The UK’s first vineyard hotel has opened its doors in Hensol in South Wales.
Llanerch Hotel is the result of a £2m investment by Ryan Davies, owner of Llanerch Vineyard, which is home to the award-winning Cariad wines.
The two-storey hotel, situated in the heart of the vineyard, which is just 20 minutes from Cardiff, comprises 26 rooms and suites, each with uninterrupted views of the Welsh countryside.
As well as Llanerch’s popular wine tasting and vineyard tours, Llanerch is also home to an award-winning restaurant, which serves lunch, dinner and afternoon teas in the vineyard throughout the week.
As well as the new rooms, including several accessible rooms and dog-friendly rooms, the new hotel includes additional meeting and conference rooms for corporate events.
“To become the first vineyard hotel in the UK is a fantastic achievement for the team at Llanerch,” said Ryan Davies, owner of Llanerch Vineyard. “Across Europe, wine hotels are very popular and we wanted to bring that unique experience to south Wales.”
Ryan took over the vineyard, which is one of the oldest in Wales, in 2010 with the aim to replicate the successful wine tourism models he had seen whilst working in vineyards in New Zealand and Australia, where vineyards are tourist attractions in their own right, offering restaurants, weddings and events, in addition to traditional wine tasting and vineyard experiences.
Since then, Llanerch has become the largest commercial vineyard in Wales and attracts visitors from around the world with its award-winning restaurant and bar, unique marquee and lodge wedding venues, on site cookery school owned by Angela Grey and wine tasting and vineyard tours.
Ryan Davies said: “We have had a number of B&B rooms available at the vineyard since 2010, but as the business grew, so did the demand for accommodation at Llanerch. The popularity of Cardiff, which is just 20 minutes away, as an events destination for everything from rugby to high profile concerts has also pushed up demand for high quality accommodation in south Wales.
“This has been a vision for Llanerch for many years. We have managed every aspect of this project – the biggest we’ve ever undertaken – ourselves to ensure that the hotel offers the highest quality and that every detail has been thought about, from luxury in-room products to maximising the spectacular scenery enjoyed by every room.”
The superior rooms at Llanerch Hotel are 42 sq ft and include a super king size bed with a large sofa and living area and a luxury ensuite bathroom with shower.
The four suites, located in each corner of the hotel, are over 45 sq ft and include a bedroom with super king size bed, as well as a large living room with sofas and a seating area, which can be separated by a partition, and a luxury ensuite bathroom with shower.
The vineyard’s existing courtyard rooms, set in one of the vineyard’s original stone outbuildings, have also been fully refurbished in keeping with the new hotel.
Each room has a large widescreen smart TV, allowing guests to stream from their own devices, a Nespresso coffee maker and kettle and luxury interiors, including Welsh wool blankets, made at Pembrokeshire’s traditional woollen mill Melin Tregwynt, and art by local photographer Andy Stoyle.
The new hotel, which was constructed using only local contractors and builders, will now employ up to 20 new members of staff.
Llanerch’s award-winning wines, branded as Cariad (meaning ‘sweetheart’ or ‘dearest’ in Welsh), are made from the vines at the vineyard, which are a mixture of French and German hybrids, well-suited to the Welsh climate.
Llanerch now harvests up to 12 tonnes of grapes and produces around 10,000 bottles of Cariad wine annually. Available as a sparkling blush, a sparkling brut, a dry white, a medium dry white and a rose, the wines are available in Llanerch restaurant and the onsite vineyard shop.