We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“special place - all very calm and civilised”

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Hawarden
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Gladstone's Library
Ranked #1 of 2 Hawarden B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Kendal, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
74 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“special place - all very calm and civilised”
Reviewed 15 May 2012

We stayed here for one night in September on our way south. Many of the guests were academics doing research in the library, but everyone was very friendly and welcoming to us. The food was delicious - canteen style, but using good local suppliers. Atmospheric old diningroom with lots of wood. We loved the coffee in drawing room after dinner, with the honesty book for drinks. Lots of newspapers to read and the library to explore too. Stunning views over St Deniol's church. Incredibly good value.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Jules D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Turn Your Opinions into Points!
Turn your opinions into JPMiles
Turn your opinions into PAYBACK Points
*You can enroll in only one programme at a time to earn rewards for reviews.
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
JPMiles / PAYBACK
50

167 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    130
    29
    5
    3
    0
See reviews for
19
32
44
36
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
62 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2012

My first time here, my husband's 5th. He has raved about the Library and its accommodation for years . . .I now understand why.

The setting is gorgeous, the building beautiful, interesting and friendly fellow guests and staff. The books are amazing, breakfast and dinner delicious and the bedrooms have all that you need plus incredibly comfy beds.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank retsehcniw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wales, UK
Level Contributor
117 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 April 2012

I used the library for a training programme. The room I had was lovely. It had natural light and I asked for a clock and the receptionist found me one (great customer service). The staff are very helpful and the ambience is lovely - a change from inpersonal hotels. There is an on site retaurant which serves tea/coffee and food. This is excellent and good value. It is nice for course delegates to have a good choice of coffees and food. Timings are flexible to suit which is another advantage. There is free parking and a very relaxed feel to the place which really adds to people feeling they are getting away from it.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KfromWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liphook, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2012

Gladstone’s Library was founded by Victorian Statesman, William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898), arguably Britain's greatest Prime Minister, and the most significant Anglican lay person of the last two centuries. Gladstone, a millionaire, lived in the Castle in the village of Hawarden in North Wales, just a few miles from Chester. This is the site of St Deiniol's Library which Gladstone founded in 1889. It is the only Prime Ministerial Library in the UK and is unique in being a residential library with 26 study bedrooms, some now fully refurbished and en-suite.

It’s a fascinating Victorian building; with the double-tier library occupying one entire wing and the residential areas including the dining room, kitchen and chapel the other. The bedrooms and offices are spread across the whole of the first floor. You quickly get to find your way around as the building is not actually that large. I decided, after my week, that this is a rather special and unusual place.

The library is galleried with access to the second floor up some very narrow, winding and rickety stairs with rope handholds! Here you go back in time. This is an old-style ‘quiet’ library with individual study tables with desk lamps and old comfy leather chairs. It’s extremely conducive to study and thought, which of course is the USP of the place. It’s why it works so well. You come here specifically to think, write, study, reflect and retreat. It’s open in the evening until 10pm which I found to be a real boon.

The book collection covers mainly Theology and History with the emphasis on publications from the late Victorian period. The GladCat computer system makes finding books within the library very easy indeed. There’s a thrilling touch of serendipity to come across books with Gladstone’s own pencilled annotations!

The property has a mixture of older and the newer refurbished bedrooms. I had one of the older rooms (Room 7, no view) which was very spacious and with the bathroom directly opposite. There are no TV’s in any of the bedrooms which I think is good! Broadband is fast, free and available throughout the building although one guest said it didn’t work in some of the bedrooms. I had no problems. One bug-bear however was the horrible noise late at night and early in the morning caused by the expansion of the hot water pipes!

I found that in a very short time, the place draws you into its own daily rhythm. You feel very much apart from the day-to-day. There’s a lovely little modern Chapel on the ground floor. Communion takes place each weekday morning at 8am, following the Church of Wales Anglican liturgy.

The ‘Food for Thought’ Coffee Shop replaces the dining room during the day and provides snacks and drinks. I found the food overall – both in quantity and quality – adequate but not noteworthy. After dinner, the Gladstone Lounge takes on the atmosphere of a Club or Common Room. An honesty bar operates from this room. There is a good selection of daily newspapers available both in the Dining Room and in the Lounge. The Fox and Grapes, just a short distance away across the road, serves good beer and food if, as I did, you want to get away from the library for just a while.

‘Be inspired with the belief that life is a great and noble calling, not a mean and grovelling thing that we are to shuffle through as best we can, but an elevated and lofty destiny’. W. E Gladstone.

Room Tip: Older rooms = more space. Newer rooms = ensuite.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank GB01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2012

Thoughtful kitchen staff good with allergies. Library good on period politics, social conditions, the Christian faith and there is a new small Islamic reading room. Mattresses in some rooms may too hard for some. Generally a very relaxing place. Some Christian pastoral support. A glass of wine available with lunch or evening meal, and there is a pub across the road. Some Christian services in simple chapel.

Room Tip: higher floors can have awkward access but may be slightly quieter as less people would walk past
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Colsandannie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Hawarden
1.8 km away
Village Hotel Chester St David's
3.6 km away
Holiday Inn A55 - Chester (West)
4.1 km away
Northop Hall Country House Hotel
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
6.0 km away
Beaufort Park Hotel
6.8 km away
Soughton Hall Hotel
Soughton Hall Hotel
#1 of 3 in Northop
4.5 of 5 bubbles 86 reviews
3.6 km away
Gateway to Wales Hotel
Gateway to Wales Hotel
#31 of 44 in Chester
3.5 of 5 bubbles 448 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Gladstone's Library? Share your experiences!

Turn Your Opinions into Points!
Turn your opinions into JPMiles
Turn your opinions into PAYBACK Points
*You can enroll in only one programme at a time to earn rewards for reviews.
JPMiles / PAYBACK
50
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Gladstone's Library

Property: Gladstone's Library
Address: Church Lane, Hawarden CH5 3DF, Wales (Formerly St Deiniol's Library)
Region: United Kingdom > Wales > North Wales > Flintshire > Hawarden
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Hawarden
Hotel Class:4 star — Gladstone's Library 4*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gladstone's Library is the UK's finest residential library and one of the top small conference destinations in North Wales. Our comfortable accommodation includes 26 newly refurbished rooms (singles, twin and doubles), some with en-suite facilities. All rooms come with phones and ISDN connections and tea/coffee making facilities. Gladstone's Library has recently been awarded a four-star grading by Visit Wales. ... more   less 

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing