Thinking about it, when John Whitehead Greaves founded Llechwedd Quarry in Gwynedd, Wales in the year 1836, I wonder if he ever imagined that his place of business would evolve so much. Today, long after the demand of slate went into decline, this location has become a place synonymous with historic value, natural beauty and adventure.
As a boutique hotel, Plas Weunydd offers more than just comfort and style and is a valuable historic experience for guests and visitors. Not only is the area, which has remained in the Greaves family for over 150 years, of significant value for its beauty, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site (decision made 2021.)
The quarry may once have been a vista of grey stone caverns and dust, where the clanking of machinery and the coarse sounds of hard work were the lifeblood of the slate industry but today it beats to a different pulse. Families, couples, solitary travellers and those seeking comfort and adventure in equal measure come to enjoy what has become a well visited place of stunning beauty.
Ensuring that every aspect of the caverns and landscape can be properly enjoyed has been a priority for the minds behind Plas Weunydd attractions. The hotel and glamping site, the world’s only underground trampoline park (Bounce Below) and Zip World Slate Caverns, provide unique and captivating ways to appreciate this special slice of history.
“There are also numerous beaches, castles and mountains all within a short drive of the hotel,” says Adam Lemalle, Marketing and Events manager for Plas Wuenydd, “But we have many guests who travel across the whole country or even further afield to visit us.”
THE BOUTIQUE HOTEL EXPERIENCE
Catering to the full range of modern day travellers, Llechwedd Glamping offers six en-suite, five star rated safari tents for the intrepid glamper seeking to enjoy the sort of glamorous camping experience that North Wales is famous for. For those who favour hotels, Plas Weunydd offers 24 en-suite bedrooms styled in a contemporary, family-friendly environment featuring the art work of local artists.
Adam explains that they wanted the hotel to be comfortable and trendy, whilst also referencing the rich cultural heritage of the building and quarry as a whole. This is particularly evident in the bar and restaurant which features many images and maps from its 200-year history.
“We have found that keeping the history of a place alive is part of the splendour and magic of the place,” he says.
Llechwedd, as an attraction was opened in 1972 following the decline in the demand for slate during the 20th Century. They first opened with a Miner’s tramway tour, before the famous Llechwedd Deep Mine tour followed in 1979.
Originally, Plas Weunydd was built as the on-site residence of John Whitehead Greaves over 150 years ago. It stayed as the family residence until the mid 20th Century, when it became the site offices for the attractions. After a number of years unoccupied, a plan was put together to convert it into a boutique hotel, serving guests visiting for Llechwedd, Zip World and Snowdonia in general.
MODERN DAY PRECAUTIONS
Only recently established, the new hotel has been born into an industry that is only now coming into the light after all that happened in 2020. So, unlike many larger hotels or hotel chains that have had to adapt and pivot to meet the requirements and assurances of the modern day traveller, Plas Wuenydd has started its journey with these in mind.
“We feature industry leading Covid procedures that are ever present but not looming,” Adam explains, “There is a balance to be found. Guests feel reassured when they can see that cleaning, sterilizing and precautions are put into place but do not wish to feel that these are encroaching upon their enjoyment of their stay.”
According to Adam, relationships with guests, the team of twenty staff and local businesses is paramount in making the hotel a success. Boutique hotels that offer something different thrive in an environment where people are talking about them in a favourable light. Especially in today’s social media savvy world, hotels need to offer much more than just a room, a mattress and a comfortable pillow.
“With today’s standards a successful hotel can leave nothing out,” says Adam, “The showers have to be better than the showers they have at home, the beds and pillows must provide the best sleep ever and the hotel needs to work to make the most of the location. Today a hotel needs to be a destination on itself and not just a place to stay.”
And, crucially, they must always develop and change with trends and tastes. Adam reveals that they hope to offer even more accommodation styles as they build on the success they have had with their glamping site and their brand new hotel.
The average price per room, per night for the hotel is £120, whilst the glamping tents are £150 per tent, per night and sleep up to six people.
ADDRESS: Plas Weunydd, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd. LL41 3NB
TELEPHONE NUMBER: 01766 610 006