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“Masterclass.”

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Harbourmaster Hotel
Ranked #2 of 12 Aberaeron B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 May 2014

It's rare to find an excellent, unfussy hotel where the immense effort that goes into getting things absolutely right is so well disguised in comfort and simplicity. I stayed here years ago when it opened but what a fool I've been not to return more frequently. The Grade II listed building has been inventively restored and fitted out with well choreographed interiors. Beds, showers, furnishings are just right - not too fussy, not too cool, just enough of the best of Wales' designers, arts and craftspeople to capture the imagination. The bar and restaurant are regularly packed to the rafters - hardly surprising given the good, simple, menu and preparation that give local produce a great platform. Arriving frazzled after a long day and equally long drive, there is no nonsense about filling in forms and checking credit cards- it's all done. Would you like a newspaper? Hold on we'll take that bag. Of course we can rustle some simple fish, come down when you've settled a bit. There's no pointless piece of cardboard with a swipe card - instead a great chunk of wood made by a local artist capturing the character of each room, many of which are named after ships or boats connected to the history of Aberaeron and the harbourmasters house itself. A breakfast of eggy bread and bacon with maple syrup alongside fresh fruit is almost perfect...except my beloved morning coffee is transparent. Oh no! I don't have the heart to spoil it. Then again it's coffee and coffee has to be very very good. Reluctantly I ask the waitress about the 'see-through' cafetiere coffee. In seconds an oil slick slurp of Americano arrives and peace is restored. This is a very minor issue in an overall excellent stay. There are visitors uncomfortable with a bit of noise but mostly I heard the sound of people sharing a great time. Convivial burble isn't such a problem. Simplicity is a greatly undervalued quality in hotels and it takes huge care and attention to detail to achieve the right atmosphere and quality of food and service that make a break restorative, however short the stay. The Harbourmaster gets it absolutely right. The Madona suite, under the roof and named after a locally built brigantine, was the original harbour master's room, with advantageous views over the whole tidal harbour and coastline. Useful for a seafarer and master of the harbour. Essential to guests. You may ask what is there to do in and around Aberaeron? A great deal as it happens and it's all in the guest info in your room. Thing is, it's difficult to better a morning spent gazing out over that coastline. Pretend you're a harbourmaster if you wish. Alternatively just look and relax and maybe look a bit more.

Room Tip: They're all good and shown on the website.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank CADCardiff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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369 - 375 of 622 reviews

Reviewed 14 May 2014

Stopped in Aberaeron by chance whilst driving along the coast - and popped into the Harbourmaster for a light lunch. Welsh rarebit, sea salted squid - both delicious and the menu looked great. Will definitely stay a little longer next time :-)

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TJW_Woking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2014

We stayed as a couple last week at the Harbourmaster Hotel, in the Albion room of the self catered cottage. I chose the room for it's price & didn't mind not being in the main hotel. We had a very enjoyable 24 hours & would like to return.
We shared the cottage with another couple who were around our age & from our point of view - just fine ! I hope our squeaky bedroom door & landing floorboards didn't annoy them when we came in at 11pm.
The cottage facilities in the modern kitchen & sitting room were available to us & altho we could have made light meals & watched TV we just stuck to using the tea, coffee & biscuits in the kitchen. Dressing gown & slippers provided were useful when making early morning tea.
We ate dinner in the hotel at night, ( I had sea bream & my husband chose the 2 way Haddock) ,staff were attentive, food was hot & quick but the room a little draughty.
Breakfast was a vast selection of every type of breakfast you could wish for. The full Welsh lasted my husband all day & I enjoyed the eggy bread with local Welsh bacon & maple syrup.
There are plenty of walks around Aberaeron, & places to visit (we went to Cenarth Coracle Museum), we didn't have good weather so were unable to do the Coastal Path to Newquay but
next time !

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Welshdragon4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2014

Recently I've been looking for rooms with great views, and ok you have to pay a bit more for them, but you make a stay more memorable. They are not easy to find, but the Harbour Master's Aeron Queen Suite was such a room. It was spacious, well equipped, and with panoramic windows taking in the view of the harbour. The fact that it started raining just made it seem a bit more luxurious. We watched the tide coming up in the harbour before our evening meal, and after breakfast read the papers whilst watching the comings and goings. Now I'm not going to spend £230 for B&B every time, but to get such enjoyment from our one night stay it was well worth it.

Room Tip: The Aeron Queen suite for a memorable stay
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank PeaceFoodandaSnorkel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2014

We arrived at short notice at the end of bank holiday weekend and without a firm booking. It appeared that this was fortunate good luck for us ,as our room ( no 6 ) was provided at a nice discount to the rack rate. No 6 on an upper floor has a delightful 270 degree view from its various windows , all with water views, and is highly recommended. . The standard of room furniture and ensuite fittings are excellent, with attention to detail such as complimentary bottled water, and miscellaneous accessories.
The busy bar and snack area is complemented by a separate restaurant serviced by an excellent chef and super friendly staff. Our meals were totally sublime and most memorable. Thank you all.
The location , right beside the small tidal boat harbour , provides a constantly changing backdrop, as the 14 metre rise and fall in sea level lifts and lowers the boats from the sea bed.
An excellent wine selection is on call to compliment your every meal . Try the 'Man O' War ' Chardonnay from Waiheke Island in New Zealand ... a very select wine indeed , and a real privilege to find here in Wales. OK... I'm a Kiwi, but my recommendation can be relied on.
Enough said... Just come and enjoy !

Room Tip: We loved number six.. though the spiral staircase may be daunting to folk with climbing difficulties...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank stude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2014

The Harbourmaster is a favourite hotel of ours, but I'm always a bit apprehensive about going back in case it stops living up to expectations. I needn't have worried, everything was lovely as usual. The decor is tasteful and contemporary and the mood is relaxed and uplifting. It's all helped along by the magnificent location alongside the small harbour in Aberaeron - it must be one of the best situated establishments in the country. The young team were friendly, pleasant and helpful and it's great that all staff can also speak Welsh, consequently there is a lovely natural flow to and fro between the two languages. The food was great too - no stinting on either quality or portion sizes with imaginative and intelligent combinations of local ingredients and flavours.There's a generosity of spirit too which engenders a definite feel good factor. I love this place, they've got it oh so right and it's contemporary Wales at it's very best. Bendigedig! Diolch yn fawr.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Dr G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2014

We stayed just one night in this lovely hotel and thoroughly enjoyed it. I can recommend Madona ( top floor, great views, very comfortable bed and huge bathroom). Perfect place for a night away, a few drinks, great food, lovely setting, peace and quiet and a brilliant breakfast next day.

Room Tip: Madona takes the whole of the top floor in the main building. It's spacious and gives great view...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank SecretFarmer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Harbourmaster Hotel

Address: Quay Parade, Aberaeron SA46 0BT, Wales
Region: United Kingdom > Wales > Ceredigion > Aberaeron
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 12 B&Bs / Inns in Aberaeron
Price Range: £65 - £250 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Harbourmaster Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Harbourmaster on the quayside in Aberaeron offers you comfort in the most idyllic of locations. This listed landmark building reopened in June 2002 after extensive renovations. We have 13 individually-designed rooms in three historic buildings - all with harbour views. In 2008 the warehouse was opened, providing a further 4 rooms. A harbour facing suite with panoramic views, two west facing sea view terrace rooms and a town view room suitable for disabled use. (lift access to these new rooms) The Restaurant and new warehouse bar specialises in fresh local produce. Come and stay for a relaxing time and watch the tides wash in and out and the sun set over the bay! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Harbourmaster Hotel Aberaeron, Wales

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