May 4, 2009
Best of Britain: The Quay Hotel & Spa
It’s been mini-breaks au-go-go here at the Wee Birdy nest. The past eight weeks has seen me travelling to Bulgaria, the New Forest, Paris and North Wales. Next weekend? I’m off to Copenhagen. All over the shop, eh?
One of the things I usually enjoy about travelling in the UK is staying at B&Bs (this is NOT a piece about B&Bs, but bear with me, OK?). Apart from the fact they’re usually cheaper than staying at a hotel, I really enjoy the personal and quirky nature of staying in the likes of a 400-year old country farmhouse, not to mention the usually-fabulous full-English breakfast in the morning. That was, until, I stayed at Voldemort’s very own B&B in the New Forest. I shan’t linger on the hideous facts, apart to say that I really don’t enjoy nasty proprietresses (aka Voldemort) bitching at me at 10 in the morning ON MY EASTER HOLIDAY for lingering in my room too long after breakfast, ESPECIALLY after they just served me bacon complete with cat hair and bread from a chopping board that until 10 minutes ago served as the cat’s litter tray. (Pregnant women toxoplasmosis alert!) Anyway…
Let’s just say that I was in an excellent frame of mind for a change of scenery, like say, a luxury-hotel-perched-on-the-Irish-Sea frame of mind. Ohhh yes. This is exactly what was served up at the Quay Hotel & Spa, located in the charming seaside town of Deganwy in North Wales. It was hotel luxury all the way, complete with in-house spa that would not look out of place in Mayfair, trillion-count Egyptian cotton sheets and super-sized towels (OK, a slight exaggeration but such a welcome departure from scratchy, mean little towels), and 24-hour room service (why, yes, we would love to sip Champagne and watch the sun set over the water from the comfort of our own balcony).
The excellent full Welsh breakfast in the morning was served in the hotel’s Vue restaurant, which indeed afforded an excellent view of the sparkling Conwy river and the Unesco World Heritage Site of Conwy Castle (one of the best-preserved 700-year-old castles in the UK). An extensive buffet breakfast was also included (but funnily enough, no cat hair).
After tucking into homemade bircher muesli, local Welsh sausages and poached eggs, I ventured to the hotel’s Espa on Saturday morning for an Aromatherapy Associates full body massage. But first – the “chill-out room”, which was designed for lounging around in one’s robe, sipping herbal tea, reading the latest fashion mags and gazing out from time to time at the yachts moored in the tiny harbour beyond the window. Then I was led through a hushed labyrinth of sexy dark-panelled wood, scented candles and Buddha statues to my treatment room for a customised body massage. Customised, because I was asked about my state of mind (sleepy!), my plans for the day (plundering castles!) and how I wanted to feel at the end of the massage (relaxed but awake!). Which quite happily, is exactly what happened after an hour of blissful pummelling whilst inhaling a bespoke mix of essential oils.
More local produce was on display at dinner, where we dined on delicious Conwy mussels and Welsh lamb (Coes Cig Oen wedi’i Brwysio gyda Garlleg Rhost a Thatws Mâl â Basil, to be exact) whilst admiring another award-winning Conwy sunset. Hotel life in Wales just doesn’t get any better than this.
The Quay Hotel & Spa
Deganwy Quay, Deganwy, Conwy
North Wales LL31 9DQ
Tel: 01492 564 100
Wee Birdy was a guest of The Quay Hotel & Spa (and should point out that she rarely dips her toe into PR-sponsored activities unless they're genuinely bloody good).
em>Tomorrow: My top picks from Conwy, including the best cream buns in town.