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“The area is a photographer's dream - The Old Rectory is pretty good too!”

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The Old Rectory on the Lake
Ranked #1 of 5 Tal-y-llyn B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“The area is a photographer's dream - The Old Rectory is pretty good too!”
Reviewed June 25, 2011

After a long (and picky) search on the internet for a nice place to stay for a short break in Wales, I stumbled upon this delightful B+B in Talyllyn and I have to admit, the favourable reviews here on Trip Advisor were a big help so thought I should add to them.

Situated on the edge and overlooking Talyllyn in South Snowdonia this was the perfect retreat for myself and my partner from our hectic London lives. John and Ricky were perfect hosts; John taking care of our every need while Ricky produced outstanding and faultless food. As you would imagine, the local area is stunning, my partner and I are big fans of photography, so this was a huge attraction to us. The setting really is idyllic, so it's easy to understand John and Ricky's infectious enthusiasm for the place they live.

The décor of the building has a large degree of sophistication about it which really helps to make the stay all the more enjoyable. I've stayed at top rated B+Bs before, but have always felt a bit let down by one thing or another, be it the bedding, the bed, the location etc. There were no such disappointments at The Old Rectory, it really is as good as the pictures show and all the reviews say. The beds are very comfortable, the bedding sumptuous, the hosts perfect, the location stunning and the food delicious. We would really recommend you eat in for the evenings when you can, it's not something you should miss.

One of the highlights of our trip was the visit to the abandoned mine at Corris. Our tour guide Mark's knowledge of the mine, combined with his love of photography enabled us to get some stunning photos of this amazing piece of Welsh history. We did a 2 hour tour one day and enjoyed it so much that we went back a couple of days later for a 4 hour tour. This is not to be confused with the touristy King Arthur's Labyrinth attraction (also at the same location), the tour Mark gave us was raw and exciting. We felt like proper explorers as we climbed up a river running down the banks of the hill to get to the entrance of the mine, and then waded through mud once in the mine. If exploring underground is of interest to you, you really must pay Mark a visit, you won't be disappointed.

The only disappointment in our break was the extremely rude and poor service we received at the Railway Inn pub down the road, on the evening we weren't able to get food at The Old Rectory. I would steer clear if I were you, other guests that evening, ventured over to another B+B and had no such problem. This could have ruined the evening for us had we not then raced down to Tywn to watch the sun set over the sea. After watching the light show, the meal was swiftly forgotten and we headed back for a nice deep warm bath to wrap up the day.

To sum it up, The Old Rectory really can't be faulted and the area is beautiful. We'll definitely be returning and we were sad to leave. Our thanks go out to John, Ricky, Martin and Jakub who made our short break very special indeed.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank giggleberries
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Snowdoniatraveller, Owner at The Old Rectory on the Lake, responded to this review, June 29, 2011
It seems when a reviewer kindly posts one with pictures it takes some time to go live and your very kind one has now appeared under the one which we thought was our hundredth!!! So we would like you to share this dubious honour jointly! We are so pleased that your time here at The Old Rectory on the lake did not disappoint and thank you for describing us as being 'perfect hosts'. We will also pass on your appreciative comments to Mark at the Corris mine - we too have done this enthralling trip and it can be a great adventure especially on a wet day. Your superb pictures are a great addition to our TripAdvisor gallery and Tom and Nicola we hope to welcome you again here soon.
John and Ricky - joint owners
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English first
Sunnyvale, California
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2011

We spent two nights at this lovely B&B by the lake, and had a wonderful stay. Our room looked out on the lake with a beautiful view, and the entire place was just perfect for hanging out. We opted to have an evening meal there one night, which was just fantastic (mmm, cheesecake!), and there is a nice pub a few miles down the road for the times when that isn't an option.
There is lots of access to walking trails in the area, which unfortunately we weren't able to take advantage of due to the weather, but we did get to walk around the lake, very pleasant, when we had a break in the rain. We never did figure out why there is a sign that says "Do not throw stones in the water" though ;-)
John and Ricky and Adam were wonderful hosts, making it an excellent couple of days to relax before returning to London and its crowds.
Definitely ask to see the videos of the otters!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank wickedbear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Snowdoniatraveller, Owner at The Old Rectory on the Lake, responded to this review, June 25, 2011
We were flattered you visited us from California and can only apologise for the Welsh rain - but as our English critic and social thinker, John Ruskin, wrote: 'There is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.' We too have never really understood why there are signs saying 'Do not throw stones' by the lakeside as we always thought lakes like Talyllyn are just asking to have skimming competitions on them! But as the lake is famous for its brown trout we can only presume they are there so as not to frighten the fish. We will ask Phil, the Talyllyn ghillie, and report back!
John - joint owner
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Chesterfield, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed June 21, 2011

We have just returned from a two night stay at the Old Rectory. On arrival we received a warm welcome. Our accommodation was Craig Goch and Mynydd Rugog which were very spacious, comfortable rooms with stunning views across the lake. We dined in the restaurant both evenings, the food and service was excellent. On the first evening we were invited to watch a DVD showing changes to the lake over the seasons, it lasted about 10 mins and was most enjoyable to see the dramatic changes to the landscape. The accommodation is ideal if you want a relaxing break but is also a good base for visiting other attractions. John is very knowledgable about the local area and seemed more than happy to offer advice on what is available. We will definitely return to the Old Rectory.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank gerts29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Snowdoniatraveller, Owner at The Old Rectory on the Lake, responded to this review, June 25, 2011
It was our pleasure to have you all to stay - thanks for this review. I am especially happy that you enjoyed my video about the lake which has taken 18 months to produce, as I had to be out in all sorts of weathers and seasons to create just what I wanted. You are so right, some of the footage of the ever changing landscape is very dramatic and the cars in the lake, the landslide up the pass, the floods and the low level fly past by someone rather important who is now working in the area and is living with his new wife on Anglesey, suggest there is never a dull moment here on Talyllyn. We hope to see you all again.
John - joint owner
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Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2011

I first visited the Old Rectory on a business trip last year. Even though the journey took three hours longer than expected because of my terrible map reading skills there was something about the place that made me want to return and share the treasure I had found with my family.

The setting is beautiful. Everywhere you look there is a fantastic view. The hospitality shown to us by the hosts was lovely and we had every need catered for from booking restaurants for us, giving us directions and helping with our bird watching. We couldn't have asked for more. The hot tub was a real treat and the food was perfect. We are already planning our return!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DrLouB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Snowdoniatraveller, Owner at The Old Rectory on the Lake, responded to this review, June 25, 2011
We are so pleased that you managed to find us quicker than the first time (!) and are well flattered that you wanted to share the Old Rectory on the lake with your family. Your enthusiasm for the bird life around Talyllyn has indeed encouraged us to keep our eyes more open and thanks to some other guests who are well into ornithology we have now posted on our news page a list of species you might be able to spot on your return. We really look forward to meeting you all again.
John - joint owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2011

Our stay was perfect from start to end. The hosts are very welcoming, eager to ensure we have what we need but without encroaching on our personal time together. The location is fantastic, you can walk out of the property straight onto a path that takes you on to the main routes to walk up Cader Idris. If you stay here you must eat in the beautiful dining room with fantastic views over the lakes and mountains as the sun sets. The food was perfect, delightfully served, with a great selection of wines and local ales. We enjoyed complete silence at night, followed by a fantastic breakfast in the morning.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Dr_Marc_B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Snowdoniatraveller, Owner at The Old Rectory on the Lake, responded to this review, June 25, 2011
Thanks for taking the time to post this review and that you described your stay with us as being 'perfect from start to end' - that means alot to us! Yes, many of our guests do walk from our front door up Cadair Idris and back - this circular but demanding route is now proving very popular whatever the weather. Your comments regarding my food are also much appreciated.
Ricky, chef and joint owner.
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London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2011

We had very high expectations of The Old Rectory given the reviews on TripAdvisor and we were not disappointed. The building itself is stunning and the views across the lake were outstanding. The rooms are very comfortable and it is clear that an incredible level of thought has gone into the little details that make your stay that much more enjoyable.

As a host, John is very welcoming, approachable and friendly and made us feel at home straightaway. For anyone staying here, my biggest tip would definitely be to eat in. The food was absolutely delicious (thank you Ricky!) and of a much higher standard than most restaurants I've been to and the service is excellent too. There is also a good selection of wine, beers spirits etc and all prices are very reasonable.

After dinner, we sat out under the stars in the hot tub which was incredible relaxing and much needed after our hike up Snowdon!

The breakfast was also fantastic, with a good selection of different cooked options - we had trouble deciding what to have! On the second day, John provided us with lots of information on different routes up Cadair Idris - this walk was far more enjoyable than Snowdon as there were significantly fewer people on the track. Do watch the DVDs of Cadair Idris and the lake to appreciate just how beautiful the surroundings are all year round.

All that's left to do now is to book our next stay!

Room Tip: Mynydd Rugog - view across the lake is fantastic
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Soph_H84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Snowdoniatraveller, Owner at The Old Rectory on the Lake, responded to this review, June 27, 2011
We thought we had responded to this very kind review before but think it might have got lost in TripAdvisor cyberspace somewhere! It was our pleasure to welcome you both here especially as you had just managed to get to the top of Snowdon and from the valley floor too! Glad the hot tub helped soothe those aches. We were even more impressed that you then walked up Cadair the next day - so do send us some words for our Conquerors page! Cadair is so much less commercialised than Snowdown and at a few feet short of 3,000 feet above sea level it does not get that huge footfall. We think it is a rather special place. Hope to see you both again.
John - joint owner.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suffolk
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed June 18, 2011

Like other reviewers we had high hopes of The Old Rectory on the Lake. It was fairly easy to find once we ignored the sat nav which tried to take us up a non existent road. The setting is superb and both John and Ricky were warm and charming hosts (though chiefly John, as Ricky is mostly occupied in the kitchen).
As soon as we met John he apologised in advance for the fact that they had two large parties booked in for the two nights of our stay, and that we may be disturbed by their noise. Not something to fill one with joy when we had chosen the Old Rectory for its peace and quiet. Never the less, our room was very nice with wonderful views of the lake and mountain and the bathroom was lovely.
We had opted to eat in for our first night, and eat out for the second night. John very kindly helped us to find somewhere to eat nearby as he would have been unable to feed us anyway. The food at the Old Rectory is extremely good, and a four course meal for £28 per head was excellent value. The party at the Old Rectory on the first night of our stay in the event wasn't too noisy and mostly the noise had diminished by midnight, all of the party staying overnight at the B&B.
The second night however was much more raucous making sleep impossible until very late. None of the party guests on the second night stayed in the B&B.
My complaint is that the Old Rectory calls itself a B&B, yet from our experience it is an hotel offering evening meals to people not staying overnight at the expense (i.e.lack of sleep) of those guests who are.
All in all disappointing.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Praxis54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Snowdoniatraveller, Owner at The Old Rectory on the Lake, responded to this review, June 19, 2011
Thank you for this utterly fair review and we are desperately sorry that The Old Rectory on the lake was not as peaceful as you had wished. We totally accept that the dinner party on the second night of your stay was loud but the two minibuses did collect the diners dead on eleven o'clock which must have been a blessed relief to you both. We take on board your well made point that we are markettng ourselves as a B&B when - such is the demand - we are now being asked to offer so much more. Sadly, you we left so quickly in the morning we did not get the chance to say that if you do wish to return ever please have the first night and evening meals on us.
John and Ricky - joint owners
ps We also note that we overcharged you by £4 for the two evening meals - again many apologies.
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Additional Information about The Old Rectory on the Lake

Property: The Old Rectory on the Lake
Address: Talyllyn, Tal-y-llyn, Snowdonia National Park LL36 9AJ, Wales
Location: United Kingdom > Wales > North Wales > Snowdonia National Park > Tal-y-llyn
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Tal-y-llyn
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Old Rectory on the Lake 5*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Old Rectory on the lake has been overlooking Tal-y-llyn, in south Snowdonia for over a hundred years. This imposing residence stands on the foothills of Cader Idris and offers five star luxurious bed and breakfast accommodation in a stunning setting. It is the ideal base for the discerning visitor to explore this particularly quiet and unspoilt scenic area of Wales. We are equidistant between the bustling market towns of Machynlleth and Dolgellau and the delightful coastal village of Aberdyfi.The Old Rectory on the lake has three double letting rooms - all ensuite - and all look out onto the lake. Our bathrooms upstairs were described as being 'outstanding contemporary ensuites' by the Visit Wales inspector when awarding us five stars.Already our culinary reputation is beginning to spread - indeed we have even been mentioned by name in The House of Commons during a debate on Welsh produce. Our chef can cater for any dietary requirement. The Old Rectory on the lake is licensed.We suggest that this is the ultimate place to unwind; the scenery is breath taking and the silence deafening. All our beds have crisp Egyptian cotton sheets and freshly laundered fluffy towels are in every bathroom and also in the sauna and out outdoor hot tub area which - like most of our windows - looks out over the ever changing Talyllyn - enthusiastically penned in our entry in Alistair Sawday's Special Places to Stay book as ' large, lovely and luminous'.We look forward to perhaps welcoming you here very soon. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Old Rectory On The Lake Tal-y-Llyn, Wales

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