Bodysgallen Hall

The Royal Welsh Way, Llandudno, Wales

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Hotel Description

There is no better setting for a cozy whodunit — Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple would have felt quite comfortable here. This 17th-century manor, set in 22 acres of fountains and climbing roses, is British hospitality to the extreme. Fireplaces crackle, footsteps tread softly on Persian carpets, and ancestral oil paintings take up every corner. Retire to the oak-paneled drawing room, help yourself to one of the novels in the 19th-century bookcase, and gaze out the diamond-paned windows.

You can either elect to stay in the main house, or one of the cottages nearer to the spa, where marmalade tabby cats sometimes crawl into the windows to demand a saucer of cream. All rooms are, in contrast to the club-like appearance of the public spaces, designed with a Laura Ashley touch. Flowers and frills abound from rose-printed bed flounces to canopies and curtains. A bucket of umbrellas stands at the door, the ceilings are crisscrossed with wooden beams. And there is so much Crabtree & Evelyn stocked in your bathroom, you can smell its distinctive apple-peach-herbal perfume from down the hall. Try to get a view of neighboring Conwy Castle — its forbidding stone facade and your own sweet surroundings provide a strangely satisfying contrast.

This is a formal place, one-of-its-kind in Wales, and slightly incongruous with the wild and wooly countryside that birthed both Dylan Thomas and D.H. Lawrence. Even before you come in, doormen are bowing to you deeply. Sherry is the drink of choice, and pearls are de rigeur. Children under the age of eight are not allowed, and older children are closely monitored — for example, they are only allowed in the swimming pool for two hours a day. And no where is formality more evident than in the dining room.

Dining at Bodysgallen is done in full evening attire. Even the food is grown up — rich and gamey, meats like venison and pheasant marvelously seasoned with wine sauces and herbs plucked from the garden. You can watch the chefs harvest them during the day, looking adorably plucky in their white uniforms against the wet, green landscape. It’s said that certain heads of state come here by helicopter just for a bite. Brush up on your knowledge of cutlery — there are more knives and forks than the Queen herself owns, and all are pure silver. Puzzled by a tiny filigree spoon three stops to the right? The immaculately polite waiter will cover for you. Unnerved? We love it. Especially with our own unpredictable lives and one fork in our drawer, there really is a no more appropriate holiday.

How to get there:

Bodysgallen Hall is approximately a 1¼-hour drive from Manchester International Airport. The nearest rail station is Llandudno Junction. There are regular trains from London (Euston) to Llandudno and the journey takes 3½ hours. Please contact customerservice@tablethotels.com to arrange a transfer from the rail station.

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Hotel Criteria

  • 35 Rooms
  • Style: Traditional Elegance
  • Atmosphere: Secluded

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Need to Know

Pets allowed on request.

Credit cards accepted:

Visa, MasterCard, American Express

Check in:

2pm,

Check out:

12pm

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