Pale Hall Hotel
What We Love
- Guest room minibars are replaced with decanters of sherry
- The sophisticated Welsh food in the dining room: think Welsh Black beef with apple mousse
- The views from the turret suites
- Sleeping in the same room Queen Victoria once used
What To Know
- Children under 12 aren’t permitted to stay in bedrooms unattended
- Very dog-friendly, with washing areas and doggy bathrobes
- No spa or pool
- Free WiFi
From billiards room to telescope to high-backed bathtub, this country house hotel is full of delightful surprises. The building it occupies is a 19th-century high-Victorian mansion painstakingly restored and decorated by co-proprietor Angela Harper, who sourced Biedermeier divans, Zoffany fabrics, and period antiques to round out the look. Dark wood paneling, marble fireplaces, stenciled walls—it all conspires to make you feel like a duke or duchess (or at the very least an earl). Each of the 18 bedrooms is individually styled and modernized in the most non-obtrusive way, with details like televisions disguised as mirrors. The food is something else to write home about; the menu, designed by Michael Caines (who previously racked up two Michelin stars), makes exquisite use of local fish, cheese, beef, and salt. The afternoon tea even includes bara brith, a Welsh bread, as well as treats like smoked salmon and clotted cream.
In the Area
A visit to a country house hotel usually doesn’t include much sightseeing. After all, you visit for the glass of whiskey in the billiards room, the afternoon tea, and maybe a long soak in a bathtub—not for jam-packed itineraries. Palé Hall has a beautiful setting in the Dee Valley, though, just outside Snowdonia National Park. The natural beauty is stunning, with the Berwyn Mountains in the background (famously the stronghold of Welsh hero Owain Glyndŵr), where you can hike in the forest, bike, or fly-fish to your heart’s content. More of a homebody? Take a stroll around the kitchen gardens, snap a couple of mountain photos, and head back in for a snooze in front of the fire next to the resident dog.
How to Get There
Where do I start with this wonderful place. We pulled up outside this manor house that had already taken out breath away with how grand it looked. Went in to be welcomed straight away by a lovely lady, who know who were we almost instantly. As we were traveling with someone who uses a wheelchair she straight away got a ramp out for the front steps. This ramp was left in situ for the whole of our stay so we could go and come as we pleased without having to worry. A small thing I know but it makes a big difference. While the staff unload the car and whisked the luggage away to our room we were settled down with glasses of fizz. we were taken back at how stunning the hotel was very classic. our suite was outstanding spotless and the beds amazingly comfortable. The decanter of madeira and bottled water was also very welcoming along with the little gift left of an evening as a goody bag when we left. The choice for evening meal was very good you could have the 5 or 8 course taster menu or the al a carte menu or the more casual dining menu which I felt was good as it meant you could pick a menu that suited your price range. The food was excellent as was the breakfast. Although the hotel and food lived up totally to the 5 stars it has been awarded the one thing that stood out above anything else was the staff from the housekeeping staff right through every single person we came into contact with were professional welcoming friendly and made us feel that our comfort and enjoyment mattered to them. Something that highlighted this was one of our party is gluten free which I mentioned when booking. I did not need to mention it again during the stay as everyone knew and remembered this and made sure he was catered for without asking. Something that has never happened before while being away normally I have to keep on mentioning it/ reminding people of this fact. Another thing was around the wheelchair when going up and down the ramp the staff would offer to push the wheelchair for me and while serving drinks for my very disabled sister in law would bring a straw without the need to ask. THANK YOU FOR MAKING OUR STAY SO WONDERFUL.
Second stay here and it's a great place to visit. Public areas and bedrooms are beautifully decorated and maintained, as are the grounds.
Pale Hall is a good location for hiking both local - we did a highly enjoyable 12km hike from the hotel up to the hills behind where many wind turbines stalk the mountains - and distant, as a good base for Snowdonia, about 45 minutes distant.
The food quality of the restaurant is first-rate, with a good selections of wine both expensive and affordable. The restaurant offers both a standard and a tasting menu for dinner, both are excellent.
Best thing we found about Pale Hall is the staff, who are without exception friendly and personable. They have a good mixture of experience and of those learning their trade but everything is done with good grace and a willingness to please. Perhaps, I'd say, in my experience a little less formal service than most Relais et Chateaux, but in my humble opinion all the better for it!
We recently spent our Diamond wedding at the Pale Hall hotel. From the moment that we drove through the beautiful grounds approaching the Victorian Country House Mansion, which is the Pale House hotel - we knew that we had made the right decision to come here !!
We were warmly welcomed, our car valet parked, suitcases vanished to our room and greeted with a glass of champagne.
The beautiful decor and furniture of the hotel's lounges, restaurants and our luxury bedroom ( the Ruthin) very much added to our stay
However .. and there always is an however. For any hotel or business to prosper there has to be a dedicated staff. The Pale Hall hotel staff certainly met this ..
The Front of House staff from our reservation enquiry, to our welcome, to our departure, Were so helpful and friendly - always on hand to help
We had the 8 taster course plus Wine Flight for dinner. The meal was superbly prepared and presented and served. Thanks to Chef and staff, and to the Waiting on staff - each course and wine expertly described
Finally and by no means least. A word of thanks to the House Keeping and Grounds staff. The presentation of the hotel and grounds was immaculate ,thanks to their hard work
Forgive me for going on a bit !!
Thank you Pale Hall for a memorable visit. We will definitely be coming back
Ffloyd and Jane Sykes
Date of visit: October 2019