Our party of 4 girls and one guy (me) were looking to take advantage of the bank May bank holiday weekend (4 days, 3 nights). Having done camping at many of the camp sites in Wales in the past we decided that a cottage would be a suitable upgrade - a real treat for me as I wish for the day I can have my own a cottage in the hills. Upon searching online my girlfriend had stumbled upon Hafod Y Rhedrwydd. It took little to convince the rest of the party that we had to have this for the bank holiday weekend. Much to my surprise I could see that there was availability, so without even taking payment from the rest of the party I pulled out the plastic and booked it there and then. The following two months until the booking were a long wait, however, during this time some of the others had noted that reviews were few and it was only a couple of weeks before our stay that fellow TripAdvisor user spaceibiza had left quite a scathing review of the cottage and its owners. Had we made the right decision to book Hafod Y Rhedrwydd? Oh yes...yes we had.
Upon booking the property we'd received further instructions on how to locate the cottage and also information on paying the fuel deposit. I was also introduced to one of the owners via email, who I will say is a thoroughly pleasant individual with lot of patience for people (I apologise for keeping you up at 11pm while you assisted us with locating your cottage). We sent the £100 fuel deposit and waited for the day of our arrival.
We had travelled several hundred miles from London and the journey took us maybe 7 or so hours. It was dark by the time we got there. As you may know, in the country there is no lighting and the majority of small roads are without catseyes. We ended up taking a wrong turning up a bumpy hill that really tested my clutch control. Upon reaching the top we realised we were in the wrong location. I relented and, red-faced, I called the owner at 11pm who graciously helped us find the property. I actually hadn't realised that when the booking was made an extremely detailed itinerary with maps and pictures showing exactly how to locate Hafod was emailed to me.
We arrived at the cottage less than 15 minutes later by travelling along a single track but well-built road, and what a sight the cottage was to behold. We parked up, lit the cottage up with out torches, and couldn't believe how picturesque it was. We also noted that the only sounds were that of the stream that went through the front of the property and that of the odd grazing sheep. Talking about sheep - they are everywhere - you will tread in sheep dung and this is why it's absolutely necessary to not bring shoes into the house, so don't forget your slippers.
Back to the house. Upon entering the property we discovered that the oil fire was switched on which had warmed up the ground floor of the house beautifully (the top of the house was quite cold - stone walls don't insulate much - but by the second day the oil fire had managed to warm it up). There were two copies of the house book which provided detail instructions on the appliances and the generator, which I immediately set about starting. The interior of the property is tactfully done in order to preserve the dated feel of the property while also providing comfort and convenience. The beds and sheets were perfect - the owners really didn't scrimp on this. We had hot and cold running water, however, on our penultimate day we had lost all running water and it was determined that an air pocket had developed. We notified the owners and within 30 minutes they had provided me with extremely detailed instructions on how to sort it out, but I wasn't able to do it myself as I was out with my party so they had maintenance come out and solve it by the time we got back, plus they had provided us with a dozen gallons of bottled water in case we needed. I was beyond impressed with all of this.
After a full night's sleep the next day was pleasantly sunny. The views from the cottage were breathtaking and you really get a sense of isolation as the cottage sits snugly among rolling hills with no sign of civilisation for several miles in any direction. Towards the back of the cottage there is a drop-off with a waterfall and cave. At night time and due to the location of the cottage there is little to no ambient lighting, so you get great views of the stars.
A quick note on the fuel deposit and petrol usage. The property has 3 units that consume some form of fuel. This is the petrol generator that supplies around 1600w of power to the house, the oil stove in the front room that keeps the place warm, and a Rayburn which is a cast iron cooker in the kitchen. The oil stove and rayburn are constantly on and both burn oil. The petrol generator obviously uses petrol. Before arrival a fuel deposit of £100 is taken, and when leaving the oil level is read to determine how much is used and a refund provided. Now, there was 5 of us in the cottage consuming fuel and the amount of fuel we used must have been fairly minimal as I found the amount we had spent in pounds sterling to be VERY reasonable. You'd have to had made a really good go at it to make a serious dent in the deposit.
In conclusion, it was one of the best experiences I've had in Wales thus far and we will definitely be looking to book it again. The owners are fantastic and extremely helpful, and I wish them every success with this cottage.
We loved staying here. It is a wonderful place and a great way to get away from it all! Very remote and very peaceful.
The owners are very helpful and generous too!
This cottage is quaint and set in beautiful snowdonia national park. We were really looking forward to our long weekend away here. After booking, we had to pay a further £100 deposit via PayPal directly to the owners. We spoke to them on the phone and discovered the cottage does not have mains electricity. Electricity is supplied via a petrol generator located in a stone out building attached to the side of the cottage. This was not a problem to me, as I am a car enthusiast and enjoy tinkering around with engines and things like that. We were advised to leave the door propped open with a rock whilst it was running, and to turn it off at night to save petrol.
On arrival, we started the generator, propped the door open and plugged in the extractor fan. The heating in the cottage is via an oil burning stove which was already burning when we arrived. There is an oil burning range cooker which was also on when we arrived. The cottage was supposed to have satellite wifi, but this was not working. We also had no phone signal which we expected anyway. When it got to bedtime, my wife said that she would like the option of being able to put the light on in the night, as the cottage is so remote, when it gets dark, it really gets dark. We were advised to switch the generator off at night to save fuel, but we discussed it and thought for what it would cost, we would just fill it up with some more petrol. At least that way, we would have working electrics. After going to sleep, we were awoken at 1.00am by the carbon monoxide alarm sounding. On the back of the alarm, it said to open windows and doors, turn off any device that may emit carbon monoxide and leave the property until it has been deemed safe by an engineer. The source of carbon monoxide could have been either the generator, oil burning stove, or the range cooker. As the wifi was not working, and we had no phone signal, and there was no land line telephone, our only option was to get in the car and drive 6 miles to the nearest town. We tried to find a carbon monoxide help line to get advice, but they only work 9-5. We had no other option but to call the owners. We explained the situation to them and they diagnosed the problem as the generator. They said turn it off and everything will be fine. After speaking to them, my wife and I discussed our options. We came to the conclusion that it could have been the generator, but without it being checked, we don't know for sure. As carbon monoxide is deadly and cannot be smelt or tasted, we decided we didn't want to take the risk. So we returned to collect our things, and decided to find alternative accommodation.
The next day, we sent a very polite email to the owners, asking if they would consider a refund. Seeing as we had only stayed about 6 hours into a planned 3 night stay. They didn't offer us any refund, and instead tried to make out we were stupid and liars! We contacted Cottages.com as we booked through them. They were very helpful and agreed that we did exactly the right thing in leaving. Cottages.com then issued us a refund, but they couldn't refund us the £100 deposit we paid directly to the owners. Instead of the owners saying you have had a bad experience, here is your deposit back. They continued to be rude to us and flatly refused to give us our deposit back.
So to summarise, it is a beautiful place, but if you have a problem, don't expect any help from the owners or your deposit back!