We've known about Gliffaes for many years and hesitated to put it in
the guide despite its fine reputation because it seemed a little large
(21 bedrooms), a little imposing, but above all not especially relaxed
or personal. Then one day we dropped in by chance and changed our minds.
It's a superb example of a family-run (now third generation) country
house hotel: a stunning location; caring, hands-on management;
unpretentious yet with high standards. There's a friendly buzz, and the
young family team of Brabners and Suters really do seem to be good with
people. You will probably take away memories of the lovely views from
the terrace, grounds falling steeply to the rushing Usk; and of the
large grounds with exotic plantings. You might also catch a memorable
fish: the hotel has two miles of highly regarded salmon and trout
fishing on the Usk, with fly fishing courses for beginners.
The decoration is traditional yet stylish. Most of the homely-smart
bedrooms are spacious. Dinner is a smartish occasion - guests change,
but into 'country casual' clothes, not black tie. The food is good,
much of it from local suppliers, strong on lamb, beef and game. The
dinner menu changes daily. Tea (extra charge) is 'amazing' according to
one reporter - the most lavish spread of cakes, scones and cucumber
sandwiches you are likely to see for a while.