Whisk away a loved one for a romantic retreat in a former Victorian coaching house or bring the family together for a stay at a self-catered cottage by the coast. Surrounded by hiking, walking and biking trails, as well as lakes for fishing and canoeing, you can uncover the sprawling Welsh mountains at your own pace. Of course, if you want to take things slow, there are spa hotels nestled amid postcard-perfect scenery, too.
Top hotels in Snowdonia National Park to enjoy nature like no other place
A top Snowdonia hotel with a sumptuous spa
The ivy-clad Royal Oak Hotel sits on a peaceful bend of the River Llugwy, deep in Snowdonia National Park. Once a Victorian coaching house, it now offers a peaceful home from home for those wanting to escape to the Welsh mountains. Surrounded by Gwydyr Forest, this hotel has 28 square miles of walking trails, gleaming lakes and verdant landscapes to take in – all before setting foot in the National Park Visitor Centre just opposite.
Take the Ty’n Llwyn trail for views across the park before returning to Royal Oak for a well-deserved supper. The Grill Room, with its grand sash windows, is a chic option for your après-trek meal. Settle into one of the high-backed booths overlooking the village and peruse the menu – prepared in a dry-ager using Himalayan salt blocks to enhance the flavour, the mouthwatering steaks are a must-try.
Planning a romantic weekend? Book a table at the award-winning Llugwy River Restaurant. Impress your dinner date with a wine chosen from a list curated by local company Ffarm Vintners – including labels you won’t find in supermarkets. Afterwards, head to Y Stablau bar for lively performances by groups such as Dixieland Jazz Rag Band.
Rooms are welcoming after a long day exploring surrounding forests. Antique furniture and tartan blankets mingle with luxurious amenities like iPod docks to help ensure a comfortable stay. Heighten the romance and check into a deluxe room with a sleigh bed and slipper bath, then drop by the Station Leisure Centre for a stint in the 46 foot pool or bubbling Jacuzzi. Staff at the HNB Hair and Beauty Salon are on hand to ease tense muscles: try a reviving hot stone massage or prep for dinner with a Shellac manicure and Dermalogica facial.
Royal Oak Hotel
A dog-friendly top Snowdonia hotel
With stag antlers hanging above the mantel and plush armchairs either side, the roaring fireplace at the Royal Ship is a comfortable spot to hunker down in after a trek. The oak-panelled bar tells of the hotel’s early life as an 18th-century coaching house, while the sepia-toned landscape prints on the walls give a glimpse of what awaits outside its front door. Slip into an armchair as the sun sets behind the mountains and try a British brew – the bar hosts an array of unique and intriguing drinks such as Unicorn golden ale from Robinsons Brewery over the border in Cheshire.
After your nightcap, head up to your peaceful room. Deep, tufted headboards and natural wood furniture, as well as white-tiled ensuites, bring a deco feel to the Grade II-listed building. Feature walls and floral cushions add a warm burst of colour. Dogs are more than welcome, so you can bring the smallest family member along for the trip. Blankets, bedding and spare leads can be found and reception, but remember to call ahead to arrange their stay.
Start each morning with a hearty full Welsh breakfast including sausages from the award-winning Bwydlyn butcher, crispy hash browns and a generous helping of beans and buttery toast. When you’re ready to explore, the winding mountain biking trails of Coed y Brenin are just 10 minutes away. Don’t worry about getting muddy, the hotel has jet-wash facilities to hose your bike down afterwards. End your day at the elegant restaurant with its parquet flooring and blue velvet curtains. With hearty dishes like Welsh beef lasagna and warm blackberry and apple crumble, your appetite is sure to be sated.
The Royal Ship
A unique top Snowdonia hotel on the coast
Get a taste of Italy on the North Wales coast at Hotel Portmeirion and Castell Deudraeth. Architectural beauty and sublime Welsh landscapes combine for a truly one-of-a-kind stay at this quirky village situated on its own peninsula. Architect Clough Williams-Ellis took inspiration from Portofino in his design of the hotel, which is surrounded by colourful cottages and 70 acres of wooded gardens and trails. Get to know the cobbled pathways with a free walking tour of the village and be sure to stop by Watch House cottage, a favourite of Beatles star George Harrison.
Welsh classics such as laver bread and rarebit appear on the hotel’s menus, alongside creative dishes like lavender-roasted duck served in the Art Deco-style Dining Room. The greenery-fringed views of the peaceful Dwyryd Estuary seal the deal for a celebratory dinner. For a mid-afternoon treat, head to the terrace and choose a loose leaf from the tea emporium, which boasts traditional Earl Grey and more exotic infusions like Assam Orange Pekoe Kamakhya.
Stretch out in a room at the Gothic castle section of the hotel. Underfloor heating ensures it’s cosy to come back to and works by artists like early modernist Marc Chagall bring colour to the modern interior. For added privacy, book a self-catering cottage. Scattered around the grounds, these structures are distinguishable by their pastel-coloured painted shutters and exterior walls. Private terraces and gardened areas give you the chance to savour a bottle of Merlot under the stars at night. In the morning, get a hit of nostalgia as you sip tea and flick the TV to the hotel’s channel dedicated to re-runs of the ‘60s cult classic The Prisoner, which was filmed in Portmeirion. Fans will appreciate a visit to the show’s gift shop within the grounds.
Hotel Portmeirion & Castell Deudraeth
A top Snowdonia hotel surrounded by lakes
Ease into a weekend of rest and relaxation with a lie-in in your plush double bed at the Royal Victoria hotel. Order a cappuccino or your favourite blend of tea from the 24-hour room service menu and gaze out over the grounds from your large sash window. Tartan throws add a little Celtic heritage to each space, while modern amenities like Nespresso machines bring a touch of luxury. Slip into your complimentary robe and slippers before prepping for the day in your en suite.
The grand white exterior of the hotel is set among 30 acres of garden and woodland, providing you with plenty to explore. It’s also sandwiched between two of Snowdonia’s glittering lakes, Llyn Padarn and Llyn Peris, for peaceful afternoon walks. If you want to hike, choose the Llanberis path – the most gradual route to the peak. Or, if you’d prefer to take it easy, wander to the nearby remains of crumbling 13th-century Dolbadarn Castle, then rest up in the conservatory as you bask in the last of the afternoon sun’s rays.
You’ll find plenty of classic and creative dishes on the menu at the hotel restaurant. Prepare for a stroll with the complimentary Welsh breakfast, which includes thick-cut bacon and laverbread. During the evenings, settle down with an ale in the Padarn Brasserie. As you dine on dishes such as hake fillet with salty cockles and finish up with a selection of Welsh cheeses smothered in plum chutney you can look out onto the grounds. A telescope sits in the big bay window for spotting sights further in the park or stargazing before bed.
The Royal Victoria
A top Snowdonia hotel in a quaint village
Close to the River Conwy and overlooking Betws y Coed’s village green, the Gwydyr is a homely haven within Snowdonia National Park. The Visitor’s Centre is just a 3 minute walk away, so get out and explore the rocky trails leading to the summit of Wales’ highest mountain or stay close to home and learn about the village’s mining heritage. Four-legged travel companions are more than welcome to join you on your break. Settle into a pet-friendly room before stepping out for a stroll along the river for a pint of tangy ale in the restaurant, which has a dedicated space for visiting dogs.
In need of a rest? Head back to your room, where colourful scatter cushions and throws offer home-style comfort and canvases add a bright finish to a neutral palette. For a romantic break, book into a ground-floor room with a welcoming log-burning fire. Wake up to a fresh pot of tea – facilities are provided in every room – and open your curtains to drink in the views of the traditional village and mountains beyond.
Local produce, from cured hams to farm-fresh eggs, feature in dishes at the hotel’s restaurant. After a day marvelling at the rushing waterfalls along the Swallow Falls trail, return to the cosy pub-style restaurant for a home-made pie or piping-hot soup accompanied by a fresh crusty roll. Throughout the day, dip in and out for tasty cakes and bakes alongside freshly brewed fair-trade coffee. Once a month, the hotel opens its doors to musicians, so you can settle down by the log fire for an evening of folk songs or live jazz.