Castell Deudraeth CASTELL DEUDRAETH Castell Deudraeth (pronounced 'Die drath') opened in 2001 following a complete renovation of the Victorian building and restoration of its gardens. This was made possible with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the European Regional Development Fund as well as the Wales Tourist Board.
HISTORY It is an early Victorian castellated mansion built by David Williams, the first Liberal MP for Merioneth. Clough Williams-Ellis purchased the building and its grounds in 1931 in order to expand the Portmeirion estate and to give him a proper driveway from the main road. He used it as a hotel in the 1930s, then it became a prep school and at one time was made into exclusive apartments for the likes of the Oppenheimer family.
The building’s Baronial elements, borrowed from the Gothic and Tudor periods, create an impressive example of Victorian architecture at its most fantastical. Clough referred to the Castell as “the largest and most imposing single building on the Portmeirion estate”.
Despite Clough’s best intentions to integrate the Castell into the existing hotel accommodation at Portmeirion, the intervening war and subsequent building restrictions delayed this. Seventy years after he bought the place Clough’s original vision has finally been realized. Castell Deudraeth was officially opened by Bryn Terfel on 20th August 2001.
All the buildings at Portmeirion are Grade II listed and the whole estate is a designated Conservation Area. Portmeirion including Castell Deudraeth is owned by the Second Portmeirion Foundation, a registered charity, and managed by its tenant Portmeirion Limited on a leasehold basis.
FACILITIES Castell Deudraeth offers 11 fabulous contemporary styled rooms (4 suites and 7 bedrooms) two main dining areas (with a total of 80 covers), a bar, meetings rooms and a stunning Victorian walled garden which offers further entertaining space during the summer.
The interior of the Castell fuses traditional Welsh materials with cutting edge technology and design. The sympatheic refurbishment combines 21st century comfort with the building’s architectural heritage. Welsh oak and original slate floors have modern under-floor heating; Baronial stone fire surrounds and oak paneling have been painstakingly restored by local joiners; plasterwork cornices and other ornate ceilings have been restored. Accessories throughout the hotel include Roger Oates tapis wool rugs, Melin Tregwynt blankets and solid oak and slate furniture by Benchmark Woodworking(partners Sean Sutcliffe and Terence Conran). The artistic heritage of the village is also in evidence with paintings by Sir Kyffin Williams RA, William Selwyn, Fred Uhlman and Sarah Nechamkin as well as original prints by Marc Chagall from Susan Williams-Ellis’s private collection. The family connection remains strong with work on show by Susan Williams-Ellis and her husband Euan Cooper-Willis, founders of Portmeirion Potteries and Bronwyn Williams-Ellis’s tile panels which are featured in each of the bathrooms within the hotel.
Rooms within the Castell are very spacious and are furnished with either Queen or King size beds, real flame gas fires, underfloor heating and wide screen TV’s with DVD and CD surround sound systems. Whirlpool baths are a feature in all the marble tiled bathrooms, and each room has an integrated kitchen area with tea and coffee facilities. Telephone and laptop points and adjustable lighting come as standard.
Guests staying at Castell Deudraeth enjoy free access to all Portmeirion village's facilities including the outdoor swimming pool. There is a courtesy mini bus service available between Castell Deudraeth and The Hotel Portmeirion. Lunchtime patrons of the restaurant receive a free after lunch entry ticket to Portmeirion village.
RESTAURANT Head Chef Peter Hedd Williams specialises in local produce especially local seafood. To enhance the restaurants sustainability and to reduce food miles, a project to supply most of Castell Deudraeth's fruit and vegetable requirements from produce grown on site has been initiated in co-operation with the estate's tenant farmer Peter Jones and Portmeirion's horticultural team led by Arwel Hughes. The brasserie style restaurant is managed by Dylan Thomas who joined Castell Deudraeth from The Hotel Portmeirion in 2008.
The brasserie comprises a conservatory dining room with local riven slate floor and the estuary facing dining room with leather covered banquettes and Welsh oak flooring. There are also seven tables on the garden terrace with patio heaters when necessary. Many wines are available by the glass from the reasonably priced wine list including Portmeirion’s own label Champagne.
Continuing to promote sustainable year round tourism and local job creation, Portmeirion provides full on the job training and modern apprenticeships to enable staff members to realise their full potential.