Dreaming about getting away? No airports involved? I’ve discovered a deluxe bolt-hole with endless views, luxury lodges, private hot tubs, on-site dining and the most sensational of spas. Let me introduce Dylan Coastal Resort in Laugharne, West Wales.
View from the pool in Milk Wood Spa
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Dylan Coastal Resort in West Wales is part of the Luxury Lodges Collection and a beautiful coastal escape, bordered by lush green countryside. It’s a place to totally relax, soak up beautiful scenery, get outdoors in nature and just breathe.
The charming town off Laugharne is just steps away with its ancient castle, cute cottages and quirky pubs. And, when you’ve had your fill of all that you can while away your time in the stunning Milk Wood Spa…
View of the Taf Estuary from the resort
Where is The Dylan Coastal Resort?
The resort is near to the tiny town of Laugharne, which sits overlooking the Taf Estuary, in Carmarthenshire, West Wales. Laugharne (pronounced Larne) is known for being the place where poet Dylan Thomas spent the last years of his life, a place he loved. Laugharne is also the location where much of the filming for the recent TV series Keeping Faith took place.
The resort is a few minutes’ walk from Laugharne town and its ancient castle. The Wales Coastal Path and the beautiful Carmarthenshire countryside are steps away. Other nearby attractions include the wide swathes of Pendine Sands, Saundersfoot and the town of Tenby, possibly the prettiest seaside town in Wales.
Milk Wood House – location of the Milk Wood Spa and Milk Wood Bar and Kitchen
Dylan Coastal Resort, which used to be known as Laugharne Holiday Park, has recently benefited from a splurge of investment. Over £7m has seen it morph from a traditional holiday park into something rather special.
58 newly-built contemporary lodges are tiered onto the hillside overlooking the panoramic and beautifully beguiling Taf Estuary.
Milk Wood House is home to the stylish Milk Wood Kitchen and Bar and the stunning Milk Wood Spa – home to the most scenic pool I’ve ever had the pleasure of dipping my toes into.
Views over the Taf Estuary
The Taf Estuary
I wouldn’t usually dedicate a paragraph to a view but this one is outstanding, and the lodges are arranged to take full advantage. The Taf Estuary wends its way into the silhouette of the Gower Peninsular and North Devon coastline.
The estuary is as ever-changing as the tide. Water, blue as the sky at high tide turns pale and interesting with sparkling rivulets breaking through the sandbanks at low tide. Every time I looked the estuary had taken on a new dimension, colour or energy and was completely mesmerising.
The Milk Wood Spa
Infinity Pool at Milk Wood Spa
The spa at Dylan Coastal Resort is stunning. If there’s an award for spa with the best view then Milk Wood Spa would win it. A two-storey wall of glass brings the glorious countryside views into the spa and reflections of trees and clouds float on the calm surface of the infinity pool. The texture of local slate and granite contrast nicely with the glass.
The glass-fronted sauna, herbal steam room and themed showers overlook the pool area and there’s a mezzanine relaxation zone above with huge comfy chairs and sofas.
The neighbouring infinity hydrotherapy pool sits in an open-fronted area with a chrome underwater couch to lay back and soak up the views. Behind it is a tepidarium (relaxation room) with curved heated beds.
The spa has two treatment rooms and offers a range of treatments, massages and organic seaweed therapies. Manicures and pedicures take place at stations in the comfy lounge area and a small gym with Technogym equipment overlooks the estuary views. The changing rooms have showers, toilets, changing cubicles and lockers and use gorgeous Ishga toiletries.
Currently 45 minute sessions in the spa need to be pre-booked to allow for cleaning and Covid systems. A maximum of 12 people are allowed in at any one session and the area is then closed for 15 minutes for cleaning.
There’s no additional cost to visit the spa for residents of Dylan Coastal Resort. Treatments are, however, at an additional cost as would be expected.
The Milk Wood Bar and Kitchen
One of three terraces at Milk Wood House
Make sure you acquaint yourself with all three of Milk Wood House’s terraces. Each separate terrace has a panoramic view of the estuary – some the best views in the resort. The restaurant is light and airy with modern décor and a choice of tables and chairs, banquette seating and, of course, that view.
The open kitchen features a wood-fired pizza oven next to a well-stocked bar. The menu offers a range of dishes which showcase locally sourced ingredients from coast to countryside.
Dinner at Milk Wood Bar and Kitchen
I chose Monkfish with mussel butter, dill pangrattato, served with potted shrimp potatoes. The chaps had beer battered loin of cod with mushy peas and hand cut chips and AP plumped for the roast chicken with potato dauphinois, spring onion and roast chicken sauce. We ordered a side of green beans.
The food was beautifully cooked and full of flavour and was enjoyed with a good bottle of red. We were too full for dessert!
Dining area at Milk Wood Bar and Kitchen
You’ll find everything you need in the Milk Wood Bar and Kitchen, from light snacks, seasonal salads, sandwiches and cakes to a good dinner menu. The food is tasty and beautifully presented. There’s also a decent selection of wines and a cocktail menu. The staff are attentive, friendly and obviously thrilled to welcome guests back to Milk Wood House.
Milk Wood House
The contemporary lodges come in various designs and blend into the landscape with the use of natural stone, wood and slate. The living space is open-plan and finished with modern, comfortable furnishings and state-of-the-art equipment.
Al fresco living has been carefully thought through. Lodges have either a decked terrace or a balcony directly overlooking the estuary.
Facilities at the Resort
There are two outdoor tennis courts at Dylan Coastal Resort, one of which has the most amazing view. The courts are free to use on a first come first served basis. Racquets and balls can be provided although we took our own.
There’s a new children’s’ play area although I wouldn’t say the resort is necessarily geared up towards younger children.
Our Dylan Lodge
We stayed in one of the Dylan Lodges, number 6, a stylish, two-bedroom lodge with two bathrooms – one family bathroom and one en-suite. There’s a spacious living area and large outdoor deck.
The décor was light, airy and spacious with neutral tones and accents of earth elements. All the rooms, except bathrooms, had high vaulted ceilings. The lodge was spotlessly clean, and everything looked very new.
The Living Area
Lounge area in Dylan Lodge
After entering the front door there’s a small lobby and boot room. This leads into the spacious open-plan living area which is flooded with light from the floor to ceiling patio doors. A comfy corner sofa, rugs and glass coffee tables make the lounge area cosy and inviting. The dining area seats up to six people comfortably.
The huge flat screen TV with full Samsung entertainment system would have been welcomed on a rainy day but we were blessed with good weather so didn’t use it. There’s WiFi in all the lodges which doesn’t require a passcode and a telephone.
Kitchen in Dylan Lodge
The kitchen area is well equipped with everything you’d need to self-cater if you wanted to, which we did one evening. Appliances include an oven and hob, fridge-freezer, microwave, toaster and tea and coffee-making facilities. Cutlery, crockery, cooking pans and all the usual utensils are there too. A welcome pack of essentials with tea, coffee, sugar, milk, orange juice and butter awaited our arrival.
A small cleaning pack with mini washing up liquid, three dishwasher tablets, cleaning sponge and refuse sack was provided along with a tea-towel. There’s a small dishwasher, a washer dryer if you need to wash any clothing during your stay and a vacuum cleaner.
The Main Bedroom
Double bedroom with ensuite
Dylan lodges have two good-sized bedrooms with cool, calm décor, high quality bed linen, bedside lamps and flat-screen TVs.
We took the master bedroom which had a very comfortable king-size bed and a choice of two pillows. Soft and squashy or nicely firm. Furniture included two good sized bed-side chests with drawers, a small dressing table and built-in double wardrobe which contained hangers, more drawers and a safe.
The en-suite bathroom is a good size with a large walk-in shower with both rainforest and hand-held showers. I loved the simplicity of the on/off button for the shower. No complicated taps which combine on off with hot and cold. It’s the little things!
There was also a large ceramic hand-basin, toiletries, heated towel rail laden with soft, fully towels and, of course, a loo. Towelling robes, slippers and hairdryer are also provided.
The Second Bedroom
Second Bedroom, Dylan Lodge
This was the bigger of the two bedrooms, overlooking the deck, and set up with two large twin beds. Again, there’s a dressing table, spacious built-in wardrobe, hairdryer and robes. An iron and ironing board are also provided.
The Main Bathroom
The family bathroom
The family bathroom is accessed from the living area. It’s a good size with large shower, bath tub, ceramic hand basin and loo. Again, you’ll find a large heated towel rail loaded with soft, white towels and toiletries.
The Outdoor Terrace and Deck
Dylan Lodge Terrace with hot tub
Our Dylan Lodge had a large deck area with a gorgeous dining table and chairs and two matching sun loungers – I’d quite like these at home! We were lucky with the weather and breakfasted on the terrace one morning. The star of the show is a hot tub with views across the estuary and the perfect spot for enjoying a sundowner.
To the right and behind the lodge are hedgerows and meadows. At the front is a driveway with room for two cars.
Luxury lodge with hot tub
What to see and do nearby
Laugharne Town Hall and Clocktower
Wend your way downhill from Milk Wood House through a small area of woodland and you’ll come to the Wales Coast Path which in turn takes you to the tiny town of Laugharne.
You’ll find a handful of pubs, cafes, tea rooms, restaurants and a small grocery store on the Grist, High Street and surrounding the old market cross. There are many little lanes with rows of cute cottages.
Head towards the estuary and the marshy waterfront and you’ll find yourself face to face with the remains of Laugharne Castle which was built as a Norman stronghold in the twelfth century.
For the princely sum of £4 you can explore inside the castle. Discover the summerhouse where Dylan Thomas wrote ‘Portrait of an Artist’ and see the towers close up. The small gift shop sells souvenirs and ice creams.
Explore Dylan Thomas’ Laugharne
Welcome to ‘the strangest town in Wales’ as Laugharne’s most famous resident, Dylan Thomas, once referred to it. Dylan Thomas is one of Wales’ most famous poets responsible for writing the ‘play for voices’ – Under Milk Wood and ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’.
You’ll find many references to him around the town and can stop by many of his old haunts and watering holes including his final resting place in St Martin’s churchyard.
Dylan Thomas’ Boathouse
Dylan Thomas’ Boathouse
On the Coast Path just two minutes from the resort you’ll discover the Dylan Thomas Boathouse, the house where he lived with his family from 1949 to 1953 and, it’s believed, worked on Under Milk Wood.
The Boathouse is now a museum, shop and tearoom which you can visit. Check the Boathouse website as you may need to pre-book.
Dylan Thomas’ Writing Shed
Thomas’ famous writing shed is nearby, converted from the Boathouse garage. It’s been recreated to look as it would have when he used it for writing. Take a peek inside, it looks as though he’s just popped out and will soon be back in his chair writing away and drawing inspiration from the view.
Brown’s Hotel, Thomas’ favourite watering hole is a must stop for a drink in Dylan’s Bar. Apparently he spent so much time at the hotel that he gave out their number as his own. The hotel restaurant, Dexter’s Steak and Grill, is said to be excellent. Although we didn’t eat there the food looked good.
The Dylan Thomas Birthday Walk – 2 miles
‘Poem in October’ written in 1944 is about the walk that Dylan Thomas took on his birthday to the edge of Sir John’s hill. It’s about his love of Laugharne and his thoughts on getting older – he took the walk on his thirtieth birthday.
The Birthday Walk takes you past Dylan’s boathouse, the castle and alongside the estuary before taking a countryside walk back to the town. As you walk alongside the estuary you can look back to see Dylan Coastal Resort and view its location on the hill.
Along the route are a series of benches inscribed with lines from ‘Poem in October’ along with information panels telling the history of the area and more about the poet. A poignant signpost reads ‘the last verse’ and leads to the final information panel before heading back along the path and inland to the countryside.
The Dylan Thomas Birthday Walk
Laugharne Heritage Walk 1.7 miles
The Laugharne heritage circular walk also starts in the Grist car park by the castle. The Heritage Walks takes you around the town past the places of interest in Laugharne. As it’s a circular walk it can be taken in either direction and The Birthday Walk can be added at the end if you’d like a longer hike.
Follow the way markers and be sure to wear good walking shoes as it can get muddy. The walk is moderate with some gentle climbs and one set of steps. Check the tides – you may have to start in the town if it’s in.
A short drive, or a five mile walk via the Coast Path, are Pendine Sands, a 7-mile sweeping stretch of sandy beach, where, Malcolm Campbell set two Bluebird land speed records.
Visit the Museum of Speed which you’ll find next to the cafes and shops selling local ice creams or just find yourself a deck chair and enjoy the beach.
Tenby Harbour, Pembrokeshire
Just over the border in Pembrokeshire is the pretty seaside town of Tenby. It’s 19 miles away and a 35-minute drive from Laugharne and a must-do day trip.
The colourful harbour town has a choice of three blue-flag beaches all within walking distance of the town-centre. There are medieval walls to explore, boat trips to the Holy Island of Caldey, and winding lanes full of independent shops, bars and restaurants. The small harbour reminded me of towns like St Ive’s in Cornwall and Ilfracombe in North Devon.
There are two lifeboat stations; the new one and the old one which is worth a look because it’s been converted into a private home and was featured on the TV show Grand Designs. Definitely worth taking a peek at.
The town of Carmarthen, with its castle, is around a 20-minute drive away and has a range of large supermarkets and shops which are useful if you’re going to be self-catering.
A break at Dylan Coastal Resort is all about spending quality time together in stylish accommodation with the fabulous facilities of Milk Wood spa and Milk Wood Bar and Kitchen close by.
The luxury lodges make for a relaxed and comfortable stay and the hot tub and fabulous views really give it the edge. I loved the contemporary style, comfortable furnishings and beautiful location of Laugharne, its history, and the Taf Estuary right on the doorstep.
Attention to detail was spot on from start to finish and we felt totally secure with the systems put in place to ensure a Covid-free environment.
We thoroughly enjoyed the lodge, spa, bar and restaurant and the local area and returned home feeling refreshed, relaxed and revitalised. Dylan Coastal Resort and its luxury lodges are the perfect base for exploring this beautiful part of Wales.
The resort is perfect for couples and families with older children looking to relax in stylish surroundings, who enjoy a gorgeous spa, good dining and the outdoors. The two-bedroom lodges are perfect for two sets of couples or families.
We had friends with us and there was plenty of room in the lodge for us to spread out and relax. The fact that the lodge had two bathrooms also helped.
- A cot and highchair are available on request.
- No pets are allowed
- Not all lodges have hot tubs, so you’ll need to check this before booking.
Detailed arrival directions, guest directory and a Dylan Coastal Resort map with had been e-mailed beforehand so we knew exactly how it would all work. We were also in contact by text before, during and after our stay.
Check-in is at 4pm and is contactless. The key was secured in a key-safe and we’d received the code prior to arrival. Our lodge had undergone a deep-clean with items like remote controls sanitised and bagged up and signed off.
We needed to confirm by email 48-hours before that we were displaying no symptoms of Covid before we’d be allowed on site. All these systems left us reassured that they’d be no Covid risk during our stay.
The Dylan Coastal Resort, Laugharne, Carmarthen, SA33 4SG, Wales
Tel: 01994 438 148
Our accommodation and dinner in the Milk Wood Bar and Kitchen were complimentary, however, all views, opinions and love of a luxury lodge with hot tub and epic views are entirely my own. Thank you to everyone at Dylan Coastal Resort who made our visit so enjoyable.
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