A hotel in North Wales has been awarded a “perfect 10” as it is named the top venue in the UK. The Daily Telegraph compiled a list of the finest hotels across Britain and only one received 10 out of 10.

That site is Pale Hall, in Llandderfel, near Bala. The manor house has played host to some of Britain’s most famous figures including Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill and re-opened in 2016 as an 18 bedroom hotel after a major restoration project by Alan and Angela Harper.

The following year the site was awarded five star status from the AA – the first in North Wales to get that accolade for a decade and currently the only venue with five stars. Its kitchen has also been turning heads under head chef Gareth Stevenson. The Henry Robertson Dining Room at Pale Hall has a Green Michelin Star, an award that recognises sustainable practices with high ethical and environmental standards.

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Now the Telegraph has rated it as the best hotel in the UK. This comes just days after Ynyshir in Machynlleth was named the best UK restaurant at the National Restaurant Awards 2022. It shows how far hospitality has come in recent years in the region which also boasts 10 sites in the Michelin Guide.

When it came to Pale Hall Telegraph reviewers heaped praise on the hotel before giving it a perfect score.

They said: “You can really make an entrance at Palé Hall. Designed in flamboyant Jacobean style for high-flying railway engineer Henry Robertson in 1871, it is fabulously regal, with its spire, porte-cochère, stained-glass skylight and a grand hall, hand-stencilled by the owner. Time has been kind to the manor, with every intricate tile intact, every beautifully carved wooden banister gleaming partly because it was barely used when owned by the Duke of Westminster in the 1950s as a base for shooting.

“The wealth of period features are complemented by owner Angela Harper’s keen eye for decoration, making liberal use of antiques, Zoffany and Sanderson wallpapers, paintings (including Snowdonia artist Rob Reen’s striking canvases of sheep) and collections of glass.”

The review added: “Palé Hall has a new string to its eco-friendly bow, as the holder of Wales’ first Michelin Green Star, awarded for impeccable eco credentials. The hotel has its own carbon-neutral source of energy, courtesy of its on-site hydroelectric plant, protects wildlife habitats and offers free electric vehicle charging points. Head chef Gareth Stevenson takes sustainability seriously, too, as reflected in his carefully composed menus playing up provenance and seasonality.”

Pale Hall Hotel - exterior photo in the sunshine
Palé Hall in Llandderfel, Gwynedd, has been ranked 10/10 by a Telegraph reviewer – the only to score this ranking out of 50 hotels across the UK

Rooms were described as “downright decadent” – adding “exquisite timelessness to the décor here, with even televisions being disguised as gilt-framed mirrors and a bottle of finest Welsh mead awaiting instead of a minibar”.

On food and drink, they said: “Now we’re talking. The food at Palé Hall speaks of an accomplished chef that takes pride in sustainable, season-driven sourcing – and of one who knows how to whip it all together with precision, panache and the lightest of creative touches. Head chef Gareth Stevenson’s star keeps on rising and his secret is this: strike up a good relationship with farmers and fishermen and let outstanding local ingredients – lamb, black beef, venison, game, seafood, cheese – shine in dishes that are deceptively simple on paper.”

Anyone who did want to leave has both Snowdonia and the Berwyn Mountains on the doorstep, not to mention Bala and Llyn Tegid.

It all adds up to a faultless score with even value for money coming in at 10/10 and another fantastic advert for the site and North Wales


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