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The luxurious family-friendly lodges bringing a touch of Caribbean warmth to the Welsh borders


In 2020, the homeowners of Castara Retreats in Tobago determined to deliver a contact of Caribbean appeal to the Welsh borders, opening Cynefin Retreats – a cluster of 4 woodland eco-pods on the outskirts of Hay-on-Wye with views of the Wye Valley. Now they’ve taken their luxurious UK providing to the following degree with three new luxe lodges alongside the pods. With a concentrate on being family-friendly, every lodge contains two big double bedrooms, a decking space with personal sizzling tub, secluded hearth pit and even a secret toy den beneath the steps.

Cynefin Retreats, for a place to stay review, free to use PR image via Nell Hegarty at Mercator PR
The luxe lodges sleep as much as 4 individuals and include their very own sizzling tub on the personal decking space


On the sting of a farm within the Welsh wilderness – but simply three miles from the vacationer hub of Hay-on-Wye, well-known for its literary competition and copious bookshops. You’re in horse-riding distance of the Brecon Beacons, neglected by the Black Mountains and might even canoe your self to inside strolling distance of Cynefin Retreats – if you happen to’re ready to courageous the rapids of the River Wye, that’s. You’re additionally proper on the Welsh border so can set off in a single route and be in Wales whereas the opposite takes you into England.

You are reading: The luxurious family-friendly lodges bringing a touch of Caribbean warmth to the Welsh borders

In case you’re arriving by way of the close by village of Whitney-on-Wye, you will want to drive over the very charming, privately-owned – and superbly lit – Toll Bridge for a payment of simply £1. Hereford is round a 30-minute drive away.

Cynefin Retreats, for a place to stay review, free to use PR image via Nell Hegarty at Mercator PR
A lot of the lodging is dog-friendly, so count on to see just a few round


Luxurious and house are on the coronary heart of the Cynefin Retreats expertise – I can truthfully say I’ve by no means seen a much bigger bed room in a vacation dwelling. The entire lodging has been designed to profit from the encircling nature so there are big home windows and glass doorways to gaze out of.

The true promoting level right here is that whereas inside your lodge looking, it appears like you might be miles out within the wilderness with nothing however meadows and skies for days. However you may really stroll to a restaurant/bar ( The Bridge at Whitney-on-Wye reopens on Wednesday 1 February following a winter break) inside simply 10 minutes, or drive to Hay-on-Wye in lower than 15.

Most of the properties are canine pleasant, so count on to see just a few curious pets roaming across the meadow or profiting from the on-site woodland path.

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The positioning itself will get very darkish so when you’ve got a head or hand torch, I’d advocate packing it.

Cynefin Retreats, for a place to stay review, free to use PR image via Nell Hegarty at Mercator PR
Cosy but modern, Cynefin Retreats is the proper place for a winter break


Inside, design is stylish and modern but very cosy – assume squishy designer furnishings, a log burner and heat temper lighting. The rigorously curated e-book assortment – comprised principally of nature and cookery titles – has clearly been chosen as a lot for aesthetic enchantment as precise content material.

The beneath stairs den is an actual gem for kids – stocked with toys and books, warmed by a sheepskin rug and providing simply sufficient privateness to make them really feel necessary – it gives a type of self-contained secure house. Our daughter (age six) hung a bedsheet from the steps to create a door, took in her Tonies audio story field and we barely noticed her for the remainder of the weekend. She didn’t even discover that there isn’t any tv within the properties.

The 2 bedrooms upstairs are past big – as is the tremendous king-size mattress within the grasp – and the funky pink wallpaper within the downstairs rest room is price a point out all of its personal.

The ground-to-ceiling glass doorways overlooking the meadow outdoors and the hills past profit from the world’s naturally beautiful views and the clear skies make for some nice star-spotting at night time.

The Scandinavian furnishings on the patio continues the high-end theme discovered inside and the new tub brings an actual contact of luxurious. And a stunning element that I haven’t skilled wherever else was the devoted quick-drying towels to be used within the sizzling tub.

Cynefin Retreats, for a place to stay review, free to use PR image via Nell Hegarty at Mercator PR. Hay-on-Wye bookshop
E book, meals and vintage lovers will probably be spoilt for selection within the close by Hay-on-Wye

Food and drinks

Arrange for self-catering, the large open plan kitchen is a pleasure to cook dinner in. We made pizzas one night time and located it extraordinarily nicely outfitted with every little thing from a hand blender (I forgot the shop-bought tomato topping, so needed to make my very own) to a pizza wheel. Fundamentals akin to milk, tea, espresso and oil are included.

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Exterior, we made use of the grill attachment to barbecue steak and sausages over the fireplace pit. Once more, you can see all of the required equipment – together with a marshmallow tree and even the marshmallows – readily available.

In case you don’t fancy cooking, there’s a very complete listing of takeaways that ship to the lodges contained in the welcome pack and a bunch of close by restaurant suggestions. We really made the 10-minute stroll to the close by The Bridge café searching for cake, however sadly discovered it to be closed for the winter.

The beautiful Hay Deli additionally delivers to the location – we ordered a easy breakfast hamper of fancy espresso, greek yoghurt, granola and fruit which was ready for us on arrival. However additionally they do a meals menu that require minimal cooking in your half and once more, may be delivered to your door.

Cynefin Retreats, for a place to stay review, free to use PR image via Nell Hegarty at Mercator PR. River Wye
Discover the River Wye with a stroll alongside the sting – or in, some components, you may rent a canoe and hit the water

What to do

If you wish to do greater than learn a e-book, respect the views and soak in a sizzling tub, you clearly can – however don’t ever really feel like it’s best to.

The little on-site woodland stroll takes in varied paths and meadows and is dotted with picket swings and steps for kids to play on and climb and a powerful willow tunnel to wade by. The moist climate fairly scuppered our stroll as after some time, it was extra of a bathroom, however we did get a good few steps in earlier than having to show again.

In Hay-on-Wye you may store for books and antiques in abundance or head out for a stroll alongside the riverside meadow often known as The Warren. Purchased by residents within the 70s for the area people, look out for kingfishers and rabbits en route.

Easy methods to e-book

A keep in a one-bedroom luxe pod at Cynefin Retreats prices from £182 per night time, primarily based on two individuals sharing. A keep in a two-bedroom luxurious lodge prices from £295 per night time, primarily based on 4 individuals sharing, see


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