WALES Travel Guide

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Your Hot New Hotel Amenity: Welsh Language Lessons

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  Site Where: Beaumarais, Anglesey, Wales, United Kingdom
December 9, 2014 at 8:25 AM | by | ()

Welsh cakes. Welsh flags. Welsh rarebit. Welsh… lessons?

That’s the new addition to the menu at Chateau Rhianfa, a French-inspired castle in Anglesey (Wales, if that wasn’t already clear). They’re not just any lessons, though – there’s a two-night package planned all around them, and it really is the best of Britain Wales.

You’ll arrive in time for a traditional Welsh afternoon tea, including Welsh cakes and Bara Brith as well as your standard sandwiches, scones and cakes. After that, you’ll get on a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) for a whip round the Menai Strait; then it’s back to the hotel to get changed and get dinner – three courses and wine is included.

The 90-minute Welsh lesson starts after dinner – just as well, since you'll have to be suitably lubricated to make your way around those vowels.

On day two, you’ll have a locally sourced breakfast, a tour of Snowdonia, and a second Welsh lesson in the afternoon, before dinner, a cocktail-making class and wine and local cheese tasting in the wine cave.

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This Hotel Bar Took Its Name From A Baby (And Not The Other Way Around)

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  Site Where: 10 ST MARY STREET , Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom, CF10 5DW
November 29, 2011 at 9:05 AM | by | ()

On a cold, windy night back in 1939....

Remember when we joked last week about which hotel names would make bad baby names? Well, it turns out that sometimes, it's the babies who give their names to hotels. One woman in the UK has actually had a part of a hotel named after her—the Fitz bar at the Royal Hotel in Cardiff, Wales.

According to the BBC, Pat Fitzgerald, now 71, was abandoned on the doorstep of the hotel when she was an infant. When it came time for the hotel to christen their new bar, they chose to honor Fitzgerald for her unique history. In turn, Fitzgerald will name all of her grandchildren Royal, and the cycle will continue.

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Inside Wales' Ye Olde Bull's Head Inn, Which Practically Has Will and Kate for Neighbors

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  Site Where: Castle Street, Beaumaris, Isle of Anglesey, Wales, United Kingdom
July 29, 2011 at 4:39 PM | by | ()

Where can you go to find a hotel with gorgeous rooms from 95 GBP and the even more stunning and unique suites only at 150 GBP, breakfast and WiFi included? Ah—way out in Wales, more specifically the town of Beaumaris on the Isle of Anglesey, to Ye Olde Bull's Head Inn and The Townhouse. There's no train station in this town; Beaumaris, though well-castled—is a roadtrip-in village of Welsh beauty that fills with bustrip tourists during the day and empties into quiet at night. Which is why we highly recommend staying overnight.

Whether you realize it or not, you're already familiar with Anglesey. The newly married royal couple William and Kate live around here, and it's no more than 30 minutes to drive from one end of the island to the other (though it's closely connected to mainland Wales by a regular bridge). For our exploring North Wales, Ye Olde Bull's Head Inn's more moden annex The Townhouse was our base to the affordable tune of 100 GBP per night.

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Is That a Castle Down the Street or What?

Where: Castle Street, Isle of Anglesey, Wales, United Kingdom
July 28, 2011 at 5:05 PM | by | ()

Why, yes! Yes indeed it is a castle down the seen from a room window at Ye Olde Bull's Head Inn in the tiny Welsh town of Beaumaris on the Isle of Anglesey.

This is Beaumaris Castle, a serious hunk of stone (with a moat!) that was begun in 1295 and took another 35 years to finish. Ha—doesn't that remind us of some NYC hotels. Anyway, the castle sits at the end of Castle Street, where you'll find Ye Olde Bull's Head and its more modern annex, The Townhouse. Across the street is the Castle Bakery. Seeing a theme here?

Ye Olde Bull's Head Inn is one of those hotels you just hope to find when you're outside of a city. It's got modern tech, two stunning restaurants and traditional English pub, spacious rooms that don't smell like old English country house, and—gasp—free WiFi.

Don't worry, we'll prove it with a full photo gallery and more tomorrow! Until then, here's a more impressive view of Beaumaris Castle.

[Photo: HotelChatter]

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A View That Has You Asking How Much Longer Until Spring

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  Site Where: New Berwyn Works [map], Llangollen, Wales, United States, LL20 8AE
March 4, 2010 at 11:45 AM | by | ()

You know the scene. You open the door to your brand new hotel room, run over to the window, open the blinds and bam, you are hit with the anti-view. Maybe you are looking down a dirty alley, witnessing a drug deal, staring at an air shaft in the face, or seeing a brick wall. Whatever you are viewing it is not extremely pleasurable. Help out your fellow hotel mavens by uploading your anti-views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number with the not-so-easy-on-the-eyes view.

Winter is so close to being over isn't it? But at the Wild Pheasant Hotel in Llangollen, North Wales we were a little disheartened by this morning view of a snow covered hill. When will spring get here already?

On the bright side, the country hotel has free WiFi in its courtyard area, a spa and fitness center and half-price rooms Sunday through Thursday. So go ahead and have another toddy. Maybe when you wake up, it will be spring. Or at least the snow will have melted.


Mick Jagger Is Either a Frozen Robot or Has a Serious Sweet Tooth

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  Site Where: Coldra Woods | The Usk Valley,, Newport, Wales, United Kingdom, NP18 1HQ
September 6, 2006 at 9:49 AM | by | ()

By far, this is one of the strangest celebrity hotel requests.

After checking in at the plush Celtic Manor Hotel, in Gwent, Jagger reportedly requested that an American-style refrigerator was placed in his room complete with ice-cream. The rocker apparently uses the frozen sweet treat to cool down his vocal cords after performing.

A source told Britain's The Sun newspaper, "The hotel has many celebrity guests and they always try to cater for their needs."

We understand that aging vocal cords need to recuperate but does he really need that much? We think Mick is cyrogenically frozen in between shows. Either him or Keith Richards.

Related Stories:
· Mick Jagger Demands A Fridge-Freezer In Hotel Room For Ice Cream Stash [All Headline News]
· Celtic Manor reviews [TripAdvisor]


How the Top Stay on Top

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  Site Where: Havannah Street,, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom, CF10 5SD
July 14, 2006 at 9:20 AM | by | ()

Cardiff, Wales may not be one of the world's top destinations, but it is home to one of the world's top hotels. St. David's Hotel and Spa is on a roll, last year it won Conde Nast's top 20 Destinations in the world and their 7th best business hotel award. This seems however, only to be the start. The IC Wales Network just reported that St. David's broke their income record and pulled in more than 8.1 million pounds.

But they are not stopping there, after all, who likes being 7th best, Jason Harding, the general manager elaborates:

Mr Harding said, `While we are one of the leading venues for medium-sized conferences in Wales, I still believe Cardiff would benefit enormously from the development of a dedicated high-quality conference venue. The city currently suffers as a result.'

Now these are some standards. This guy runs a five-star hotel that is touted as one of the world's best, yet he still finds it fitting to use the word "suffer" when describing the city's lack of decent hotel conference space. That's right Mr. Harding, 7th place is crap, keep working.

It seems clear that this hotel is full of perfectionists and you know what that means, we'll book it.

Image via WelshIcons/Flickr

Related Stories:
· St David's Hotel turns in a five-star performance [IC Wales Network]
· St. David's Hotel Reviews [TripAdvisor]


Charlotte Church's Golden CD's Stolen From Her Hotel

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  Site Where: 126 Cathedral Road, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom, CF11 9LQ
February 9, 2006 at 9:35 AM | by | ()

[UPDATE: All is well. The gold records have been found.]

The Church Hotel, owned by teen opera singer turned pop star, Charlotte Church's family has fallen victim to robbery.

The burglars stole four gold discs, leaving a fifth either because they ran out of time, or they weren't fans of that album. Only Charlotte knows which once were taken, and police are waiting for a description.

The Church Hotel was formerly known as the Briars Hotel in Cardiff before being taken over by Charlotte's mom and stepfather who turned it into a B&B. The price is reasonable (£30), however a few guest reviewers categorized it as the worst hotel ever.

Maybe they just aren't a fan of the music.

Related Stories:
· Charlotte Church gold discs theft [BBC]
· Church Hotel Cardiff Reviews [Trip Advisor]