Please tell other members a bit about you and your business
It all started back in 2008 as we had been looking to diversify for a number of years into something that would run alongside our farming business. After a family holiday to Scotland, and seeing some lovely log cabins by Loch Tay, we thought that running a couple of self catering cabins would be an ideal adventure for ourselves. We knew nothing about being involved in the running of the hospitality industry, but had a good idea about what we liked from staying at a couple of properties, in terms of living space, kitchen, bathroom and outside area.
We put an awful lot of thought into the siting of the cabins to make the most of the views, privacy and the prevailing weather conditions with regards to the outside areas, balcony, hot tub and verandah. After extensive internet searching, we came across a company in Estonia who made “real” log houses as built in the traditional Scandinavian way. We headed to Estonia, looked at some log houses and were blown away by the craftsmanship and skill of the guys that were building them by hand, and of course the sustainability of using wood.
The cabins were designed and ordered. We visited Estonia again to check on the building progress, and built up a great bond with the guys who came over to erect the cabins log by log back home in Wales.
We welcomed our first guests in May 2009 to our first log cabin, Ty Afal, then opened Ty Ceirios and lastly Ty Peren.
Each of our cabins has three bedrooms, two ensuite with a separate twin bedroom and shower room. Open plan kitchen/dining area and lounge. Upstairs furnished mezzanine level leads onto the balcony with great countryside views. Outside sits the hot tub on a large decked area with patio furniture. A short walk from the cabins takes you to Lover’s Lake with jetty. There is also an outside fire pit area by the lake.
Some members might recognise your cabins from the popular ITV series, The Cabins. Can you tell us how it all came about?
I was contacted back in 2020 via an email asking whether I would be interested in the first season of The Cabins dating show, but declined. In March 2021 the same person contacted me again, when this time we decided why not! After a couple of zoom calls showing what the log cabins looked like, the production company decided they would love to use our log cabins and the surrounding area, as we have a lake, nature walks and are surrounded by beautiful trees. They were also determined to have a location in Wales for the second series of the show.
What was it like being part of the series?
It was great fun being part of such a large scale tv production. The whole process took about six weeks and was quite hectic. We obviously took a great interest in the transformation of the cabins into a TV set, which by the way, was totally impractical for a holiday let!
The Production village was on the farm and at some times there were over a hundred people busy on site, so we took advantage of the on site canteen!
We were not allowed anywhere near the filming as it all takes place in secret. There were almost a hundred hotel and B&B rooms booked for the crew and contestants in the surrounding area with local restaurants, shops, taxi company, laundry facility, attractions and I’m sure many other businesses all benefitting from this production.
Have you seen an uplift in guest bookings / enquiries since The Cabins aired?
Since The Cabins aired on ITV2 we have seen a surge in enquiries via our website, and in particular many more followers on social media. However, this was never about more bookings, it was to showcase something we feel immensely proud of, our log cabins and the beautiful area we live in.
Do you have any advice for other tourism businesses looking to feature on TV? What do you think it was about Dwr y Felin that made producers come to you?
We did not actively look to feature on tv but it always helps to have at least one USP and if you can try to combine as many features as you can, a pond, woodland walk, and look at what you're providing from your guests point of view and compromise that with what works for you.
What do you enjoy most about running your business? (in normal times, when you don’t have a film crew!)
We enjoy meeting and talking with the guests from so many parts of the UK, and take great pleasure in showing them around our log cabins and promoting the many places and attractions mid Wales has to offer. We have taken great pride and satisfaction from building and running our own business, even though self catering can be very challenging at times.
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