pool – it’s the perfect way to unwind after a day of sightseeing.

Corran Resort & Spa, Laugharne

The Corran is a country retreat located on the Towy Estuary, a short distance from the Dylan Thomas Boathouse. A place where tradition meets modernity, the Corran houses a 16th century building at its heart, and is known for its spa, award-winning restaurant, and The Corran Academy – a cookery course run by Jean-Christophe Novelli. More importantly, the hotel also boasts an excellent indoor swimming pool!

St Brides Spa Hotel, Saundersfoot

This Pembrokeshire hotel is situated on a cliff top overlooking the coast. The main attraction here is the spa, which provides a sanctuary of seafront calm and a host of revitalising treatments. The most exciting feature here is the outdoor infinity hydro pool, which lets you cool off as you gaze out at the spectacular Pembrokeshire coastline.

Warpool Court Hotel, St Davids

Warpool Court is perhaps best known for its stunning sea views, which can be enjoyed from the Italian-style gardens and the traditional dining room. Set in 15 acres of beautiful coastal land, Warpool Court provides the perfect escape from the urban grind. Best of all, the hotel boasts a covered heated swimming pool, which stays open between April and September.

The Welsh Welcome: Snowdonia and Anglesey (Week 3)

Written by Lisa from Fjords and Beaches as she travels through Wales experiencing the Welsh Welcome for the whole of June.

Another amazing week in Wales has passed, and I have stayed in 7 more incredible hotels. In case you missed my recap of the first two weeks of testing the Welsh Welcome, head this way to read all about Week 1, which started in Cardiff and took me all the way to Pembrokeshire, and head this way for Week 2, which saw me travel around the coast of Pembrokeshire and up to Aberystwyth.

I started this week in Snowdonia National Park, and I can only say one thing about the drives I have had from hotel to hotel; stunning! What a beautiful and green landscape. I have had to pull over to the side of the road several times in order to take it all in, and share it all on my travel Instagram.

The hotels of this week have been stunning, too. From old stately homes to architectural wonders, there is something for everyone on this list, I swear!

Hotel no. 12 – Penmaenuchaf Hall

From the gates and the drive up to the main entrance, Penmaenuchaf Hall took my breath away. I was in no way prepared for such a fairytale of a hotel and was giddy with excitement as I walked inside. This place has an atmosphere that takes you back 100 years, to a time of butlers and private libraries, and as the Downton Abbey fan I am; this was right down my street.

My room was spacious and with stunning views of Snowdonia. The 20 acres of land surrounding Penmaenuchaf made for great walking trails, and you can even have a look at their very own beehives. The honey from these bees can be purchased at the hotel.

Dinner at Penmaenuchaf Hall was an experience in its own. I was asked to have a seat in the drawing room before entering the dining room, which made me feel quite like in an episode of Downton Abbey. In the drawing room, I was treated to hors-d’oeuvres whilst browsing the menu for the evening, and the experience was topped off when one of the owners herself took my order for dinner, explaining that “this is what I love to do”.

Hotel no. 13 – Portmeirion Hotel & Village

Driving down to this hotel I was incredibly confused. I had not done enough research to really understand where I was heading, and the Italian village of Portmeirion stood out to me against the cliffs overlooking the estuary of River Dwyryd. My confusion continued as I noticed all the incredible details in the architecture, and I quickly asked once I reached the reception.

I was informed that Portmeirion is an Italian-inspired village envisioned by architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, with interesting details, beautiful colours everywhere and stunning views across the estuary of River Dwyryd. Once I had calmed my confusion a little, I was ready to take in the beautiful scenery and architecture of the village and spent the day walking through cobbled streets, admiring the colourful buildings, and having a bellini down by the waterfront.

Dinner was absolutely lovely and I really enjoyed the great service in the restaurant. Afterwards, I retired to sit and relax outside the Portmeirion hotel, and spend the evening looking at the estuary filling with water, and loved chatting to other visitors who were enjoying their stay.

Hotel no. 14 – Castle Cottage

I drove towards my next hotel almost right after breakfast the following day, as there was something quite important in the nearby area I wanted to explore. Castle Cottage is literally a stone’s throw away from Harlech Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and location I had been very eager to start exploring. I had already announced my excitement on Instagram, and Glyn at Castle Cottage had already seen it and made sure that my room was ready early! I was so happy and incredibly grateful at this – what incredible service!

After being shown to my room and given some information about the place (such as the buildings including the old mill house, which supplied Harlech Castle back in the day, and the beams in my room being the original ones!), I cried out as I saw the most exciting thing of all; I could see the castle from my bedroom window! Definitely one of the highlights of the day!

I spent the day exploring the castle, learning interesting facts and gushing over how impressive it must have been in its glory days. After a long day, it was time for dinner, and I was treated to the 5-course tasting menu at Castle Cottage, which included an incredible asparagus soup, succulent lamb and the best goat’s cheese dish I’ve tried. The meal left me incredibly full, and I slept like an angel in my massive bed knowing I had the castle just outside my window. I swear I fell asleep dreaming of Margaret of Anjou and her court, which she held at Harlech in the summer of 1460..

Hotel no. 15 – Porth Tocyn

I followed the coastline all the way out to Abersoch and checked into Porth Tocyn Country House Hotel. From here I had the Wales Coast Path at my doorstep and incredible views across Cardigan Bay to the mountains of Snowdonia. The sun was shining, and it didn’t take me long before my trainers were on and I was out the door.

The walk along the coastline was absolutely stunning, and I had to stop several times just to take it all in. It was a lovely, sunny day, and I walked along the cliffs, staring out into the ocean and meeting loads of sheep and cows along the way. I thought that this is what serenity must feel like! When I got back to Porth Tocyn, I grabbed a glass of wine and sat out in the sun editing my photos from the walk.

The dinner at the hotel restaurant was incredible, and I tried ‘risotto bonbons’ for the first time. This was an incredibly fun and inventive dish, and I really enjoyed it. Paired with just the right glass of red, this was a dinner to remember. This hotel is the perfect stay if you want beautiful walks and hikes at your doorstep, and end the day with a great meal.

Hotel no. 16 – Ty’n Rhos

On the way to my next hotel, I stopped at the famous Caernarfon Castle. This was one of the biggest castles I had visited so far on this Welsh adventure, and I spent quite a while exploring it. Once I got to Ty’n Rhos I was ready to sit back and relax, and this couldn’t have been a more perfect place for it. From their gardens and conservatory, you can see all across to the Island of Anglesey, and I spent quite some time enjoying the sunshine and the amazing views.

Ty’n Rhos is an old farmhouse, and when walking around the hotel you can still see the thickness of the walls from the original building. The extensions keep the charming traditions alive while giving you all the comforts of a modern country house hotel. My bed, in particular, was incredibly comfortable, and I kind of wish I could have taken it with me!

In the evening, I was treated to a great 3-course dinner. They had a super fun starter that was basically ‘Beetroot 3 ways’, and displayed quite an interesting and imaginative use of beetroot, paired with delicious goat’s cheese. Upon leaving I made a mental note of the interior of my room, as it was so elegantly decorated that I want to keep that in mind for my own apartment!

Hotel no. 17 – Tre-Ysgawen Hotel and Spa

It was time to head to Anglesey, and my first stop on the island was right in the middle of it. Tre-Ysgawen Hall is a luxurious former stately home where you’ll want for nothing. It didn’t take me long after arrival before I had walked through every single hallway that wasn’t marked with ‘Private’, studied every single photo on the wall, booked a massage in the spa, and situated myself comfortably in the library with my MacBook to get some work done.

My massage was absolute heaven, and I only wished it could have been a little longer (don’t we always?). I spent my day at Tre-Ysgawen walking the grounds (21 acres to enjoy), reading in the library, and having photoshoots on the staircase (#NoShame).

Dinner was an experience on its own, and worth visiting Tre-Ysgawen for even if you aren’t a staying guest. I was served the best soup ever as a pre-starter (Sweet Onion) and was quite disappointed in myself when the Head Chef later told me that I could have asked for more of it. By then I was so full after the amazing dinner that I didn’t stand a chance. They have 2 restaurants open for dinner, and I dined at Nöelle in the evening. For lunch, their Clock Tower Café serves lighter bites (the ciabatta is heavenly).

Hotel no. 18 – The Bull, Beaumaris

For my final night of the week, it was time to visit another castle! The Bull is a historic hotel located in Beaumaris, which is also home to Beaumaris Castle, aka the ‘Greatest Castle that was Never Built’! Beaumaris Castle is said to be the perfect textbook example of what a castle should be, but sadly it was never completed. The history of the castle stretches all the way down the street to the Bull, previously Ye Olde Bulls Head Inn.

The Bull, and the accompagnying boutique hotel The Townhouse, is a place of historic value and fun facts (yayy!). Charles Dickens has stayed there, and General Mytton made it his headquarters during the siege of Beaumaris Castle in the Civil War. You know I was a happy girl after hearing that, I practically live for this stuff! My room was in the loft of the Townhouse, and I absolutely loved it.

The Bull has two restaurants; The Loft and The Coach. I dined at the latter, and dinner couldn’t have been better. It was finished off with a ‘Spring Mess’, and if you know me, you’ll know that any version of the Eton Mess is a favourite! Staying at the Bull was definitely an experience, and I hope to go back and stay in one of their Charles Dicken’s themed rooms one day.

I hope you are planning to continue to follow my adventures around Wales, because they aren’t done yet! Make sure to follow along on Facebook and Instagram, and to check back here on the blog next week!

— Lisa from Fjords and Beaches