Looking for somewhere to stay? Many of the places below are gay-owned, and all are LGBT-friendly. But you’ll find non-discrimination wherever you choose to stay: it’s the law (and more importantly, it’s good manners). But just for starters, here are a few places we like, and we think you will, too.
In and around Cardiff...
St David’s Hotel
When international stars like Madonna and Kylie perform at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, this is their preferred hotel. St David's, the five-star hotel on the Cardiff Bay waterfront was also the choice of actor John Barrowman, star of Doctor Who and Torchwood, both filmed in Cardiff, when he and his partner Scott Gill had their civil partnership ceremony here in 2006.
Park Plaza's chic four-star hotel is a short walk from Cardiff Castle, the shops and the gay scene. Despite being on a lively city street with numerous bars, the hotel’s modern, caramel-hued interior is calm and tranquil; many of the 129 guest rooms, and the award-winning Laguna Kitchen and Bar, overlook a tree-fringed canal to the rear. There’s also a spa offering Elemis treatments, a heated indoor swimming pool, and a 40-station gymnasium with cardiovascular equipment, free weights, and yoga and circuits classes.
Recommended by LGBT travel website Further Afield, Maison Galles is a self-catering townhouse with stylish Welsh-French fusion décor. Located a 15-minute walk west of Cardiff city centre, close to the green spaces of Llandaff Fields and Bute Park, it houses up to eight guests and boasts quirky details like bespoke wall coverings, king size French beds, and a mix of antique and contemporary furniture.
From the Welsh for “pink house”, Tŷ Rosa is a hetero-friendly bed and breakfast that’s earned accolades from TripAdvisor and The Times for its friendly, openly-gay attitude. There are five homely guestrooms in the main house, plus an annex apartment. It’s a 15-minute walk south of Cardiff city centre – but hosts Paul and Stuart will point you in the right direction!
The word ‘boutique’ can be bandied around a little freely, but Jolyons chic six-room hotel, with its quirky-but-luxurious design, fully earns the title. It’s based in the historic heart of Cardiff Bay, and now has a sister hotel on Cathedral Road, which is handy for both the city centre and the hip Pontcanna neighbourhood.
… and further afield
Manorhaus in Ruthin and Llangollen
This pair of boutique hotels bill themselves as ‘restaurants with rooms’, and the food is every bit as superb as you’d expect. But it’s the decorative detail of Manorhaus that stays in the memory: owners Gavin and Chris, who first bought the Georgian townhouse in Ruthin back in 2002, have transformed the old buildings into shrines for design, art and architecture. Bonus fact: Gavin has also just finished a stint as mayor of Ruthin.
Felin Glais near Brecon
Felinglais is a five-star B&B that has won multiple awards, and is set in a gloriously restored 17th century ‘barn and beast house’. Visitors unfailingly mention the warm welcome of hosts Chris and David, who also do excellent evening meals on request.
Fairyhill Country House, Swansea
Fairyhill practically reinvented the concept of what a Welsh country house hotel should be, and it’s still one of the best around, with an award-winning restaurant, fabulous wine cellar, and an utterly contemporary style, all in sumptuous old world surroundings in a beautiful bit of Gower. Perfect.
Lanlas Farm, Lampeter, Ceredigion
The owners of this classic Ceredigion smallholding, Louise and Cathy, are both qualified healers, making Lanlas Farm the ideal retreat for a rejuvenating break in the Cambrian Mountains, where two self-catering holiday cottages have been converted from the original stable and coach house.
The Windmill, Anglesey
There are stunning sea views out to Puffin Island from the wonderful self-catering mill, which dates back to 1741. The Windmill has been designed to be a perfect blend of luxury, tranquility and comfort, with two luxury bedrooms on the upper floors. White Beach Cove is a 15-minute walk away, while medieval Beaumaris a short drive.