A convivial, characterful old coaching inn, updated and a big hit with today’s travellers. Good food in the restaurant and bar, and a great atmosphere – locals mix with visitors in this award-winning inn. Charming setting in an attractive little Brecon Beacons town.
The Bear’s ancestry as a coaching inn is plainly evident. A cobbled forecourt, archway into the inner courtyard and 15th-century stagecoach timetable in the bar are all reminders of the Bear’s former role. Traditions live on, for travellers still look forward to stopping off at the Bear, a hotel famous for its welcoming atmosphere, historic character, convivial surroundings and good food. Its many accolades for hospitality include a prestigious Good Pub Guide ‘Inn of the Year’ award in 2010.
The Bear’s low-beamed bar, filled with antiques and shabby-chic furnishings (here long before they became a fashion statement) and warmed by a roaring log fire in winter, sets the style for a place to stay that is warm and characterful rather than a hotel in the grand manner. You’ll be looked after by caring hosts Steve and Sam Hindmarsh, who are also proud of the Bear’s reputation for serving interesting, freshly cooked food.
Although a building of great antiquity – it dates back to 1432 – the Bear tastefully incorporates all modern comforts into its historic surroundings. Rooms within the hotel and the renovated courtyard – a blaze of colour with hanging baskets in summer – are individually furnished with carefully chosen fabrics. Popular with locals and visitors alike (including Johnny Depp, Robbie Williams and Gordon Ramsey), the Bear is the social hub of the pretty little town of Crickhowell. It is the perfect base for exploring the Brecon Beacons National Park and border country, the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, Tretower Court and Castle, the market towns of Brecon and Abergavenny, and Hay-on-Wye, the famous ‘town of books’.