Our oldest daughter’s birthday is at the end of November, and each year we have the same grumbles from her that it’s way too cold and miserable to go away for the weekend for her birthday. Remembering how much we’d all enjoyed our two previous stays at the Trefeddian, we thought it would be the perfect place to celebrate her birthday weekend.
In a great location in the quaint village of Aberdovey on the mid-Wales coast, directly opposite sand dunes and the most beautiful sandy beach and within a short drive of Cadair Idris mountain and other great walking territory, it’s perfect if the weather is good.
But equally, with three different lounges, a bar, great food, two fantastic games rooms and a gorgeous indoor pool and jacuzzi, it’s equally good if the weather is awful. Which, of course, it was.
We travelled down from Manchester just as Storm Arwen was ramping up, and by the time we got to the hotel, the wind had reached 45 mph. My husband was a little upset that rain was going to stop play (by which he meant our ability to go for long walks), but the birthday girl (being very much a homebody and detester of long walks) was absolutely delighted. I have to confess I was secretly excited about just chilling in the hotel and spending some quality family time together, without any walk-related moaning.
Check-in is at 3pm, but our rooms were ready at 1pm when we arrived, which was a great start to our stay. We had a family room, which was huge and had great views of the sea and sand dunes. My mum had a twin room, so she shared with our younger daughter.
When we arrived, the friendly reception staff told us that there was a booking system for the pool due to Covid and asked us if we wanted to book in to make sure we weren’t disappointed. Just 8 people were allowed during any 30 minute slot, but there was plenty of availability and we were able to book pretty much whenever we liked. The booking system also meant that we pretty much had the pool area to ourselves on each of our three visits, which was a wonderful luxury and also meant that we could play games in the pool without worrying about annoying others.
Despite the strong winds, the sun was shining when we arrived so we managed to persuade the children to have a really quick walk across the road to the beach before we hit the pool. The views were stunning and our dog Baxter loved the deserted beach, although walking into the wind was a little like being in a sandstorm.
After our afternoon swim, we headed to the games room and whiled away a couple of fun hours playing pool, table tennis and air hockey. Again, we seemed to have the games area to ourselves which was really nice.
Then it was time for our five course dinner, which is included with the room rate. We were given the same table for the duration of our stay, which felt reminiscent of old fashioned hotels from an Agatha Christie novel, and could go to dinner at any time.
When we got to our table for dinner, there was a birthday card for Mimi which had been signed by the hotel staff with a personal message, which she was absolutely delighted with. The food was really good, with lots of choice so that there was always something everyone liked. Dinner even managed to fill up our 15 year old son, who is currently eating us out of house and home! The service was amazing and by the end of our stay, we felt like we’d become friends with Lumi, who looked after us brilliantly every mealtime.
On our second day, the forecasted strong winds didn’t materialise so, after a fabulous four course breakfast, Ed and I took our dog to the beach while the kids played pool and table tennis. The tide was right out and the beach is just stunning, with white sand and the dunes as a backdrop. Then it was back to the pool where we had the place to ourselves again for an hour, to work up an appetite for lunch.
The hotel treated us to afternoon tea for lunch, and it was a proper feast. We had pots of tea, little sandwiches, a selection of cakes and of course scones with cream and jam (and the usual debate about whether the jam goes on first).
When we were able to move again, Ed and Charlie had a game of tennis on the courts behind the hotel, and then we all played pitch and putt on the course in front of the hotel. All the games and activities are free, and the hotel has tennis racquets and golf clubs for guests’ use.
What we love about the hotel, as well as the great food, location and facilities, is that they welcome dogs. Baxter was very happy wearing himself out on the beach and then chilling in our room while were were in the pool or at dinner, coming to join us in the dog-friendly lounge afterwards.
Mimi’s birthday was on the Sunday of our stay and – as our family birthday tradition is breakfast and presents in bed – the hotel arranged for her to have her porridge in the room on her birthday which was lovely. We loved going back to the Trefeddian and will definitely be back!
NB: Jane and her family received a discount from the Trefeddian Hotel, but all views and opinions are their own.