Epic Retreats: boutique cabins in amazing places 

Image of contemporary cabin overlooking fields

Animated Forest, Epic Retreats pop up boutique hotel

 by Epic Retreats

As part of a new Channel 4 series, eight design teams have competed to build the world’s best pop-up boutique cabins – and you can now book a one-of-a-kind Welsh holiday experience in their award-winning designs. 

They’ve all been created for the Epic Retreats  project, which invited architects from across the world to design unique glamping cabins themed on the mythology, traditions and beauty of Wales.

Image of a lit up cabin in a field at dusk

Arthur's Cave, Epic Retreats pop up boutique hotel 

 by Epic Retreats

The final step was to find the most breath-taking locations in which to site the cabins – and make them available to let throughout the summer of 2017. 

And what’s more, you can watch the whole adventure unfold on a new four-part Channel 4 series, Cabin Fever.

Where and when?

It’s happening in two of Wales’s most stunning locations. In June, the cabins will be in southern Snowdonia, scattered around near Castell y Bere, a ruined castle that was built on a rocky hillock overlooking the gorgeous Dysynni Valley by Llewellyn the Great in the 1220s. 

Image of the Little Dragon structure at the bottom of a hill

Little Dragon, Epic retreats pop up boutique hotel

 by Epic Retreats

The spot has been chosen for its rural beauty and seclusion, but it’s not far from two fine market towns, Dolgellau and Machynlleth. The seaside resorts of Barmouth, Tywyn and Aberdyfi are nearby, as is the mighty bulk of Cader Idris, one of our most iconic mountains.  

In July they’ll move up to the Llŷn Peninsula, where they’ll stay until September.

What’s on the itinerary?

If you go for the midweek Legendary Package, it’s full-board, with trips to pubs, restaurants, tours and entertainment. 

It’s a tailored experience for each small group, complete with the best local chefs cooking the finest local ingredients, and the chance to discover epic stories around every corner with a professional guide and immersive tours. 

Interior image of the Miner's Hut looking out to fields

Miner's Hut, Epic Retreats pop up boutique hotel 

 by Epic Retreats

In their words: 

‘We don’t just want you to visit Wales, we want you to live it! We pledge to surprise and delight you with little extras along the way.’

What are the cabins like?

Beautifully designed, obviously – and all come with a double bed, kitchen, living area, ensuite bathroom and a woodburner. You’ll also get a welcome pack on arrival, bed linen and towels – and plenty of logs. 

Close up of Welsh blanket and Welsh lady figurine

The Black Hat, Epic Retreats pop up boutique hotel

 by Epic Retreats

They’re set far enough apart from each other to give a sense of splendid isolation and panoramic views, but close enough to share communal facilities (things like fridges, campfire, barbecue and dining area).

Interior image of the slate cabin looking out over fields

Slate Cabin, Epic Retreats pop up boutique hotel 

 by Epic Retreats

The eight original designs each have their own quirks. For instance, the Cabin in the Woods is designed to resemble a creature negotiating its way through the woodland, while Dragon’s Eye has a round rotating bed and a stunning view of the Welsh landscape through the full height glass ‘eye’. 

Image of the Dragon's Eye structure lit up at night

Dragon's Eye, Epic Retreats pop up boutique hotel 

 by Epic Retreats

SKYHUT is a glamper’s observatory whose roof opens to reveal Wales’s magnificent night sky. Or you can choose from Arthur’s Cave, Black Hat, Little Dragon, Slate Cabin and Miner’s Legend. A ninth cabin has been specially designed by the creators of a Channel 4 TV documentary. 

Image of the sky light in the Black Hat structure

The Black Hat, Epic Retreats pop up boutique hotel 

 by Epic Retreats

Tell me more…

Glad you asked. Cabin Fever is a four-part Channel 4 TV series that follows the eight design teams as they create their cabins. It’ll show the thinking behind their designs, how they were built from Welsh materials, and how they’re being seamlessly blended into the Welsh landscape. 

Exterior image of the Black Hat structure and nearby stream

The Black Hat, Epic Retreats pop up boutique hotel

 by Epic Retreats

The show’s presenters, Dick Strawbridge and Will Hardie, are also getting in on the act by designing and building their own cabin. So you can watch the series and decide which one’s your favourite – and then book it for a Welsh holiday experience unlike any other.

• The first episode of Cabin Fever was broadcast on Channel 4 on May 22 at 9pm.  You can view previous episodes on Channel 4 catch-up.  
• Find out more or book a break directly from Epic Retreats.