Cardigan’s latest addition - The Albion Hotel owned and run by Fforest Farm entrepreneur James Lynch - has today been named Welsh winner of The Times and Sunday Times 'Best Places to Stay in 2023'.

The announcement was made this morning (Friday), by The Times’ head of travel, Claire Irvin.

“Our recommendations are not easily won and our worthy Welsh winner, The Albion, should be extremely proud of the guest experience they've created,” she said.

“Our new Best Places to Stay 2023 list is a celebration of the incredible properties we have here on home soil and, most importantly, the hard-working teams that have made each one of them such a singular success."

The Albion opened earlier this summer and is described by The Times as a ‘Scandinavian-Japanese aesthetic’. 

The hotel has been meticulously honed by former property-developer James Lynch and his team who run the upmarket glamping site at Fforest Farm, Cilgerran.

The 12-bedroom Albion has a strong emphasis on recycled materials with the result that virtually everything has been reclaimed.

This includes the seats and cupboards which were sourced from local schools and churches and a wooden floor which was found at a French railway.

To protect and expose the original brickwork, an iron skeleton has been erected inside the historic building and pencil sketches from the mid 19th century can still be seen on some of the internal lime-washed walls depicting tall ships and calculations of rope lengths and sail canvas.

Each individually crafted, low-ceilinged bedroom has the essence of a captain’s cabin with reclaimed wood-lined walls, floors made from 150-year-old oak, king-sized beds, custom-made furniture, Welsh woollen blankets, chandeliers, and Aesop soaps in the bathroom. There are no televisions.

Tivyside Advertiser: A bedroom at The AlbionA bedroom at The Albion (Image: The Times)

Glass doors open to en suite bathrooms that perhaps aren’t as private as they might first appear.

A bar on the ground floor is where visitors can order an Albion Collins, featuring local gin and heather mead, and ales from the Mantle brewery.

Breakfast, served in the dining room on the first floor, is full Scandi with artisan bread, cheese and pickled herring.

Tivyside Advertiser: Seafood at The AlbionSeafood at The Albion (Image: The Times)

The hotel has been named after the brig that set out from Cardigan on April 11, 1819 carrying 27 families from the local area to their new lives in New Brunswick, Canada.

Approximately 150 persons proceeded to Fredericton, where they took up tickets-of-location for forest land between Madam Keswick and Nashwaak, founding almost certainly the first Welsh settlement in Canada, at Cardigan.

The Sunday Times’ definitive list of the 100 Best Places to Stay is now available in an online interactive guide and as a supplement within the newspaper.