We arrived for a night stop in the picturesque town of Hay-On-Wye in Wales without securing a hotel reservation. Luckily, after a quick Expedia search, we found accommodations at The Swan at Hay Hotel. We really were lucky, because it turns out that this small town is tourist hot-spot. We very easily could have been out of luck with finding a room and it would have been a shame to have missed out on such a lovely town.
The Swan at Hay Hotel is located just a short walk from the town center, which is filled with pubs, shops and more bookstores than you can imagine.
The Swan at Hay Hotel was our first encounter with an old country inn on our trip. The two story hotel has a small amount of rooms and staff. In fact, the person working at the reception desk often had to pull double duty by making drinks at the bar or running housekeeping linens. It's fairly small and intimate operation. As such, we often had very personal service, but everything took a little bit longer. I felt that it was a fair trade-off.
We were escorted to our room at the very end of the hall on the second floor and given an old-fashioned key. I love hotels that still use real keys. It's a novelty!
Our room was roomy with a very comfortable bed and a giant Narnia wardrobe!
My favorite part of the room was the beautiful view of the back garden. We tried to go out into the garden, but we only lasted about five minutes, as the place over-run with wasps enjoying the flowers. Wasps were out in force during our entire UK trip.
The first floor had several lounge areas with wi-fi access, a restaurant, a bar and a big, sunny room where the morning breakfast was held. I spent several hours reading in the lounge adjacent to the garden, while Dan napped. I really enjoyed the quiet reading spots and both of us found the time spent at the hotel to be a relaxing break after so much travel.
I experienced my first pear cider at the hotel bar and it was love at first sip! Dessert in a glass!
Our stay set us back, 120 pounds, which included a cooked breakfast. In addition to the made-to-order menu, our breakfast included a table with chilled dairy, cereals, fruit and breads. We each ordered scrambled eggs on toast and nibbled on buffet items. We got a kick out of the foreign packaging on a single-serve box of Rice Krispies.
A special mention must be made of the best yogurt that I've ever eaten...Ann Forshaws Farmhouse Yogurt. We tried two flavors, Damson & Plum and Clemons Oranges & Lemons. If you're in the UK and like yogurt, you must seek out this brand. It was so creamy and delicious.
If you're looking for a place to stay in Hay-On-Wye, I highly recommend considering The Swan at Hay Hotel. Check out their official website for current availability and pricing.