manorhaus Ruthin

Denbighshire, Wales, United Kingdom Book from Book from £86 per night

Stylish rooms with restaurant and art gallery in Ruthin, gateway to North Wales and a centre for contemporary arts
As soon as you step through the front door of these converted Grade II-listed Georgian townhouses, the ‘stylometer’ starts to soar. This is no run of the mill hotel. manorhaus Ruthin (with a very deliberate small m) is a restaurant with stylish rooms and art gallery all rolled into one. Owners Christopher Frost and Gavin Harris bought it in 2002 and certainly know a thing or two about design. Be ready to discover your very own art gallery in your bedroom, each one showcases local talent, as do the lounge, bar and restaurant. Bold colour schemes and modern furniture work well alongside the original features of this beautiful building. Settle down to dinner and the design theme continues: the food is beautifully presented, delicious and local.

Venture outside and there is a definite air of sophistication to Ruthin. The timber framed houses bulge with delicatessen, gift emporia and jewelry galleries. This town also has a name in the arts world, thanks to its £4 million craft centre.

Highs

  • The beautifully designed rooms have fabulous power showers and fast-fill baths
  • There's art everywhere and you'll always find something new to discover
  • Ruthin is a magical town with much to explore
  • There are lots of facilities that you wouldn't expect in a small hotel, including a bijou cinema, a library, a sauna, a fitness room, a bar and a great restaurant
  • Sister property to the lovely manorhaus Llangollen

Lows

  • The house is set right on one of the town’s busy roads
  • The artwork in some rooms is bold and bright - it may not be to everyone’s taste
  • Some rooms are compact; some may find them a little too small
  • When we visited in 2016, rooms were showing signs of wear and tear

Best time to go

This is a good place to visit year round. Autumn and winter are best for bracing walks and maybe a spot of Christmas shopping in the many arts and crafts shops. In spring and summer you can enjoy warmer rambles or visits to all manner of festivals, from sheep shearing to classic cars, and international music to barrel rolling. The Ruthin Festival is an annual week-long arts festival in July while Ruthin Flower Festival is held every August.

Our top tips

The owners’ innovative approach is evident in everything they do. They have transformed their medieval vaulted basement into a private cinema that guests are invited to make use of. They are also running a successful film and supper club popular with guests and locals alike.

Great for...

Foodie
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 8
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • Over 12s welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Sauna
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Board games
  • Wii
Room: Oriel 5

Rooms

The 8 rooms, known as Oriels (Welsh for gallery), are designed to showcase a different local artist. Chris and Gavin are hot on detail and the guest service manual is encyclopedic. There are comfy kingsize beds, goose down bedding and Egyptian cotton linen. Look out for some design classics, such as a Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona chair. If art alone is not enough, book a room on the third floor for spectacular views of the mountains beyond Ruthin.

Bathrooms are full of mod cons, from power showers to fast fill bathtubs. We loved the generous supplies of gorgeous 'We live like this' Macadamia and Ginseng toiletries. Some bathrooms are on the small side and could do with updating.

We enjoyed Oriel 4, a pink and green colourfest with an oversized purple chair, which provides the perfect backdrop to artist Ann Bridges' colourful work. When we revisited in 2016 we stayed in the biggest room, Oriel 5, a Junior Suite displaying the moody work of landscape artist Ian Williams. It has an ensuite wet room and a roll-top bath in the bedroom.

Features include:

  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

Classical piano music greets you at ‘The Breakfast Table’, which offers fresh fruits, bio yoghurt drinks, juices, Dorset cereals and homemade jams. Or tuck into a choice of full Welsh breakfast, eggs Benedict or the lighter natural yoghurt with berries and honey. Caffeine hits can come in the guise of lattes, cappuccinos or espressos. For a gentler awakening there is an impressive selection of teas.

The restaurant has a great reputation - delicious dishes are made with as many local ingredients as possible. Start with grilled Bury black pudding or venison terrine and move on to salt marsh lamb from St Asaph, Welsh black beef, or sherry and wine braised rabbit. If you have room, puddings are hearty - think roast apple cobbler, hot fruit compote or dark Belgian chocolate torte. The cheese platter offers tasty nibbles such as Red Devil (Red Leicester with chili) or Black Bomber (a mature Welsh Cheddar), all supplied by the Snowdonia Cheese Company.

The wine list is varied and the bar is a calming sophisticated space, neutrally decorated and tastefully furnished.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Snowdonia National Park is on your doorstep, with some bracing walks to enjoy. The Offa's Dyke walking trail is a short drive from the town. One planet adventure offer more than 50km's of carefully graded and way-marked mountain biking, walking and running trails
  • Head to Bounce Below where you’ll find an underground world of trampolines in a former slate mine. Play, slide, roll, jump and bounce from net to net in a cavern the size of a cathedral
  • Funded by the Arts Council of Wales, Ruthin Craft Centre houses artist studios, galleries, education and residency workshops, and shops selling all manner of crafts and design items
  • Experience the longest ziplines in Europe at Zipworld; Surf Snowdonia is an artificial wave pool perfect for surf fanatics
  • Explore Ruthin Gaol, which dates back to 1775 (the last execution took place in 1903). It has now been developed as a visitor attraction and houses the County Archives, which will be of interest to any keen genealogist retracing family trees
  • Walk back in time by visiting Wales’ oldest timber framed town house, Nantclwyd y Dre
  • Enjoy shopping and generally mooching about the town

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Surfing
  • Traditional cultures

Kids

Only children over the age of 12 are accepted. The library is stocked with DVDs and a Wii to keep them amused.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Large Room Oriel 7 can be set up as a twin and can hold an extra bed. Teenagers may stay alone in this room when their parents are occupy adjacent Standard Room Oriel 8.

Kid Friendly: Oriel 7 (as twin)

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

6/10
Room
8/10
Food
8/10
Service
8/10
Value
8/10
Overall

The style of the place is very striking and a great deal of effort has gone into the striking interiors and unusual touches such as a cinema, sauna and well stocked library. However we felt this was slightly spoilt by some areas looking rather jaded with bathrooms in particular needing a good clean. The owners were extmely helpful and suggested a lovely itinerary for our stay which we followed religiously and throughly enjoyed! Overall we throughly enjoyed our stay.

8/10,

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Rates for manorhaus Ruthin