Dylan Coastal Resort on Wales’ beautiful South Coast forms part of Luxury Lodges portfolio of destinations. Situated in the breathtaking location of Carmarthenshire, this incredibly family friendly, premium resort offers a luxurious and unforgettable coastal getaway.
We had the pleasure of visiting for three nights as a family of four, staying in the Sonnet pet friendly lodge - as we were joined by our seven year old Lurcher, Wilma. She was incredibly pleased to be coming with us - she didn’t sign up for the two children who have joined the family in the past six years so is often (sadly!) sidelined for holidays. Those with a dog in the family that predates the children, may understand / sympathise here!
The Resort is named after the famous association with the Welsh poet and writer Dylan Thomas. He lived in Laugharne from 1949 until his death in 1953. Thomas drew inspiration from the town's beauty and tranquillity and it is said that Laugharne influenced much of his work. The Boathouse, Thomas's former home, is now a museum dedicated to his life and work. We stopped by his writing shed during our walk along the coastal path, which is set up as his desk once was back in the day, with writing and pictures surrounding it which was a fun little historical tick for our six year old!
On the day of arrival, we were greeted by the team at Dylan Coastal Resort via text message - they made us feel immediately welcomed, with all of the information we needed regarding check in and our surrounding facilities. They offer a remote check-in process, which we found smooth and efficient, ensuring a seamless start to the stay. It worked particularly well as we had a long journey and arrived fairly late into the evening so it saved lots of admin late at night with tired children.
The resort itself is quiet and tranquil, nestled amidst stunning natural surroundings, with panoramic views of the coast. The beach at the bottom of the resort is lovely for walks straight from your door, with buggy friendly pathways all the way down. Just a note that it isn’t sandy, so not bucket and spade worthy (it’s quite a marshy, muddy beach). Saying this, our 6 year old still happily got stuck in with her wellies on and found some shells and sea creatures for the collection.
We took with us our Thule toddler backpack for our 11 month old daughter which was fantastic - if you don’t have one I can highly recommend it for trips away. It’s incredibly lightweight and has great storage capacity underneath it for all you need on a walk with children (nappy changing bag, hats, suncream, drinks and snacks for luring them home).
It’s Wales so read: Hills. The resort and surrounding area is hilly and use of your car on site is discouraged for environmental and congestion reasons. When I went to the gym I quite enjoyed the hilly power walk as a warm up, but for the children, we utilised the very handy electric concierge car (with a kind and helpful chauffeur on hand!) which was free of charge and super handy when taking the children back to the lodge after a swim. All whinging was curtailed - so a huge win.
The accommodations at Dylan Coastal Resort are perfect for families, groups or even couples. The setup was a spacious, beautifully designed and well equipped holiday lodge with all the amenities you could need for self catering, laundry and organising the family. We requested a dog bed, and bowls for Wilma, plus a travel cot and high chair for our baby which were waiting for us when we arrived. This was fantastic as it saved space in the car. Just be aware that you’ll need to bring your own cot bedding and cot mattress, I’d also recommend taking along baby friendly plates, bowls and cutlery.
I feel the best judge of a lovely accommodation can be measured by the towel and bed linen test. Both, I am so so happy to share, were clean, crisp, fluffy and luxurious. We were also provided with two lovely cosy dressing gowns and slippers to lounge in.
The attention to detail was evident in every aspect of the lodge. The beds were very comfortable, the bathrooms had lovely showers and a bath with great water pressure (I know you may find me odd for mentioning this but we’ve been away to lodges in the past which dribble water, so bath time takes a while!!) I absolutely loved the private terrace upstairs where we could relax and soak in the amazing sea air and views with a cup of coffee in the mornings. The hot tub on the veranda was also a super addition and was so nice to unwind in the evenings with a glass of (very kindly provided - champagne!) as a couple after the children had gone to bed.
Dylan Coastal Resort Facilities
One of the highlights of our stay was the resort's extensive range of facilities. The onsite Milk Wood House spa offers a variety of indulgent treatments from an express 15 mins to 1hr+ , providing the perfect opportunity for relaxation and rejuvenation on any time scale. The infinity pool, which was a glorious mineral pool (no chlorine, the resort is very eco conscious and limits the use of chemicals everywhere) and adjoining outdoor infinity hot tub went down an absolute storm with both us and the children. Swimming with amazing views over the bay, with a huge sauna and steam room and rainforest and ice showers, as well as a dedicated relaxation room. Towels are there for you to use so you only need to bring
along your swim gear - there weren’t children’s pool toys or equipment there so if your little ones need armbands or other floating entertainment then do bring them along.
Despite it being very smart, I never once felt uncomfortable about having the children there playing and making noise. Everyone was so laid back and welcoming, even when my daughter chatted endlessly with the receptionist about every medical ailment that every member of the family has had over the past 4 years (snotty noses, chickenpox, spots…you get the gist.) She was so patient and lovely. Total saint.
I had one gym session during my stay (laziness prevailed on day one) and I had the place to myself. I have no idea if this is the norm but it was a real treat. The fitness centre is amazingly well equipped with the latest Technogym Artis equipment. The best bit, like the pool, was the incredible view looking out with floor to ceiling glass panoramic views of the sea and hillsides. There wasn’t a huge amount of floor space for mat work but as I was solo in there it wasn’t an issue. The machinery more than made up for it (in fact I wish I had such nice equipment at my local gym, I was totally spoilt for choice).
There was another saving grace just around the corner from our lodge - an onsite playground. This was surprisingly big and well equipped for a resort playground and easily accessible. Perfect to take the children off for some time while the other half relaxed and visa versa.
The Milk Wood restaurant and bar hosted us on our second night. The stairs are steep as this is the floor up from the spa, but there is a lift for buggies and wheelchairs if required, and there is plenty of space upstairs for both, and good access. We didn’t take Wilma but there is a dog friendly area on the terrace if you did have your four legged friend with you.
The menu was beautifully varied, with a lovely selection of farm to table dishes including vegan options. Ingredients are all locally sourced and the attentive service made dining a really enjoyable and relaxing experience (despite the two children in tow!). For starters we enjoyed local asparagus and truffled goats cheese and crayfish cocktail with wasabi. Our mains consisted of delicious fresh seabass and rostis and my husband had a halloumi flatbread - the children's menu was simple and tasty with generous portions. All dishes were beautifully presented and full of flavour. I really recommend eating here if you go, it was delicious.
The location of Dylan Coastal Resort is ideal for exploring the beauty of the surrounding area. From charming coastal towns to rugged landscapes, there is no shortage of attractions for families. The resort team was incredibly helpful in providing recommendations.
Gwili Railway: Gwili Railway is a heritage railway nestled in the picturesque Gwili Valley, this historic railway is very nostalgic - it is a beautifully restored steam and diesel train which takes you on a scenic ride through the stunning Welsh countryside. As you travel along the track, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of rolling hills, meandering rivers, and charming rural landscapes. The railway also hosts special events and themed experiences, such as Santa train rides and evening dining experiences, adding an extra touch of magic to your visit.
Folly Farm: This is super for children of all ages, it has a vintage fairground, zoo and lots of farm animals. There is plenty to do and it’s an easy all in one day out.
Pendine Sands: Just a short drive from Dylan Coastal Resort, (I believe its the closest sandy beach, took around 12 mins) Pendine Sands is a stunning seven-mile stretch of beach. It is famous for its association with land speed records in the early 20th century. You can take a leisurely stroll along the shore, build sandcastles, or even try land yachting on the expansive sands. We slightly mis-timed the tide coming in but even so, we had a great afternoon here. There was also lots of wind surfing going on!
Pembrey Country Park: Situated a few miles to the east of the resort, Pembrey Country Park is a huge recreational area spanning over 500 acres. It offers beautiful woodland walks, cycling trails, and a spectacular beach. You can also enjoy activities like horse riding, tobogganing, and exploring the park's historic sites, including Pembrey's 14th-century castle.
National Botanic Garden of Wales: A short drive north will lead you to the National Botanic Garden of Wales. This expansive garden features a wide variety of plant collections, including rare and exotic species. There are themed gardens, glasshouses, and even a tropical butterfly house. The garden also hosts regular events and exhibitions.
Laugharne Castle: History enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to Laugharne Castle, This 13th century castle is the ‘brown as owls’ castle beloved by Dylan Thomas, Laugharne’s most famous resident. He wrote ‘Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog’ in the castle summer house perched above glorious views of the Taf estuary.
Carmarthen: The county town of Carmarthenshire, Carmarthen, is within reach and offers a mix of historical attractions and modern amenities. You can explore Carmarthen Castle, visit St. Peter's Church, or browse the shops and boutiques in the town centre. There are also several museums, including the Carmarthenshire County Museum, which showcases the area's heritage. There is a Market on Saturdays here too which is worth a visit.
Outdoor Activities: The surrounding countryside offers opportunities for all outdoor fun such as hiking, cycling, and birdwatching if that’s your thing! We saw some amazing birds of prey, sadly my ability to identify them isn’t quite up to scratch though so I wouldn’t be able to tell you which! You can explore the scenic landscapes of the Brecon Beacons National Park or venture along the Wales Coast Path, which runs through the region, offering stunning views of the coastline. We didn’t go this far on this visit as we only had a couple of days but we spoke to another family who had been there for a week who said they had been out and about with the children exploring and it was brilliant.
These are just a few of the many attractions and activities available but whether you're interested in history, natural beauty, or outdoor adventures, you'll find plenty to explore and enjoy during your stay. The resort's concierge service can provide further recommendations and assist with arranging activities to make the most of your visit.
My Six Year Old Daughters Top 3 Favourite Things (Her words)
- The swimming pool
- Having chocolate icecream
- Yummy food, I liked the chips (!)
If I went again I would…
Definitely order a supermarket delivery, to save time driving to get food and organise meals. It took around 1.5hours out of the day to go back and forth as the main supermarkets are around a 25 minute drive. There are however local shops if you just need to pick up some small extras. If I’d been staying for longer I probably would have meal prepped some food and planned beforehand, so we could have saved even thinking about cooking and what to eat.
If you’re not keen on cooking or meal prepping, the restaurant is wonderful and had plenty of choice if you wanted to save all hassle of course.
Overall, our experience at Dylan Coastal Resort was nothing short of exceptional. The combination of stunning surroundings, luxurious accommodation, and impeccable service made for an unforgettable stay and we loved that feeling of our own self catering private space, but with access to top hotel type facilities at Milk Wood House. Whether you're looking for a family getaway or a peaceful retreat, I highly recommend it for a coastal escape.
Dylan Coastal Resort is part of Luxury Lodges, which was established in 2015 with the aim of catering to the needs of busy families in the UK, who were searching for holidays that were both practical and stylish. Recognising the absence of options in the market that fulfilled these requirements, Sharon Hurley, a mother and entrepreneur, was motivated to create a series of resorts that offered the ultimate desire of busy families – quality time spent together, free from the burdens of daily life.
It is worth mentioning that these holiday lodges are available to buy too - so if you’re keen to try them out before you invest then it’s a super way to dip your toe in the water for second home ownership. Luxury Lodges also offer accommodation in Cornwall and The Lake District.
Stays at Dylan Coastal Resort start from £389. For more information or to book, click here.
We will definitely be back!
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