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“Excited to return”

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The Dragons Back & Bunkhouse
Ranked #1 of 1 Pengenffordd B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 24, 2013

I stayed at the Castle inn last march (2012) when my school group were doing their gold duke of edinburgh. I have this time persuaded my husband to join me on the trip this weekend and am very excited to be returning to the place. - I am hoping the weather does not ruin the boys practice expedition because I am looking forward to my stay in the pub!

The food was lovely and the company very friendly especially as I was a young woman travelling alone! Breakfast was huge and a challenge to walk off and the rooms and shower were brilliant after a hard day on the hills.

Would highly recommend this place and have gain and again!!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank Kate B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
castleinn96, Owner at The Dragons Back & Bunkhouse, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2013

Thank you very much for your review, it's especially welcome coming from a returning customer.

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Reviews (80)
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65 - 71 of 80 reviews

Reviewed January 23, 2013

We stayed at The Castle in 12th January. This was our 2nd visit since 2012.
January is a great time to stay as they have the fire going.
We stayed in room No 3. Really comfy room, lovely & warm with such a soft bed & a real good P shaped bath.
It snowed whilst we were there, which made it all the better.
We remembered to pre-order our steak........missed out last time as didn't realise how popular the steaks are!
The owners are wonderful, really friendly & welcoming., as are the locals......especially loved the jack russell puppy, I think she's called Poppy.
The steak comes on a lava stone, so you can cook it as you like. Very good food.
We had a great night's sleep, even tho the pub was busy.
The cooked breakfast is just right.
We had a wonderful time & hopefully we'll return again next January......may try in the summer too.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JustineandKelvin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
castleinn96, Owner at The Dragons Back & Bunkhouse, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2013

I am sorry it's taken so long to thank you for writing a review, your kind words were very much appreciated.

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Reviewed November 9, 2012

I stayed in the bunk barn with four walking friends the second weekend in June. OK, so this review is a long time in coming, but our experience was so good, I had to write this.
The barn was comfortable and clean, all that we expected and a cheap way of enjoying a weekend of walking in the beautiful surroundings. The hospitality was second to none and we spent a very long enjoyable evening in the bar with Ahmed as the perfect host. The meals both nights were excellent, cooking my own steaks (beef Friday, lamb Saturday) was an enjoyable experience in itself and both steaks were excellent, the local butcher obviously sources top-quality meat. This was my first visit to The Castle, but it won't be my last.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Geoff B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2012

Nice place, room 4 was clean and bright. Nice bar with pleasant ambiance, good food and some good real ale. Unfortunately they dont open for food or drink on sundays !! . An early breakfast for an early departure was no problem to them. Lovely location. Many Thanks.

Room Tip: Lots of creaking from adjoining rooms and some bar noise from downstairs, but I was so tired it didn...
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank KimCoClare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2012

So much to say....another beautiful meal much enjoyed at the Castle Inn. The hot rocks are an awesome way to have your steak, you can let it sizzle away until it meet your desired taste, along with adding the onions, peppers, mushrooms and baby tomatoes from the lovely side salad. Other half had a rump steak again - which he highly recommends and I had the tuna this time, and wasn't disappointed...absolutely beautiful. Lovely pint of Butty Bach washed it down lovely and had all this served by the friendly owners, sat on the lovely new terrace looking up to Castle Dinas...if your in the area, its very reasonably priced and is a must try establishment!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jane W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2012

This is a review of my third visit to the Castle Inn. On my first stay approx 2 years ago I was impressed with the accommodation (bunk barn), the pub and the food. The second stay (camping) was a slight disappointment as the pub’s food wasn't quite as good as previously. However after this latest stay (again camping), I won't be going back.

The campsite is a small steeply sloping field that has been terraced to provide two narrow strips of level flat ground for tents. When we arrived (having prebooked for one night's camping several weeks before) we found the strips already crowded with tents, and just managed to slot ours in between two others with 4ft or so of space either side (much less than the minimum separation demanded by most campsites for fire safety, and also somewhat too close for any privacy).

Feeling a little let down by the crowded camping conditions, we had an evening meal in the pub... steaks served cooking on hot rocks. When the food arrived the meat was sizzling and spitting out so much hot fat that for 5-10 minutes it was difficult to get near it to prepare or eat, and after we’d finished we realised our clothes were covered in splattered fat and smelled very unpleasant. The steaks differed in quality: one was quite tender and fairly lean, the other quite fatty and a bit gristly. Given the cooking method, both would have benefitted from being slightly smaller but thicker. The side salad garnish was like dry coleslaw without the mayo dressing. For £13 a pop I was underwhelmed.

Having retired to bed, we (and probably anyone else already asleep) were rudely awoken at midnight by two large noisy groups of campers rolling out of the pub, who got together and carried on drinking and being generally rowdy. One was a group of early 20s lads who were boasting that they were only there to get drunk. In frustration I eventually had to get up and dressed at 1am to ask them to keep the noise down and remind them there were other people trying to sleep in tents right next to them, but it was after 2am before there was quiet on the site.

So be warned:
(1) If you go for the hot rocks steaks, be prepared to come out with your clothes covered in smelly grease.
(2) Take earplugs. Although I appreciate that the owners can’t be held fully responsible for discourteous guests, they do seem happy to cram tents onto the campsite. You could be up close and personal with all your neighbours' bodily sounds, and at worst if you get noisy groups you will know all about it and might not get much sleep. There don’t seem to be any noise rules on the site, or even any passive encouragement of considerate behaviour, so enforcing reasonable camping manners is left to campers themselves, which, faced with drunken groups, could be a challenge.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank BulletBaxter2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
castleinn96, Owner at The Dragons Back & Bunkhouse, responded to this reviewResponded September 3, 2012

Hi Bullet,

I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your third stay with us in 2 years. We have owned The Castle Inn for 4 years during all of that time the campsite has not changed, and we continue to purchase our steaks locally from the same supplier, cooking them on the hot rocks. Therefore you should have known what you were getting. I note that you didn't post a review the first time you stayed when you were impressed, or the second time. If you were unhappy with the food, you should have commented on it at the time, and we hopefully could have resolved it, ditto with the noise.

Jill

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Reviewed July 17, 2012

We rented a cottage across the road from the pub and were delighted with the warm, friendly atmosphere. We loved the "hot rocks" style of cooking as we all like our meat rare. This is a great pub although the menu is limited and there was 1 choice of white wine and 1 choice of red. They were very accommodating, cooking pasta that we provided to make our littlies happy and chatted to us about their menu. Would recommend and is in a beautiful location.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Lisa L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Dragons Back & Bunkhouse

Address: Pengenffordd, Pengenffordd, Brecon Beacons National Park LD3 0EP, Wales (Formerly The Castle Inn)
Location: United Kingdom > Wales > Brecon Beacons National Park > Pengenffordd
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Pengenffordd
Price Range: $39 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Dragons Back (formerly The Castle Inn) is located at over 1000ft above sea level, (the highest pub in the Brecon Beacons National Park ) in a beautiful valley in The Black Mountains. We also have bunkhouse accommodation for up to 28 guests with a brand new dining kitchen for the use of bunkhouse guests, & a small camp site. We also have a shepherds hut with it's own private bathroom and access to the dining kitchen. We serve excellent home-cooked food at reasonable prices, well-kept real ales are always available & we have a lovely log fire to keep you warm. You can go on stunning walks/rides straight from the door. If you can do it outside, then you can almost certainly do it here! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Castle Hotel Pengenffordd

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