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Hotel Highlights

  • Overlooking wild sandy dunes on the coast
  • A huge help-yourself vinyl collection and honesty bar
  • A homewares shop, offering highlights from Llety Bodfor's interior decor

Overview

‘Welsh guesthouse’ and ‘contemporary comfort’ are clearly no longer mutually exclusive. This spruce mauve-painted seafront townhouse in Aberdovey (aka Aberdyfi) conceals a bright, wooden-floored living room and a world of vast fresh-linened, sheepskin-cushion-covered beds, huge TVs and brown-leather sofas, and a cheery attention to detail that has become the signature of interior designer Ann Hughes, one half of the husband-and-wife team behind Llety Bodfor.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Llety Bodfor with us:

A croeso (welcome) room gift from the hotel's adjoining homewares outlet, Seld Interiors, or a 10 per cent discount in the shop

Facilities

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Need To Know

Rooms

Eight individually decorated rooms.

Check–out

11am. Earliest check-in, 2pm. If the hotel is quiet, they can be flexible.

Also

Hire the whole house for £1,000 a night; it sleeps up to 21. Llety can tailor individual packages, such as picnics on the beach, or special-occasion drinks parties for up to 40 and organise accommodation in the village for any extra people.

At the hotel

There’s a free DVD library and a huge vinyl collection to use on the record player in the lounge; adjoining gift and interiors shop, Seld. There’s also a new shared kitchen for guests to use. In rooms, free WiFi, widescreen TV and DVD player and iPod stereos, fridge for your own use, Frette bedlinen, roll-top bath.

Our favourite rooms

Room names are numbers in Welsh: Dau is two; Naw is nine; Deg is 10. The family suites are the most spacious, with their own kitchenette cubby and huge sofas. Naw has a four-poster. All rooms are sea-facing (bar singles), but suckers for a view should go for upper floors: we loved lilac-hued Dau (pronounced ‘Di’) on the second floor.

Packing tips

When the sun shines, it’s glorious, but it’s better to play safe and take a windcheater or waterproofs, although if you do get caught out in a downpour, Llety has a drying room, which is in handy in bad weather.

Also

There’s a two-night minimum stay on weekends and public holidays. The modern and vintage homewares from their design-led interiors store are also available online from www.seld.co.uk.

Children

Under-twos stay free and children under 12 can have an extra bed in a suite for a small charge; some rooms combine to form family suites (Naw & Deg, Cant & Mil). Babysitting can be arranged and ‘toddler backpacks’ for carrying little ones can be borrowed.

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Food & Drink

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Hotel Restaurant

Breakfast is a fine spread served in the SeaBreeze Restaurant a few doors down. Specials change daily, with eggs and smoked salmon on offer, as well as the full Welsh.

Hotel Bar

Drinks are available from Seld during opening hours.

Room service

There’s a guest kitchen available for you to use around the clock.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Beach modern, and woollies, windcheaters and warm socks just in case.

Local Guide

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Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Explore a little Welsh culture, enjoy the rugged beauty of the countryside and track wild mountain birds (including Peregrine falcons, buzzards, kestrels and kites) on a private 4x4 tour with the passionate, knowledgable and charming Elfin Pugh, owner of Red Kite Safaris (+44 (0)1654 703160; www.redkitesafaris.co.uk). Visit the village of Portmeirion on the southern shores of Snowdonia and pick up some of the famous pottery, sometimes at bargain prices (www.portmeirion-village.com). Adrenalin junkies can experience every imaginable extreme sport in these parts, from kitesurfing to horse riding – just ask the folk at Llety to book you in. There’s a great mountain-biking track nearby, at Coed-y-Brenin forest (+44 (0)1341 440666) as well as a championship golf course on Llety's doorstep at Aberdovey Golf Club (www.aberdoveygolf.co.uk).

Local restaurants

Led by Jason Griffiths, the kitchen at partner restaurant SeaBreeze at 6 Bodfor Terrace (+44 (0)1654 767449) promises wholesome Welsh fare. Close to the hotel on Chapel Square, The Cellar Bistro (+44 (0)1654 767448) has long been popular for its seafood, vegetarian and vegan dishes – you’ll need a reservation at weekends. Half an hour’s drive away, the restaurant at The Wynnstay on Maengwyn Street in Machynlleth (+44 (0)1654 702941) is well worth the trek. Try to book a table by the vast fireplace, and prepare to feast like kings on wonderful local produce such as seasonal game, wild mushrooms and trout. Or enjoy a pint of Cwrw Glan Yr Afon real ale fireside at Riverside, a country pub and restaurant in Pennal (+44 (0)1654 791285), or a lunch or supper made from the best local, seasonal produce. The Penhelig Arms (+44 (0)1654 767215) is but an amble along the coast. Book a table in the restaurant if you’re in the mood for fine dining and white linen, but we also love the adjoining Fisherman’s Bar – you’ll need reservations if you want to eat. For Modern Welsh dining in a contemporary interior with estuary and mountain views, head to Mawddach Restaurant in Llanelltyd (+44 (0)1341 424020).

Local cafés

Coffee, quiches and home-made cakes can be enjoyed with the morning papers at local deli Bwtri Blasus on Seaview Terrace (+44 (0)1654 767470).

+ Enlarge
Hills at the back, sea to the front

Llety Bodfor

Bodfor Terrace, Aberdovey, Gwynedd, Aberdovey, Gwynedd LL35 0EA, United Kingdom

Planes

Nearby airports include Cardiff and Birmingham. Driving from either will take around three hours.

Trains

The closest main railway station is in Aberystwyth, 28 miles away. Regular services run from Birmingham, and there are a few direct trains daily from London Euston.

Automobiles

The hotel is just off the A487, which runs all the way from Newport and Aberystwyth.

Reviews

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Anonymous review

by Alex Morris , Picture perfector

This review of Llety Bodfor in Wales is taken from our latest guidebook, Mr & Mrs Smith: Hotel Collection – UK/Ireland Volume 2. As a confirmed Welshman who rarely makes it home, I couldn’t wait to get to this isolated stretch of the country. And my promises of huge valleys tumbling down to glistening open seas are all the ammo I need to get Mrs Smith into the map-reading mood. Ev…
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Llety Bodfor

Anonymous review by Alex Morris, Picture perfector

This review of Llety Bodfor in Wales is taken from our latest guidebook, Mr & Mrs Smith: Hotel Collection – UK/Ireland Volume 2.

As a confirmed Welshman who rarely makes it home, I couldn’t wait to get to this isolated stretch of the country. And my promises of huge valleys tumbling down to glistening open seas are all the ammo I need to get Mrs Smith into the map-reading mood. Even the motorway rush hour can’t dampen my patriotic fervour; I can practically hear those male voice choirs already.

The Aberdovey we arrive in is bathed in soft late-afternoon light, with families catching the last rays on the beach and groups of friends sipping Pimm’s on the promenade. My childhood memories of fish ’n’ chips in the car, under a continual drizzle, clearly took place in a parallel universe. As we trundle along a seafront of pastel houses with the sun reflecting off the estuary, Mrs Smith wonders if we really are in Mid Wales at all. I tell her that this picturesque idyll is exactly as I remember it. I am lying of course.

Llety Bodfor’s mauve façade greets us first; our friendly hosts second. As they steer us towards G&Ts in a large, wooden-floored living room, the dapper, cosy chamber is dusk-drenched in a warm burnt-sienna glow. A homely approach, but set in the context of a sophisticated beachside villa. Traditional features are highlighted with modern, quirky touches: a denim armchair hunkers on original floorboards; a doorway is quirkily crowned with red bandanna’d cattle horns. As my other half reclines, I reach for the vinyl collection and record player, marvelling at all the prog rock (we plump for Dylan, if you must know).

It’s not long before we’re climbing the stairs to our own enclave. And what an enclave it is: a vast room containing a sheepskin-cushion-covered bed, an enormous TV and a delicious-for-downtime brown leather sofa. All in twice the square footage of our boudoir back home. While the picture editor in me is framing up the sea view, the bathroom is stealing Mrs Smith’s attention: the mood-changing effect that a freestanding roll-top bath can have on a lady is quite astounding.

All this is the work of Ann Hughes (interior designer and one half of the husband-and-wife team behind Llety Bodfor), and we’re pleased not to find a single doily or net curtain. Instead, fresh white and blue walls wrap themselves around the magnanimous space; even a Blackberry-hardened stress-stickler would be hard pressed not to find the resulting sea-fresh-calm effect seductive. I mentally scrap my long-held conviction that ‘Welsh B&B’ and ‘contemporary comfort’ are mutually exclusive terms; our ‘humble’ bed and breakfast could certainly give Claridge’s a run for its Coutts-accounted money.

As we drink in the view of the expansive west Wales shoreline from our large bay windows, it’s hard to disembark the World’s Biggest Bed, but dinner at the locally renowned Penhelig Arms beckons. A short stroll along the foam-splashed seafront brings us to the harbour walls outside the Pen (as the locals call it) for sunset champagne. We have barely got our bearings when a tantalising aroma begins to waft from the restaurant, curling around our noses and luring us inside to dine. We follow the scent and are not disappointed; our meal of lemon sole, crab and super-fresh scallops certainly lives up to the local hype, and we swirl, sniff and sip several top tipples from the impressive wine list.

After pushing our straining belts to their leather limits with a scales-busting selection of local cheeses and port – this is a holiday, after all – we meander back along the now-deserted promenade. Taking in the sea air and indulging in a little star-spotting (in an astronomical sense, providing a welcome break from my paparazzi-shot-sifting day job), we are soon back at Llety Bodfor. Then it’s a quick rummage through the DVD collection, before gratefully diving under our huge bedspread.

It’s funny how, in that split second before opening your eyes upon waking, you can totally forget where you are when you’re away. But, as Mrs Smith opens the shutters to flood the room with eye-squintingly bright Gwynedd light, there’s no disputing our whereabouts. After dunking ourselves in our pool-sized tub, we dunk warm croissants in bean-fresh coffee. These are accompanied by a greedily ordered spread of the mouthwatering local specialities (including laverbread tart and Anglesey smoked salmon) that make breakfasting at Llety an event in itself.

Full of the full Welsh, and in anticipation of a sun-warmed Welsh day, we decide to forgo the sands for a few hours – and head to the weekly market at nearby town Machynlleth instead. It’s a healthy jostle with locals at stalls selling a thousand batteries for a fiver, and then at a sampling of local cheeses and honey that we have to pull ourselves away from. Seeing as we’re here, we decide to put in an appearance at the Wynnstay, too – an award-winning country pub and total in-the-know local foodie institution.

After a zigzagging drive back along the estuary, we flop on to the flour-soft sand outside Aberdovey, my taste buds still savouring the wild sea bass I enjoyed in the Wynnstay’s garden. Casting a lingering glance back at the toy-town green hills that form the backdrop to this pretty prom – and giving ourselves a secret standing ovation for our choice of break – we wonder why, exactly, we would ever want to bother with airports again. The tourist-board vignette for this part of the world would be part Victorian bucket ’n’ spades holiday, part French Riviera – with that indispensable Welsh male voice choir providing the soundtrack.

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 Llety Bodfor's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked everything. A simply blissful place to be!

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Loved the suite (Room Une), and the guest pantry with toaster, picnic blankets, etc, is a great addition. Beautiful decor and lovely hosts. The living room is full of lovely additions to make you feel at home.

Don’t expect

Nothing!

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

This hotel was set back from a four-mile stretch of white-sand beach. It was decorated with comforting colours and fabrics. A huge, super-king-size bed (with separate mattresses) gave a comfortable night's sleep! The hosts were so helpful and kind, really making us feel at home. The hotel shop was full of objects with which I would love to fill my house. Wish we could have stayed for a week!

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Location on the sea (well, estuary, but that word conjures a completely misleading image – it's very pretty); very relaxed atmosphere; friendly, helpful owners, and townspeople. Suite was large, comfortable and with a lovely firm mattress. The daily replenishment of fresh milk in the fridge is very thoughtful.

 

Don’t expect

Not much noise insulation from adjoining rooms... we had a young (and clearly 'lively'!) family next to our room. The kids seemed fascinated with the fact that there was a locked adjoining door (signed as a fire escape) and spent quite some time endeavouring to unlock it. Conversations at fairly normal level could be overheard. No-one to greet us when we arrived (after 6pm) – this is apparently normal, with a key left in a lock-box outside. During the day, the owners run the shop next door, so the hotel itself is largely unmanned. Whilst this all worked smoothly, it detracts from a hotel 'feel' – made it seem more like a holiday apartment block... not in itself a problem, but not what we were expecting.

 

Rating: 8/10 stars