The £500-a-Night ‘Portaledge Hotel’ Where Guests Sleep Dangling from a Welsh Cliff
Most couples try to avoid placing their relationship in a perilous situation. Now you can pay £500-a-night to do just that.
If the idea of sleeping on a vertical rock face with only a sliver of canvas between you and the waves crashing 200ft below keeps you awake at night, then ‘cliff camping’ is probably not for you.
But for those with a head for heights, a desire to be different and no history of sleep-walking, then the ‘portaledge hotel’ is open for your business on the North Wales coast.
It is extremely bijou. That is to say there are no frills and very little room to manoeuvre.
Guests abseil from the cliff top to their beds at sunset. They are strapped into harnesses which are secured to the rock.
A canvas platform — also well attached to terra firma — allows them to stretch out and enjoy a degree of comfort that would otherwise be the preserve of seabirds.
Dinner is hot, of course, kept warm on a stove and lowered by staff from the cliff top.
Don’t expect anything too fancy or requiring several dishes, though. A warming casserole or a curry in a pot is probably what you will need in any case.
A full Welsh breakfast is served by the same means in the morning.
There are a number of positives, aside from being able to boast to friends of your derring-do. There are no neighbours or next-door guests to disturb you with raucous partying.
Even if there were, you wouldn’t hear them thanks to the pounding proximity of the Irish Sea.
There is also a constant supply of fresh air.
The ‘portaledge hotel’ idea was inspired by American rock climbing techniques.
The canvas sleep platforms were used by Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson, who became an internet sensation earlier this year when they completed the first free-climb of the 3,000ft vertical Dawn Wall of the El Capitan peak in Yosemite National Park in California.
Hotel organiser Sam Farnsworth said: ‘It’s for anyone who wants to do something different and has a head for heights. Initially it can be strange. But after a few minutes people relax and enjoy the experience.
‘It is quite a thrill to wake up on a narrow piece of canvas with nothing at all below you for 200ft.’
He already has summer bookings and some ‘stays’ have been bought as Valentine gifts.
Toilet breaks are encouraged prior to abseiling onto the platform, but anyone caught short can be escorted back up the cliff on request.
Only experienced climbers are advised to take their chances from the canvas ledge.
British bad weather is catered for with covers to keep the rain off, and help is always on hand with an experienced ‘portaledger’ on a nearby platform.
Owners Gaia Adventures have two locations where they use the ledge, on the sea cliffs on Gogarth, Holy Island, Anglesey, and a mountain cliff close to Betws-y-Coed in Snowdonia.
A one-night stay is £450 for one person or £500 for a couple.