I’ve visited Wales several times but only ever popped off the M4 to spend time in Cardiff or Swansea, so I was excited to really explore this beautiful country with a trip north through the Brecon Beacons National Park up into the mid-Wales countryside.
The journey itself was a wonderful adventure with beautiful views of sweeping valleys and untouched woodland, but nothing prepared me for how much I would fall in love with the area during my visit.
My partner and myself were guests of Ynyshir Hall, a Michelin-rated Relais & Chateaux hotel set in 14 acres of landscaped gardens in the Powys region of Wales. It is just a few miles away from the ancient welsh capital of Machynlleth and for those needing a more modern fix, 11 miles from Aberystwyth.
Although ‘civilisation’ is just a short car journey away you feel far from the rat race and can explore the beautiful region at whatever pace you wish. The grounds back on to Ynys-hir RSPB reserve, past home to the popular BBC2 show Springwatch, and just minutes from the hall is the magnificent Artists Valley, which with its winding pathways, pools and waterfalls, inspired Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant to write the rock classic Stairway to Heaven.
Feeling truly away from it all, my two-night stay allowed me to entirely unwind and with beautiful sunny weather to invigorate me I was able to explore the local area and discover it had much more than I thought to offer. Before the trip I did wonder if there would be enough to do locally for even a weekend, but I ended up leaving feeling like I’d only touched the surface of what the region had to offer and hope to return and visit centres like the Dyfi Osprey Project and the many castles the region has to uncover.
Accommodation at Ynyshir Hall
The area itself is full of untouched beauty that filled me with joy, however, it was the hotel itself that really made the weekend away such a special experience. Ynyshir Hall dates back to the 15th Century and over its long history has had many owners, the most famous of which has to be Queen Victoria. In the 70s it opened as a hotel and now offers a boutique luxury haven made up of ten unique rooms of varying size and decoration.
The Chagall Suite
When I arrived I was taken to the Chagall Suite, one of the most luxurious of Ynyishir Hall’s offerings. I entered the suite to discover I had my own living room complete with cosy sofas, a decanter of sherry, and a wonderfully inviting wood burner. I turned, opening the double doors to walk into the bedroom, with a huge bed you want to just dive onto, and classically styled, decadently decorated furniture. The bed faced patio doors that in the morning would allow you to look over the gardens and mountains surrounding the hall. There are few better views than that!
Being a rather picky guest I was so excited when I saw the bathroom. Expansive, it was kitted out with Villeroy & Boch appliances including a wonderful rain shower and the deepest bath I’ve ever had the pleasure of soaking in. Heaven! The managers kindly gave me a tour of the other rooms before I left and I have to say that they’ve put a lot of time and effort into all the bathrooms, as they were all of the same quality- including one providing a small staircase that took you up to a standalone roll-top bath with a view out over the countryside. Bliss!
Dining at Ynyshir Hall
Ynyshir Hall offers a delicious breakfast menu that includes dishes such as a full Welsh breakfast and scrambled eggs with salmon. As much as possible is sourced locally with seafood from Cardigan Bay and wild salmon from the local rivers, and the Hall even has its own kitchen garden. The homemade brown bread was delicious, as was the salty butter!
The Hall also offers afternoon tea, however, it is most renowned for its 5, 8 and 11 course dinner taster menus, with people travelling from across the country and beyond to what is often considered one the best fine dining venues in Wales. People even fly in by helicopter just for dinner! Worthy of a post of its own, we’ll cover the dinner in a separate article soon, but for now let’s just say it’s a real ‘event’, which focuses on much more than just your sense of taste!
Luxury doesn’t come cheap
I had a wonderful time at Ynyshir Hall and the service and hospitality is amongst the best I’ve ever experienced. Someone is always at the end of the phone and they’ll help you out straight away whatever the query or issues. These personal touches made us feel like really honoured guests.
But there is a but -the room, and to be honest the hotel in its entirety, was wonderful- but a stay at Ynyshir Hall doesn’t come cheap. For example, bed and breakfast in Chagall is £855 for one night. Chagall is one of the top suites however, so to give more of a balance it’s worth noting that the lower-end, superior rooms cost from £350-£460 for the same board.
At these prices I’d consider a stay at Ynyshir Hall a luxurious treat saved for a special occasion, and if that’s what you’re after you won’t get much better!
I was a guest of Ynyshir Hall on this trip, but all opinions are my own. My thanks to the team for their hospitality during my stay.
- Location: Eglwysfach, Machynlleth, Powys, Wales, SY20 8TA
- Telephone: 01654 781209
- Email:Â [email protected]
- Website:Â http://www.ynyshirhall.co.uk