Behold the Welsh mountain pony. Breathe in. You're in the shadow of the Black Mountains. Breathe out. You're staying at the Brecon Beacons' only 4-star hotel.
A long private drive takes you through a stunning collection of over 100 specimen trees. First impressions count at Gliffaes. This late 19th-century Italianate building, a former clergyman’s house, stands in 33-acre grounds above the fish-laden River Usk – five salmon and trout beats feature along the river. Catch a trout in season and you can have it served up for breakfast. Delicious!
Locally sourced, seasonal produce is on the menu in this peaceful part of the world. Eighty wines and champagnes are stocked in the Victorian cellar – 8 to 10 available by the glass. A Welsh afternoon tea can be enjoyed on the broad stone terrace, or you can kick off your shoes and put up your feet by the roaring log fire. Perfect!
From the comfort of your river-view room – complete with plush Toile de Jouy fabrics and bold Lewis & Wood wallpaper – smell the wisteria on the balcony, admire the original artwork by contemporary Welsh artists, or soap up with natural spring water in your en suite bathroom. We’ve been told the views are pretty special, too.
Grab your boots and take to the upland trails. Welcome to one of Britain’s breathing spaces. Welcome to Gliffaes Country House Hotel.
We say: Bijou. These rooms are small but perfectly formed. All have views over our gardens. Vi-Spring beds, White Company linen, goose down pillows and duvets mean you will have a great night's sleep. Lovely Noble Isle products in the bathroom. All have been individually decorated with original Welsh art on the walls. Accessible? These rooms are split between the first and second floors. Two rooms benefit from a bath with shower and two have showers only.
We say: These rooms are bigger than the petite classic doubles, with king or super-king-sized Vi-Spring beds for a great night’s sleep and extra comfort. Country style en suite bedroom, offering free Wi-Fi, DAB radio, tea and coffee making facilities, bathrobes, Noble Isle toiletries, and hairdryer.
We say: This room is located in the cottage 100 metres from the main hotel, opposite the disabled access ramp. It’s of the same standard as the classic doubles: Country style en suite bedroom, 215 sqf, offering free Wi-Fi, satellite TV/radio, DVD player, writing desk, direct dial phone, alarm clock, ironing station, tea and coffee making facilities, bathrobes, toiletries, and hairdryer. King-sized bed or two single beds.Accessible? This room is located on the ground floor of the cottage and has a walk-in shower for mobility access. Parking is directly outside the entrance.
We say: These rooms are bigger than the classic doubles, with seating areas and king-sized beds for that extra space and comfort. Three out of four of these rooms are located in the cottage across the lawn from the main hotel. Two rooms have sofa beds if needed for children. Rooms enjoy pretty garden views. All have super-king beds. Accessible? These rooms are located on the first floor and benefit from a bath with shower.
We say: These two rooms look out over the terrace and onto the River Usk below. In the summer, house martins nest in the eaves above the windows. Features include an old library with wood panelling and glass-fronted bookcases. These rooms can be made into twins on request. Accessible? These rooms are located on the first floor and benefit from a bath with shower.
If it's a special occasion then book one of these rooms if you can. Large and spacious rooms with french windows that open out on to a small balcony, you can hear the river rushing by from your bed. Gorgeous views over the sunny terrace and on to the river Usk below. Super-King size beds.
A large room that looks west over our arboretum and lawns. The large four-poster bed was custom made for us using a set of antique wooden bed posts and then topped off with a deluxe Vi-spring mattress for a perfect night's sleep. This room has a smallish bathroom accessed by three steps and has a shower within the bath.
Delicious food and drink is part and parcel of your 4-star stay in the heart of the Brecon Beacons - and the restaurant at Gliffaes doesn’t fail to impress. Take a seat and admire the wood paneling and deep red walls adorned with contemporary paintings by Welsh artists. A wood burning stove sits in the fireplace and a large Welsh dresser adds a touch of country house charm. A talented kitchen team serve up modern British dishes prepared from fresh, locally sourced ingredients that change with the seasons. The head chef, Karl Cheetham, sources local meats - think confit of Welsh lamb served with sweetbreads, rhubarb and potato blini, or rump of Welsh beef - and only buys fish that come from sustainable stock. The à la carte menu features daily changing specials and around seven or eight starters and main courses. The wine list is changed every 12 to 18 months and comprises wines from around the globe - 8 to 10 available by the glass. Culinary events include wine dinners and outdoor Sunday grills in the summer.
Please reserve a table for dinner in advance.
In the summer, dining at Gliffaes Country House Hotel reveals an altogether different flavour. Take a seat in the fresh open air – sunny or shade – and dine al fresco. The restaurant windows look out over the terrace and onto the River Usk below, with French doors opening onto the south facing terrace, where, as always, the views are spectacular. After exploring the local area on foot, find your perfect spot in the gardens to wile away an hour or two or discover Gliffaes' superb collection of ancient trees, all mapped and labelled.
Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in afternoon tea whilst staying in this glorious setting – savour homemade scones with fruit preserve and cream, sandwiches, cakes and a pot of tea. Both traditional afternoon tea and champagne afternoon tea are available to order and can be enjoyed in the lounge – sitting comfortably by the roaring open fire - or on the terrace, overlooking the River Usk and the surrounding hills of the Brecon Beacons. Plenty of books and magazines are close at hand. Afternoon tea can be booked in advance, at a special price, when booking your room via ClassicBritishHotels.com.
The unique surroundings of Gliffaes Country House Hotel present a wonderful setting for private dinners and celebrations. The hotel caters for reunions, anniversaries, family gatherings, birthday parties, charity and club events, and business dinners. Choose from a range of private rooms, each with its own individual character. Call Classic British Hotels on 0844 967 0984 for advice and let us help you organise a memorable private dinner.
Standing 150 feet above the River Usk, in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Gliffaes Country House Hotel has a mile of left bank fishing, and, a short drive up river, another three quarters of a mile of double bank fishing known as Llandetty – making five beats in total.
Rods, lines, waders, flotation vests, flies, leader, monofilament, and flotant are all available to loan or purchase from the hotel. Please book your fishing when you book your room. You will need to buy an Environment Agency rod licence.
Legendary American former World No. 1 tennis player Billie Jean King once commented: 'Tennis is a perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquility.' And you can't get more tranquil than the Brecon Beacons National Park. Hire a racket and perfect your serve on the hotel's hard surface tennis court.
Lying between the River Usk and the Myarth Hill, the Grade II listed Gliffaes Hotel takes its name from Gwlydd Faes, the dewy field. The river mists and fertile soil provide an excellent environment for over 100 species of tree; from ancient oaks, beeches and giant redwoods, to exotic maples and cedars. The tree walk takes in 40 specimens and is approximately a mile in length. Collect a map from reception and take a stroll through the grounds identifying the trees along the way.
Crickhowell, Powys NP8 1RH, Wales, Great Britain
Experience the wild beauty of the Brecon Beacons with a traditional steam engine journey. From your observation carriage, you’ll race through river gorges and lightly wooded valleys before climbing steeply above the upper Pentwyn Reservoir. The Brecon Mountain Railway runs from Pant, near Merthyr Tydfil, along the full length of the Pontsticill Reservoir, to Torpantau high in the Brecon Beacons.