This Edwardian mansion overlooking Carmarthen Bay and the Gower Peninsula is located on a wooded hillside, capturing all that is scenically best about this spectacularly beautiful part of Wales. The blend of contemporary and traditional makes for a memorable stay in this large, independent hotel where the service is local and friendly.
The comfortable accommodation ranges from twin rooms to the Parc Apartment and all points between. Eighty two rooms means that there is something to suit everybody and each room has been individually styled with contemporary en-suite facilities that include wireless internet access, telephone and fax facilities. A full Welsh breakfast is served in the picturesque Samphires restaurant.
Guests also have access to the rooftop lounge, needless to say the highest point of the hotel, with incredible views across sea and coast. Conspicuously art deco, the lounge is sensitively lit, has a gleaming black piano and make an idea hideaway for complete relaxation, a quiet drink or an exclusive party.
It cannot be said often enough that at the heart of a good hotel is a restaurant that panders to the inner man, and Samphires is no exception. Named after the vibrant green plant that grows in many tidal estuaries, it has a salty and succulent texture which is frequently cooked briefly in butter, but responds so well to a little gentle steaming.
In a location such as this it must be a great temptation to monitor on the fruits of the omnipresent sea which is such a wonderful part of the hotel but however much this might suit some guests a wider approach has to be, and is, considered. Broccoli tends to attract an adverse reaction, but not when it is imaginatively combined with cream and chives to become an appealing soup, served with walnut bread.
Black mountain smoked salmon and prawn cushions is served with a traditional Marie rose vinaigrette, to offer a fine prelude to such dishes as roast pheasant served with red cabbage and a rich elderberry port jus. Vegetarians are well looked after and a Moroccan vegetable tagine is well laced with herbs and spices before being served with pita bread and cous cous. Tradition is well served with smoked haddock perched cheerily on top of spring onion mash and topped with a poached egg and some Teifi Caerphilly cheese sauce.
Breakfast is clearly designed to equip guests for a healthy day out in the surrounding countryside, and whilst more restrained options are available the temptation of a full Welsh, complete with the uniquely Welsh laver bread, is one that many may be in no hurry to resist. Quite apart from anything else the Welsh have a way with sausages that is beguiling.
The area may be blessedly devoid of industrial or business communities, but lunch is still strongly featured and a three course meal offers exceptional. Glamorgan sausage with red onion marmalade, roast of the day, or baked ham glazed with Welsh red mustard is followed up by jam roly poly, or homemade crumble.
And whilst there be sure to sample the local Welsh single malt, an anathema possibly to those north of another border, but well worth more than passing attention. Samphires ticks all the boxes, is available to non residents as well as those fortunate enough to be staying. Their Website
will keep you up to date; the setting is timeless.