"WE bought it with our hearts, not our heads!”

Angela Smith, new co-owner of Aberporth’s Penrallt Hotel, was recalling the moment she and partner Tom Bailey decided to ‘take a leap of faith’ and buy the well-known boutique country house hotel on the outskirts of Aberporth.

Now the couple, freshly re-located from Surrey, have vowed to write a whole new chapter in the history of the much-loved hotel which served as one of south Ceredigion’s premier hospitality venues for many years.

“I fell in love with the Penrallt when I first set eyes on it,” Angela, who continues to run a specialist UK-wide recruitment company, told the Tivy-Side. “There was just this feeling about the house.

“I also love the fact it’s by the sea because I’ve always wanted to live by the sea.”

“Our aim is for the hotel to be more accessible to the local people, however also remaining unpretentious, while at the same time for it to be a place of warmth, welcome and elegance.”

Tom, a chartered engineer by profession, said he had a vision of the Penrallt even before seeing it. “I fancied buying this hotel with a long drive leading down to it,” he revealed. “When I finally did see the place it kind of ticked all the boxes”.

“The Penrallt has been a focal point in the community in the past, but became a little bit forgotten about, we believe.

“We wish to re-assure the local community we want to welcome them back – and we want to be part of that community ourselves.”

“We have come here to live and work, use locally-sourced produce and, of course, employ local staff.”

Plans include transforming the hotel’s leisure centre into a spa, over time.

There are treatment rooms in-house, which are currently being built, and outdoor hot tubs for some of the garden rooms are on the agenda.

A yoga retreat and holding clay pigeon shoots, as well as lambing and adventure experiences are also in the planning stages, while a heli-pad is already being used to fly guests in for overnight stays or even lunch and dinner, as well as West Wales Airport catering for the fixed wing flying community!

And the long-term plan, to reinstate the Penrallt at the heart of the community, will be launched when The Penrallt Country House Hotel's Christmas Fair is held on Sunday, November 28 between 12pm and 4pm.