Bed-hopping with Cerys Matthews

Bed-hopping with Cerys Matthews

Cerys Matthews is a singer, songwriter, author and broadcaster best known for her Sunday morning radio show on BBC 6 Music. Just like her playlist, her favourite hotels are an eclectic mix of different styles, from cosy boutiques to stylish big hitters…

Hammet House, Pembrokeshire
‘This place has been around for years, but has been taken over by a local couple. I stayed there recently, and it was a harbour from all the howling winds and the absolute pouring rain. The drive to get there is stunning, along coastal roads and across an ancient bridge. You walk in the front door, and there’s a huge marble fireplace with a roaring fire. It lets your imagination take over … suddenly you could be Jane Eyre.’

The Capitol Hotel, Tokyo
‘This hotel reflects the two sides of Japan. First you have this ultra modern space in a totally futuristic cityscape, and then next door is a shrine built in the 1600s, all lacquered red and gold. And there are beautiful Japanese gardens with the loudest cicadas you will ever hear. I ordered a Japanese breakfast in bed, and it’s so exquisitely done it feels like you’re giving your body something it’s happy for, just for a change.’

The Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet
‘Istanbul is history heaped on top of itself. My husband and I share this nerdish tendency of, if you’re going to go somewhere, you have to read the appropriate book, so I was reading Andrew Marr’s ‘History of the World’, which was perfect. This hotel is a Four Seasons, so you expect it to be good, but oh my gosh, it’s amazing. After all that walking around and taking in facts about the city, you really need a massage to digest it all and I had the best massage here, ever.’

Hotel Hospes Las Casas del Rey de Baeza, Seville
‘My husband and I have five children between us, so we sometimes sneak away together. Spain is one of our favourite places because of the music and the food. We went to a tiny bar in Seville once and I had a go at playing the Spanish guitar for locals. They weren’t very impressed, but it was a lot of fun. The hotel is so welcoming and helpful, and has a tiny roof pool and a lovely courtyard.’

Cliveden House, Berkshire
‘I’m always looking for a great hotel. I don’t shop much, and I don’t have many material possessions, but when I eat out and I stay places, they have to have love put into them. Cliveden is just beautiful. I took my husband here for his 50th birthday. It has a Mediaeval stone fireplace so big you could probably fit my London house inside and it makes you feel very at home. Plus it’s lovely to go somewhere with so much history and stories attached to it.’

The Merrion Hotel, Dublin
‘I love this place because of the staff and because it’s bang in the middle of one of my favourite cities. After oysters and Guinness from Davy Byrne’s, a cigar from the cigar emporium on Grafton Street and a trip on the ghost tour, where better to head than the peat fire in The Merrion’s vast, gorgeous lounge?’

American chain hotels are absolutely devoid of anything soulful. Plastic food with plastic cutlery: there is nothing they can offer you for breakfast that has any goodness. Piped music? Get it off. If you’re in doubt, play Bach or Louis Armstrong. Bad music in hotels is the bane of my life. Wake up America! There is culture in the world!

Cerys Matthews was speaking to Francesca Babb. Cerys presents Cerys on 6 from 10am to 1pm every Sunday on BBC Radio 6 Music and is the author of ‘Hook, Line and Singer: A sing-a-long Book’ (Penguin, ?20)

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