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Great hotels are not made by accident, skill and passion are key ingredients, but a steely determination is a must. Ryan Davies, your smiling host, is certainly determined, relentlessly so even, but the positivity he has injected into the team makes this not just a luxurious place to stay, but also an overwhelmingly happy place to escape to. It’s another great example of the refreshingly modern wave of contemporary Welsh hotels presently leading the market.

Llanerch has patiently evolved, rather than expanded. Over the last decade whilst the latest addition of 26 additional high-end suites and superior rooms, plus a stylish new dining room overlooking the vines has increased the offer, it maintains that intangible feel of being family-owned and personally run, with the grapes always taking centre stage.

The rooms are generous, most have outdoor terraces or Juliet balconies taking in the countryside and vineyard views. Metropolitan interior design makes good use of soft palettes and luxury fabrics. Think velvet chesterfield sofas in a pop of primary colour, designer toiletries and cosy bathrobes, Melin Tregwynt patterns and state of the art tech. If you can’t sneak away on your own, choose one of the family rooms which have the addition of two single children’s beds, and some are even dog friendly.

Llanerch’s restaurant is a bright open space, and on a sunny day, an alfresco lunch with a cold bottle of Cariad made from grapes harvested just a few metres from your table, might just make you feel like you are in Stellenbosch. It doesn’t stand on ceremony, the vibe is relaxed, service is slick, but the cooking is bang on trend, and standards are high. Some carefully chosen Welsh ingredients show up throughout the menus, and their own wines add to the glamour of the cocktail list. The Sunday Lunch roast is the stuff of legends in these parts, and we loved the laverbread focaccia at breakfast.

With the ease of quick access to the M4, and the capital city only a short cab ride away, the hotel’s honeypot location is spot on for exploring seaside, countryside and cityside. The romance of Wedding photos captured in a vineyard help to make this a sought-after venue for special celebrations, and Calon Lodge overlooks the vines. Don’t miss the chance to book onto the fascinating vineyard tour, and yes, there are samples.

Welsh Rarebits

Welsh Rarebits are a million miles removed from the bland, corporate, soulless places run by the big boys of the so-called hospitality industry. So what makes a Welsh Rarebit? They're all different. Very different - everything from traditional country houses to cutting edge boutique boltholes, luxury spas to historic inns. We look at things like comfort, attention to detail, food, decor and all those small touches that add up to so much, separating the best from the rest.
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0800 103 2576
Llanerch Vineyard Hotel, Hensol Road, Hensol, Pontyclun, UK
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