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“Great, Great & Double Great”
Review of Penhelig Arms

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Penhelig Arms
Certificate of Excellence
Cardiff
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great, Great & Double Great”
Reviewed May 8, 2008

We stayed at the Penhelig for a weekend in early April and it was idyllic. We booked one of the Bodhelig rooms which are stunning and the view of the estuary is lovely to take in from the private balcony.

Unlike some of the other reviewers we had never stayed here before and I really don’t understand how it could have been any better in the past.

We were greeted by welcoming staff and shown to our room. We arrived mid afternoon and decided to have a glass of wine in the bar before taking a walk. The hotel has a very homely yet professional feel to it. The staff genuinely want you to have a positive experience.

Our evening meal was another part of the stay that exceeded our expectation. The menu was very appealing and exciting, rivalling the best restaurants in Cardiff. We both chose fresh fish dishes followed by a mouth-watering dessert.

We stayed for 2 nights in total and there are no complaints from us, I guess the only downside is that a few people are hanging on to the past and not recognising that the current management and staff maybe different to the old owner’s team but they are running a fabulous little hotel with plenty of character & luxury.

We will definitely be going back.

Oh my, I almost forgot to tell you about the breakfast . . . . what a treat. Having breakfast cooked by a professional chef is soooo nice, part of the benefit of staying in a hotel with such a high standard of restaurant. As well as tasting yummy, everything was presented beautifully, even the scrambled eggs and bacon! Awesome.

  • Liked — High quality luxurious furnishings + professional service
  • Disliked — I didn't have enough time there
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Cynog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (206)
Date | Rating
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English first
Swansea
1 review
Reviewed April 21, 2008

My partner and I stayed at the Penhelig earlier this month and I can honestly say I can't remember the last time I felt so relaxed and looked after.

We arrived on a friday mid afternoon and were greeted by a welcoming smile from a young woman, what better way to start a weekend break? She appeared to be the only member of staff waiting as she asked us politely if we minded being left to fill in the registration form whilst she quickly answered the ringing telephone and demonstrated telephone manners my husband and I haven't witnessed in quite a while!! I must say that the first impression alone left me with a feeling we had chose the right place to visit!

After the young woman had shown us to our room (one of the Bodhelig suites, spacious and airy, with a gorgeous en-suite) we settled in, before sitting out on the balcony to take in the sea air and fantastic views.

We returned to the restaurant at half seven that evening, to be greeted by the same waitress as mentioned earlier. Upon viewing the menu, my husband and I were amazed at the amount of choice of fish and meat and both chose the melon and crayfish tales to begin, followed by the bass for myself and the steak for my husband. This was then followed by a selection of locally made ice creams and a cheese board. I cannot remember the last time I enjoyed such a meal. The bass was cooked perfectly, and the steak, medium rare, was exactly that! The standard of the food continued over the weekend, with us eating again on the Saturday evening. Again, we were greeted by the same waitress, who was as friendly as ever, although obviously busy. Whilst drinking our drinks, my husband and I both commented that this young woman took the time and made every effort to talk to each customer and to ensure everything was okay for them. She also appeared to be a hit with the customers, regular and new, laughing with them whilst maintaining her professionalism.

Sunday breakfast appeared slightly hectic for the staff, probably due to the fact that it was Sunday and people have a tendancy to lie in, therefore all arriving together (make no mistake, my husband and I are just as guilty of this!) Yet, the quality did not drop, even if we did have a slightly longer wait than the morning before. After breakfast we checked out, both of us wishing we could stay longer and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of the place, mainly provided by the staff. We checked out with the young woman who had seen to us for the majority of the weekend, who jokingly asked if we were sick of the sight of her yet! Not at all!!! Interested, we asked her if she was full time, to which she replied she was actually a university student who worked 4 days a week as her career aspects had changed and that she wanted to stay in hospitality and management! With a personality like hers and the willingness to put in the extra, personal touch, we can only say she is a great host, if ever there was, and hopefully a true asset to the hotel! There appeared to be no other manager and the woman seemed to be in complete charge and control of the restaurant during all her shifts, doing a wonderful job and ensuring that the other waitresses also did.

Upon leaving the hotel my husband and I resolved to return soon! At least annually if not more! We could not have been more impressed, by the food, the wine, the rooms, and most of all by the staff, all of whom made the entire experience one which we wish to repeat!

Thankyou Penhelig Arms!

  • Liked — The spacious rooms, the wonderful food, and the great staff
  • Disliked — The rooms could have been better cleaned
  • Stayed April 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank welshwanderer123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, UK
Level 6 Contributor
90 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2008

I simply cannot imagine a better small hotel in Wales.
Firstly the location, right in Aberdovey, a lovely little seaside village, with a huge sandy beach, and close to the countryside - all perfect for long walks
The hotel itself is small enough, so you get good service from the staff - all of whom were really friendly and helpful from the outset. Our room (room 9) although not sea view was a superior, and was really big. The style was modern and clean, and the bathroom was nicely fitted with an excellent shower.
The bar is cosy with a real fire attractive upholstery and friendly locals. There is a choice of 3 Brains real ales. Reverend James was the best, and was well kept.
We ate in the bar as we had our dog with us (the hotel is dog friendly in all rooms except the apartments).
I must mention the food. As lovers of good food (including Michelin star places) the food here comes very highly recommended
To start we both went for the home made soup of creamy pumpkin and 2 different types of tasty rustic bread. It was gorgeous and clearly home made. For mains, the huge lamb shank was the best lamb I've ever tasted. The meat simply melted off the bone. If only all pub food was this good - excellent produce done simply and extremely well.
The fish and chips is also a popular choice here by looking around at other diners
The dessert of chocolate fondant was equally impressive and well presented. The full breakfast next day in the attractive restaurant was very good also.
I must mention the negative review below. I never came here under the previous owner, and the extensive wine list sounds superb. However when they left it was inevitable that this would not carry on as they were the connoisseurs. The menu being cut down however has to be a good thing. A menu that is too long tells me that not all the produce in the kitchen is fresh as it cannot all be kept. A shorter simpler menu of good produce indicates a better restaurant (see Gordon Ramsey for details) The menu I thought perfect - I counted 6 fish dishes and 6 meat dishes - this is just right in my view
The staff are all the same as under the previous owner and the manager put in by the brewery left on the day we arrived.
I hope the new manager realises what a wonderful and special place this is!
We'll be back

  • Liked — The food
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank bacononthebeech
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Mids UK
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 14, 2008

We have stayed at the 'Pen' many times over the past 18 yrs but this March's visit will be the last. One the highlights was the wine list..
up to 300 bins, interestingly chosen and very well priced...now 20
!!!.....and what a sorry lot they are.
The new manager was fired the day before we arrived, apparently with good cause and the remaing staff made a valiant effort to maintin the old 'Pen' atmosphere but sadly it didn't work.....the feel of businesses like this are very much set by the owners and now this was had gone corporate following the take-over by S.A.Brain of Cardiff it has rapidly gone downhill. The menu...formerly simple, but comprehensive and excellent has been reduced to about half what it was and the puddings to less than that. The cheese board now majors on garlic and cranberries with little emphasis on tnhe superb welsh cheeses and some english previously available. All in all the end of af an era and now just another corporate style pub/restaurant with rooms (which it has to be said are good).

  • Liked — room
  • Disliked — wine list
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank otlWestMidsUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
powys
1 review
Reviewed March 11, 2008

We visited the Penehelig in Feb 2007 and we thought what a wonderful hotel it was. We decided to go back this Feb but we heard it had been took over by Brains but thought we'd take a chance on it. I am so glad we did the place had not changed a bit. We had booked two rooms one for me and my other half and one for my daughter they said they were really sorry but there was a problem with the single and Charlotte was to have room 9 boy was she happy she had a big double room with mini bar and fridge. The food was excellent and anything we asked for was not a problem to them. The staff are so friendly it makes it a wonderful place to get away to. We both work in a hotel so we know what it can be like (the customer is always right no way is that always true) I've read the reviews of the hotel and it seems to come up about there not being a footpath and you walk out of the hotel straight on to the road I can't see how that's the Penehelig's fault seems a silly to put that as a negative. Surely that's the local council problem not the hotels. All in all I would definately recommend the Penehelig as a place to stay and we will be going back again

  • Liked — By the seaside and we can take our labrador sam with us.
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank judealicious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2008

I have been going to The Penhelig for years, and it has been consistently good. However it has recently changed hands and taken a dive.

There were a number of significant changes that made the experience less enjoyable. First, the wine list that used to boast an impressive 250 bins is now reduced to about 20, and a v predictable 20 at that. The menu, which used to offer many and varied dishes has now been reduced by about half. And the beer - Revd James - is now served so cold that it gave me an 'ice cream headache'.

All of the above, while disappointing, I could tolerate. After all, things will change with new owners. But the one thing that really troubled me was the new landlord. A more objectionable and arrogant man I never did meet. No welcome, no conversation, just surlyness.

Visit at your peril.

Stayed January 2008
Helpful?
15 Thank serengetty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed December 4, 2007

This is a great place to stay if you are looking for a few days "away from it all". There is a great beach close by for walking and the scenery is astoundingly beautiful. The rooms are very comfortable and the food and drink is excellenet - particularly the "Penn Burger"! The staff are friendly and the bar had a good atmosphere. Somewhere I will return to, although I understand that new owners arrive early 2008.

  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Hatchyman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Penhelig Arms

Property: Penhelig Arms
Address: Aberdyfi (Aberdovey), Snowdonia National Park LL35 0LT, Wales
Location: United Kingdom > Wales > North Wales > Snowdonia National Park > Aberdyfi (Aberdovey)
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Aberdyfi (Aberdovey)
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Penhelig Arms 5*
Number of rooms: 15
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Also Known As:
Penhelig Arms Hotel Aberdovey / Aberdyfi
Penhelig Arms Aberdovey
Penhelig Arms Aberdyfi (Aberdovey), North Wales

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