Best hotels in Pembrokeshire 2023: Where to stay for Welsh coastal charm

Sea views and revamped style make a stay at Roch Castle anything but kitsch  (Roch Castle)
Sea views and revamped style make a stay at Roch Castle anything but kitsch (Roch Castle)

With an insanely wave-battered, cove-riven, cliff-lined coast that looks like something out of an Enid Blyton novel, many a pretty fishing village, a sprinkling of puffin-filled islands and an interior of moors and crags where some of Britain’s most ancient stones stand, Pembrokeshire is beautiful, wild and mysterious.

However you plan on spending your time here, whether breathing in the ocean air while hiking to the Blue Lagoon, making leisurely visits to picturesque villages or coasteering and watching out for wildlife (weather permitting) – or perhaps something altogether more sheltered – you’ll find some of Wales’s most enticing hotels can be found in Pembrokeshire.

Be it a Georgian manor romantically ensconced in wooded grounds, a Norman castle with a pinch of 21st-century cool, a slick spa hotel with big sea views, or an architect-revamped windmill, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to your stay in this part of Wales.

So, whether your checklist features having an indoor pool at your disposal, sprawling grounds for you and any four-legged travel companions, or perhaps close proximity to the best of the Pembrokeshire food scene, read on for our absolute favourites.

The best hotels in Pembrokeshire are:

Best country manor hotel: Crug Glâs

Location: St Davids

Crug Glâs (Crug Glâs)
Crug Glâs (Crug Glâs)

The welcome is perfectly pitched at this gorgeous country manor, run with love, a sharp eye for detail and a passion for home-cooking by Janet and Perkin Evans, who bought the place to farm beef and cereals back in 1987. Nowadays, it’s a classy old-fashioned escape, decorated with flair and an eclectic mix of antiques, local art – including some fabulously moody Pembrokeshire coastscapes – country cottage colours (sage greens and cornflower blues), heritage-print wallpapers, heavy drapes and Melin Tregwynt cushions and throws.

Each room is wholly individual, whether it’s Room 1, with its king-sized four-poster, fireplace and copper bathtub, the Cottage Suite in a renovated barn, or the stone-clad Coach House (big enough for families), with floor-to-ceiling windows, spa bath and a bed made from wood sourced from the grounds.

There’s lots of history, too: Crug Glâs was mentioned in the 12th-century Black Book of Carmarthen, and Janet’s ancestors lived here as tenants in the 1600s. Location? Fab. You’re just a pebble-throw away from St Davids and Abereddi’s iridescent Blue Lagoon. Green credentials? Outstanding. The hotel produces all of its energy with its own wind turbine.

Make sure you book a table for dinner. Janet is modest about her talents, but her cooking shines in menus that reveal a profound love of place: from wild mushrooms with truffle oil to coracle-caught sewin (sea trout) with samphire and dauphinoise and the farm’s own beef (the best fillet steak you’re ever likely to eat).

Best coastal B&B: Manor Town House

Location: Fishguard

Manor Town House (Manor Town House)
Manor Town House (Manor Town House)

It bills itself as a B&B by the sea but, trust us, the Manor Town House is so much more. This Grade II-listed, pale-blue town house is an immediate attention-grabber in Fishguard, which combines sleepy harbour life with the buzz of a proper port (ferries chug over to Rosslare in Ireland from here).

Decked out in breezy whites and blues and sprinkled with Victorian walnut furnishings and Welsh fabrics, the rooms reveal the interior-design background of the lovely owners, Helen and Chris Sheldon. The superior sea-view rooms are the dream, with window seats for watching storms and sunsets over Cardigan Bay.

But the welcome clinches it: whether you want a Pembrokeshire-style afternoon tea on the garden terrace, or tips on hiking the coast path, your hosts oblige. And forget the bog-standard fry-up in the morning. Helen is a breakfast genius, rustling up treats such as star-anise-scented plum pots with local yoghurt and granola, and toasted sourdough with whipped ricotta and roast thyme-scented peaches.

Price: Sea-view doubles from £160, B&B

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Best castle hotel: Roch Castle

Location: Roch

Roch Castle (Roch Castle)
Roch Castle (Roch Castle)

Some castle stays feel kitsch and contrived, but not Roch. A whisper away from Newgale’s wave-battered, pebble-backed, two-mile beach, this stylishly revamped Norman castle sits high on a crag looking out across country and coast. A stone staircase twists up to a fire-warmed guest lounge and understated, monochrome rooms bearing the hallmark of Welsh-born architect Keith Griffiths. The art draws on Pembrokeshire, with nature-inspired ceramics, tapestries and paintings by Amanda Wright, Brendan Stuart Burns and Dan Wright.

For moody sea views, the Ap Gryffydd room with its arched window niche wins. Go out of season and you might get lucky and have the castle largely to yourself.

Best spa hotel: St Brides Spa Hotel

Location: Saundersfoot

St Brides Spa Hotel (St Brides Spa Hotel)
St Brides Spa Hotel (St Brides Spa Hotel)

Taking in the full sweep of Saundersfoot Bay from its clifftop perch, St Brides is like a gulp of fresh ocean air. This is a hotel designed with light and space in mind, with floor-to-ceiling windows, white walls, seascapes, driftwood sculptures and pops of blue and green in every colour-chart shade.

Even if it didn’t have – dare we say it – the best spa in Wales, we’d still be tempted. But the fact you can drift off in the thermal suite with marine-themed treatments (a seaweed wrap or an algae facial, say) and wallow in the harbour-facing infinity pool on even the foulest of days is a delight.

The Cliff restaurant has wraparound coastal views and a region-driven menu, but if the weather behaves, you might fancy heading down to Marina instead, for beer-battered fish with beef-dripping cooked chips.

Best for art and architecture: Twr Y Felin

Location: St Davids

Twr Y Felin (Twr Y Felin)
Twr Y Felin (Twr Y Felin)

The tiny, cathedral-topped coastal city of St Davids is as busy as a beehive in summer – and no wonder. Some of Pembrokeshire’s loveliest bays, clifftop walks and finest restaurants are right here. As is Twr y Felin, a strikingly converted windmill now expanded into a slickly minimalist hotel. Welsh architect Keith Griffiths is behind the décor and impressive art collection, making portraits by street artist Pure Evil pop on blank walls. He plays with light and shadow, texture and space in pared-back luxe rooms, none more special than the three-level windmill suite.

Awarded the Green Key eco-label for sustainability, the hotel treads lightly, with EV charging points, water-saving taps, solar panelling and paperless check-ins.

Seductively dark and deliciously intimate, Blas restaurant is at the helm of Pembrokeshire’s food scene, taking seasonality and provenance seriously in dishes like Solva crab with radish, sea lettuce and dill.

Best boutique hotel: Llys Meddyg

Location: Newport

Llys Meddyg (Llys Meddyg)
Llys Meddyg (Llys Meddyg)

This Grade II-listed Georgian coaching inn is in Newport. No, not that Newport, the other one that looks like a scene from a 1950s Ladybird book. Owners Louise and Ed Sykes have taken this ivy-swaddled, stone townhouse and transformed it into the most magical little hotel and restaurant. They’ve kept original flair in wainscoting and slate, characterful reclaimed wood and blankets from nearby woollen mill Melin Tregwynt, but added their own bold dashes of creativity with rich colours and artworks (including some fabulously moody seascapes by Peter Daniels).

By day, you can head down the road to wind-whipped, lighthouse-topped Strumble Head and coast path-rimmed Dinas Island, or join Ed for a seashore and hedgerow foraging walk. Some of what you find might land on your plate at dinner, with expertly composed dishes such as smoked salmon with cucumber and fennel or confit shoulder of lamb with betroot and capers beautifully served in the herb-scented Kitchen Garden or 16th-century Cellar Bar.

Best fantasy country escape: The Grove of Narberth

Location: Narberth

The Grove of Narberth (The Grove of Narberth)
The Grove of Narberth (The Grove of Narberth)

Turn down the private lane, past blooming meadows dancing with butterflies and gardens plumed with ancient oaks in the honeyed light of a summer’s afternoon and – oh my – you might pinch yourself when you see this whitewashed manor. Step inside and it’s love: Arts and Crafts interiors, magnificent bouquets and stupidly romantic rooms sprinkled with local art, textiles and pottery, and antiques. Beds, some four-poster, are draped in silk-soft sheets.

There are paths to ramble in the 26-acre grounds (dogs welcome), a lakeside terrace for drinks, and hands-down one of the region’s finest restaurants. The Fernery wows with punchy tasting menus, zinging with foraged touches in ingredient-led dishes such as squab with celeriac, plumb and nasturtium.

Sustainability-wise The Grove is leagues ahead, with 100 per cent renewable energy, fresh spring water, reforestation projects and an emphasis on traceability in the kitchen.

Best Gothic hideaway: Penally Abbey

Location: Tenby

Penally Abbey (Penally Abbey)
Penally Abbey (Penally Abbey)

Perhaps it will be the heart-lifting views of gardens staggering down to a silvery sea that will grab you. Or maybe the romance of the house itself: a Strawberry Gothic manor that’s all graceful arches and trailing ivy, ripe for a period drama. Then again, it could be the history: St Teilo (patron saint of fruit trees and, erm, horses) was born in the village in the 6th century and the ruined chapel in the grounds nods to a thriving medieval religious community. Either way, Penally Abbey is pretty special, sitting on a rise and gazing longingly out across Carmarthen Bay.

Tenby is just a half-hour walk away, but you’d never tell as you wander these peacefully wooded gardens. The Boissevain family has revamped the manor with utmost taste and care. The light, elegantly understated rooms never put a foot wrong style-wise, with pastoral prints, snow-white bedspreads, beautifully restored antiques and soft Farrow & Ball colours. It’s grander still in the candlelit restaurant, where chandeliers, polished parquet and magnificent murals set the scene for dishes that sing of foraged and locally farmed ingredients, such as pork collar with wild garlic, sesame dressing, kohlrabi and three-cornered leek.

Best historic mansion: Lamphey Court

Location: Lamphey

Lamphey Court (Lamphey Court)
Lamphey Court (Lamphey Court)

The Best Western hotel is elevated to a new level at Lamphey Court, sitting in acres of mature grounds, just a couple of miles inland from the dune-fringed, wave-hammered sands of Freshwater East. First impressions of this Georgian mansion: very smart, with its neoclassical columns, topiaries and flowery gardens. While the rooms are less grand (though still comfy and modern), the hotel charms, with an indoor pool and spa and – most exciting of all – vast medieval bishop’s palace hidden in its grounds. The Coach House studios have tons of space for families. The restaurant is mediocre though – skip it.

On the doorstep, you’ll find some of southern Pembrokeshire’s loveliest beaches, among them Swanlake Bay and cliff-wrapped Barafundle. The footpath to the latter begins in Stackpole, where, incidentally, the Stackpole Inn serves cracking “walkers” lunches and locally caught fish (in the beer garden, when weather permits).

Best for rustic romance: Slebech Park Estate

Location: Haverfordwest

Slebech Park Estate (Slebech Park Estate)
Slebech Park Estate (Slebech Park Estate)

Follow the track to this fortress-like Georgian manor on the shores of a sweeping tidal estuary and relish the silent, ever-changing light and space. Sprawling across 700 acres of meadows, woodlands and wetlands, this estate has a time-lost, quiet beauty all of its own. The look and feel of the place differs from most country piles in Pembrokeshire, but it works: rough stone walls, rooms gathered around a courtyard filled with the scent of woodsmoke, chic, neo-rustic rooms with high ceilings, arched windows, ochre tones, hand-crafted wooden furniture and pared-back design. Little details matter, too: from the organic Osmè toiletries in the wet-room bathrooms to the maps plotting out estate walks.

Tucked away and easily overlooked despite being just a few miles from the A40 that blazes through Pembrokeshire, this is a wonderful back-to-nature bolthole for days spent hiking, cycling, wildlife watching (look out for ospreys, otters, egrets and kingfishers), and exploring walled gardens and church ruins on an estate that has been visited by kings, queens, Vikings and the Knights Templar over the centuries.

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