The three locations that will host Epic Retreats – Wales’s first pop-up boutique hotel – have been revealed today (16 February) as bookings open for this unique experience.
The Llŷn Peninsula, Southern Snowdonia and lush West Wales have been confirmed as the locations for this luxury one-of-a-kind experience inspired by Welsh legends.
Fewer than 200 bookings have been made available that allow guests to choose from eight unique cabins inspired by Wales’ past with the option of including legendary experiences tailored to each location.
Inspiration for the units includes the legend of King Arthur, the iconic Welsh dragon and the country’s famous industrial heritage.
Launched in celebration of Wales’s Year of Legends, Epic Retreats promises to immerse visitors in the most impressive landscapes and adventures the country has to offer.
During their stay, guests will get the opportunity to meet local characters, legendary figures and entertainers that will help bring the story of Wales to life.
From June 5 to July 3 the eight bespoke cabins will venture to the abundant green backdrop of Carmarthenshire, West Wales.
Visitors can delve into a history dating back thousands of years, hunt down gold and tread in the footsteps of the heroes of Camelot, pursuing the elusive Lady of the Lake and the heroic wizard Merlin.
There will also be an opportunity to discover the area’s wildlife on bespoke wildlife walks where guests will get the chance to meet some rare species.
Surrounded by plentiful local food and drink, guests can tantalise their taste buds with award-winning, local gin and cheeses.
The unique units will then journey north from July 10 to August 7 where they will reside along the spectacular coast of the Llŷn Peninsula.
After spending the night overlooking a secluded beach, visitors can spend their days strolling along the famous Wales Coast path, enjoying a boat trip to Bardsey Island, rumoured to be the burial site of King Arthur, and exploring Snowdonia National Park – home to the highest mountain in England and Wales.
Finally, the boutique hotel will pop-up in the foothills of the mythical Cadair Idris mountain in Snowdonia from August 14 to September 11. The remote valley location and magical surrounding, including the romantic Castell y Bere, Snowdonia mountains and stunning steam train journeys, will offer a limited number of people the most unique of summer holidays.
Co-founder, Llion Pughe said, “The locations we have chosen provide a choice of seascape, mountain and valley, a true reflection of Wales’ legendary landscape.
“We have carefully selected sites that will show Wales at its best, alongside an itinerary packed to the brim with trips and activities crafted by Wales experts Cambria Tours, featuring only the finest local produce and unique accommodation inspired myth and legend - guests will be immersed in a truly Welsh experience.”
The Epic Retreats project is a partnership between Best of Wales, Cambria Tours and George + Tomos Architects and is part funded by the Welsh Government’s Tourism Product Innovation Fund.
For more information on the project or to book one of the limited spaces, visit epicretreats.wales.
The eight structures that will form Wales’s first boutique pop-up glamping hotel:
This design is inspired by the legend of King Arthur and a cave where he and his knights slept while travelling – it is said it could be discovered once but never again.
Locally sourced sheep’s wool insulation will be placed within the panels to provide a high level of thermal insulation and the build benefits from a full width sliding door to offer panoramic views of the Welsh landscape.
This unusual structure is inspired by France’s failed attempt of a British invasion through Fishguard back in 1797.
It is said that as the French began their assault, hundreds of local Welsh women came to witness the fighting between the French and the local militia.
Dressed in their traditional scarlet tunics and tall black hats they were a formidable sight and at a distance may have been mistaken for British army Redcoats – suffice to say the French didn’t stick around for long.
A king-sized bed fits within the upper floor of the hat and the domed roof allows for stargazing opportunities.
Cabin in the Woods
This nature-inspired building sits on legs high above the ground and explores the theme of the ‘animated forest’ shaping the Welsh landscape. Inspired by the poem Cad Goddeu, meaning ‘battle of the trees’, from the medieval Welsh manuscript known as the “Book of Taliesin” the unit will be developed to give the impression of movement.
Its highlights include a padded sleeping area and a stove area with featured chimney above, as well as a box window designed to catch the morning sun to wake travellers naturally. It will use raw materials derived from the Welsh landscape including timber, steel, slate and leather.
Inspired by the legend that is the Welsh dragon, this eye-shaped pod could fool passers-by into thinking such a creature was hiding in the great outdoors.
The walls will be covered with stainless steel shingles resembling a dragon’s scales. And the cabin features a wet room and Hungry Penguin wood burner for cooking and heating.
This vertical unit celebrates the best Wales has to offer.
The three prongs represent the dragon’s foot, the overall design is inspired by Wales’s famous industrial past and the steel door displays the country’s iconic Celtic knotwork.
The layout features a sleeping area upstairs and panoramic glazing at both levels provides for magnificent views across the Welsh landscape.
This cabin is a tribute to the Wales’s mining industry – a Welsh legend that spans generations and landscapes across the country.
Visitors are invited to enter the cabin by crawling through a small tunnel, allowing them access into an angular corridor space only lit by borrowed light.
From here they can follow a glow of light from the main space which extends to the full available height with large windows that provide scenic views of the great outdoors beyond.
Visitors must return into the tunnels to discover the washroom and to climb a flight of steep steps to the sleeping area, from where they can enjoy panoramic views from their bed.
As a country, Wales has the highest percentage of sky designated as an ‘International Dark Sky’ area making it one of the most outstanding places in the world to stargaze.
The SKYHUT is designed to provide a unique place to experience the sky, taking its inspiration from Cadair Idris where legend states that travellers sleeping out under the night sky awaken as madmen or poets.
The tradition of sleeping out under the night sky is manifested in the roof with a simple geared cable system; borrowed from proven sailing technology, allowing it to open fully.
With the doors open too, the SKYHUT can be configured as a glamping-observatory.
Inspired by the Welsh landscape, this cabin is based on the material Wales is built on, and of – slate.
Slate Cabin is the perfect place to experience the silence and solitude of the Welsh landscape. This place of retreat is designed to reinvigorate those who stay there.
Drawing upon the restrained elegance of Japanese and Danish design, the space is almost monastic in its use of simple, minimal materials. The cabin is clever and compact, with a built-in table that’s perfect for two and a raised bed platform for rest and relaxation. Natural light bathes the space, and a pot-bellied stove brings warmth and cosiness. At one end of the cabin, a seat and desk frame a picturesque view of the Welsh landscape. It’s the perfect spot to sit with a cup of tea and a book.
Slate Cabin is an escape from the everyday, and is the ideal place for waking up to the quiet beauty of rural Wales.
For more information, please contact Ellen Leach Hutchings or Jamie Robins at Epic Retreats’ communications agency, Equinox. Telephone: 02920 764100 or email: email@example.com
Notes to Editors