The setting for the "hotel" is lovely, within easy access of Conwy and another village on the other end of the Sychnant Pass. There were also a couple of walks within a mile that looked quite interesting with the hills around the 1,000ft mark, ideal for a family stroll.
The hotel itself looks wonderful from the road and as you drive into the apparently well kept large front garden of the property. The owner greeted us warmly, explaining a few house rules and then showed us to our rooms and around the various facilities such as smallish but adequate pool, well kitted out if small gym and outside hot tub.
The food during our stay was very good, with a typical cold breakfast selection and waitress service for the hot options which were adequate, although one lovely but rather thin sausage was a touch sparse as part of a full english. The 5 course evening meal was excellent, though the £32.50 cost was a touch excessive for what it was, especially with drinks extra.
The bar or lack of it was a touch quirky, as was the fact everything had to be charged to the room, something that should be an option but not in my view a rule, as at a party or wedding you could possibly awake to a surprise when the bar bill arrives. Drinks were served by the owner from a well stocked fridge in the kitchen, but was a bit inconvenient as you had to find the guy first before ordering a drink.
The rooms were very varied and as it was a group booking we basically had the whole hotel. We were in the cheaper rooms £135 summer and £105 winter and found them to be a touch small, with a corner bath and hand held shower with no shower curtain, not ideal for a 6'3 man. The room was spoilt for me by having a rather cheap looking four poster bed with a hard mattress and soft pillows, taking up virtually the whole floor space of the room and reaching almost to the ceiling, giving a very enclosed feel. The rooms we had, which included a double next door, had french windows opening out onto a patio with table and chairs and a glorious view of the hills opposite.
It is this mix of poor features and little gems that make the "hotel" so difficult to rate and from visiting other rooms the same mix of good and bad was a common feature. With a large investment in decoration and remodelling this could be an excellent "hotel". The public areas are nice, but as soon as you went beyond the carpet and corridors certainly didn't have an upmarket feel. Something that hopefully the owners will rectify with time. The advertised "fast broadband" was also a little flaky, with decent coverage in the lounge but dropping off badly within 20 yards, maybe a few booster units around the "hotel" would improve the experience at little capital cost.
The cost of a "hotel" room is very subjective, especially in an establishment as varied as this, however based purely on the state of the rooms I felt they were expensive, especially the larger ones. To charge £200+ a night for a room outside London or Edinburgh, even with a view and a hot tub means that the room has to be in perfect condition, many of these are not, although perfectly acceptable.
Only having a limited number of family rooms can also increase cost, as we had to take 2 rooms, albeit at a generous rate of £40 per night for the second. Charging £25 per child per night to stay in a larger already expensive room is another cost not really acceptable in this day and age, when rooms are generally priced as a family room with no extras.
Don't be confused by the star ratings, on web sites or indeed from various tourist bodies on the gate to the "hotel", ranging from 4 to 5 stars. Stars are awarded based on facilities, which on paper are excellent and service, sadly the rooms are not anywhere near maintained in a manner that merits a 5 star rating and the lesser priced rooms are of the size and quality of a 3 star establishment.
Most importantly for anyone thinking of staying at Sychnant Pass House, remember it is a house and not a hotel and the owner does by his gentle reminders make you aware of this throughout your stay. Times for breakfast and dinner are told to you on arrival, felxibility is apparently an option but one that is not obvious unless you enquire. The "hotel" would be an excellent option for an older couple or group, who appreciate the owners prescence, rather than for a younger group or party who like the use of a bar and a more relaxed atmosphere.
Finally, the house is relatively old and the sound proofing is abysmal. We were near to the lounge and felt part of the proceedings while trying to sleep, the corridors are noisy as are the fire doors when closing. Just hope you have quiet guests above as in room 1 we thought the people above would be visiting us through the ceiling on a number of occasions.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our elegant Edwardian country house is set in 3 acres of grounds with leisure facilities which includes swimming pool, sauna, gym and outdoor hot tub. We have charging points for electric cars and ample off-street parking. Situated in the Snowdonia National Park, we are in the heart of the countryside and yet only 1.5 Miles from the historic town of Conwy and less than 15 minutes' drive from the seaside resort of Llandudno (voted top UK seaside resort on Trip Advisor). We are easily accessible and well placed for both business and leisure stays. Our candlelit restaurant is highly recommended and is open 7 nights as week to residents and non-residents alike. Our seasonal menu offers a choice of starters, main courses and desserts and the food is freshly cooked to order, using local ingredients wherever possible. We can offer a great wine list to complement your food. Our location is convenient for Conwy, Llandudno, Bodnant Gardens, Mount Snowdon, Anglesey and we are a very useful stopping off point for those travelling to the Holyhead ferry terminal. Outdoor pursuits of walking, golf, mountain biking are all on our doorstep and just a short drive away, you will find the longest zip-wire in Europe and the only indoor surf resort at Surf Snowdonia - as well as plenty of other outdoor activities to enjoy. Alternatively, you can just curl up with a good book in our comfortable lounge! A warm welcome awaits you! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sychnant Pass House Hotel Conwy
- Sychnant Pass Country House Conwy, Wales