We do love a hotel, and N in particular was looking forward to our first break away since February 2020. He loves the breakfasts, although I did have to warn him that they wouldn’t be buffet style. Damn you Covid. But we were still looking forward to get something like normal holidays back again. This time we were doing a two hotel break, so I was looking for three nights in a Tenby hotel, and one night detouring on the way home in Ludlow. After looking online we decided on Heywood Spa Hotel Tenby.
This time I booked via booking.com, further in advance than I usually do as it was over bank holiday and Easter holidays. Heywood Spa hotel was near enough to walk into Tenby centre as needed, had parking, wifi, and the pool was a highlight too. Given N hadn’t swum since the weekend before lockdown 1 (apart from at a friend’s house in their lake), it would be good for him to get in some practice.
The hotel was very efficient with their booking. I had multiple confirmations about them having booked us the twin beds we wanted rather than a double, information about pre-checking and our stay. When I emailed asking about pool booking, they phoned me straight away to book me in and explain how it was working.
We did online check in before arriving, then finalised it at the desk when we went to leave our car there before heading to explore the town. The receptionists we met during our stay were lovely. Really friendly and helpful in answering our questions. We were surprised they had no local maps at reception, but they were helpful with directions and whether we would need to book when eating out.
When we stay on mini breaks, we usually gather as many tourist leaflets as possible from the hotel (and tourist information – which Tenby seemed to be lacking), but the hotel only had a couple of places. It just meant I had to make the call on where we would go from my original research back home, and what I checked out on the internet the night before.
When it came to checking out, they very efficiently sent an email/text for online check out. So we only needed to drop our key in the box on the way out.
Our room at Heywood Spa Hotel was fine. We were on the ground floor but it wasn’t too noisy as we only had 4-5 rooms past ours. As with most hotels, the walls are thin so we could hear people talking, and one side of us the first night, listened to their tv very loudly.
The key was an old style metal key rather than card. Our first couple of times going out on day one, we went wandering around the hotel and out into town, not noticing that the door wasn’t one that locked behind us. Oops.
The pillows were soft and the beds were quite soft too, but I slept ok once I got rid of the second pillow. The beds were a little short. My feet were near the end, and I’m only 5ft 5, so the OH would have struggled at 6ft in a twin bed.
What was lovely was that all the rooms had a balcony or terraced area to sit out in. It overlooked the grass area in front of the pool and restaurant so it was nice to sit out in the sun in the evening. Having the terrace doors does mean no window, so being on the ground floor we couldn’t air the room at night or if we weren’t in. Our neighbour one side liked to go outside and smoke in the mornings, which meant we had to keep our doors shut unless we wanted the smell of smoke in our room.
There was a modern tv on the wall (although the tv remote was old and channels were hard to find). The bonus was all the plug sockets. Two for each of the twin beds, plus others in the room, so it was no issue charging electronics when needed.
The wifi wasn’t the best at busy times, although N had no issue with getting on Youtube. It was just a pain having to login each time, each day, even though we ticked the ‘stay connected’ box.
The bathroom was nice with a gorgeous double shower. It wasn’t super strong, but was fine for getting shampoo out of hair. It’s good just having a shower and not having to worry about climbing over a bath side to have a shower. The hotel provides the usual toiletries, and the towels were decent quality and soft, not scratchy. Because we went swimming a few times, we did use the towel rail to dry our bathrobes and costumes as they weren’t drying very well otherwise. Every time it got up to temperature it would turn off, so I’d come back from being out and thinking I’d not turned it on. Better for the environment and not making the room hot, but it took ages to dry towels on.
N loved the bathrobes that we could use to go down to the pool. I just used my flip flops but he used oversized slippers. He looked very funny going down the hotel corridors. There is a (very nice) changing room (which is like a large family room) and showers for before/after the pool. But they ask that you arrive at the pool ready to swim. We collected towels from reception on our way through. I’m not sure whether this was just covid related protocol, or a normal request.
They recommended booking for the pool for 45 minute slots, during the 7am-8pm opening times. It was a bit strange walking through the bar to get to the spa and pool, but it was always empty at the time we went through and we didn’t have any problems getting the time slots we wanted.
The pool is long and narrow with steps in one end. There’s also a jacuzzi (over 16s only), hot tub outside, sauna (which was out of action when we were there), and a really nice conservatory with sunbeds you could leave your towel and robe on, or just enjoy the sun sitting there.
The water was warm enough, and it was pleasant to swim in although not large. We swam twice, the first time there was a couple in there swimming too. It wasn’t a problem with 4 in the pool. I think the maximum number they say is 6, but you’d struggle to swim with more than 4. The second time there was a couple who mostly stayed in the jacuzzi, and another couple came later into the slot to use the hot tub.
We’d chosen to have bed and breakfast. When we arrived we were asked what time we wanted to book our breakfast slot between 8-10. We said 8, but the first time we ate, we noticed that it said breakfast served from 7.30-10 weekdays. We switched to 7.30 for the other days we were there with the restaurant staff.
At breakfast there were never more than 4 other tables being used at once. The restaurant is really nicely decorated, and no wonky tables at any that we sat at.
The waiting staff while we were there were lovely, like all the other hotel staff we met. We ordered the cooked part of our breakfast. N was offered hot chocolate which he said was ok but not the best he’d had.
Continental breakfast was buffet, although a limited choice compared with larger hotels we usually stay at.. It’s quite a small hotel with 22 rooms, so they can’t offer everything. I’d have liked berries with yoghurt rather than citrus fruit, but I had greek yoghurt with oranges, pumpkin seeds and pistachios which was tasty and fresh. N loved the warm mini pastries, and might have eaten 3 a day. There was also a choice of (healthy) boxed cereals (no coco pops treat for him!).
I did have an initial issue burning his toast – I couldn’t work out how to pop it up from the toaster and check. But attempt 2 he did himself with no issues.
There were several cooked options alongside the full English: kippers, smoked salmon, smoked haddock, pancakes or porridge. We chose bacon, sausages and scrambled eggs. We’d have preferred the sausages to be cooked a bit more. They weren’t particularly special sausages. Rather than looking like ‘local’ farm shop type sausages, they felt more like bog standard shop bought ones although they did taste ok. Neither of us were keen on the bacon as it was a bit tough. The scrambled eggs were excellent – really nice and creamy.
Location wise, Heywood Spa Hotel is about a mile from the centre of Tenby. Like most coastal towns, it is very hilly, so you need to be willing to walk 20 mins in and out up hills. We enjoyed the walk and it was very easy. There was a Co-op and petrol station at the roundabout on our way in, so we stopped in there if we needed anything.
We didn’t drive into Tenby at all, so just left the car in the free carpark at the hotel. But there are several places you can park in the town if needed.
We had a great stay at Heywood Spa Hotel Tenby, and would definitely stay there again if in the area.
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