Posted by Annie Selke
I had the pleasure of visiting Bodysgallen Hall & Spa, a lovely Welsh country-house hotel, in June for a few nights after my annual English historic house tour. As we drove up the picturesque drive, dotted on both sides by grazing sheep (turns out that is a very common view in Wales), I already knew I would make a return trip.
Bodysgallen Hall in Llandudno (pronounced Clandudno, with some rolling and grunting at the beginning—I never did master the correct pronunciation) is an austerely beautiful stone house that dates to the seventeenth century. It is ideally sighted, boasting extraordinary views of Snowdonia National Park and Conwy Castle. Another benefit of staying at Bodysgallen Hall is that it is owned by the National Trust, and all profits from the hotel go to keeping hundreds of Britain’s historic houses in good condition and open to the public.
The lovely, cozy interior features charming bedrooms of all different shapes and sizes. Whoever selected the fabrics for the curtains, bed hangings, and upholstery did an outstanding job. I love well-designed hotels, where each room is different. I find the best time to look at rooms is when the cleaning staff is there and the doors are already open. Note: I ask which room is the staff’s favorite, so that when I return, I know what to ask for! There are also a number of adorable cottages for rent on the property. Oh, I should mention that they have a full-service spa and a mouthwatering afternoon tea that should not be missed.
But even better than the rooms were the gardens. All I can say is WOW! Bodysgallen is perched on more than 200 acres, and there are wonderful paths throughout the property that take you to a variety of delightful spots. There is a formal walled rose garden; a really impressive cutting, fruit, and vegetable garden from which the two hotel restaurants pluck their produce; and a rockery with a water cascade. As I wandered through all the beautifully tended paths, I came across, seemingly by accident, the extraordinary parterre herb garden. It was, as you can see here, breathtaking.
Each night, after my bath in the lovely, big tub, I got into my fabulous bed and drifted off to sleep to the sound of softly bleating sheep, and dreamed of my next visit.