We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“would not stay there again” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Brynafon Country House Hotel

Save Saved
You added Brynafon Country House Hotel to your Saves list
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
Brynafon Country House Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   South Street, Rhayader LD6 5BL, Wales   |  
  |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 4 hotels in Rhayader
london
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“would not stay there again”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

When we arrived we almost passed the hotel sign, but I caught a glimpse of it and thought “oh no“. Made a u-turn and drove back. “oh no“ because the hotel sign is so rotten, one can hardly read what it says. And this first impression turned out to be significant for our 2 night stay...
The building looks nice from outside, a large free standing house with character, it was used as a workhouse in the past.
Entering the hotel the first things we noticed were:
- a dirty entrance door and a muddy rug
- an uninviting black and white flower print wall paper and black chandelier, which made the entrance hall small and depressing
- the smell of fat and food
- a tired looking room with dated sofas
Next to the room a tiny opening like at a kiosk. Nothing that would identify it as the reception area (no pictures, no sign (“welcome please press the bell“)...maybe some fresh flowers?). There was only a door bell fixed to a board and a large breadcrum next to it. I did not dare pressing the bell at first as it could also have been an alarm button.
We were greeted by a friendly young woman who took us to the room. The room was as cosy and warm as a waiting room in a train station. There was no back door and it seemed like an in-between room which you pass to get to the fire exit staircase. A twin room, although we had booked a double.
Upon noticing our disappointment we were offered the room next door. This room was small and dated with the decor and furniture of someone's master bedroom in an old fashioned house (like of an elderly couple, last updated in the 1980ies).
My partner went into the ensuite shower and was locked inside because it was impossible to open the door from inside. Would he have stayed in the room on his own, he would have been locked in there all night ... sleeping on the toilet seat.
The dinner was very good, compliments to the chef, nice restaurant, but unattractive black table cloths reminding us of a funeral. Dirty floor. There was a spoon under our table and a fork and breadcrums on my seat. Both still there on the second day at breakfast. And may still be there...
All in all the sign kept its promise of a place dated, with little attention to detail which could make a guest feel comfortable and welcome. Staff and owners very friendly.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

188 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    53
    57
    46
    25
    7
See reviews for
18
114
11
12
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Kent
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

The only thing good about this hotel is the location, which is excellent.

My room was "Clink", which is around the back of the property and cheaper due to it not being in the main building, but, according to the hotel website "It is cheap because of where it is situated not due to quality". Now, it was February, so it's cold. The room had a fixed wall radiator and even with a oil rad on wheels for extra heat, I still had to sleep with a beanie on. It was freezing.

Shower was next to useless. One minute cold the next roasting. I just gave up.
Dodgy electrics, broken plugs, flickering side lights, broken blinds, mold in the bathroom, no double glazing (so road noise, barking dogs etc is a major issue).

Bar and reception areas in the main hotel are uninviting and reeked of fried food (in the morning as well). That smell impregnates your clothes and you take it with you when you leave!

I decided not to eat in the restaurant as I heard a group at the bar saying it was the worse meal that they had had for years. Someone said that he had been told that there was no haddock or cod for fish and chips, but was offered salmon (battered!!!). He declined.

The ambient music in the bar / restaurant area was not on a loop, so when it kept ending, customers were plunged in to a library like scenario where they were suddenly conscious of each other's conversations. So, instead of what should be a lively friendly restaurant atmosphere with free flowing banter between couples and groups, it just became one big awkward silence each time until someone plucked up the courage to inform a member of staff that the music had stopped yet again!!

I find it hard to describe the staff - They're generally friendly enough, and appear to be busy and move about frantically, but they're definitely not trained. I observed customers constantly asking where there orders were or complaining that what they had been given was not what they ordered etc etc. No one person seemed to be in charge in front-of-house, however serving staff did keep disappearing in to the kitchen to be barked at by chef.

The clever use of imagery and editorial content on the website gives you an impression of what this place could / should be like, but not what it's like in reality. There are definitely better rooms then "Clink", I've seen them, but the owners' lack of attention to detail means that there is always something that lets these smarter rooms down as well.

Annoyingly, I still want this hotel to be good. With some imagination / investment in the building / better trained staff etc this could be a great boutique property. I just wish the owners were more ambitious and had a lot more pride in the service that they are offering. It's a great candidate for Ramsey or The Hotel Inspector style shakeup and makeover!!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gerry W, Owner at Brynafon Country House Hotel, responded to this review, February 22, 2013
I think there are some very harsh comments but also some fair ones, we now have a list of issues between this review and the last review which are common and must be addressed. We are just at the start of the year, so while we have a lot of work to do, we are determined to make every effort. We will never be a boutique hotel but we can do a lot to change and improve. Obviously a one star rating after having so many excellent reviews last year is a disappointment.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northampton, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

1st impression is the place looks lovely. We walked in to be confronted with a reception area which was smokey and smelt like a fish and chip shop. OK, we thought, cooking for lunch maybe a mishap. Reception took about 5min to arrive, another 5min wait to get the key. She walked up took us to the room, put the keys down and walked out. Not a single word! No idea of breakfast times, no idea of dinner etc. Just rude. Then we changed rooms as ours was a family room (The Gables 3), very cold and damp with an electric heater and twin beds put together, up-lighter not working etc. So we ended up in Claerwen 1. Looks great and to be honest it was ok. The bathroom was a bit moldy in the corners, toilet roll holder hanging off the wall and the shower was like someone was throwing water at you from a mile away. But you could live with it. However, some clever engineering of electrics with a bare electric cable glued (which didn't work) to the wall. This cable was to power the TV to another socket a few feet away. Not covered up and the wires were exposed. So that's the rooms, and to be honest we were only sleeping there and were not to disappointed about it. I would be really annoyed if we had paid full price.

Walked down to dinner, air fresher now plugged in and on full blast (a lovely aroma of wild flowers and burnt oil) trying to cover the smell, after I complained earlier. Dinner, was ok, well cooked but we found 3 hairs in between water jug, starter and main course! Service from the guy in the glasses was ok, needs to be better. We went to bed first night thinking we started off with the wrong impression...it isn't that bad...Next morning, woke up to the smell of burnt oil and wild flowers, breakfast, service was poor, food was OK a little bit oily but ok, great bacon though and this time we found only one hair under the egg.

Out for the day and returned back, the room had been made but toilet brush holder was left on top of the toilet and no new toilet roll paper, there was half of one left.

Evening meal I decided I would just have a small starter as we had been out that day. I ordered loaded potato skins (same lady with long dark hair (showed us to the room)) and asked if I could have them in my room. I was told to come down in 15min!

Fair enough, I walked down when it was 15 minutes and I waited and waited, she walked past me, ignored me, then another girl hanging around in the kitchen saw me, ignored me waiting, owner walked in, saw me, ignored me, then finally after the chef had seen me waiting three times, he asked if I was the one waiting for the starter to the waitress. Bravo, I got my starter and went to my room. Plate was oily and slippy to hold, potato skins deep fried and oily, it came with salsa and single cream, hang on this is wrong, go back down stairs, wait, give them the single cream back, wait longer, wait some more. Gave up. Went back to the room annoyed.

Overall this place could be awesome, if they just invested in a decent extractor fan, better service or staff, less oil and made a bit of an effort in the rooms.

I wasn't overly disappointed as it was the KGB deal, if I paid full price I wouldn't expect to pay for anything. I've stayed at many hotels with work all over the country I was just annoyed that with a little more effort it would have been lovely.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

I bought my parents a weekend here as a Christmas present after a lot of research. They got back yesterday and loved it! I was in communication with the owners beforehand, who were very friendly and helpful.

My parents said the only dampener was the weather as the food was delicious, beautiful scenery, friendly service and a comfortable pleasant hotel; so very pleased all in all.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

The hotel is in a perfect location for travellers and it does look good from the outside and the inside. Went near Christmas time and the decorations were lovely. The food is hearty and you get a lot of it for your money. It is not finest cuisine but it is nice and well cooked. The staff is friendly if sometime a little overwhelmed. My bedroom was cold but it was one of the biggest one with the children bedroom attached to it (would actually be good for a family). As per the title, the room felt a bit dated, but the bed was comfortable and I had plenty of blankets. Bathroom was clean and roomy. Shame that in the room next door they decided to watch a football match full sound at 1am...But nothing the hotel could have done about it, just bad mannered individuals.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Farnborough, Hants
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

My husband and I enjoyed a wonderful break at the Brynafon Country House Hotel. The hotel is steeped in history and a booklet in the room explained what the hotel had been used for in previous years. The room was large and decor good. The bed was very comfortable and the breakfast delicious. The staff very friendly and professional.

The area around the Elan Valley and the Dam is beautiful and even the rain did not put us off. The evening meals at the hotel were lovely. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Take your walking boots. An excellent area for walks. Also Kite feeding is at 2pm every day and on...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Wales
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

My wife and I recently had a two night bed and breakfast kgb deal at the Brynafon for £69 and it was very good value for money. The room, Willows 2, was a decent size, clean and warm with a roomy en-suite shower and a very comfy bed. The location is very good, being just a ten minute walk into Rhayader and in an area of wonderful natural beauty. It's also located next to Gigrin Farm, the Red Kite feeding centre. The building itself has character and is described by the owners as 'work in progress', which is probably a fair description. The breakfasts were good, though not as hot as it should have been on the first day. The waitress service could have been a bit more attentive as on both mornings once the breakfast was served there was no return to ask if everything was ok or whether anything else was required e.g. more toast or tea. I think the owner served on the first day and an employee the second, but the service was the same. All in all very good value for money but could be even better with a little attention to detail.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Brynafon Country House Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Brynafon Country House Hotel

Address: South Street, Rhayader LD6 5BL, Wales
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > Wales > Powys > Rhayader
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 hotels in Rhayader
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Brynafon Country House Hotel 3*
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Priceline, Travelocity, Tingo, BookingOdigeoWL, Venere and Agoda so you can book your Brynafon Country House Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Brynafon Country Hotel
Brynafon Country House Hotel Rhayader, Wales, UK

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Brynafon Country House Hotel, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.