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“Ursa Major”

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The Bear Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #1 of 29 Hay-on-Wye B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
81 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Ursa Major”
Reviewed 21 August 2014 via mobile

We stayed for two nights in a generously sized room at the back of The Bear. The accommodation, like the rest of our experience, was just wonderful and we agreed this was the best B&B we had stayed in.
In recent years The Bear has been completely modernised to a standard much higher than many hotels in which we've stayed. Our room had a new solid oak floor, a careful mix of antique and modern furniture and good fixtures and fittings. The ensuite bathroom was, again, generously sized and equipped to a similarly high standard. The owners - escapees from London life - pay attention to detail and their great eye for design can be seen throughout this beautifully refurbished old Welsh house.
Breakfasts were excellent. One morning instead of the cooked bacony breakfast I had the intriguing-sounding butterbeans in rosemary and spicy tomato sauce on toast. Delicious. Next day I had tomatoes and scrambled egg speckled with dried seaweed, which was far tastier than the laver bread of distant memory. Ahead of time, David had emailed us about dietary requirements and had obtained GF bread with lacto-free milk and spread - another indicator of the care and energy that goes into running this outstanding place.

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Flaneur47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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229 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    220
    9
    0
    0
    0
See reviews for
26
142
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6
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Bath, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 August 2014

We stayed in room 3 last week and cannot find any fault at all. The hosts were so welcoming, the decor had so much character and the breakfast was delicious. Another good point is that I unfortunately left my mobile there when we left and one of the owners ran to catch up with us on the Offa's Dyke walk, a big thank you.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jeff O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2014

This place is an absolute gem – without a doubt the best B&B we have ever stayed in. We recently spent three nights here – our first visit to Hay - and it proved to be everything we’d hoped for, and more. It’s fair to say that The Bear gives many of the (often considerably pricier) hotels we’ve stayed in a run for their money.

The hosts, David and Andrew, really have thought of everything; we felt completely at home from the moment we stepped through the door, and their warm welcome and excellent local knowledge made our stay smooth and stress-free. They provided some great recommendations for restaurants, as well as various local haunts such as The Warren - a wonderfully idyllic spot for a swim or (in our slightly less adventurous case!) a paddle.

The rooms themselves are spacious, clean and stylish – sort of ‘Mid-century modern meets rustic Welsh’ – with some wonderful personal touches – we particularly loved the colourful Welsh blankets. Breakfast was delicious, with plentiful choice, including cereal and yogurt with home-made compote, and a wonderful (if cholesterol-inducing) ‘Full Welsh’.

We found ourselves utterly charmed both by The Bear and by Hay itself, and we’re already plotting our return, hoping to revisit the bookshops and try our hand at canoeing on the Wye. Only wish we could have stayed for longer!

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Zoe B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
71 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2014

Stayed for one night after a day walking in the Brecons. Despite arriving late, the host made sure we were made welcome straight away (even to the point of inviting us to the local bar for a drink!) Excellent facilities, clean and gorgeous room, splendid, varied and delicious breakfast. We will definitely try and stay again!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Diluki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2014

Almost everything has been said, so well, by others before. We stayed for 3 nights as a special break as first time visitors to Hay, booking into the room at The Bear that isn't on-suite (which caused a little trepidation). Everything was special. The hosts are doing absolutely the most in a lovely old building where little challenges (headroom through some doorways, or having your own bathroom next door) are handled so well. Our long weekend at The Bear met the highest standards.
And if you get the chance, ask the hosts' advice about what to do and see.That worked for us.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Anthony M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rochdale, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2014

An excellent B&B. Definitely up there with the best B&Bs we've stayed in. Two superb hosts who made us feel very welcome from the minute we arrived and continued to exceeded our expectations. The breakfasts were great with a splendid choice of vegi and meat options. When the weather looked a bit like rain, they even offered to set a table for us if we wanted to bring a picnic lunch back. We stayed in Room 1 which was just brilliant with wonderful oak beams and splendid decoration which mirrored the tasteful (and sometimes quirky) decoration throughout the rest of the house. We'd thoroughly recommend staying here.

Room Tip: Room 1 was brilliant
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PTH96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hay-on-Wye, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2014

We recently stayed at the Bear and it was perfect. Lovely clean rooms and comfortable beds with
personel touches, great decor and wonderful taste. Our visit was made easier with the the owners being so welcoming and friendly with local knowledge as to where to go and what to see. The breakfasts where truly delicious and put my own cooking to shame! Thank you for making our visit to Hay so memorable. We shall make a return visit at least once a year....hoping there will be a room available :-)

(Birmingham Guests)

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nellyonherhols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Bear Bed and Breakfast

Property: The Bear Bed and Breakfast
Address: 2 Bear Street, Hay-on-Wye HR3 5AN, Wales
Region: United Kingdom > Wales > Powys > Hay-on-Wye
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 29 B&Bs / Inns in Hay-on-Wye
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:5 star — The Bear Bed and Breakfast 5*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Bear in Hay on Wye, Powys, is a former 16th century Grade II listed coaching inn at the centre of the world famous book town. This historic guest house has three individually decorated bedrooms providing high quality, informal, and relaxed accommodation mixing the best of the original with an interesting mix of antique, vintage, and contemporary design. Breakfast is served in the guest lounge and features a changing menu of delicious homemade food using the finest local ingredients. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Bear Bed And Breakfast Hay-On-Wye, Wales

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