24th July 2020

Featured / Outdoors / The Rocks At Plas Curig

For The Love Of It: The Rocks at Plas Curig

18 4 mins 2

This is a story of how Christian and Annie Wynne followed their dreams and came to be the co-creators of The Rocks at Plas Curig. A beautifully and thoughtfully designed hostel, situated in the Snowdonia National Park; it's a place to be free, to experience the great outdoors and to meet and connect with others.

When I met Annie in 2010, in Manchester, I would never have guessed where we would be now and what we would be doing.

I was several years into a successful career, commuting to London regularly from my home in North Wales, managing the finances of the UK’s biggest musicians and actors. Annie was imminently moving to London from her home in the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire, to work as a clothing designer for a well-known high street fashion brand.

We fell in love and it felt right to move my many boxes (I’m a bit of a hoarder) to London with her. We lived happily for 8 years, enjoying everything that inner-city living had to offer. But, it wasn’t ever going to be forever, we knew that quite early on. Something more was beckoning, we just didn’t know what it was at the time.

On the various trips to see family in North Wales, it became apparent to us that Snowdonia and the surrounding area (Lleyn Peninsular, Anglesey etc.) was going through a transition. The mountains had always been very popular with mountaineers, hikers, climbers, cyclists, the list goes on. But more and more people had started to look for adventure on U.K shores, rather than abroad (this ‘staycation’ buzzword), and with the relatively recent addition of Zip World, Adventure Parc Snowdonia and the increase of award-winning festivals such as The Good Life Experience and Festival No.6,  there were now even more reasons to visit the area.

Our mind was made up – move there, buy a hostel! A place where people can congregate and share their experiences of the National Park, as well as life in general. Hostels, over hotels and B&B’s, have a unique ability to draw stories out of people, connect complete strangers, share experiences and create lasting friendships.

A place where people can congregate and share their experiences of the National Park, as well as life in general.

Christian Wynne

We knew we wanted to include the inspiration we took from travelling to places such as Argentina, India, Morocco, Myanmar and the Basque Country, and from the London life we were leaving behind. A space suitable for guests to come to stay and uniquely experience what the mountains, rivers, forests and adventure attractions that the Snowdonia National Park has to offer.

Eventually, we found the right place in the beautiful and well located village of Capel Curig, 5 miles away from Snowdon itself.

On 1st February 2018, ‘The Rocks at Plas Curig Hostel’ was born.

So much has happened since that day. Last year, we welcomed over 12,000 guests to their ‘home from home’ right in the centre of Northern Snowdonia. We believe that the vibe of the hostel is what guests experience from the minute they set foot in the building. Just because it is a ‘hostel’ (in that guests share the facilities), it doesn’t mean that it has to be basic, without any emphasis on design and functionality. Designed in the correct way, with the guest at the centre of our thinking, it costs almost nothing more to make a big difference and a great stay for a fraction of the price of a hotel. In our first year, we made a point of asking our wonderful guests for feedback on their stay and how their stay could be improved on. ‘The Rocks’ is now the only 5* Independent hostel in Wales and has featured in various publications, such as in The Times, The Sunday Times, TimeOut London and have recently featured in ‘The Luxury Hostels of The World’ guidebook.

We are passionate about keeping it ‘local’ as much as possible. We enjoy meeting and collaborating with people and businesses in a whole manner of specialities; from artists to coffee roasteries, paddleboarders to gin distillers and breweries to mountain leaders. We’re very proud to be doing what we are doing, making a difference our guest’s experience and introducing them to this relatively tiny, yet stunningly beautiful area of the U.K, as it continues to go from strength to strength.

The Rocks at Plas Curig Hostel has 14 rooms which are all currently bookable privately (no rooms are shared with other groups until it is safe to do so) and guests dogs will be welcomed by the hostel resident Labradoodles – Ralph and Mali!

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Set in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park, The Rocks at Plas Curig hostel is a family-run, 5-star (Visit Wales accreditation), dog-friendly hostel, co-created by Christian and Annie Wynne. It is nestled just minutes away from Betws-y-Coed, the Ogwen Valley and the Snowdon Horseshoe. The hostel is a beautiful building which has been a bastion of exploration for the travelling and adventure community who visit Snowdonia all year round, year-on-year since the 1940s when it first became a YHA. Included in The Sunday Times top 'Poshtels' of Europe and 'The Luxury Hostels of the World' book.

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