A Date with Chateau Rhianfa
My time at the French-inspired chateau may have been short but it was certainly sweet.
Perched above beautiful gardens that slope down to the water’s edge, Chateau Rhianfa has some of the most dramatic views I have experienced from a UK hotel. On the other side of the Menai Strait, dark silhouettes of Snowdonia emerged from behind a misty cloak. Even though the weather was overcast, it seemed to enhance the panoramas from this wonderful Victorian villa.
I was greeted at reception by the bubbly Rosie, who escorted me to my room and helped carry my luggage. I was to stay in ‘Snowdonia’ for the night and it was evidently clear why it had been given its name owing to the sensational view of Wales’ most revered national park. The large antique wardrobe and cosy snug made it all the more endearing.
From the outside, Chateau Rhianfa is a striking turreted bulding that looms over the edge of the Menai Strait, commanding the utmost respect. As I was guided around the hotel by Gwenno, I soon realised that the interior was just as impressive. More and more captivating quirks materialised and I loved all the little nooks and crannies that make the hotel so unique. Some of my favourite features were the small round snugs that clung to many of the rooms and tucked neatly into the chateau turrets. And then there’s the cloister, a curious space where I fell in love with its water fountain and winding staircase that led down to the grounds below.
Throughout Chateau Rhianfa lots of unforeseen eccentricities hide around each corner. Long corridors that lead between each room, pretty balconies, imposing fireplaces and large wooden doors add to its character. On the fourth floor, which is oddly at ground level where you enter the hotel, the public rooms were all grand and magnificent with high ceilings and some with wood panelled walls.
As I explored Chateau Rhianfa, more rooms kept unfurling, each with a different function. However, the one that really struck a chord with me was the Music Room with its huge fireplace, grand piano and balcony. There was so much that caught my eye whichever way I looked.
All of the bedrooms at Chateau Rhianfa are completely individual in design. I have to confess though, out of all of the rooms, I was rather in awe of the Menai Suite. This was a characterful room that lived in the attic of the building and had a large, round turquoise bed and pretty little windows.
After discovering the many rooms at Chateau Rhianfa, I made sure I ventured into the garden. As I opened the door to the outside, I immediately felt like I had revisited my childhood and was eager to explore the enchanting gardens. I walked down towards the water and stumbled across a tree swing, Welsh red dragon and a charming summer house that nestled beneath leafy branches.
At 7pm I was invited to the Grand Hall for a champagne reception, before being taken down to the Wine Cave to dine. This cosy little space was just perfectly intimate and atmospheric with its own bar, tractor seats and stone floor and walls.
It’s a shame I didn’t get to explore more of the local surroundings, but it does mean I have an excuse to return to Chateau Rhianfa, especially when the summer arrives and the landscape is in full bloom.
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