Weekend Away at Bodysgallen Hall
Lindsay Rocke travelled to North Wales to visit a 17th Century, National Trust haven
Driving up along the long, prestigious drive, through beautiful parkland to Bodysgallen Hall, I could feel my anticipation rise; it felt as if we had been invited to stay on someone’s private estate, in an exquisite country home.
Our intent was to really ‘get away’; to retreat, relax and unwind for a few days, and to return home afterwards feeling revived. The hotel is in 200 acres of secluded parkland, and on the drive up to the hotel we saw unusual birds, and new born lambs crossing the drive in front of us. By the time we got to the main house, we were already feeling completely away from it all.
The entrance to the hotel is a huge beautifully crafted wooden door, understatedly grand, and stepping through the door we were welcomed by a warm, relaxing lounge of a beautiful country house.
We were staying in one of the 16 cottages, in the grounds of the hotel, and to get to our lodge we wove our way along a small path, through a finely manicured garden court with sweet scented herbs and flowers everywhere. Our cottage was very private and quiet, yet an easy walk to the main hotel, and with two rooms, two bathrooms and a lounge there was plenty of space to make ourselves at home. The feel of the rooms was of a country home, beautifully decorated, and without too much fuss.
Afternoons were spent relaxing in the main hotel, and around every corner in the main house we found a new cosy snug in which to settle into, read books/magazines, and drink tea. Bodysgallen really feels like a ‘country home away from home’. A place which you can settle into quickly, with a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. Perfect for our weekend retreat.
The fine dining at Bodysgallen is something to experience, with the finest white table cloths, silver cutlery and an expertly crafted menu. The view from our table overlooked the gardens, with Conwy castle glistening in the distance. Many of the staff have been at Bodysgallen for a long time and have truly mastered the art of excellent customer service; always being there for your every need, yet never getting in your way.
One of the main attractions at Bodysgallen are the gardens, which have been recognised for their award-winning restoration. Each morning, after breakfast, we took a walk exploring them, passing the lily ponds, wandering along woodland walks, and through the kitchen’s herb and vegetable garden. There is a stunning, rare C17th parterre of box hedges, at the centre of which is a sundial dating 1678. Robert Owens, the Head Gardener, and his team were always happy to stop and share an interesting fact or feature about the gardens.
Another highlight for guests is going up a secret old stone spiral stairwell to an open viewing point at the top of a tower, where one can see spectacular views of Snowdonia and Conway castle. The General Manager, Elgan Roberts, took us on a private tour up to view, and to learn more about this Grade 1 listed historic house.
On the second day we spent an afternoon at the Spa, located down a small drive, in a separate building. The Spa is well known for its treatments, using Aromatherapy Associates products, and I was glad that I upgraded to a longer 80 minute session at the last minute! After my treatment, and using the pool, jacuzzi and steam room, I came away feeling completely rejuvenated and restored.
For a three-day spa break, this country house really offers something unique. At Bodysgallen you certainly experience the best of a country house retreat, which would be difficult to find anywhere else. One American couple we met visit the UK every year, simply to visit Bodysgallen. They just don’t want to go anywhere else!
Well, we will certainly be back. Our intention of a relaxing spa break, returning home feeling revived, was fully accomplished in our three days’ stay.
Bodysgallen Hall & Spa The Royal Welsh Way, Llandudno, North Wales LL30 1RS
t: 01492 584466 e: email@example.com