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Review: Ruthin Castle Hotel

(September 01, 2014)

Review: Ruthin Castle Hotel

Ruthin Castle Hotel

We've been lucky enough to stay in some beautiful hotels and B&Bs over the years, but we had never stayed in an actual castle before. And when looking for somewhere to stay in Ruthin, Denbighshire (Rhuthun, Sir Ddinbych), details for the Ruthin Castle Hotel popped up on the search engine, which looked interesting.

Having reviewed the hotel extensively, by navigating its excellent website (which is not always the case) and reading the copious reviews on Trip Advisor (always worth doing prior to booking any hotel) we decided book a two night stay.

On the outskirts of the beautiful, historic town of Ruthin, the castle is within easy walking distance to it. The main entrance to the hotel, approached by a grand driveway, is flanked by two impressive, snarling, marble lions. Inside, the reception area is grand and elegant, with beautiful chandeliers and panelling.

Ruthin Castle Hotel

Ruthin Castle Hotel
Check-in is simple, professional, friendly and painless


Ruthin Castle Hotel reception Ruthin Castle Hotel reception

Four levels of room grade are available: Luxury; Deluxe; Deluxe Suite; and the Prince of Wales Suite, which comprises the entire floor of one of the castle's towers.

We opted for a mid week 'Majestic' break which, at £139.00 per night for dinner, bed and breakfast, seemed excellent value for two people. Our room was relatively spacious, beautifully clean, and had an excellent bathroom, complete with roll top bath! We did consider upgrading to one of the suites, but as we intended to only use the hotel as a base, spending the majority of our time in the pleasant town of Ruthin and the surrounding area, we chose a 'Luxury' room.

Ruthin Castle HotelEn-suite bathroom in a 'Luxury' room

The castle is surrounded by extensive and evidentially well-kept gardens, in which tame peacocks roam free; sometimes wandering into the hotel through an open door!

You can also have lunch or drinks in the gardens; a very pleasant way to pass a few hours (weather permitting).

Ruthin Castle Hotel

Ruthin Castle Hotel

Top tip: buy a loaf of wholemeal bread in the village and the peacocks are happy to let you feed them, which the hotel confirmed was fine.

 Ruthin Castle Hotel

The hotel also has an excellent spa (called The Moat), free to hotel guests (treatments extra), though we did not use this during our stay.

During one of our walks around the gardens, a very helpful hotel employee (guessing an event co-ordinator) showed us through to the panelled banqueting hall used for their medieval feasts - which must be tremendous fun!

Ruthin Castle Hotel

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the elegant and beautifully decorated main dining room called 'Berties', complete with more stunning chandeliers, red ochre-painted walls and richly upholstered chairs.

Food at the hotel was excellent, with a good selection in the evening and a buffet style full Welsh breakfast in the morning, with a good selection of muffins, pastries, fruit and cooked breakfast options available.

 Ruthin Castle Hotel

 Ruthin Castle Hotel

Castell Rhuthun, a brief history …

Built in 1277 by Dafydd ap Gruffudd as Castell Coch yn yr Gwernfor (Red Castle in the Great Marsh), Rhuthun and its castle was given to Reginald de Grey after Dafydd's defeat in the Second War of Welsh Independence (1282-83).

Ruthin Castle

Ruthin castle withstood Owain Glyndŵr's first action of the Last War of Welsh Independence (1400-1415), during which Ruthin town was destroyed.

Having fallen into disrepair by the English Civil War, repairs allowed the castle to hold a Royalist garrison. Following their surrender to parliamentarians, the castle was 'laid waste' in 1646.

Ruthin Castle

Incorporating much of the original building, the castle was rebuilt as a residential mansion from 1826, becoming a hotel in the 1960s.

Ruthin Castle Hotel E 9

Ruthin G 24

Ruthin town centre is well worth a visit. Many historic buildings surround St Peter's Square, some dating to the early 15th century, when Ruthin began to be rebuilt following Owain Glyndŵr's visit in September 1400.


The Old Courthouse, Ruthin
The Old Courthouse, Ruthin
image © Arwel Parry

Nantclwyd y Dre, Ruthin
Nantclwyd y Dre, Ruthin
image © gwynfryn and
licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Cenral Ruthin Central Ruthin Central Ruthin
Ruthin T 1 Wynnstay Arms plaque

If Ruthin Castle is a little out of your price range, another excellent establishment is the beautifully decorated Manorhaus (at which we intend to stay next time we visit Ruthin): part of the 'Great Little Places' group, which we have used extensively and always comes highly recommended. Situated in the heart of the town, this 5* boutique B&B offers a stylish and modern alternative to the baronial splendor of the castle.

Another option is The Castle Hotel, St Peter's Square. This beautifully restored old coaching inn is one of Weatherspoons' recent forays into the hotel trade. Rooms are available from £54 per night.

Claire Meredith, September 2014

Also by Claire Meredith:
The Manor Town House, Fishguard; June 2014
Llandeilo; December 2013
Tenby / Dinbych-y-pysgod; September 2013
The Old Chemist Inn, Saundersfoot
; September 2013

The Bunch of Grapes, Pontypridd
; September 2013

Gwesty'r Emlyn Hotel, Newcastle Emlyn
; June 2013

Photographic study of Newcastle Emlyn
; June 2013
     Lake Vyrnwy Hotel; December 2012

     The Drawing Room, nr Builth Wells; December 2012
     3 Pen Cei Guest House, Aberaeron; June 2012
     Escape 5* B&B, Llandudno; June 2012
     The Bunch of Grapes, Pontypridd; June 2012
     Photographic study of Myddfai; February 2011
     The Crown at Whitebrook; February 2011
     The New White Lion, Llandovery; February 2011
     Ty Mawr Mansion Country House, Cilcennin, Lampeter; December 2009
     George Thomas Hospice 'Style In the City' event; May 2009

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