“ Location: Wales „
Having booked a week off from work before Easter 2013 it was decided that as a family we should have a little break. We decided that we would go to North Wales but couldn't decide where we would stay.
Having never been to North Wales as an adult I don't really know the area all too well but we eventually decided to stay in Conwy. It has a castle after all, so it must be an interesting place.
We used the website www.cottages4you.co.uk. It seemed like the best site with the best selection of cottages to stay in. Unfortunately with it being Easter it was quite difficult to find anywhere that would be suitable for our specific dates. Rhos Cottage was one of the first cottages we looked at and it turned out to be our eventual choice.
£295 for four nights. A two bedroom cottage that sleeps five.
I always dread driving to places I don't know. I can never find where we need to be but luckily the expressway through Wales takes you pretty much right to the doorstep of every town. We found Conwy without a hitch and even stopped off at Llandudno on the way. We had to drive through the town centre to get to Rhos Cottage but it wasn't a million miles away.
There is a small driveway leading that you need to drive up past the other cottages in the row of six. The cottage is advertised as having room for two cars. Personally I disagree. I reversed our car (Seat Ibiza) into the small yard at the back of the cottage but once there a porch over the front door sticks out from the house making it difficult for another car to park there without encroaching on the neighbours driveway. We stayed for four nights and nobody parked next door but I'm not sure if that is always the case and I should add it only occurred to me on the third day that if somebody did park next door there was a good chance I wouldn't be able to get my car out.
The owners ask that you phone them 72 hours in advance of leaving and ask that you don't arrive before 3pm, hence our diversion to Llandudno. They give you the details of where the lockbox is around the back of the premises that contains the key and the code to open it when you eventually do arrive. We were only supplied with one key, not ideal if you lose one. The owners may live locally but I'm not sure. Who knows how long you would have to wait for a replacement if you lost it.
The house itself looks nice from outside and creates a good first impression but I have in the past been left very disappointed with some accommodation once inside. Luckily this wasn't the case with Rhos Cottage. Bearing in mind that we arrived in North Wales at the back end of the coldest March I can remember and we had been in Llandudno for three hours I was freezing and needed warming up. The description on the cottages4 you website said the cottage had electric heaters but I was surprised to walk in and find the cottage lovely and warm, a really welcome feeling. The cottage actually has central heating with a preset thermostat that can be adjusted to different times and temperatures.
As you walk through the front door there is no hallway as such. You have the stairs in front of you, living room to your left and the dining room and kitchen to your right. I first entered the living room. It was carpeted with a two seat leather settee and a single leather armchair. There is also a 32" television and a stereo/CD player. There was also a Sky TV box but it only supplied freeview (could take your own sky viewing card with you) and a DVD player.
The dining room had another two seat settee and a dining table with three seats. The floor is tiled which I don't usually like because I find rooms that are tiled to be cold but that wasn't the case. There is a cupboard in the corner but it has the property of the owners taking up all the space cleaning appliances. You go through the dining room and into the kitchen. The kitchen has everything you'll need. We decided to go self catering to try and save a few pennies so this kitchen was ideal. There is a washing machine, electric oven with gas hobs, kettle and microwave. Plenty of crockery and cutlery and lots of pots and pans and other utensils. There's also a good sized sink to wash up after yourself. Pretty much everything you would need for self catering.
As you get to the top of the stairs the main bedroom is on your left. It has a double bed which had a soft mattress that I found very comfortable but the duvet weighed a ton. This might have been because of the weather and might not be used all year around. There was a wardrobe that was more than adequate for a four night stay but I never hang anything up anyway so didn't use it. We had our son with us and forgot to take the night monitor with us so set up his travel cot in the main bedroom and there was still plenty of room to manoeuvre. Room also had a small television, again with freeview. The curtains were not blackout curtains so let in a bit of light but it didn't seem to bother any of us but I did have problems sleeping under the duvet because I would wake up absolutely boiling hot and have to get out from under the covers.
The second bedroom had a bunk bed. The bottom bunk was a double but not as big as the bed in the main bedrrom and a single bunk on top. There was a large wardrobe that's door didn't really close properly. Again a small television with freeview. Ideal for three children to share a room.
The bathroom had a couple of things I didn't like. Firstly the door. It didn't shut properly and would be held shut by a hook on the inside of the door. Secondly was the bath. It had a shower fixture but wasn't big enough to have a bath and didn't have any kind of shower screen making it difficult to shower without getting the floor soaked wet through. There was also a toilet and good sized sink with a mirror above it as well. The windows also had good blinds so you had privacy whilst bathing.
Something I should point out is that the doors and windows are not the most secure. In fact I would guess that even the most amateur of burglars could probably get into the house quite easily. The door has a Yale night latch that can be deadlocked from the inside but it's the windows that troubled me. They were wooden frames that were quite old and the window only locked shut by a latch that was just a manual hook. Some of these were loose and should have been In better condition. If they are loose you could probably force the window. When I looked around the house I found a couple of them hadn't been latched at all meaning that these windows could have been slid open by somebody form outside very easily. I also found some of them to be hard to latch.
It wasn't something I really worried about. I came to the conclusion that if somebody approached the cottage I would hear them walking on the gravel on the driveway and I have no reason to believe that Conwy is a hive of criminal activity but it is something to think about if you had children sleeping in the other bedroom.
WOULD I STAY THERE AGAIN.
I most definitely would. I'm not sure if £295 for four nights would fit most peoples budget (my girlfriend paid so didn't matter to me). Apart form the minor security issues and the issue with the bath I didn't have any other problems. The house was very clean and was like a home from home. We were supplied with pretty much everything we needed so you don't have to take too much gear with you.
The cottage also has fire alarms, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide monitors, so it's good that the owners have taken the safety of their guests seriously.
The cottage itself is also an ideal base to set out from to visit different places around North Wales. You can see Conwy Castle from the front window and you can also see a subway that leads underneath train tracks and into Conwy Town Centre.
Situated two minutes away from the A55, North Wales Expressway you are ideally placed to visit where you want. We visited Anglesey (30 min drive), Llandudno (10 min drive) and Llanberis at the base of Mount Snowdon (30 min drive). I would also recommend that if you visit Llanberis take the scenic route through the Snowdonia National Park and stop of at Betws Y Coed on the way.
I have already mentioned the bath and the windows being a slight security issue but I would say is that these are things that could be easily rectified. It could be possible that these are issues the owners are aware of and will improve in future.
I also didn't like the amount of wires from all the various TV's, freeview boxes and stereos. Some were linked to extension cords. My son will always head towards anything wires he sees poking out from behind a settee or down the side of the bed so it was a slight problem I had keeping him away from them. Too many appliances In my opinion but I guess the owners are just trying to make your stay as good as possible by supplying the freeview and DVD/CD players.