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“Location and building superb, staff excellent, management lets the side down”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Penmaenuchaf Hall

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Penmaenuchaf Hall
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Penmaenpool
Certificate of Excellence
london
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Location and building superb, staff excellent, management lets the side down”
Reviewed April 19, 2009

Despite the negative reviews we decided to go ahead and book a four-night stay at the hotel, for the mid-week days immediately following Easter. Like everyone else, our first impressions of the Hall were wonderful, it is a truly lovely building set in beautiful grounds which are well looked after. We were greeted very warmly by a lively member of staff who showed us to our spacious, if somewhat old fashioned room, overlooking the garden. The room was clean, the bed was excellent, very comfortable and with plenty of pillows, and the bathroom was spacious if a little old-fashioned and worn.

However, this great first impression was worn away over the next four days by the management’s general lack of interest in the hotel they are running. Although the service is great from the staff, the owner appears to have lost any passion he might have had for running a hotel. His only enthusiasm seems to lie in providing advice for which wine to drink and being non-drinkers we felt that he quickly lost interest in us. This was proven on our last night when we were relegated from a favoured window table to an inside table. The food at dinner is ok, but it would be nice to see more local produce proudly presented.

Breakfast is adequate, but it wouldn’t take much to make it great. We were dissuaded from ordering espresso because ‘it takes at least 20 minutes for the machine to warm up’, and the only bread on offer was mothers pride type toast which is actually barely toasted. When we suggested that good, local crusty bread would have made an enormous difference, the owner threw the responsibility back on us by suggesting all we had to do was ask. We feel that a hotel of this calibre should offer guests a wider range at breakfast than just toast, and it should be ready with a wider range of coffee than just filter.

The hoover is still going at breakfast time (see other reviews).

We would strongly urge the owners to look again at why they run a hotel, and to ask themselves what they can do to ‘lift’ their hotel from ok to great. It wouldn’t take much, less counting the costs and more warmth and passion.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank camden092
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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315 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (92)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Lancashire
1 review
Reviewed April 14, 2009

Having seen one or two adverse reviews on this hotel, we were unsure quite what to expect on arrival. Our stay was to celebrate a milestone birthday (50) and we were hoping for something special. We needn't have worried - the room we had was spotlessly clean, well appointed, spacious & comfortable with the added bonus of a balcony and lovely views of the estuary and surrounding countryside. The location was nice and quiet with no intrusions from traffic or other background noise; all the public areas of the hotel were comfortably, even sumptuously, furnished with many roaring log fires scattered throughout; the hall itself is a genuine part of history and the decor and detail of the interior is really something to behold. The surrounding grounds and scenery were also very beautiful, even though - at the time we visited (March) - the spring had yet to properly arrive. The restaurant was beautifully laid out, comfortable and the food both ample and excellent, with very attentive but unobtrusive service. Breakfasts were also wonderful and varied. All staff and management were friendly and helpful and more than happy to advise on local events/walks or sightseeing. As always, there were a couple of negatives which perhaps ought to be supported by the premise that you can't please all of the people all of the time, but I would emphasise that neither of these detracted significantly from an otherwise perfect and relaxing long weekend. The first is that the bar is a little on the small side and, despite a good selection of available wines and beers, it was for me a bit disappointing that there were no beers on draught. The second is that, to accord with the high standards maintained throughout the rest of the hotel, I would have perhaps expected more up to date TV (DVD?) technology in the room - maybe a (larger) flat-screen TV with a better range of channels via Freeview or satellite; though this may very possibly be limited due to the relative remoteness of the hotel's geographical location. Other than these 2 very minor observations, we were extremely happy with our room, with the food, with the location and with the staff. I would have absolutely no reservation in recommending this hotel to anyone who is looking for a little bit of luxury in an intimate, historic and beautifully appointed smaller-sized (non-chain) hotel and is prepared to pay the little bit extra required to stay somewhere special. I will be commending Penmaenuchaf Hall to many of my friends and hope to return there again at some point in the future.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MrHLancs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
Reviewed March 16, 2009

This hotel was highly recommended to me by someone from my work in London. So I decided take my wife away for few days. After our drive from the south east of England, through some spectacular welsh scenery, we arrived at Penmaenuchaf Hall. The Hotel is nestled in a lovely tranquil position, half way up a mountainside overlooking the Mawddach estuary surrounded by secluded gardens and mature trees.

On arrival the staff were extremely friendly, helpful, polite and we were made to feel welcome the moment we arrived.
The Hotel is full of character and has an inviting log fire to greet you at the entrance.

Our room was beautifully furnished, it had a very comfortable bed, dressing table, sitting area, mini-bar and television (to be honest who wants to sit in their room watching tv when you can enjoy the countryside or the blazing log fire downstairs) .
We had a lovely breathtaking view overlooking the estuary.
The bathroom was extremely clean with a selection of lovely toiletries and plush towels.

The restaurant served some the best food I have ever tasted and the service was excellent. The wine menu had a broad selection of wines and the Manager was very knowledgeable on such things and helped us choose a wonderful bottle of red.
The breakfast was included and with such a vast selection it was hard to choose what to have, but it did set you up for the rest of the day. After cereals, we had a Full ‘Welsh’ breakfast, which was freshly cooked, followed by toast, jam and some tea.

If you are looking for a place to relax and re-charge the batteries or maybe wanting to go on exhilarating walk up the mountains of Snowdonia, with some great food, then this is the place for you.
Overall we were very impressed with Penmaenuchaf Hall Hotel and would recommend it to anyone looking for a peaceful, relaxing stay. My wife and I will definitely be going back soon.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wood28London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed March 3, 2009

I wonder sometimes whether people stay at such places with the intent that they are going to complain come what may! DON’T BELIEVE THE NEGATIVE COMMENTS!

This was our third stay at this wonderful country hotel in as many years. The hotel exudes charm and warmth as soon as you enter. We were met by a lovely lady at reception and shown swiftly to our room. We have stayed in a different room on each occasion and have never been disappointed. Each room has its own theme, is spotlessly clean and has everything you need to hand.

We were met by the hosts, Lorraine and Mark, at different times during our stay and found them both welcoming and informative. Nothing was too much trouble and even though we had stayed at the hotel before, they were readily on hand to offer advice on where to go and what to do. The team at the hotel were efficient and friendly - just what you would expect from a country hotel.

We loved the Drawing Room and sitting by the log fire after a day out – you can’t beat it. In fact the attention to detail in all the public rooms was fabulous and the effect both calming and relaxing.

We had a hearty Welsh breakfast in the “breakfast room” which was enough to set us up for the day. We also dined in the restaurant – the food was excellent and this is coming from a couple who have dined in many a fine restaurant over the years! You pay for what you get!

All in all another great stay. We only had one criticism and that was that we could not stay for longer. We will return again soon. Go and see for yourself - you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Holidayqueen48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxfordshire
1 review
Reviewed February 16, 2009

We found this hotel purely by chance on Supersbreaks, and we were definitely not disappointed. On arrival we were greeted by an extremely friendly lady at reception called Di, who helped us up the stairs with our VERY heavy cases. She then proceeded to tell us about dinner in the hotel the following night as it was Valentine's and also was very helpful in ordering us a taxi for our first night out.

Whilst we were waiting downstairs, we met both of the owners: Lorraine introduced herself and wished us a nice evening, and later that evening her partner Mark introduced himself and was very friendly too.

Dinner in the hotel on our second night was outstanding, and the service impeccable.
The bedrooms were tastefully decorated and very clean and what made them that little bit more special was the attention to detail, which my partner and myself both commented on. There seems like a lot of love and care has been put into the detail and decor!

We could not fault our stay at this hotel at all and would highly recommend it too anyone! We were just sad to leave! One of the most beautiful, clean, friendly hotels I have stayed in!

  • Liked — Decor and Surroundings
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank SuznVic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed December 1, 2008

Our stay at Penmaenuchaf Hall Hotel was purely by chance as the lovely boutique hotel in nearby Dolgellau we were staying at was unable to accommodate our third night due to unforseen building works being carried out at short notice. Therefore we received a complimentary upgrade from our standard room (at £170 per night) to a superior room (£200 per night), via the boutique hotels' proprietors. After seeing the website for Penmaenuchaf Hall Hotel, with were happy with these arrangements.

However after we stepped inside the building, about 5pm on a Sunday evening, we were met, after a considerable period of time by a member of staff who was both unwelcoming and unfriendly. She showed us to our room without saying much at all, and then asked, or rather almost demanded to know on the spot whether we wanted to have dinner that evening.

We had been walking up Snowdon earlier that day and were tired, and couldn't give an immediate answer without seeing a menu or anything - there was no offer to show us that. We went down after a short time to look at the menu which seemed rather overpriced. We decided against it, as we wanted food quite quickly and chef wouldn't have been in for an hour, so we drove into town for a light snack, thinking that we could get a sandwich or something later that evening, the documents in the room clearly sated room service was available from 7am to 11pm. Turns out this was wrong, as there was only 1 other couple staying there, the chef went home after dinner and so no-one could provide any food at all. This situation caused a heated conversation which was met with little apology or concern from our wonderful receptionist from earlier. It even seemed to much effort for her to serve us a drink from the bar, as she would have to 'open it up'. After eventually getting our drinks sitting in the main drawing room which does have a nice atmosphere, and admiring the splendid bouquets of plastic lillies, a while later we were presented with a 'bag of mini cheddars and a kitkat' each which was all she could find. There was a 'mild' apology that this was the case, but upon checkout the next day we were charged £2.70, so not very apologetic after all.

The next morning we ventured down for breakfast, and made our way straight from the dining room and sat by the window overlooking the gardens and a stunning view of a frost glazed winter wonderland - it looked beautiful, until we were interrupted from our dreamy gaze by a voice telling us that this room was laid up for dinner and so could not be enjoyed by the (total of) 4 breakfast guests. There was no good morning, no apology for not showing us where we should go, just that we had to come through to the 'breakfast room', a tiny room with no personality at the back of the dining hall, with no view. After making our order, and realising that obviously this staff member had graduated from the same charm school as our hostess the night before, we just started to tuck in to a peaceful breakfast when all of a sudden a hoover fired up in the adjacent hall. After I shut the door, there was no apology for the 'intrusion', and I couldn't be bothered to say any more.

If Penmaenuchaf Hall Hotel doesn't want to be open in the winter / out of season, then they shouldn't be, they should not accept £200 per night from guests if they don't want to treat them as they would anyone in high season. I felt like were were inconveniencing them the whole time we were there.

Apart from that the rooms are extremely old fashioned, they are clean but no mod-cons, no wireless internet, an essential at all hotels these days, internet was charged at £5 for the first hour, there was even a charge to receive an email of about £2 per message! If you are 85+ you might love this hotel, otherwise stay away, the buidling exterior is wonderful, as are the grounds, but inside it is like someone has eaten a stash of 80's interior design magazines and then been sick all over the place. The decor in the rooms is awful, upholstery is stained on the furniture the bathrooms have clearly been in place for 10-15 years, and who puts knitted blankets with sheets on beds anymore? Anyone with common sense could run Penmaenuchaf Hall Hotel 100% better than whoever does at the moment. The 'customer always comes first' is definitely not their mantra.

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank djc1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, UK
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2008

We had already booked this hotel when we read the previous comments on trip advisor and so were very anxious about what we would find.

We didn't need to worry though - the hall was very tastefully done out with some great communal areas for just sitting, reading or playing board games - definitely needed when the Welsh weather is so unpredictable.

Breakfast was very good and whilst the evening meal was also tasty we thought it was a little pricey.

Overall though we had a very enjoyable stay and would certainly consider going back if in the area.

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank foodie_travellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Penmaenuchaf Hall

Property: Penmaenuchaf Hall
Address: Penmaenpool | Dolgellau, Penmaenpool, Snowdonia National Park, Dolgellau LL40 1YB, Wales
Location: United Kingdom > Wales > North Wales > Snowdonia National Park > Dolgellau > Penmaenpool
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Penmaenpool
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Penmaenuchaf Hall 4*
Number of rooms: 14
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Also Known As:
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Penmaenuchaf Hall Hotel Penmaenpool

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