We recently made the 5+ hour trip from North Norfolk to North Wales for an adventure-packed weekend with the kids and discovered the perfect resting place at Plas Weunydd Hotel and Glamping, the newest four star family friendly boutique overlooking the slate mine quary that’s now home to Llechwwedd Zip world in the heart of Snowdonia.
We went for a long weekend and stayed a couple of nights at Plas Weunydd with our two children (6 and 10) during March 2023. Here’s what we thought about The Sunday Times’ “Best Hotel in Wales 2021!”
The History of Plas Weunydd
A hotel for us isn’t just somewhere to rest our heads after exploring, it’s all part of the adventure. When we do plan to go away we’re always on the lookout for accommodation that’s a little bit unique (see our horsebox adventure here), has a bit of character or has some historical relevance to the area we’re visiting. A weekend stay at Plas Weunydd ticks all the boxes.
Plas Weunydd was built in 1836 as a home to the Greaves’ family. The family owned and ran LLechwedd Slate Mine near Blaenau FFsetiniog in Gwynedd and are very much part of the local history. As you look out over the quarry (now home to Zip World) you can imagine the clanking of machinery, dust and toil of the hardworking locals in the slate mines, the lifeblood of this remote edge of North West Wales.
The slate quarry mansion stayed as the family residence until the mid 20th Century when it then became the site offices of the LLechwedd attractions. A Miners tramway tour and the famous Deep Mine tour which is now operated by Zip World. It’s fantastic to see the Quarry founders family home reinvented into not just a four star hotel but a cherished local landmark. Somewhere for families, couples, thrill seekers, dog walkers, and adventurous go-getters to enjoy!
The handsome white and grey hotel overlooks the slate landscape of North West Wales which has rightly been awarded UNESCO world Heritage status.
Plas Weunydd Hotel and Glamping is literally a stones throw from Zip World LLechwedd (our primary destination) and only a 15 minute drive from Zip World Fforest. Families and thrill seekers can enjoy a wealth of heart-racing activities from underground golf to Zip lines and Cavern climbing. We breakfasted with Mountain bikers, young couples and families bound for a weekend of some of the best adventure activities in Europe.
If you’re after a more relaxed break Plas Weunydd Hotel and Glamping is perfectly located to explore Snowdonia and the Snowdonia 360 Route. There are numerous beaches, castles and mountains just a short drive away. We visited the beautiful town of Dolgellau, with its narrow twisting streets and architectural treasures for an evening meal at Y Sospan. A Tardis of a restaurant with amazing decor and lovely food.
The popular tourist destination of Betws-y-Coed is just a few miles away with a wealth of shops, tea rooms and beautiful waterfalls. We missed out on Swallow Falls but gladly parted with the £1 entry to see the picturesque Fairy Glen. It’s not an accessible route but if you can, you should. It’s magical!
A North Norfolk girl like me couldn’t leave Wales without a beach trip so I happily took the wheel and navigated some of the most exhilarating roads I’ve ever been on through the scenic landscape to Porthmadog and then to the beach of Borth-y-Guest. Beautiful.
We did take a quick look at the Italian inspired tourist village of Port Meirion. Unfortunately it was a bit late in the day and the entry price of £18 (adult ticket) would not have been well spent.
Plas Weunydd has 24 bedrooms in the main hotel. The bedrooms are designed with gentle yellows, golds, blues and greys echoing the natural landscape that surrounds the hotel. We stayed in rooms 1 and 2 on the ground floor. Interconnecting rooms, perfect for families with 2 younger children or teens. Room 1 was an accessible room (there’s two accesible rooms in the hotel) with a large hallway and wet room. We could see the mountains from our room with the occasional mountain bike whizzing down.
The rooms are modern yet cosy, and filled with all the home comforts you need including, soft white towels, bottled water and some tasty Welsh shortbread to enjoy with my ‘Paned’. We made good use of the complimentry Plas Weunydd toiletries, the locally made grapefruit and orange body wash was lush. Now let me tell you about the beds. Have you ever slept in a cloud? Quality crisp white linen, a comfy mattress, velvet throw cushions and fresh white duvet topped off with a TweedMill Welsh runner. Heaven!
The kids were happy with their flat screen TV and UBS sockets to charge the iPads ready for the journey home. All the bathrooms had a power shower and towel rail. The rooms were both set to a comfortable temperature and you could easily make the required adjustment in the evening. I was so snug I didn’t want to come home. Photographs of the hotels’ past existence and artwork from local artists, including sculptures from one of the managing directors adorn the walls.
The photographs provide a fascinating reminder of what life used to be like in this part of the world. The attention to detail and thought that has gone into keeping the history of the place alive is commendable. Everything is of the highest standard and in-keeping with its quality boutique label.
Building on their success, Plas Weunydd also offers different accommodation to suit every type of traveller. Fancy a bit of luxury camping? You can glamp in one of their six en-suite Safari Tents.
Sharon, (our hostess with the most-est) remarked that you can almost forget you are in a tent given its five star rating. For a really off-grid experience, why not try one of the Shepherd Huts that are accessible only by your own self drive golf buggy, how cool!
Food and Drink
The bar and restaurant area is a lively contrast to the rooms. Bright bold colours, wooden floors (for muddy footprints) and simple comfortable furniture. There’s also a beautiful patio area which spills out from the restaurant and overlooks the quary. I imagine it’s beautiful on sunnier days. Sadly we had only booked for traditional Welsh weather!
On Friday and Saturday evenings, Plas Wenuydd offer a pizza and charcuterie menu, which was right up our street and the kids couldn’t believe their luck. There are plans underway to widen the menu with some street style food offerings. I believe work was happening on the kitchen during our stay, not that we noticed.
There was a couple of things off the menu (at breakfast) the second day but this was largely due to supply issues which is happening everywhere in the UK right now. The team bent over backwards to accommodate my fussy offspring and it didn’t affect our enjoyment (or bellies) at all.
The food was delicious. Fresh local produce cooked to order and beautifully presented. It wasn’t fussy or pretentious, just good quality and flavoursome. I had a Welsh Rarebit pizza (made with Snowdonia cheese) which I devoured before sampling some of the local Rock Star cheeses on our charcuterie board. At £9.00 per person I felt it very reasonable for the amount and variety you got. Fun fact, the family store the cheese in the mine as it’s the perfect temperature. The pizzas themselves start at £9.95 for a margarita. A kids meal with drink will cost you £7.50.
We couldn’t squeeze in desert but ‘The Boys’ brownie and crushed pistachio vanished before I had time to finish my local Welsh cider. My pick of the cider was the Black Dragon for £4.50. Other ciders and lagers were priced from £3.00. Not too bad for ‘hotel’ prices!
Breakfast was made up of a small help-yourself-area with “The best croissants in the world” as declared by Wilba. A small selection of fruit, jams and fruit juices and then a menu of cereals, porridge, sourdough toast and more substantial offerings.
I enjoyed the Portebello mushroom on sourdough toast while Andy opted for an Eggs Benedict and then a traditional Welsh breakfast for our second morning. Great portion sizes, nicely cooked and delivered hot to the table. There was a good choice of hot drinks and Wilba was happy with her milk. I also enjoyed a Granola with fresh berries. The Boy decided on yet more cheese and ham for his breakfast. If you know what you like, why change! Breakfast/Brunch runs until 3pm.
Plas Weunydd Hotel and Glamping is Dog friendly, family friendly and couple friendly. It’s managed by some of the most warmest welcoming staff I’ve ever met and has a real family feel. When you go anywhere with kids, particularly to a hotel as beautiful as Plas Weunydd you cant help but feel a trifle anxious about how the kids’ will be received. It didn’t feel stuffy at all, just elegant and comfortable, a welcome retreat for anyone after a day adventuring and a real home-from-home. The team are professional, approachable and knowledgeable. Happy to answer any questions or share their insight into the places to visit. If you have a question, just ask!
Knowing that I was trying to learn some of the lingo. I was handed a little book of colourful Blaenau Ffestiniog local phrases to help me improve. It’s a work in progress!
I can’t finish my review without mentioning the wonderful Sharon who has worked for the family in one way or another since the 1970’s. What Sharon doesn’t know about the family history, local produce and area isn’t worth knowing. I could of talked to her for hours, she’s so incredibly proud of the hotel, the area and its heritage, and that really shows in the quality of service and care you receive when you stay. We shall meet again.
I can highly recommend Plas Weunydd for a North Wales adventure and with so many things in the pipeline, new menus, Shepard Hut accommodation (Opening April 2023), I can only see it getting even better. Thanks to everyone who made our stay so enjoyable.
Please head to the website here to book directly with Plas Weunydd Hotel and Glamping and follow their Instagram or Facebook page for the most recent updates and information. As always my DM’s are open for questions on Instagram or comment below.
‘Cael Diwrnod Gwych’
Disclaimer: We were gifted our stay in return for this review but as always, my words are my own.