Holiday cottages to make you smilePublished on 2 Oct 2023 by Amy Greenwood
Take me to my happy place! Quirky, mood-enhancing, and just downright stunning. These cottages were made to put a smile on your face.
All Dioni holiday cottages are handpicked for the quality of the accommodation they offer, and because their owners will always go the extra mile to give their guests that genuinely warm Welsh welcome.
But some Dioni cottages come with an extra layer of charm – whether that’s a particularly pleasing view, an attractively quirky character, or a really unusual feature or two.
These are not necessarily our most expensive or luxurious cottages, but places that we think radiate extra-good cheer because they are just that little bit different. Take a look around our top picks for the best cottages to make you smile!
Boethuog – the fairytale cottage which is shaped like a smile
This cottage won’t just make you smile – it is actually shaped like a smile! Boethuog is a wonderful character cottage in rural Eryri / Snowdonia, near Dolgellau. Surrounded by rolling fields and mature woodlands, the traditional stone cottage has two angled wings to create a quirky crescent shape which looks like something straight out of a fairytale. Step inside and you’ll see how period character meets 21st century luxury, with stylish decor, underfloor heating and rainfall showers blending beautifully with curving walls, exposed beams, cottage style doors and deep window sills. Standout features include the large inglenook fireplace in the living room, and a gorgeous freestanding bath which looks out over countryside views. We’re smiling just thinking about it. Sleeps 7.
Rhiwgoch – the cottage with a steam train running through the garden
Rhiwgoch is a stunning Welsh farmhouse with a hot tub, mountain views and a steam train running through the garden. That’s right, we said a steam train running through the garden. What right-minded person could spend even a fleeting moment in this truly wonderful house without falling head over heels in love? You’ll find it in the most idyllic rural setting. Cradled by Eryri’s / Snowdonia’s mountain landscapes, long views take in beautiful peaks and hills as they roll down to the Irish Sea. The cottage is bright, exceptionally well presented, and wears its style with a discrete but knowing confidence. This is a house that has ‘made it’, and will make you feel like you have made it too. The very definition of happy place. Sleeps 7.
Gors y Gedol Hall – a grand manor cottage where you can ‘lord it right royally’
Does the prospect of lording it right royally make you smile? It does it for us. Beautiful, grand and intriguing, Gors y Gedol Hall near Barmouth is an uber-impressive historic holiday stay. The site of the house has associations going back as far back as the 13th century to Llywelyn the Great, King of Wales, and to the 14th century Welsh revolutionary Owain Glyndwr – the last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales. King Charles II is said to have stayed at the manor house itself. Gors y Gedol was built in 1576 by the Vaughan family – a prominent North Wales ‘establishment’ family which produced several members of parliament. According to 19th century historian AG Bradley, they ‘lorded it right royally for many hundreds of years between the Rhinog mountains and the sea’. To be fair, if you’re going to lord it right royally anywhere between the Rhinogs and the sea, this is probably the best place for it. Check out the magnificent oak panelled dining room, perfect for statement entertaining. Sleeps 14.
Pwll y March – a level of peace and quiet that will make you beam with joy
What if you could book a holiday somewhere that delivered a level of peace and tranquility that made you feel like you had been transported back in time? At Pwll y March, you can! Located in the foothills of the Rhinog mountains – some of the UK’s most wild and unspoilt landscapes – this is a cottage which provides a complete break from the daily grind, which is enough to make most of us beam with joy at the very thought. With almost every window looking out to panoramic views that go on for miles and miles, this delightful double-fronted cottage is just ten minutes from the pretty village of Llanbedr. Owned by the same family for generations, it is packed full of character and quirky charm – think giant inglenook fireplace, exposed beams, and whitewashed stone walls. Take a well earned break here to immerse yourself in unspoilt, timeless landscapes, and to be uplifted and thrilled by a level of quiet rarely found these days. Sleeps 6.
Llety Hiraeth – high end sustainable luxury and all-round gorgeousness
If you were asked to close your eyes and describe the most idyllic countryside holiday retreat you could possibly imagine, you might come up with something close to Llety Cariad in rural Montgomeryshire. It’s a dreamily handsome and luxurious rural escape which – thanks to its architect designed lines and gorgeous elevated position – is a head-turner for anyone who is looking for an exceptional base to enjoy an extra-special holiday with their loved ones. High end features like the Himalayan Salt Wall Sauna, spa-style bathrooms, a wrap-around panoramic balcony, and the kind of privacy that 35 acres of private estate allow (the hot tub is truly blissful) give this holiday retreat some serious wow factor. The cottage scores highly on sustainability credentials too, having been built to a Passivhaus Standard using locally sourced materials wherever possible. Look out for all kinds of flora and fauna by day, and spectacular starry skies by night. Sleeps 4.