As someone who has stayed in youth hostels (both YHA and private ones) for many years and in many countries I think I know what I should expect from such accommodation. Having just returned from a very wet New Year break at Lledr House with a group of friends, I have both good and bad to report.
The location is stunning - lots of varied walking, nearby village pub, local rail service and tourist steam trains a few miles away.
OK, so it rains in Wales, and rains and rains....... I don't mind getting soaked through - it goes with the territory. What I do object to is having NOWHERE to dry clothes when you get back from a walk. Apparently, there used to be a drying room on the ground floor but it was removed to make way for a totally unneccessary and overspecified shower room. There are no bedrooms on the ground floor and it can't be for disabled use as there is not level access (there is a step to get into the room). When asked the warden simply said "oh people tend to dry things in their rooms". This may be ok if you're in a group who don't mind wet clothes dripping onto their bedding but is not a satisfactory situation.
Once you've gone up to your room and changed into nice dry clothes you then get soaked again by having to walk down an open exterior staircase with water pouring pouring from above because the blocked gutters haven't been cleared. There apparently was an internal staircase in YHA days but it got "pinched" by the owners when they extended their own accommodation, and hostellers now have to use the old external fire escape (which is unlit at night as the PIR sensors are only work from the top of the steps).
The common room area is a good space but the dining area is poorly lit, owing to the lack of a central light. The kitchen is overdue for a makeover with an ancient (and troublesome) four ring gas stove, which we could only light with the warden's assistance. Electrical appliances don't appear to have been PAT tested (there are no green stickers) which is worrying given that the microwave oven has a loose connection and kept cutting in and out.
One of the previous correspondents said that if you expect The Ritz you should pay Ritz prices, well I certainly don't expect The Ritz but I do expect to be kept dry when walking from bedrooms to living areas (especially as there's nowhere to dry clothes) and to have practical and safe equipment to cook with. Too much to ask?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hostel...... Delightfully situated in the heart of Snowdonia National Park with good access by road and rail, this former Quarry Manager's house which is covered in cedar shingle is situated in a very beautiful, quiet wooded valley. With it's own grounds and a large playing area adjacent, this riverside location is popular with travelers, walkers, cyclists and families alike. This was the first Youth hostel in North Wales and was run by the Youth Hostels Associaton for over 50 years. Now privately owned and family run, Lledr House offers a family feel to your stay and welcomes our repeat visitors and new-comers alike! Membership is no longer needed to stay at the Hostel. Changing ownership in late 2001, the main part of the house was converted into the Quilter family home and the hostel was made smaller on a more personal scale, reducing the bed count from 60 to 31. The Hostel has been newly refurbished and now features a large dormatory for up to 9 people, twin rooms, single rooms and family rooms with bunk beds and single beds. The hostel is self-catering with a large kitchen and dining room, making catering for your own meals straight forward. Neighbouring villages offer a variety of restaurants and take-away's ranging from Fish & Chips, pub grub, or Indian and Chinese cuisine, to the finer chef made meals served at our local Hotels. Nestled in the Snowdonia National Park, alongside the Lledr River, we are surrounded by woodlands and walks, with Pont-y-Pant railway station only a 10 minute walk away on the far side of the river. Lledr House offers exclusive fishing rights for freshwater Salmon and Trout!! (Permits are available from the village Post Office - approx £7.00 per day). There is ample parking on the grounds, with an over-flow parking located just a 2 minute walk away. Situated only 4 miles from Betws-y-Coed, a well known tourist hot-spot and back-packers town with wonderful gift shops to suit every taste! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lledr House Hostel Dolwyddelan, Snowdonia National Park, Wales