If you follow me on social media, especially Instagram, you’ll have recently seen me going video and photo post crazy during a recent trip to Wales. I usually visit North Wales when I go on a mini break, but this time we ventured a little further afield to Mid Wales, staying in a small town called Pennal. It is nestled between Aberdovey and the market town of Machynlleth, and what a lovely time we had!
We were staying at the Macdonald Hotel and Resort Plas Talgarth – the first time I’ve ever stayed in an actual resort place with Macdonald. I’ve been to a number of their hotels before, and always been happy with my stay. So this time, staying at a resort was a little different, and one I was super excited to explore!
I can see why people stay here for holiday – it literally is the perfect location for a quiet, get-away-from-it-all break, yet driveable to many attractions. You just drive east of Pennal and within 10 minutes you arrive in the popular market town of Machynlleth, which I found so so cute. My boyfriend described it as ‘going back in time’, which I personally loved.
It’s mainly associated with local arts and crafts, a famous town clock tower, mountain bike trails, wonderful scenery, plenty of Welsh history and more.
Drive West and you can discover the Dyfi Estuary, and stunningly beautiful beaches at Aberdyfi and Tywyn – a mere 15 minutes from Plas Talgarth. We visited both Machynlleth and Averdyfi (Aberdovey is more of the English spelling), a beach perfect for a range of water sports including paddle boarding and kite surfing.
Nearby attractions include the very popular King Arthur’s Labyrinth, an underground family attraction with boats, lakes, waterfalls and caves, and Talyllyn Railway, a historic narrow-gauge steam railway running from the coast into unspoilt Snowdonia.
You can also explore both the Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons National Parks, the Ceredigion Heritage Coast along Cardigan Bay, the Cambrian Mountains and not forgetting the lakes…
But before I share my photos, lets take a look at the Macdonald Plas Talgarth Resort….
You can either stay in the one, two or three bed apartments, or bungalows, hotel rooms or lodges. We were in a huuuuge three bed apartment, lay out across two floors. It is literally the perfect place to stay for a family with children, or if a few couples decide to take a Welsh break together.
It had three large bedrooms and three great sized bathrooms. One bathroom even had a sauna in it! I know right?
The lounge area itself was huge, with a plenty big enough kitchen, dining table, and sofa/TV area for lounging around.
I’ve never actually stayed anywhere before where I have access to my own personal sauna, so it was definitely a bit of a wow factor for me.
We also were graced with a large balcony – although it was a little cold towards the end of October to enjoy it! But it looked out onto the scenic views of the Welsh Valleys, and it was also sun facing, so in the morning, the sun shone right onto the balcony and onto the sliding balcony doors, letting the sunlight warm up the room.
We were situated close to reception and with our own car parking space easily located outside the apartment. So we decided to spend the first day exploring the resort, having a walk around it’s path and trails, it’s golf course and outdoor facilities, before checking out the swimming pool and gym.
Luckily, even though in October, we had clear blue skies and a touch of sunshine coming through. It may have been very cold, but we had perfect dry conditions for walking around and taking in this gorgeous resort.
Let me tell you – this place is MASSIVE! It’s very much a resort in its own right, and you can spend a lovely hour or so just wandering around.
We actually took to the gym for an hour work out before going for a swim in the indoor pool, and to take a little break in the saunas and steam rooms. The jacuzzi was so so lovely, I could have stayed in there all day.
The gym was fully equipped with a running machine, cross trainers, rowing machines, free weights, weighted machines, work out matts and pretty much everything my boyfriend and I needed for a morning workout.
Some may call us sad for working out when on a trip away, but I always like to take advantage of all the facilities!
There is actually a really lovely outdoor swimming pool and a stunning sunbed lounge area outside the front of the hotel, down a little dip style hill so it seems a little private. With it being October, the pool wasn’t being used, but I can imagine during the heatwave we had earlier this year, it would have been dreamy!
I spotted the Bar and Restaurant on the resort – Y Garth – in which we booked ourselves in for the Saturday night to dine and drink. It looked very ‘homely’ – a nice local vibe and a cosy little bar.
We had a nosey at the restaurant before dining there that evening, and it looked a lot more modern and premium than the bar underneath it. The menu was also extremely tempting, so we were very much keen on attending that evening for our Saturday night meal and wine time!
As you can see from the array of photos, the resort is the perfect escape. Beautiful surroundings, close to nature, open planned and a very safe, welcoming place.
Just look at some of the views and the local surroundings…
We spent around 2 hours in Machynlleth – the cute little market town. It had so many colourful houses and buildings, old historic foundations, cobbled streets and local Welsh cafes and pubs.
We stopped off at a pub for a hot chocolate with marshmallows to warm us up, before exploring the town. It’s certainly a nice, welcoming place to wander around and check out for a couple of hours. It looked like it had some really nice independent restaurants for dining, too.
When we got back from our walk, we explored the hotel some more and took photos of the grounds. We dared ourselves to have a dip in the outdoor pool which actually seemed heated, but we weren’t too sure if it was due to the sun shining on it all morning? Either way, we decided against it!
That evening we headed to Y Garth for a meal and drinks. It’s a lovely little on-site place, where you’ll find other residents of the resort dining and drinking too. It definitely keeps up the hotel standard in terms of the menu and service. The menu was brilliant – one of those where I had about 5 options I couldn’t whittle down.
In the end I opted for the salmon goujon starter, and hake fillet main on top of a smoked haddock risotto. It was literally to die for, and the service was fantastic.
The next day was spent at Aberdyfi in the morning, before heading to local attraction Dol-Goch Falls. Aberdyfi is absolutely beautiful and really took my breath away. I could only have wished we were visiting the beach front in the sunnier months of July and August.
It’s potentially one of the cleanest and prettiest beaches I’ve been to in the UK and Wales. Its long sandy run curves in and out, and water sports is encouraged, creating a real local vibe.
The beach front is lined with little seaside shops, tourist stores, ice cream parlours, cafes, fish and chip shops and B&B’s. So so pretty.
And then last but not least, before going home, we ventured to Dol-Goch, the famous waterfall and walking route. Again, another stunning place to visit with a quaint, rural feel. You can take the longer walking routes of the shorter ones, but either way you pass by the falling waterfall that is Dol-Goch, and my word it is stunning!
You can also visit the Dol-Goch train station, a really old station where a steam train takes you to neighbouring towns.
I’d highly recommend a walk around Dol Goch, and there is also the sweetest little tea rooms just at the car park too!
Overall, a brilliant stay at the Macdonald Plas Talgarth Resort. I’d love to return next Summer when I want to climb Snowdon again, yet use the resort as a base for other neighbouring beaches and walks. It really felt like I was truly ‘away from it all’.
Thank you to all the staff who made our stay super comfortable and friendly!