How close is too close to home to stay in a hotel? I’ve always been of the opinion that travelling a short distance (less than an hour) is okay. You’re away from your local area, but can still get back relatively quickly when your trip is over. But what if a particular accommodation option is only a few miles away? What then? Well, recently I had that exact quandary after following a local Bed & Breakfast on Instagram and being completely drawn in by their engaging images. For small boutique hotels social media engagement is key. Regularly updated and captivating images can draw the viewer in, and that’s exactly what Number 18 – a boutique B&B in the medieval Welsh town of Conwy – achieved. So, one Monday evening, we made the 5 mile, fifteen minute journey to spend a night at Number 18 – the most Instagrammable accommodation in Conwy.
Have you heard of the medieval town of Conwy? Located on the North coast of Wales, Conwy is a small, picturesque town dominated by the impressive 13th century Conwy Castle. The town is a popular tourist resort, with hordes of visitors that flock to the area during the holidays. From the narrow streets full of boutique gift shops, to the lovely restaurants and a gorgeous harbour, its a beautifully photogenic town.
Given the limitations of development in Conwy, the town retains much of it’s original character from the buildings and architecture within the town walls. As a result of this, accommodation in Conwy is fairly small scale. There are a number of options including a stylish hotel, a number of pubs / restaurants with rooms, holiday cottages and B&B’s.
Number 18, a boutique bed and breakfast, is located a mere stones throw from Conwy Castle and within the town walls. It sits directly across the road from the town walls actually, a perfect location for views of the castle and the opportunity to explore the town. Dating back to the 1840’s, this Victorian era townhouse is split across three storeys. It’s fairy unassuming from the outside, but once you step through the door, it tells a different story. Where you might expect a traditional guesthouse to have a fairly neutral style of decor, Number 18 is in complete contrast to this concept.
Number 18 is run by a lovely couple – John and Melissa, who are welcoming, friendly and happy to help with any queries that guests may have about the town and local area. Having taken over the property, the couple decided to add their own stamp onto the accommodation styling. The result is a crazy combination of busy, bright, eclectic and retro decor that is certainly unique in Conwy.
There are four double guest rooms at Number 18, split across the first and second floors of the building. All rooms are individually decorated and styled to create a unique sense of character. The four rooms comprise The Castle View Suite, The Key Room, Mrs Peel and The Blue Room. I managed to get an early check-in at Number 18 and had the opportunity to see all rooms apart from The Blue Room. The decor was fantastic throughout and it was easy to see how this property was a popular accommodation in Conwy for Instagram users.
We stayed in The Castle View Suite, located on the first floor with double aspect windows and views out towards Conwy Castle and the town walls. With dark painted walls, the suite comprised of the main bedroom area, a small en-suite shower room and secondary room that could be used as a seating area, complete with comfy sofa. Decoration was a mix of antique and contemporary furniture, along with bright and exotic furnishings.
From the beautiful mountain scene mural on the feature wall, the toucan pillows, rabbit lamps and antique mirrors, it was a lovely space. Having windows to two aspects also meant that sunlight flooded into the room at various points during the day, balancing against the dark tones of the walls. The en-suite shower room, although small, was functional. Despite being on the main one way road system of the town, traffic noise was not really a problem.
Having the opportunity to see two of the other rooms, the attention to detail and design flair was really apparent. Next to The Castle View Suite on the first floor was The Key Room, a guest room decorated mostly in purple and pink shades. Once again the retro influence was apparent with the metal framed bed, bedspread patterns, funky lamps, antique furniture and mirrors. I really loved the vibe of this room.
The final guest room I saw was Mrs Peel – a true step back to the 1970’s in terms of decoration. Bright orange with bold pattered wallpaper, this room was an explosion of colour, texture and pattern. A true retro vibe in terms of the decor, but again with plenty of nice little touches. I loved the ‘Bore Da’ (Good Morning) mugs – need to find out where to get some of those.
All rooms feature a king size bed, tea and coffee making facilities, complimentary bottled water and cordial and snacks provided. There is free WiFi throughout the property. All en-suites feature a shower cubicle only – there are no bathtubs due to the bathrooms being on the smaller side. Locally sourced complimentary toiletries are also provided.
Much of the accommodation in Conwy is on a bed and breakfast basis only, meaning the public areas are fairly limited. That said, at Number 18, there’s a lot to see in a very small space. I spent a fair while ‘exploring’ the staircases and landings, searching out interesting items and artwork.
The Lounge area on the ground floor is Number 18’s breakfast room and public space that can be used throughout the day, where tea and coffee making facilities are readily available, along with some tasty complimentary snacks. Being a Bed & Breakfast, Number 18 don’t offer any other meals so the space is available to use at any time. I spent a couple of hours at one of the tables catching up on some work, as the rooms are not really set up for working. I loved looking through all of the items on display, from the posters on the wall through to the books (with many local reference books included).
The breakfast offering was a continental spread with everything you could wish for. Breads, bagels and crumpets with a choice of spreads. Cheese and ham, including vegan options. Cereals, yoghurts, fruit and pastries – all delicious and much of it locally sourced. Perfect to set you up for the day.
Number 18 is the perfect accommodation in Conwy for a short break. I think for a longer stay you might struggle in terms of storage space and the relatively small bathrooms. That said, it’s perfect if your travelling light and need a cool and funky space to spend some time when your not exploring the town and the surrounding areas. As a town centre accommodation, Number 18 does not have it’s own car park, but there are two public pay and display car parks nearby which offer very reasonable overnight rates.
There are a number of restaurants and bars within a couple of minutes walk from the hotel. The Erskine Arms next door is great for an evening meal, and if you fancy a couple of drinks then head to Bank or The Albion nearby. These offer a great selection of local beers – something I am always keen to try when visiting an area. During the busier months of the year, Conwy is a great base to explore the local area with plenty of activities and walks nearby.
Take a look at my guide of some simple walks nearby with epic views.
Note: Due to Covid-19 social distancing restrictions, the experience detailed above may be slightly amended. Please contact the accommodation for further details.
Room rates start from £75 per night, per room and can be booked directly with the hotel or on all the usual booking sites.
Telephone Number: 01492 584356