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“Retreat for the mind”

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Gladstone's Library
Ranked #1 of 2 Hawarden B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Retreat for the mind”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2013

I am just enjoying my sixth visit to Gladstone's library, February visits have become a ritual in order to re-charge my batteries at the start of the year. For me it is primarily a reading retreat.

On my first visit I glutted on a pile of the wonderful books on offer - the key topics being history/religion/Victoriana, but plenty of other books are on offer. Nowadays I tend to bring books from home that I particularly want to read, or to give more attention too in the quiet of the library, and then allow a little serendipitous reading of the books available to me here.

In its previous guise of St Deiniols, it was known as a place where theological folk gather to commune, write, and study, but it is also a place for anyone to enjoy the facilities, think, write; and my experience as a secular visitor is that no-one is out to convert me to their views. I have, however, often dined with fascinating folk. As someone fascinated by the Arabic culture, it also has a room dedicated the the Islamic faith.

The library has now also hosted a number of writers workshops and has regular writers-in-residence.

You can be as solitary or as companionable as you wish.

There is a pleasant eatery and the little high street nearby offers most of the basic requirements.

Room Tip: There are rooms for all pockets from en suite to those that are not, but facilities will never be mo...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Caroline-J-Mc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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165 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    129
    28
    5
    3
    0
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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
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Manchester
Level Contributor
256 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 19, 2012 via mobile

This is a unique place. The only residential library in the uk.
Very interesting building. Library is fascinating. The only thing preventing a 5 star rating was our room was on the cools side and there was no heating in the bathroom. A worthwhile experience.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank PhilipJepson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wirral
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2012

Perhaps you would like to take some time out to read, write or study - or just to sit and think? Gladstone's Library is utterly unique, perhaps the only residential library in the world? Wonderfully historic, it is steeped in a positive, yet quietly gentle, energy.
The rooms are recently refurbished; they are very simple, beautifully clean and also quiet. You may, though, hear the nearby church clock, but it has a glorious, mellow chime which only adds to the special feel of the place. A lovely coal fire may be the perfect place to curl up by with a good book
First-rate home cooking is served using quality produce. Comfort food? Yes, but healthy too, as long as you go easy on the very generous servings! You might like to explore Chester nearby, but the main reason to stay at Gladstone's is, surely, to step back from the hustle and bustle for a while.

Room Tip: There are a just a few rooms which are not en-suite, so make sure you know what's right for your...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Marylyn L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ABERYSTWYTH
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2012

I was mightily impressed by my recent stay at the Gladstone Library where I had not stayed since April 1985. As ever, it was very comfortable, the staff were most pleasant and helpful, the company congenial and the food tasty (although the portion size of the evening meals was rather small!). It was lovely to be able to relax in the Gladstone Room and make use of the fine resources of the Library there. The room was clean and very comfortable. I much look forward to returning there next year.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank GRAHAMAberystwyth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Askrigg, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2012

I have been going to Gladstone's Library for nearly 10 years now, sometimes to weekend courses - it's a centre of liberal Christianity in the best sense of both those words - but also just for a relaxing holiday or short break. There is just nowhere like it. You feel the warm and peaceful atmosphere even before you've walked through the door. The staff are quietly efficient, the food is lovely, there seem to be no rules and regulations yet it functions perfectly. Sometimes I attend the eucharist in the small, modern chapel, but not when I'm in an atheist phase. There is never any pressure to do anything. One of the best things about it is that it is always full of interesting people to talk to, or just sit quietly with in the comfortable residents' lounge. Nobody bothers you if you want to be quiet and alone. Or you can study in the magnificent library. The rooms are all fairly recently refurbished, clean and well-appointed. Without doubt the greatest influence on the place is the warden, Peter Francis, who sets the tone with his quiet efficiency and welcoming presence. There's a frequent and reliable bus service into Chester (less than 30 minutes away), and plenty of good walks nearby. What more could you ask?

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank Townmouse33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
32 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 27, 2012 via mobile

This was another business trip, but I prefer to stay here if I can. Supurb welcome. All the four star facilities I need and none of the ones I don't (room service, television). Dinner, bed and breakfast excellent value. Would recommend to anyone of a contemplative nature.

  • Stayed September 2012
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Helpful?
1 Thank James V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hereford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2012

It has an excellent library. The food is very good. There is free Wifi throughout the building including in my distant attic bedroom (fast enough to stream iPlayer). The Wifi went down yesterday and did not come back until this afternoon which is the only minus. As others have said, for a stay of more than one night you probably need to be interested in the books and in peace and quiet, which I was. There is an optional communion service at 8:00 every morning but you wouldn't know it if you weren't interested in going to it. There are some good country walks around. There is a very good bus service to Chester for trains to further destinations. I laughed at the options to rate swimming pool and fitness centre. It's not that sort of place! I shall come again.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Graham B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gladstone's Library

Property: Gladstone's Library
Address: Church Lane, Hawarden CH5 3DF, Wales (Formerly St Deiniol's Library)
Location: United Kingdom > Wales > North Wales > Flintshire > Hawarden
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Hawarden
Hotel Class:4 star — Gladstone's Library 4*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gladstone's Library is the UK's finest residential library and one of the top small conference destinations in North Wales. Our comfortable accommodation includes 26 newly refurbished rooms (singles, twin and doubles), some with en-suite facilities. All rooms come with phones and ISDN connections and tea/coffee making facilities. Gladstone's Library has recently been awarded a four-star grading by Visit Wales. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Gladstone's Library Hawarden, Wales

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