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
Victorian country house hotel on the edge of Snowdonia National Park, complete with crackling fires, antiques, and superb food
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.