Wales is rich with history, breathtaking natural landscapes, and a people who are warm and interested in the modern as well as in tradition and classic comforts. A stay at a boutique hotel anywhere in Wales promises to make an amazing trip totally unforgettable — perhaps in a country house-style place hemmed in by royal gardens or in an actual castle with a trendy-meets-classical interior.
North Wales: Dramatic landscapes & sightseeing
The landscapes of North Wales are utterly epic. Snowdonia National Park and the town of Conwy are some of the highlights of the north — experience these magical places with a stay at a boutique hotel and you’re sure to get a taste of both the contemporary and the traditional in stylish, intimate settings. Boutique hotels in North Wales come equipped with not only the highest standard of service, location, and amenities, but also a charm unique to its location. Conwy, while a relatively small town, is jampacked with sights-to-see: Check out the Conwy Castle for dramatic views and thousands of years of history. For an authentic Welsh meal, the iconic Watson’s Bistro is worth a stop, best followed with a pint or three at the 1920s Albion Ale House. Hikers will find bliss in this particularly verdant chunk of the world; Snowdonia National Park is a haven for those who love to wander, The Isle of Anglesey is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and deserves a visit to see why, and Llandudno is perfect for a trip with the family because of its fun range of activities, including a cable car and Great Orme Tramway. Elsewhere in North Wales is the UNESCO-listed Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, which you can boat or walk across for a spectacular experience only had in Wales.
Mid-Wales: Hiking, history, & tranquil natural scenes
Mid-Wales offers an impressive range of sights and things to do. The famous Glyndŵr’s Way consists of 217 kilometers of trail leading through mid-Wales’ wonderful countryside, with some historical gems trickled in along the way. Aberystwyth is a bustling seaside town with it roots in academia and the arts — a boutique hotel here promises an intimate, luxurious experience in a town known for its historical beauty and youthful energy. Boutique hotels in mid-Wales will have you chilling in antique bathtubs all morning, sitting for a gourmet lunch in the classical-style dining room, and then taking the quick jaunt to nearby sightseeing opportunities for an enriching Welsh day. Wander around Iron and Bronze Age forts like Pen Dinas, which looms over Aberystwyth, or check out Carreg Cennen and Cardigan Castle for a taste of medieval and Viking history. If it’s the natural you’re after, you’re also in the right place: Ceredigion and Cardigan Bay are totally beautiful and their harbor also plays host to the annual Aberaeron Carnival. The “Green Heart” of Wales, mid-Wales is also home to the breathtaking Dyfi Valley, consisting of landscapes out of a fairytale: softly rolling hills, dramatic mountain scenery, lush greenery, stunning beaches, and all the peace and quiet you could ask for.
South Wales: Brecon Beacons & charming towns and cities
Oft recognized as the most beautiful part of Wales and perhaps of the UK generally is the Brecon Beacons national park, located in South Wales. A boutique hotel right in the park grants total immersion into the unbelievable natural beauty of this fine country. At your boutique hotel, take advantage of the myriad services and amenities onsite, potentially including tennis courts, patio dining, and access to the many trails that crisscross the park, fit for leisurely strolling as well as for hiking or biking. Wales’ capital Cardiff is worth a visit for its old-timey beauty and authentic Welsh flair, which includes but is not limited to the extremely friendly hospitality of the locals. While there, discover the best in contemporary Welsh cuisine at a pop-up restaurant or more traditional fare at one of the old standbys. The National Museum Cardiff is home to the largest collection of Impressionist art outside of Paris; the maze of arcades weaving through the city boast a wide range of shopping opportunity from vintage to high-end; and Cardiff Bay has its roots deep in the historical while now hosting the Wales Millennium Centre opera house and the Norwegian Church, where Roald Dahl was baptized. History buffs are promised to be totally sated in South Wales — from the Cardiff Castle to the Roman ruins of Venta Silurium to the very famous Tintern Abbey, immortalized in the words of William Wordsworth.
Good to know
Getting there: From the UK, Wales is closer than you may think — one can reach it in just three hours’ drive or an even quicker train ride across the Severn Bridge. Once there, renting a car gives you ultimate flexibility in discovering all corners of this beautiful place. If that’s not interesting, there are a series of trains and busses that connect most towns and cities across Wales — because of the natural barriers between South and mid-Wales though, some routes end up taking you out of the country and back into England. These routes are extremely scenic and worth it even if they may not be the quickest option.