Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

A Fabulous French Chateau Hidden in Some Wonderful Welsh Countryside ; Chateau Rhianfa Is Full of Suprises. STEVE HOWARTH Paid a Visit to a Place That Really Is as Spectacular as Advertised

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

A Fabulous French Chateau Hidden in Some Wonderful Welsh Countryside ; Chateau Rhianfa Is Full of Suprises. STEVE HOWARTH Paid a Visit to a Place That Really Is as Spectacular as Advertised

Article excerpt

AMAZING is a much over-used word when it comes to hotel destinations... but here is a place that truly lives up to the hype.

Chateau Rhianfa in Anglesey, north Wales, is a stunning Grade II listed structure in a fantastic setting looking out from the banks of the Menai Straits.

Probably one of the last things you expect to see in Wales is a huge, 16th-century style French chateau... but that is exactly what Rhianfa is and guests can arrive by car, boat or even helicopter.

Built in the 1850s by Sir John Hay William, Baronet of Bodelwyddan and his wife Lady Sarah, the 21-bedroom chateau was inspired by the couple's travels through the Loire region of France and their love of its 16th century French architecture. It was intended as both a holiday home and a dower house for Lady Sarah and their two daughters in the event of Sir John's death.

Now part of the Amazing Venues collection (since 2012) - which also has sea forts, a Pugin monastery and fairytale Scottish castles in its portfolio - the chateau is certainly a statement destination.

Built on a steep slope running down to the beach, when you first arrive, while the fairytale spires are clearly visible, the rest of the gothic Chateau is hidden.

The first clue you get that there is much more to the hotel than initially obvious is when you walk in from the car park to realise the historic public rooms and reception hall - filled with beautiful period furniture, tapestries and ornaments - are actually on the third floor. It is only when you descend through two floors of bedrooms, walk out into the perfectly manicured grounds and turn around that you appreciate the full magnificence of this stunning building.

Also on the ground floor is the main banqueting hall which can seat 80, boasts original oak panelling and fireplaces plus quirky features, including dumb waiters and, like almost every room on the chateau, stunning views out over the Menai Straits.

Also on the ground floor is a small gym with hot tub and sauna and a very atmospheric wine cave - perfect for predinner drinks and socialising. …

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