Hotel Highlights

  • Great walks, mountain biking and white-water rafting easily accessible
  • The breakfasts – made with seasonal local produce
  • Stunning views of the Cader Idris mountains and the Mawddach Estuary

Overview

Tucked away in the foothills of Snowdonia, North Wales, Ffynnon is as close to the Mr & Mrs Smith rural B&B ideal as it’s possible to be. With just four rooms and one suite, it’s gloriously intimate; and its blend of Victorian references and seriously stylish 21st-century design flourishes forms the ideal backdrop to a relaxing weekend in the country. The hospitality on offer is second to none.

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A boxed, bougainvillea-scented votive candle

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Facilities

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Ffynnon - Gwynedd, Wales - UK

Need To Know

Rooms

Five, including one suite.

Check–out

11am, though this is flexible subject to availability. Arrivals must be between 4pm and 9pm (there's a £30 charge for guests arriving between 9pm and 11pm). Doors are locked at 11pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $209.79 (£125), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast.

Also

Ffynnon’s menu of in-room spa treatments spans facials, manicures, pedicures, massages and aromatherapy sessions.

At the hotel

CD/DVD library, free WiFi, outdoor hot tub, butler’s pantry, laundry service, honesty bar. In rooms: flatscreen TVs, iPod dock, CD/DVD player, PlayStations, free bottled water, White Company toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

We love the ultra-romantic Sydney room, which comes with a beautiful slipper bath and a king-size bed that’s dominated by a gothic headboard. However, you’re bound to be happy with whichever room you choose – all are sumptuously decorated and equipped with all the modern touches you’d expect. Beds come with cosy Welsh blankets, and there’s even a pillow menu provided, so you can ensure a well-rested head.

Poolside

No pool, but there's a small outdoor hot tub just outside. Reserve a session when you check in, and take some champagne and strawberries to enjoy in the steam.

Packing tips

Don’t forget your swimwear. It might not sound like the most obvious thing to bring to North Wales, but you’ll be kicking yourself if you have to stay out of the outdoor hot tub because of a lack of Lycra.

Also

If it’s wet outside – and, remember, this is North Wales so there’s a good chance it will be – there’s a selection of card and board games to borrow in the guest lounge. There’s an area for pets to sleep in. Two-night minimum stay at weekends.

Children

Baby cots are provided for £10 a night for under-twos. Extra beds can be put into rooms for £25 a night, and a free babysitting service is also available. There’s also a children’s play area outside.

Food & Drink

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Ffynnon - Gwynedd, Wales - UK

Hotel Restaurant

There isn’t a restaurant at Ffynnon, though the hotel prides itself on its breakfasts made with local produce, served in the guest lounge, which include eggs benedict with smoked salmon, Glamorgan sausages with spicy tomato chutney and crempogau (Welsh pancakes) served with bacon or fruit compote.

Hotel Bar

Residents can help themselves from a wide selection of drinks, including local Pen-Lon beers, in the guest lounge honesty bar – made from an old gramophone chest. Sit and sip amid the well-chosen antique and modern furnishings to a laid-back Gershwin and classical soundtrack.

Last orders

Breakfast is served till 10am; the honesty bar is locked at 11pm.

Room service

In the quieter months (Nov–Mar), a selection of filled paninis, home-made soups or a Welsh cheese platter are all available between 6pm and 10pm.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Not too scruffy, not too sexy.

Local Guide

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Ffynnon - Gwynedd, Wales - UK
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Local restaurants

Dylanwad Da (01341 422870) is an excellent small, friendly bistro and wine shop in the centre of Dolgellau. It has a reputation for serving good food and wine at a reasonable price. Combining stunning traditional and contemporary design with unparalleled panoramic views over Mawddach estuary and the Cader Idris mountain range. Y Sospan (01341 422481) is another renowned local bistro housed in the former town courthouse and jail. The owners have retained the flagstone floor and antique fittings, and serve a hearty menu of locally sourced meats and cheeses – the option of adding Welsh rarebit to your steak is especially tantalising. Bwyty Mawddach (01341 424020) offers a modern, luxurious menu made with the finest seasonal ingredients available. A favourite with locals and visitors alike, the George III Hotel (01341 422525) at Penmaenpool is a pub situated by the side of the beautiful Mawddach estuary. It’s a fantastic place to while away the time over a good bar meal or Sunday lunch. Fish is a speciality. The Old County Gaol Restaurant (01341 422554), in the cellar at Y Meirionnydd Hotel, is well known locally for serving quality local produce. It boasts one of the most comprehensive selections of Welsh wines in the region. Castle Cottage in Harlech (01766 780479) is so dedicated to serving Welsh produce the owners can tell you where every suckling pig or salmon hails from. Venison from Brecon, bacon from the Llyn Peninsular and free-range chicken from Ruthin are just some of the delicacies gracing their seasonal three-course dinner menu.

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Snug in Snowdonia

Ffynnon

Brynffynnon, Love Lane, Dolgellau, Gwynedd LL40 1RR, United Kingdom

Planes

Manchester and Birmingham airports are both around 80 miles away.

Trains

The nearest train station is in Barmouth, eight miles away.

Automobiles

Chester is an hour away on the A494. Buses to Dolgellau run from Cardiff, Manchester and Birmingham. The hotel has free parking.

Reviews

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Ffynnon - Gwynedd, Wales - UK

Anonymous review

by Jo Girardet , Hotel insider

Mr Smith and I are escaping our four children, two dogs, one cat, the goldfish and two very hectic lives to celebrate our wedding anniversary at Ffynnon in the foothills of Snowdonia. Mr Smith wants mountains and I want the sea, so North Wales seems the perfect destination.

As the hills turn to mountains and the countryside goes through every shade of green, we know we must be ne...

Read more

Ffynnon

Anonymous review by Jo Girardet, Hotel insider

Mr Smith and I are escaping our four children, two dogs, one cat, the goldfish and two very hectic lives to celebrate our wedding anniversary at Ffynnon in the foothills of Snowdonia. Mr Smith wants mountains and I want the sea, so North Wales seems the perfect destination.

As the hills turn to mountains and the countryside goes through every shade of green, we know we must be nearly there. Dolgellau’s grey, squashed-together stone houses greet us, Mr Smith tackles the bends and narrow streets without taking out a pedestrian or the side of a house, and I cling to my seat as though I am on a white-knuckle ride at the funfair. The imposing Ffynnon, formerly a rectory, stands looking over the town with views to the hills beyond. Seconds after I have rung the doorbell, a man opens the door and greets me by my Christian name. Now that’s what I call service.

The man turns out to be Steve, co-owner of the hotel with his wife Debbie. After a friendly chat we are shown to our suite – which has the reassuringly Welsh name of Myfanwy. A brass bed stands centre stage; it is dressed in cool, crisp Egyptian white cotton so smooth it could be silk, while the duvet is so large it skims the floor on either side. Mr Smith and I won’t be fighting over the covers in the middle of the night. The room, decorated in subtle shades of green and gold, manages to feel decadent while still remaining understated. In the large bathroom, a double-ended roll-top bath stands on a pale travertine floor, and the greens of the walls are repeated in the mosaic tiles. Sash windows let the light flood in, but aren’t so big that you have to keep ducking in case somebody outside sees you in a state of undress.

The rest of the house has been renovated so that traditional styles are blended with the modern. There is nothing old-fashioned or stuffy about Ffynnon. It is a grand lady who has been brought back to life with care and attention, and has been turned into something sophisticated. The original features remain intact, comfy chairs and large sofas surround ornate fireplaces, dark wooden furniture mixes with Debbie and Steve’s personal artefacts, a different chandelier hangs in almost every room.

Back downstairs to the drawing room, we head straight for what we consider to be the most important thing in the house – the honesty bar. A gin and tonic in each of our hands, we are served tea and home-made Welsh cakes as we sit and admire the grand piano. I feel like a house guest being restored after a long journey. Mr Smith chooses a bottle from the wine list and we retire to our room for some R ’n’ R.

The following day, we climb Cader Idris in the mist. As we cannot see for more than a foot in front of us there are some hairy moments as we try not to fall to our deaths, but, as usual, Mr Smith is cool as a cucumber and guides me trembling back down to safety. We stop to enjoy a lavish picnic prepared by Debbie in a perfect spot overlooking a lake. Refuelled and happy, we head back to Ffynnon where relaxation and luxurious comfort await.

Although Ffynnon does not serve evening meals, Debbie and Steve help us to find an excellent restaurant nearby. There is a little trouble booking a taxi, but Steve comes to the rescue and dons his chauffeur’s hat, which apparently he does quite often. Bwyty Mawddach restaurant is in an oak barn, which has been converted with flair to an impressive building of steel and glass. Leather sofas and chairs abound, so diners can gaze at the heavenly view as the sun sets over the Mawddach estuary. The food is all sourced locally and is delicious.

It only takes me one full day before I feel so at home at Ffynnon that I come down to breakfast in my socks. Debbie and Steve are experts in pampering their guests without being intrusive – they genuinely can’t do enough for you. In fact, I am so relaxed that when a fellow guest asks me how long I am staying, I find that I have no idea. I’ve completely forgotten what day it is and how long I’ve been at the hotel.

After walking on one of the many windswept beaches and climbing Cader Idris once more – this time under clear blue skies – it is time to go home. Ffynnon may not the place to stay if you are looking for buzzing nightlife or fabulous shops, but if you want to swap your high heels for walking boots and need fresh air, exhilarating exercise, glorious scenery, good food and wine, and to be cared for by hosts whose attention to detail is outstanding, then Ffynnon is definitely the place for you. Of course, if you really can’t do without a bit of glamour, then there’s always the hot tub in the garden.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Ffynnon's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on 8 Feb 2014

We loved

Staff and management were excellent; there were lots of thoughtful touches throughout to make life very easy. It's incredibly quiet and peaceful.

Don’t expect

A 3pm check-in would be better, but even that feels like nit-picking.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on 29 Nov 2013

We loved

I liked the discreet glamour and luxury in a most beautiful setting. We were made very welcome and the service was attentive. The fabulous room and bathroom (Emily suite) had views of the mountains.

Don’t expect

It's a small thing but a WiFi code is needed every time you want to access the internet; this seems a little out of place for the price and standard of everything else.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on 2 Jun 2012

A very good hotel with great attention to detail and a warm welcome. Ffynnon’s large period rooms are very clean, with good bed linen and towels, and plenty of hot water – but small wardrobes with no drawers. Breakfast was lovely and I recommend Y Meirionnydd (www.themeirionnydd.com) restaurant in the centre of town.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on 27 May 2012


We had a marvellous stay at this hotel. The quality was first-class and the atmosphere was very friendly and helpful. This is a small boutique hotel with an honesty bar, which was very well stocked, and a very comfortable lounge to sit and drink in. Our bedroom and bathroom were huge – with beautiful décor – and the area is very well situated for visiting Snowdonia and the surrounding area, with plenty of places to eat nearby.

Rating: 8/10 stars