Penally Abbey exudes bonhomie. Many hotels claim it, but few can truly pull it off: you instantly relax and feel at home. Owners Lucas and Melanie Boissevain have brought the lovely late 18th-century Strawberry Gothic House, with characteristic ogee head doors and windows, stunningly back to life; now you enter a spacious hallway with wood-burning stove; there follows a bar that opens on to a pretty conservatory, an elegant yet homely sitting room and a glamorous candlelit dining room set with white-clothed tables. Melanie’s look – she is an interior designer – mixes an appropriately traditional feel with judiciously stylish touches, and the 11 bedrooms are equally charming: restful and comfortable spaces, most with sea views, in which it’s a pleasure to while away time. Each one includes a delightful hand-illustrated guide of things to do and see in the area. It sums up the charms of this exceptional hotel and its lovely gardens where, by the way, the food is very good too. Doubles from £160.
Name to Know: Receptionists Lizzie and Alison, who are always full of great ideas for things to do. Head to the cosy reception and plan your Pembrokeshire adventure.
See: Barafundle Bay and Broad Haven South beach, the most beautiful beaches in Pembrokeshire.
Eat: At The Pembrokeshire Beach food at Freshwater West for their fresh Pembrokeshire lobster rolls or at the Salt Cellar in Tenby for wonderful, delicious food from passionate and talented chefs.
Buy: A jar of Coedcanlas marmalade or honey – made in Pembrokeshire and served with our breakfasts every day. Purchased it at our reception.
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