Unique and quirky places to stay in Wales (2023)

West Wales

Twr y Felin Hotel, St Davids, Pembrokeshire

Twr y Felin has a colourful history: it began life as a windmill in 1806, and was repeatedly destroyed by the elements until being rebuilt using materials from a shipwreckin 1866. In 1907, 21-year old Evan Evans converted it into a hotel he named Twr y Felin, Welsh for ‘mill tower’. In 1940, evacuees from the London Blitz were put up there and it also served as a base for the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Today, Twr y Felin attracts creative types in its latest guise as Wales’ first art hotel, featuring 100 original artworks, luxury accommodation, fine dining and enviable proximity to some of Pembrokeshire’sbest beaches. No wonder it was named AA Hotel of the Year for Wales 2017-2018 plus the Green Key award for sustainability in 2019.

Unique and quirky places to stay in Wales (1)
Unique and quirky places to stay in Wales (2)
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Twr y Felin Hotel, St Davids, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

© Hawlfraint y Goron / Crown Copyright

© Hawlfraint y Goron / Crown Copyright

© Hawlfraint y Goron / Crown Copyright

The Sky Loft, Llandovery, Carmarthenshire

A self-catering converted hayloft in a 19Cbarn - with an eclectic cosy bohemian style. This is a place to unwind, watch sunsets on the bijou balcony then stay up star-gazing under dark skies. Go walking and bird watching in thebeautiful countryside right on thedoorstep.Inside, the Sky Loft's Reading Roomhas all you need for aretreat away from it all. Hand carved and antique furniture, a 1920s gramophone player, a surprisingly largequirky-tiled bathroom, open fire and unique features to inspire your inner artist.

Haven Pod at Neyland Yacht Haven, Pembrokeshire

As places to stay go, a floating pod in a marina is pretty unusual. These uber cute Haven Pods in Neylandare attached to the pontoons and have a decking area where you can watch the world float by. The twopods sleep two adults andtwo children.The sustainably built pods come with USB ports and wifi and bathroom facilities are a short hop away in the main marina building. And while the pods do have a kitchenette, there are lots of tempting places to eat out nearby if you fancy a treat.

Apple Camping, Tenby, Pembrokeshire

You have a choice here - sleep under the stars in a geo-dome or yurt, or among the stars in a Jetstar plane or a UFO. Yes, you did read that right!The team atApple Campingin Pembrokeshire have created the most amazing collection of wow-factor accommodation you could find. The site has yurts, cabins, bell tents and two planes you can sleep in, plus a UFO with a remote controlled door and escape hatch.The Jetstar even has a games console in the cabin so you can pretend to fly it. The yurts have wood burning stoves and a cosy vibe while the extra-terrestrial options are much more contemporary.

Floatel Rooms, Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire

The Visit Wales Gold awardFloatel Rooms at Milford Waterfront are luxurious floating cabins on the water, with all the comforts of a stylish modern hotel room. The large windows provide panoramic views of the waterfront, or you can relax onyour balcony and watch the world float by. Two cabins are small dog-friendly.

Mid Wales

Red Kite Estate, Cambrian Mountains

If you're looking for sustainable off-grid glamping with a sumptuous sense of style, look no further than the Red Kite Estate. Choose from one of the 'conkers' -Moon ConkerorEarth Conker- twoaerodynamically-designed glamping pods which are fully insulated and available all year round. Or, head intothe forest and sleep closer to the stars in one of their Tree Tents. Choose fromYnys Affalon,thefirst tree glamping pod ever installed in the UK, or the more recently addedDragon's Egg. All offer the opportunity to for a digital-detox, plenty of wildlife watching and utter escapism.

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Earth Conker andYnys Affalon Tree Tent, Red Kite Estate, Cambrian Mountains

© Chillderness Ltd

© Chillderness Ltd

Craig y Nos Castle, Brecon Beacons

Not many hotels house a theatre – Craig y Nos is an exception. The Adelina Patti Theatrewas built in honour of one of the castle’s most famous inhabitants. Said to be the second most celebrated woman alive (after Queen Victoria) in 1900, she is little known today outside the opera world, as she lived before her voice could be preserved for posterity on sound recordings. The castle is also said to be Wales’ most haunted, and you can take a ghost tour before settling in to a relaxing night’s sleep. Dogs are also very welcome - there's plenty of space for everyone in the extensive gardens.

Wild Meadow Shepherd’s Hut, Presteigne, Powys

Go back to basics and let nature provide the entertainment at Wild Meadow’s beautiful Shepherd’s Hut. Find it parked among three and a half acres of lush meadows and orchards, inviting you to escape the hustle and bustle of normal life for something altogether more tranquil and romantic. There’s a full-sized double bed inside and maps, games and binoculars to facilitate exploration of the outside. Just pack a sense of adventure!

Ynyshir, nearMachynlleth, Powys

Queen Victoria succumbed to the charms of Ynyshir – she loved the abundance of birds on the estate (immediately behind the house is a RSPB Ynys-hir Nature Reserve) and kept Ynyshir as a hunting lodge. Parts of the property date back to the 15th century. Since its royal owner, further well-known people have stayed at Ynyshir, including the actor Richard Gere. Bring a large appetite for dinner; Ynyshir holds two Michelin stars and chef Gareth Ward shows off fantastic fresh and local ingredients with every dish.

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Unique and quirky places to stay in Wales (7)
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Ynyshir, near Machynlleth, Mid Wales

© Francesca Jones

© Francesca Jones

© Francesca Jones

Llangoed Hall, Llyswen, Powys

A short distance north of Brecon is the splendid Llangoed Hall. Stories abound – it’s said this was the site of the first Welsh parliament in AD 560, the property has been lost and won in a card game and Sir Clough Williams-Ellis of Portmeirion fame redesigned the mansion in 1912 as a country house. Sir Bernard Ashley – husband of designer Laura Ashley – bought the property in 1987, after his wife’s death, and opened it as a hotel in 1990. Laura Ashley furnishings are in use throughout the classy house, and there’s an impressive art collection, including a room of works by Whistler.

North Wales

Berwyn Station Masters House, near Llangollen, Denbighshire

Berwyn Station Masters Houseis a Grade II listedrural railway station building, converted into auniqueself catering holiday let.The riverside stationis on the heritage Llangollen Railway line runningthrough the beautifulDee Valley between Llangollen and Corwen. The first floorlounge has wonderful views over the River Deeand you'll be able to see and hear the powerful steam engines chuffing along regularly. Nearby villages hostcosy rural pubs, the Llangollen Canal is just over the ChainBridge, and there are countryside walks and watersports on the river. Free travel on most trains on the railway is includedso it's ideal for families and rail enthusiasts.

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Berwyn Station, Llangollen Railway, North Wales

© Hawlfraint y Goron / Crown Copyright

Portmeirion, Gwynedd

Portmeirionis a colourful and ornate Mediterranean village perched on the edge of the beautifulDwyryd estuary near Porthmadog, on the north west coast of Wales. Let the peacocks, exotic flora and fauna, and characterful cottage accommodation transport you to Italy, without leaving Gwynedd that is.

Situated within the village, Portmeirion Hotel is the brainchild of Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, who spent fifty years lovingly creating his vision of an Italianate village in coastal North Wales. The hotel opened in 1931 and has hosted artists, royalty, politicians and tycoons, as well as noted authors and playwrights H. G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw and Noël Coward. The building gained Grade II listed status in 1971. Stay in the Peacock Suite, which the future King Edward VIII slept in in 1934.

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Unique and quirky places to stay in Wales (11)

Portmeirion Village, North Wales

© Hawlfraint y Goron / Crown Copyright

© Hawlfraint y Goron / Crown Copyright

South Wales

Llanerch Vineyard, Vale of Glamorgan

The Romans brought vines to Wales 2,000 years ago, making the country’s appearance in the wine world a little tardy – it’s only in the last couple of decades that Welsh wine has gained prominence. This slow start gave way to the fast winning of awards and praise for Welsh whites, rosés and sparkling wines, with some red wine now reaching as high a standard as its counterparts. Llanerch Vineyardplanted its first vines in 1986 and produces highly-rated wine under its Cariad label. Have a taste of everything, then sleep it off in a beautiful farmhouse suite, studio room or apartment.

Unique and quirky places to stay in Wales (12)
Unique and quirky places to stay in Wales (13)

Llanerch Vineyard,Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales

©Llanerch Vineyard Hotel

© ALS Photography


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