Penbontbren is certainly not rustic, even though this former farm complex hides in its own 32 acres down a country lane in rural Cardiganshire. If you know accomplished hosts Richard and Huw ‘of old’ as we do (they ran a deluxe country house in Welsh Rarebits, our sister scheme, for many years), the sparkling attention to detail is a given.
Now they have turned their attentions and expertise to Penbontbren and taken it to a different level. There are five outstanding, spacious suites, finished in characteristic no-expense-spared style, in what was originally the stable, threshing barn, mill and granary. Each offers unabashed luxury B&B, with generous sitting rooms, king-sized beds, sumptuous décor and furnishings, superb bathrooms, subtle lighting and private gardens.
Always improving the offer, new for this year are the addition of kitchenette facilities, allowing an even more chilled stay. Local, rural and artisan traditions are part of Penbontbren’s appeal – breakfasts are a locally sourced feast, the finest handmade goodies from Sarah Bunton Chocolate (a best-seller with guests) come from Aberystwyth.
There’s an excellent choice of places to eat for dinner nearby too, from fine dining to award-winning fish-and-chips. We love the gloriously indulgent Garden Suite, tucked away a few metres from the house, with its own sunny terrace, and a view of the croquet lawn. If you are tempted to venture further afield, and to be honest, its tempting to stay put, Richard and Huw will point you in the right directions.
Penbontbren’s country credentials are just part of the story – it’s only a short drive to spectacular coves, headlands and beaches along the Ceredigion Heritage Coast and northern shores of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. The lively market towns of Cardigan and Newcastle Emlyn are also within easy reach, together with attractions like the Welsh Wildlife Centre and National Wool Museum.