Nestled in dramatic countryside on the edge of Snowdonia National Park, Palé Hall provides the perfect setting for a luxurious break

By car, north Wales is a long way from London so if you’re going to make the journey, stay somewhere truly special like Palé Hall to make every mile spent on the motorway worthwhile. Arriving late at night in the rain, the hotel is lit up like a Gothic fantasy from Northanger Abbey.

All fairytale turrets and sweeping drive, this Grade II listed building provides guests with the country house of their dreams.

New owners Alan and Angela Harper originally bought the house to live in, but realising how guests would love it as much as they do, they gutted it to create a luxurious and comfortable new hotel in a picturesque pocket of Wales.

From the moment we stepped out of our car (shielded from the rain by the staff with big umbrellas) and were led to the drawing room with comfy sofas, sparkling chandeliers and a crackling fire, we realised this was going to be a very special place to stay.

The couple’s plan was to create a country hotel where you can kick back and relax. With 18 individually decorated bedrooms (including those where the Duke of Westminster and Winston Churchill once slept), two stunning drawing rooms, a library and fine dining restaurant, it’s the ultimate country fantasy for those of us living in small London homes.

It’s the ultimate country fantasy for those of us living in small London homes

On a relaxing weekend away with my mum, we stayed in two large adjoining rooms, decorated beautifully with swathes of silk curtains, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, hand-picked antiques and, in my case, a huge four poster bed, complete with its own mini staircase so you can clamber up to sleep.

With gorgeous views of the hotel’s grounds from every window, a decanter of complimentary sherry and a stack of glossy magazines, all the tension of city living soon disappears. And unlike many hotels, where the common rooms feel a bit unlived in and stuffy, Palé Hall really does feel like a home. Here, you’re encouraged to kick back, read the Sunday papers or a book, and take a doze on one of the very comfy sofas.

Should you fancy taking a look at the wonders of Wales on your doorstep, Snowdonia National Park and the Italian inspired village of Portmeirion (famously home to 60s hit show The Prisoner) are a picturesque drive nearby.

Buoyed by a day exploring this wonderful part of the world, we made sure we arrived back in time for dinner. The Harpers have cleverly hired Michelin star chef Michael Caines to oversee the menu, which focuses on seasonal produce, including melt-in-the-mouth Welsh lamb and a decadent coconut panna cotta.

Sadly, two days went far too quickly.As first time hoteliers, the couple have done remarkably well. The hotel is a shining testament to their desire to provide guests with every comfort, their staff are fantastic and you’ll leave with a smile on your face, in the hope you can return again soon.

Rates start from £190 for a double room on a B&B basis. Call 01678 530 285 for details or see


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