Staycation: Dylan Coastal Resort, Carmarthenshire
by Melanie Leyshon
A new collection of self-catering lodges gives the chance to discover more about Laugharne and its famous poet resident
The small town of Laugharne in south-west Wales is blessed with mesmerising views over the Taf Estuary, whatever the Welsh weather may throw at you. It’s a coastal gem, with colourful Georgian houses, craft shops and enchanting pubs, but it’s also on the cultural map. Poet Dylan Thomas lived here, and it provided inspiration for his play Under Milk Wood.
Thomas wrote in his clifftop writing shed in the late 1940s. More recently, a new set of luxurious neighbours have moved in nearby. The Dylan Coastal Resort is a perfectly formed collection of 83 one-storey, self-catering lodges. What would the smoking, beer- and whisky-drinking bard have made of this pristine complex with its world-class wellness spa? No doubt he’d have been pleased how well it fits discreetly into the landscape, without disturbing the quiet charm of the town.
There are two- or three-bedroom lodges, all spacious with estuary views, and large outdoor patios with a hot tub and dining facilities, including a barbecue. Inside, the living area is open-plan with large windows taking in those views, huge sofas, and a kitchen fitted with modern appliances – even a wine fridge – while a dining area generously seats six. The bedrooms are equally well thought-out, with a wall-mounted TV opposite the bed, and ample clothes storage. Our three-bedroom lodge had an en-suite and one bathroom to share.
While you have all you need to self-cater, the resort’s central Milk Wood House offers all-day dining, a bar, entertainment and pampering. The Kitchen and Bar serves a superb full Welsh breakfast using local ingredients, with plenty for vegetarians and vegans. Meanwhile, hearty but finessed dishes are the mainstay of the lunch and evening menus. They also make fresh stoned-baked pizzas.
Below the restaurant is the spa, with wall-to-ceiling windows so you can still enjoy the views. It’s got a generously sized swimming pool, outdoor heated hydrotherapy pool, sauna and steam room, Technogym equipment and two low-lit, calming treatment rooms. My one-hour rejuvenating facial using Ishga Hebridean seaweed products did leave me feeling fresh and brighter.
On the doorstep, you can pick up the coastal path and walk to the stunning Pendine Sands, or take the ‘Birthday Walk’. This follows the route Thomas describes in his ‘Poem in October’, written about his 30th birthday. It’s two miles uphill, but rewards with views of the Gower, Tenby and north Devon. Or you can book a boat trip around the estuary.
Our skipper, Dai, formerly ‘Dai the Milk’, points out Laugharne’s highlights: Thomas’s boathouse where he lived with wife Caitlin, his writing shed teetering perilously at the cliff edge, and the town’s castle. Even a short break without venturing from the resort is rejuvenating. Welsh rugby union star Alun Wyn Jones is an ambassador, so you may even get a glimpse of him on the treadmill. You wouldn’t have found Thomas lifting weights, more likely lifting a pint of Welsh ale in the bar sharing his poems. However you choose to unwind, this is a beautiful, feelgood destination.
How to book
Stays at Dylan Coastal Resort start from £379. For more information or to book, please visit luxurylodges.com/ dylan-coastal-resort/. You can drive to Laugharne or travel by train to Swansea and take a taxi to the resort (it’s 39 miles and takes around 50 minutes).