The word ‘luxury’ is overused – as are the words ‘tranquillity’ and ‘unique.’ Yet, as I discovered at Plas Robin’s retreats in the heart of rural Wales, sometimes justifiable.
The breathtaking views from these two bespoke holiday homes perched atop the rolling Welsh hillside, do most of the talking.
However, it’s only after staying in one of them, the Shepherd’s Rest lodge, for three nights that we could truly appreciate the true magic and gentle pace of life it offers.
This exquisitely designed holiday home is equipped with every modern comfort. But it’s the design and attention to detail that elevates it to the next level of luxury. Owners David and Carol have made the most of every inch of its biggest asset – the spectacular vista – full-length bifold glass doors perfectly framing the views from your armchair.
Families, couples, friendship groups – and, quite simply, anyone who loves nature or is in need of some much-needed RnR.
Shepherd’s Rest sleeps four in two bedrooms, one with en suite shower room which, like the bathroom, is exquisitely presented and scrupulously clean. There was even a fluffy robe and slippers for each of us. (It is very easy to just lounge around in an environment that quickly left us feeling unravelled from the stresses of our lives.)
The master bedroom’s king-size bed is so sumptuous, that I didn’t want to climb out of it. I felt so rested following my stay, that I could barely summon the energy to drive home – or maybe that was more about wanting to not go home at all.
The contemporary open-plan kitchen and living area are equipped with all the gadgetry and cooking utensils even the most enthusiastic chef could ever need.
The SMART TVs in the living area (and both bedrooms) meant we could truly kick back and relax.
Thoughtful touches can be found in every corner from the jar of bath salts in the bathroom to the ice bucket and hot tub side table for that all-important wine resting place. We really appreciated the welcome hamper of other local produce, including cake, eggs and chocolate that got our stay off to a seamless start.
All the sundries are laid on, including cling film, foil, tea and coffee, fresh milk and sugar. Plus there’s locally-sourced milk in the fridge.
It was sunny and so we made use of the many comfortable outdoor seating areas and watched as country life unfolded; kites and buzzards, sheep, chickens and Welsh ponies. We can even help ourselves to some fresh eggs from the hen house in the morning. And as for that sunset. . .
The only visitor during our long weekend was the owners’ friendly dog who invented a new game of fish the stick out of the hot tub for us. Hours of entertainment.
And, whilst not bemoaning the fine weather we did miss the opportunity of cosying up in front of the inviting log burner – literally the only thing that could have possibly made this stay even more relaxing. Perfect for the colder months. Certainly not needed however with underfloor heating that kept us toasty throughout.
We discovered that the optimum vantage point from which to soak up the scenery was the hot tub that overlooks acres of fields and valleys below. There’s also a free to use BBQ.
There’s good wifi connection taking into account the remote locations and Netflix did experience some buffering!
Between £1,400-£2,100 per week. – Not just premium accommodation but premium views. If you can afford it – and you want the best, this is worth the price tag for the full monty!
Within a short four-mile drive of Plas Robin, is the pretty little town of Montgomery. It was a delight to while away a couple of hours in the beautiful timber-framed shops and tearooms while also picking up some local produce.
A short drive away a little off the beaten track is the family-run Kerry Vale Vineyard. It’s ideal for afternoon tea, a light bite or a wine tasting and also the full vineyard tour experience such as a guided Vineyard Tour with Wine Tasting, Tour with Cheese and Wine or Tour with Sparkling Afternoon Tea.
The vineyard sits on a six-acre site of great archaeological interest, once part of the ancient Roman site of Pentreheyling Fort, a vicus (provincial civilian settlement), on the edge of a number of Roman marching camps and was once occupied by Bronze Age funerary monuments, a druid road and a medieval settlement – with Offa’s Dyke just a field away!
Today it is proud home to 6,000 vines of four varieties of wine – Rondo, Pinot Noir, Phoenix and Solaris, ideally suited for the English climate. Take time to browse the quaint Cellar door gift shop for some unusual local souvenirs too.
VerdictFor a short, rejuvenating break in lush countryside, Shepherd’s Rest lodge may well fit the bill.