What is the story?
Pivoting may seem like a thoroughly modern phenomenon, but Milford Haven has been doing it for centuries. The town of Pembrokeshire was founded in 1793 as a whaling station. Economic challenges forced him to turn to shipbuilding, then fishing and eventually the oil and gas industries. To spearhead its latest transformation into a tourist destination, the Port of Milford Haven has teamed up with Celtic Collection – which run some of Wales’ best-known hotels – to open the 100-bedroom venue.
One of the modern bedrooms
What do we like?
A ringside seat above a working dock might seem uninspiring, but we find its cargo moves and tanker maneuvers surprisingly engrossing. Next to the hotel, the sparkling white boats of the marina provide a glamorous counterpoint.
Ty’s contemporary the design makes the most of its location with a wall of windows that runs the length of its lobby lounge and kitchen-style seafood brasserie, so every table overlooks the waterfront Eighty-four of the clean, clutter-free greige bedrooms share this salty view. Four are custom-built “floatel” cabins moored among marina boats — though their expanse of glass and balconies looks like a small goldfish bowl to me. The rest of the rooms take advantage of the pea-green hills beyond the city skyline.
Public spaces are quietly nautical: referencing the warm rusty browns and verdigris of the shipyard, and the deep blues and ocher hues of the Pembrokeshire coast. Yachties in shorts and flip-flops keep the vibe laid-back.
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The talented chef Simon Crockford presides over the Dulse restaurant, named after the edible seaweed that features prominently on the menu. Locals call this rich, meaty seaweed smoked sea bacon; foodies prefer to describe its flavor as umami. Either way, the seaweed-lime vinaigrette that comes with my quinoa salad, along with butternut squash, edamame beans, pickled watermelon, and toasted pumpkin seeds is a fresh and inventive sea breeze ( £8.50), while my generous bowl of mussels is deliciously creamy (£18). The young team, in checked shirts and jeans, finds the right balance between friendliness and efficiency. The only disappointment is the breakfast buffet, which is below average compared to dinner.
Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire
Milford Waterfront has a handful of shops and cafes, including Martha’s Vineyard, which is a good spot for aperitifs (marthasvineyard.co.uk). The Milford Haven Museum traces the town back to its Quaker roots (£4; milfordhavenmuseum.co.uk). Tenby and Saundersfoot beaches and charming St Davids, the only UK town to record no crime in 2021, are less than 40 minutes away by car.
Susan d’Arcy was a guest of ty-hotels.com. B&B doubles from £109; mains from £16.50; suitable for children; accessible; dog friendly; Restaurants
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