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“Not quite the country manor house”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of Craig-y-Nos Castle

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Craig-y-Nos Castle
Ranked #1 of 4 Penycae B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Wales
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Not quite the country manor house”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2007

My wife and I stayed at Craig-y-nos in one of the rooms located in the Nurses Block. Although we were aware that the bathroom facilities were shared, I was surprised at the lack of facilities covering the entire block. The thin walls and decor did little to deaden noises and therefore virtually all sounds in the corridor and neighbouring rooms were constantly audible. This in short was an experience reminiscent of school trips, which would be all well and good, had they charged us hostel prices, but we were paying city centre hotel prices.
Renovation work was being carried out at the castle, which meant the spa facilities were not in use, despite the fact that they were advertised as part of the experience.
The room was clean and comfortable enough but the decoration consisted mainly of photos of the castle and previous weddings that had been held there, which amounted to blatant and garish further advertising for themselves.
The setting and grounds are very picturesque and the building looked stunning, it's just a shame that the interior didn’t meet the same standard.

  • Liked — Scenery and location
  • Disliked — The interior
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FrankHonest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,108 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (247)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Cardiff
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2007

We booked to stay in your Bridal suite on 16 August to celebrate our 21 wedding anniversary. After booking, I then found some very mixed reports on the internet which made me feel a bit apprehensive about what we'd find! Whilst the castle is obviously still very much work in progress, we found it a really interesting place to stay, full of character and the atmosphere was very welcoming. Lovely grounds to walk around and it was a real treat to stay in the Bridal Suite too. I won't be for you if you are looking for minimalist, international hotel chain style accommodation.

We actually went out for our evening meal to the Griffin, Felin Fach (which was wonderful)but we would have preferred to have eaten in had there been a more formal a la carte restaurant of a similar quality which used local produce. I'm sure that there are plans for the future.

Our only other constructive criticism would be that fresh coffee at breakfast would be much better than instant sachets and some fresh fruit and pastries might add a bit of variety without adding significant cost.

  • Liked — Lots of history
  • Disliked — need to enhance restaurant facilities
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Technochick106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aldershot
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2007

We married at Craig-y-Nos castle last weekend and, as with all our other stays at the castle (for arrangements etc.) we could not have asked for more, either from the venue or the staff.

If you like your hotels with identical rooms, modernist art and 42" plasmas in every room, I'd head elsewhere now. If, however, you want a hotel that oozes history, character and charm, and is staffed by warm, friendly people, then you will struggle to find anywhere better in the UK, let alone Wales.

Our wedding day was simply perfect from start to finish, and that was due in no small part to the wedding planners Alison and Claire who worked tirelessly on the day to ensure everyone (and we mean EVERYONE) was happy.

Attentive, curteous and, most of all, good humoured, every stay at the castle has been an absolute pleasure.

Everyone at Craig-y-Nos is passionate about the castle, and equally that those who stay there get to feel that it is as much theirs as anyone's.

The rooms are furnished to a high standard (even some of the lower priced rooms have genuine period furniture) in an effort to maintain a level of faithfulness to the fabric of the building itself.

Every year more and more rooms are renovated, and further improvements made to the venue, with is a real labour of love for it's owner, and that shows through the attention to detail in the renovations.

With stunning views from just about every side of the castle, and an expansive country park next door, breathtaking is one word that is certainly not wasted here.

Do we like Craig-y-Nos, it's setting, and it's staff? No.

We love it, and them, more than any other place we have stayed (and there have been a LOT!)

If you are looking for somewhere to stay with a little more than your average hotel, look no further. We're sure you'll love it too.

  • Liked — It's sense of history
  • Disliked — What's not to like? Honestly!
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SiandClaire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swansea
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2007

We got married at the castle in October 2006. We chose the castle because it is a beautiful building set in great gardens and the place has real history and character that other venues just don't have, but above all the theatre is the most fantastic place to hold the ceremony.

The pre-wedding organisation was good, although we did deal with an Irish person at one point who was more interested in telling us he had organised weddings far more extravagant than ours....not impressed. He was also telling us we could take him or leave him - our advice, leave him and deal with the other wedding organisers, they were competent at their jobs.

On the day of the wedding nothing went wrong at all. It was perfect and the wedding organiser was there all day to ensure that this was the case. She worked really hard all day as did all the staff there. The food was fantastic, they even knocked up some extra veggie meals without delay for our more fussy guests. When the bar closed at the end of the night we were allowed to continue our celebrations in the breakfast room, where we drank wine and sat by the fire until the early hours of the morning.

Based on our experience (we've attended one other wedding there as well), our advice is to hold your wedding there.

We have also stayed at the castle on another occassion and were entirely happy with our stay. We had access to the surrounding countryside with the advantage of staying in such a fascinating building. For those of you who are used to your more characterless hotels there's a Hilton 20 miles down the road, but you won't get a room with a fantastic bathroom like the one in the bridal suite. You also won't get such friendly staff or cheap bar prices or an open log fire...

Marc & Rhian

  • Liked — The building
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank IDpip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2007

Well where do you start, I read all the reviews about the castle and to be honest some of the things said in some ways are true, yes the place is a tad quirky, and i have to agree that some of the staff (waitresses mainly) dont know what they are doing,
when we arrived for our one night stay we were warmly greated at reception by the admin superisor who with out hesitation upgraded us to another room due to building works without cost to ourself's and even took us to show us the room, great start to our stay.

Went into the bar around 7pm had a few drinks (Good real ale) bar man was pleasent but needs to know what an iron was made for!! we ordered our meal, two steak and chips from the bar , waited about 20 mins for it to arrive which is about average, food was good and plenty of it but was totally let down by the waitresses didnt give steak knifes, had to ask twice for them , the salt pot was empty, pointed this out to the waitress who went to a unit accross fom the bar and bought another.. which was also empty!!! asked for french mustard; meal had finished before it had arrived.. The waitresses were far to busy talking to the barman and doing their "homework" than to give good sevice

Breakfast next morning was plentiful, not a bad selection of cerials, fruit juice, and a hearty english breakfast all included with the price of the room. It is self sevice as is most places, but dont expect your dirty plates to be removed, waitress are far to busy chatting behind the servery and playing games to provide any kind of service

Over all expeience of Craig y Nos Castle was above average , Food good, Rooms good ,however the place is totally let down in my opinion by lack of sevice from the waitressing staff wonder how many others have felt the same but never bothered to say anything?

Helpful?
Thank Englishbank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
southwales
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 16, 2007

my fiance and i attended a recent wedding fayre to look into possibly having our wedding there. im glad we did as my fiance wanted to book straight away after seeing outside. The staff were rushed around, wanting your sale without having spent any time with you. Nobody had uniform on (??) and were quite rude on time. We had carvery which was not very nice to say the least. We wont be holding our wedidng there, but good luck to those who are!

  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank welshfooty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
croydon
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2007

Our daughter and her husband had their wedding at Craig y Nos in September last year. They had visited Craig y Nos prior to making their booking and knew that the venue was being restored and liked the idea that the proceeds of their wedding would go towards the extensive and ongoing restoration of the ‘castle’. They had planned a ‘hands on’ wedding with lots of their own individual, ideas. From the moment we arrived 2 days before the wedding, the staff could not have been more helpful. Nothing was too much trouble and the words ‘no problem’ must have been uttered by the staff a hundred times. We were blessed with lovely weather and the staff worked a long day, evening and were still there at 2am, to ensure that everything went smoothly.

Several times during the day, Alison the wedding co-ordinator, talked to our daughter and new son in law and was able to keep them calm, and focussed on their day and they found this most reassuring.

Lunch was a bit late being served, but I guess most weddings do run late its just that our son in law is German, so we were arrived for lunch at the agreed time!

The lead up to the wedding was not quite so smooth. Our daughter and her fiancé had chosen the venue as Craig y Nos appeared to offer a ‘weekend’ wedding where we could have dinner the night before, the wedding, followed by lunch the next day and also accommodate the guests. The room booking policy changed during the engagement and we did not have any written agreement. I note that the Craig y Nos web site has now been updated and that the booking of rooms seems to be rather more clearly defined than it was for our wedding.

The number of rooms we could book reduced from the original booking. The rooms we could book had to be reserved with a credit card (maximum of 3 rooms per person) 6 months before the wedding and well in advance of the invitations going out. We gave a detailed list of the guests and the rooms we had allocated them to the booking staff, yet on several occasions, guests were told there was no room available when calling to confirm their reservation.

Despite having a good number of guests (around 50 on the Friday and 70 on the Sunday) Craig y Nos would not take a restaurant booking for the night before meal or lunch the day after the wedding and we went to other local restaurants.

We had trouble confirming the menu as there were 4 different chefs in 4 months. Eventually agreeing the menu only 10days before the wedding.

If you are considering having your wedding at Craig y Nos we would recommend it. However visit the place and talk to the staff - what you see is what you get. The wedding staff are hardworking and definitely will make your day happen the way you want it, but ensure that you discuss this with the staff in advance – they can only do what you want if they know about it!.

If you require accommodation there then I would recommend that you get an agreement from them in writing, and keep a close track of what is being booked and record your conversations.

  • Liked — The wedding organiser
  • Disliked — The staff on reception
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank judycroydon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Craig-y-Nos Castle

Property: Craig-y-Nos Castle
Address: Brecon Road, Penycae, Brecon Beacons National Park SA9 1GL, Wales
Location: United Kingdom > Wales > Brecon Beacons National Park > Penycae
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Penycae
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Craig-y-Nos Castle 3*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We offer a stunning location and the carefully preserved ambiance of a Welsh Castle Craig y Nos offers visitors a unique experience, whether it be just enjoying an overnight stay, or as a guest at a major function. Now largely restored to its former glory which, set against the backdrop of the park, makes it the ideal base for walkers, photographers, and other visitors to the area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Craig-y-Nos Castle Hotel Penycae
Craig-y-Nos Castle Wales/Penycae

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