Photo of Gwynedd

About Gwynedd

Gwynedd is dramatically beautiful. Rugged, with famous, sky-scraping mountains and a jutting peninsula which alternates rocky headlands with beautiful scoops of beach. Many people come here without realising, just drawn to the challenges and magical scenery of Mount Snowdon and the Snowdonia National Park. Some even enjoy the variety of scaling the highest peak in England and Wales in the morning and resting their feet with a bit of a paddle on a beautiful sandy beach in the afternoon. Our recommendations for the best places to stay in Gwynedd are just as varied in their views. We’ve got some fantastic places to stay within Snowdonia National Park, coastal charmers, rural retreats and some great recommendations for families too.

What we do especially love about Gwynedd, and we’re not alone in this, are the really big spectacular views, so the highlights on our list of the best places to stay in Gwynedd all have fantastic outlooks - even if they’re set within a town or village, for that really needn’t be a barrier in Gwynedd!

Our list of the best places to stay in Gwynedd also favours a welcoming atmosphere and personalised touches. Gwynedd is well known for having a very strong Welsh identity - around 65% of people living in Gwynedd can speak Welsh, which is the largest percentage in Wales. And it’s not just the language, here traditional customs, cuisine and crafts are practiced and promoted, and it really adds to your experience if your hotel or B&B can help give you an introduction to these things.

What Not to Miss

  • Snowdonia National Park

If you’ve never been, and never seen a photo it’s probably not unreasonable to suggest you imagining Snowdonia National Park as being a combination of the Lake District and the Alps? With long, serene lakes, steep waterfalls, plenty of heather and low scrub, and the odd castle and steam railway to put the scale of things into perspective. And all the signage in both English and Welsh - which makes it seem like they’ve added a little bit of Middle Earth into the mix as well.
Walk, hike, climb, cycle, sail, canoe, kayak; watch ospreys, peregrines and buzzards; seek out the rare and protected Snowdon lily, the local salmon-like Gwyniad and red squirrels. As well as being a source of water and slate, this was the natural fortress for the rulers of the region and there are some fantastic true stories to uncover in Snowdonia.
Around 500,000 people summit Snowdon each year. There are a number of routes, the most spectacular being the Crib Goch arête, but, as with all routes, you really have to watch the weather as it’s not uncommon for people to run into difficulties because of a flash change in weather. There are numerous other mountains to climb, but Tryfan is another popular one, looking like a giant, fossilised stegosaurus, and Cadair Idris is very popular too.

  • The Llŷn Peninsula

Greener and more rolling than Snowdonia, the Llŷn Peninsula’s beauty rivals that of its famed neighbour the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, with long stretches of sandy beach, smaller, delightful cove beaches and some fantastically dramatic cliffs, headlands and peaks. The largest beach is Worth Neigwl, between Abersoch and Aberdaron, but Llanbedrog and Nefyn also have larger beaches. And there are numerous smaller, yet still lovely, ones. And if you’re after spectacular views head for Mynydd Penarfynedd. There’s also a rather charming Welsh language and culture centre at Porth y Nant, which until recently as a hamlet you could only access by sea. Llŷn Peninsula is also known for its ancient earthworks. Pwllheli and Porthmadog are good places to start looking for accommodation on the Llŷn Peninsula.

  • Gwynedd’s castles date from the 12th and 13th century when the Welsh resisted the rule of King John and Edward I. The impressive fortress Castell y Bere was the last stronghold of the Welsh Princes, and Dolbadarn and Dolwyddelan are also worth seeing. To see the other side of the fight visit Edward’s Harlech which looks threateningly across Tremadog Bay at the Welsh castle Criccieth.
  • Gwynedd also has some beautiful National Trust properties, including Plas yn Rhiw, just to the east of Aberdaron, and Penrhyn Castle, which is a mock-Norman extravagance built in the 19th century. Just to the east of the castle are The Spinnies, a collection of excellent bird hides where you can frequently see egrets and kingfishers. Parc Glynllifon, a glorious estate close to Caernarfon is also worth a visit, for the amphitheatre and arboretum especially. And while you’re in the vicinity you might want to visit Caernarfon’s World Heritage Listed, 13th century castle, built by Edward I and costing 90% of the crown’s annual income, and now home to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers Museum. After that you might want to visit Caernarfon’s charming old fashioned pubs and museums. Plus, in this part of Wales 85% of local people speak Welsh.
  • If you have children, or you’ve been a child, you might be familiar with the Railway Series of a certain Rev. W Awdry? Well anyone who’s a fan of steam railways will be very happy here, Gwynedd has a number to choose from, including the Talyllyn Railway, which is the inspiration for Skarloey’s narrow-gauge railway, the Snowdon Mountain Railway which climbs 3500 feet up Snowdon on the UK’s only rack-and-pinion railway, and the Ffestiniog Railway, the world’s oldest surfing narrow-gauge railway.
  • For a family fun day-out go to GreenWood Forest Park. Only 3 miles from Caernarfon, it is an outdoor adventure centre beloved by kids: there's an eco-friendly rollercoaster, zip-wire, playbarn and you can do everything from archery to boat-rides.
  • Bangor is the region’s largest city, but it still feels like a relatively small university town. This is where you’ll find the Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery. Dolgellau is within the Snowdonia National Park, close to Cadair Idris, and an important centre for traditional Welsh music; and Portmeirion is pretty.

Use our guide to the best places to stay in Gwynedd and start to plan your trip now.

The Best Places to Stay in Gwynedd

In the Snowdonia National Park

  • Pen-Y-Gwryd is a historic mountaineer's hotel in the heart of Snowdonia - right under the mountain itself. It offers cosy and unfussy rooms right by the mountains - perfect for hiking holidays.
  • Penmaenuchaf Hall Hotel is a charming, 14 room establishment with comfortable rooms, an excellent restaurant and great access to the countryside of the Snowdonia National Park and the trout and salmon of the nearby Wnion.
  • At the foot of Cadair Idris Mountain, the Cross Foxes is a small hotel of just six rooms. The decor is simple and contemporary and there’s an atmospheric bar and restaurant with a hearty menu. Rooms start from around £140 per night.
  • Palé Hall is set in a historic Victorian manor house next to Snowdonia. With elegantly traditional interiors and gorgeous surroundings, this is a top-notch country stay.
  • Close to Snowdonia National Park, the wonderfully Gothic Chateau Rhianfa, inspired by the castles of the Loire Valley, offers bedrooms in a traditional style but with contemporary furnishings - as well as three self-catering cottages. Come back after a long day hiking and enjoy a good book in their elegant sitting rooms.

On the Llŷn Peninsula

  • The Porth Tocyn Hotel is in a stunning spot overlooking the case and close to great surf beaches. There are 17 homely rooms, plus a great restaurant.

For Walkers

  • Ael y Bryn offers comfortable cream coloured accommodation and extensive gardens. Set in Snowdonia, there are a number of surrounding walking trails to explore whilst Royal St David's Golf Course is just a short distance away. Rooms start from around £70 per night.
  • The Penhelig Arms is a picturesque, waterfront hotel in the hearts of Aberdovey, with 15 charming rooms and wonderful sea views. There’s an onsite bar with a cosy fireplace and a restaurant serving locally sourced Welsh produce.

The Most Romantic Places to Stay in Gwynedd

  • The Old Rectory on the Lake is a romantic hideaway on the shores of serene lake Tal-y-llyn in the southern part of Snowdonia National Park. There are just four traditionally dressed rooms, done in soft colours, with fireplaces and fourposter beds. And it’s adults only I’m afraid, kids.
  • Palé Hall is set in a historic Victorian manor house next to Snowdonia. With elegantly traditional interiors and gorgeous surroundings, this is a top-notch country stay.
  • Close to Snowdonia National Park, the wonderfully Gothic Chateau Rhianfa, inspired by the castles of the Loire Valley, offers bedrooms in a traditional style but with contemporary furnishings - as well as three self-catering cottages. Come back after a long day hiking and enjoy a good book in their elegant sitting rooms.

In Caernarfon

  • Plas Dinas is a charming country house standing in 15 acre grounds. There are ten majestically-decorated rooms featuring plenty of antique furniture, old family portraits and objet d'art littered.
  • Ty Castell is a charming restaurant with 4 contemporary rooms in the heart of historic Caernarfon. All the rooms are light, with fireplaces and sash windows, and it’s all very comfortable and characterful.

For a rural retreat

  • The Saracens Head is a boutique county pub in the picturesque Snowdonia village of Beddgelert. There are just 11 rooms, all simple, chic and contemporary, and a hearty restaurant menu and plenty of accompanying ales.
  • Dolffanog Fawr is a country house in a particularly beautiful spot by Llyn Mwgngil lake. There are just four, individually styled, rooms with cosy fabrics and exposed stone walls. There’s also a sunny terrace - perfect for admiring the views.

For Families

  • The Hotel Portmeirion & Castell Deudraeth enjoys a terrific setting, right by the coast (with a beach area out front) and Snowdonia National Park to the other side. Come back after a day out hiking and go for a refreshing dip in the pool.

Great Value places to stay in Gwynedd

  • Y Meirionnydd is a quaint stay located in Snowdonia with Coed-y-Brenin's fantastic mountain biking just 8 miles away. Homely rooms and an atmospheric cellar restaurant with exposed stone walls and church pew seats. And rooms start from around £90 per night.

For an Apartment or Holiday Cottage

  • If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or private holiday let we recommend you visit our online partner, booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Cardiff Airport is directly linked to around 50 destinations, including all the main airline hubs, but it’s also a fairly short distance from Manchester airport and Liverpool airport, which are just across the border, and Heathrow, which is only three hours by road. Alternatively there are good rail links to many Welsh destinations from continental Europe and the rest of the UK, and you can cross to and from Ireland on the ferry, which takes under two hours from Dublin.
  • If you want to hire a car - which we highly recommend if you’re staying in Wales - we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.
  • Spring is beautiful in Wales. If you enjoy a stroll, be it around a castle grounds, up a mountain or along a rocky peninsula, then the mild, dry weather of spring is a good time for it. Plus there are lambs and birdsong. Summer in Wales is also appealing, what with the golden beaches looking almost as good as the Med. under the summer sun. Autumn is great for walkers, with the colours adding to Wales’s dramatic views and welcoming pub lunches to come in for. Plus the castles are at their most moody and dramatic looking too. In winter you might need to walk more briskly, or up higher mountains, to keep you warm, but there’s always a welcoming fire burning somewhere and plenty of colourful Christmassy events to keep you in good cheer.

Still not sure?


Monthly Weather in Gwynedd

Best Hotels in Gwynedd

  • Ael y Bryn Gwynedd 9 rooms from AU$134

    Sights nearby  -  Aberglasney House and Gardens
    Great walks  -  Ceredigion Coast Path
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    RestaurantGardenNo pets

    Quiet B&B views of Cardigan Bay. Cream coloured rooms have wrought iron beds, large windows and pine furniture. Conservatory, library and extensive gardens. Evening meals are served in cosy dining room. For a peaceful weekend, this is a lovely choice. See More

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  • Ty Castell Caernarfon (Gwynedd) 4 rooms from AU$150

    Local exploring  -  Perfectly positioned to discover all Caernarfon and Snowdonia have to offer.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the dramatic 13th century waterfront Caernarfon Castle, just steps away!
    Full of character
    RestaurantNo pets

    A charming restaurant with rooms in historic Caernarfon. Four beautifully styled rooms benefit from plenty of light flooding through the sash windows, open fireplaces and pops of colour coming from the Welsh tapestry bed spreads. With plenty to explore in the area this is the perfect weekend escape. See More

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  • Y Meirionnydd Dolgellau 5 rooms from AU$167

    Hideaway  -  A perfect retreat from everyday life- a charming country hotel with a cosy bar, fantastic restaurant and chic rooms.
    Great walks  -  Bring your walking boots and head out on the Mawddach trail with a lunch packed by the hotel.
    Sights nearby  -  The area is dotted with ancient castles and areas of interest, ask your hosts to guide you.
    Restrictions on children  -  Adults only
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    A quaint option at the heart of Snowdonia National Park. A former country jail now beautifully renovated. Rooms feature exposed stone walls, crisp white linen and comfortable beds. The intimate restaurant serves hearty food and there's a cosy bar. An ideal spot to return to after a day outdoors. See More

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  • Plas Tan-yr-Allt Gwynedd 3 rooms from AU$169

    Country Escape  -  A luxurious country stay surrounding by beautiful countryside.
    Restrictions on children  -  Adult only
    Full of character
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    RestaurantGardenParkingNo pets

    A luxury country house boasting glorious views across the picturesque countryside. Three individually styled rooms are traditionally dressed with antique furniture, soft hues and sink-into beds. With Snowdonia National Park on the doorstep this is the perfect rural escape. See More

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  • Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel Gwynedd 16 rooms from AU$169

    Hideaway  -  A hidden gem in this spectacular stretch of countryside, lose yourself amongst the picturesque hills and lakes.
    Great walks  -  Situated in the heart of Snowdonia this area boasts some of the finest walking in the British Isles.
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide

    An historic mountaineer's hotel offering characterful service, right under Snowdonia. Delightfully eccentric climbing inn with a range of comfortable sleeping options. With a hearty breakfast to start the day and a lively dinner upon your return! See More

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  • Penmaenuchaf Hall Hotel Gwynedd 14 rooms from AU$169

    Great walks  -  Excellent walking routes in the surrounding Snowdonia National Park.
    Fishing  -  Excellent trout and salmon fishing on the nearby Wnion.
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.

    Set amidst beautiful rolling woodlands, Penmaenuchaf Hall Hotel is a classy establishment. Whether you are in the region to fish or explore Snowdonia, the hotel offers great accommodation with comfortable rooms and an excellent restaurant. See More

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  • The Saracens Head Caernarfon, Gwynedd 11 rooms from AU$184

    Active Holiday  -  The nearby Snowdonia National Park offers a host of outdoor pursuits.
    Full of character
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyParking

    A boutique country pub set in the picturesque Snowdonia village of Beddgelert. A handful of rooms are simple and chic with crisp white linen, patterned wallpaper and contemporary furniture. Hearty food is served in the restaurant alongside a choice selection of ales. See More

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  • Penhelig Arms Aberdyfi, Gwynedd 15 rooms from AU$207

    Active Holiday  -  Whether on land or at sea there are plenty of challenging activitites.
    Great walks  -  The Torrent Walk, Precipice Walk, New Precipice Walk and Panorama Walk provide plenty of contrasting country to explore.
    Sailing  -  Dovey Yacht Club offer a range of lessons for all levels.
    Views  -  Lovely views over the water and boats.
    RestaurantPet friendlyViewsParking

    A picturesque waterfront hotel in the heart of Aberdovey, Gwynedd. The rooms marry original features with modern conveniences and wonderful sea views. There is a quaint on site bar with a cosy fireplace, and a restaurant serving locally sourced Welsh produce. Utterly charming. See More

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  • Dolffanog Fawr Gwynedd 4 rooms from AU$207

    Country Escape  -  A quaint country house located near the beautiful Llyn Mwgngil lake.
    Great walks  -  Find endless options from gentle coastal strolls to mountain hikes.
    Sights nearby  -  Spend an afternoon exploring Powis Castle and Gardens.
    Restrictions on children  -  Children over 10 are welcome
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide

    A charming country house set in an astonishingly beautiful part of rural Wales. Four individually styled rooms are simple and cosy with sink-in-to beds, cosy fabrics and exposed stone walls. A sunny terrace offers a spot to admire the views and the snug lounge is ideal after a day spent outdoors. See More

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  • Ty'n Rhos Caernarfon (nr. CAERNARFON) 19 rooms from AU$214

    Local exploring  -  Perfectly situated between Snowdonia National Park, Caernarfon and Bangor making for easy local exploration.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Caernarfon Castle, possibly the most famous of Wales’s castles.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyViewsParking

    A charming hotel in a glorious part of Wales. Simply styled rooms feature floor to ceiling windows (to enjoy the garden views), soft hues and modern bathrooms. A fine-dining restaurant is worthy of a visit alone. With numerous outdoor pursuits in the area this is the perfect country escape. See More

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  • Porth Tocyn Hotel Abersoch, Gwynedd 17 rooms from AU$216

    Surfing  -  Nearby beaches throw up good surf for those who want to suit up.
    Great walks  -  The surrounding coastline is full of wonderful walking routes.
    Birdwatching  -  The nearby coastline is home to wide variety of seabirds.
    Tennis  -  Have a game of tennis on the hotel's court.
    TennisRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    Combining a stunning location with an excellent hotel service, Porth Tocyn Hotel is a superb spot. Homely rooms, a great restaurant and lovely views all come together to create a stellar establishment on the Welsh coast. See More

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  • Plas Dinas Caernarfon 10 rooms from AU$261

    Historic  -  Steeped in Royal History, Plas Dinas still retains many family portraits, memorabilia and original furniture.
    Groups  -  Private Dining for up to 26 & Murder Mystery weekends.
    Fishing  -  Bala Lake, is the largest natural still water in North Wales, with the River Dee flowing through it.
    GardenPet friendlyDisabled accessParking
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays

    A fine old house steeped in character and history, set in beautiful 15 acre grounds between Snowdonia and the Irish Sea. Plas Dinas has a number of majestically decorated rooms and several dining options. This remote getaway is perfect for large groups looking for an active and luxurious weekend. See More

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  • Cross Foxes Dolgellau 6 rooms from AU$263

    Active Holiday  -  Set at the foot of Cadair Idris Mountain and with Snowdonia National Park nearby there is a host of activities available.
    Full of character
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    RestaurantDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    A smart small hotel boasting a fabulous location nestled at the foot of Cadair Idris Mountain. Individually styled rooms feature crisp white linen, exposed stone and simple contemporary furniture. An atmospheric bar and restaurant serves hearty food alongside a choice selection of ales. See More

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  • Hotel Portmeirion & Castell Deudraeth Porthmadog (Penrhyndeudraeth) 55 rooms from AU$280

    Architectural  -  The hotel was built on a wooded peninsula by the architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in 1926
    Great walks  -  See the dawn break over the mountains of Meirionnydd
    Sights nearby  -  Portmeirion Village offers fantastic garden visits.
    Other Activities  -  Organic Spa Treatments at Castell Deudraeth.
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide

    This eccentric resort was built by the architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis to show how a naturally beautiful site could be developed without spoiling it. Hotel Portmeirion and Castell Deudraeth each have a unique design and give a fantastic opportunity to stay in this charming village and explore. See More

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  • Palé Hall Bala, Gwynedd 18 rooms from AU$507

    Foodies  -  Palé Hall serves up exquisite cuisine and you can even book a private dinner and customise your menu with the chef!
    Country Escape  -  Escape the hustle and bustle of modern life at this beautifully historic spot just outside Snowdonia National Park
    Great walks  -  Palé Hall's stunning surroundings mean there are plenty of fanstastic walks in every direction!
    Fishing  -  If you fancy a relaxing afternoon thean head off to the River Dee for a quiet spot of fishing
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessParking
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels

    This historic Victorian manor house is situated next to Snowdonia National Park. Feel like royalty in their traditional, elegant rooms and suites. The cosy library is perfect spot for curling up with a good book after a day out trekking! Divine cuisine, gorgeous surroundings - a perfect retreat. See More

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