The Grange reopened on July 13th after shutting for the Coronavirus lockdown in March. We delighted to be welcoming guests back after such a long closure but as you’ll appreciate, we’ve had to change a few things to allow us to reopen. This page gives you an FAQ about how we’re operating and the changes we’ve made, our menus and information packs & details about what’s currently open in the local area.
The Grange has always been a laid back place to stay. Until now, the only “rules” we’ve ever had were “no bike shoes in the house” & “no politics around the dining table”. Coronavirus hasn’t gone away yet, so unfortunately there are going to be a few changes to keep everyone safe and help prevent virus transmission.
As a (proudly!) Welsh business we’re subject to the rules & guidelines laid down by the Welsh Government. These are different from the rules in place in other parts of the UK and they’re generally more restrictive, however they’ve helped to keep infection rates lower in Wales.
We’ll review all of this once we open and can see how the changes are working. We’ll remove or relax them once we’re allowed to do so. If you have any concerns or questions, just contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss them.
FAQ (Updated 16th September)
Welsh local Lockdowns
Local Lockdowns are currently in effect in Caerphilly & (with effect from 1800 on Thursday 17th September) Rhondda Cynon Tâf (RCT). These two boroughs are next to Merthyr Borough, where The Grange is located.
The majority of things that guests do when they’re staying with us are either located in Merthyr or Powys which are not currently subject to local lockdown conditions and where things are operating normally. BikePark Wales is still open, as is the Brecon Beacons national park. You are allowed to drive through areas that are affected by local lockdowns (for example you can still use the A470 between Cardiff and Merthyr which passes through RCT) as long as you don’t stop, meaning all access routes to the area are open as normal.
That being the case, our normal cancellation policies are still in effect at the moment and this will only change should Merthyr become subject to a local lockdown. If the main purpose of your stay was to visit something that is currently closed, please contact us to discuss further.
Are you fully open?
We’ve opened up 4 of our 5 rooms (Black, Red, Yellow and Green) but not our 5th room (Blue). Any existing Blue Room bookings have been upgraded to a bigger room, free of charge.
(Modified 11th September) Face masks are a legal requirement in indoor public spaces in Wales with effect from Monday 14th September. This means that you need to wear one in all of the inside public spaces in The Grange, which means everywhere apart from your bedroom. This applies unless you have a medical reason not to wear a mask, or you’re eating and drinking when it would get messy….
We’re doing two breakfast sittings (at 8am & 9am) in the dining room for two rooms (4 people) at a time – this gives you plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast and for us to clean and sanitise the dining area between sittings. If those times don’t work for you, we’ll deliver breakfast to your room at a time of your choosing from 7.30-9.30am, all of our open rooms have a dining table.
We’ve reopened our guest lounge so that up to 6 people can use it at the same time in the evenings on a first come, first served basis. The huge garden has two dining tables, beautiful views of the viaduct, plenty of seating & lots of space when the weather’s nice.
If you’re booking for a stay that checks-in before the end of October and you want to stay on a Saturday night, then at the moment it’s a 2 night minimum stay. We’ve not changed our prices (which are still the same every day) but we hope you understand that we’ve lost 4 busy months of the year and we need to make sure we maximise our bookings for the rest of our peak season. If we have Saturday rooms still available with a week to go then we’ll open up for one night stays as well.
Who can book?
At the moment, Welsh rules mean that everyone staying in a room needs to be from the same household (people in an Extended Household / Support Bubble arrangement count as a single household). If you’re not part of the same household you can book with us, but each household must book a separate room and should travel separately. Groups from the same household can book as many rooms as they like.
Bookings affected by UK local lockdowns or overseas travel restrictions (Modified 31st August)
If you or any of your party live in an area that is currently subject to extra local lockdown restrictions which include travel restrictions, please cancel any bookings that you already have with us & do not make new bookings until restrictions are lifted.
If you are travelling from (or through) a country which requires a 14 day self-isolation period before arriving at The Grange, please make sure you have completed this self-isolation before you arrive and are able to provide proof that you have done so. You will not be able to complete a self-isolation period whilst staying with us.
If a new restriction is announced which means you cannot travel to The Grange at short notice, we will not charge you cancellation fees, provided you inform us within 48 hours of the restriction being announced. We will make reasonable attempts to check upcoming bookings, however we don’t always have complete address information and do not know where you have previously travelled – so the onus is on you to contact us if you think your booking is affected.
If you (or any of your party) arrive at The Grange to check in but cannot provide documentation to demonstrate you’ve complied with the restrictions, then we will not check you in and will still charge you for the whole of your booked stay. If in doubt, please contact us before you travel.
What extra safety measures have you got in place?
We’re putting in place very thorough cleaning processes to ensure that all surfaces that the virus could live on are cleaned and disinfected. In guest rooms this will be done between bookings and in common areas such as the reception area and hallways, multiple times per day.
There will be hand sanitiser available for you to use in reception and also some available for you to buy (at cost price) and take away with you if you need it. The rooms will all have anti-bacterial hand wash in the bathrooms and we encourage you to use it frequently.
When can I check in & out?
Our earliest Check-In is 4pm (previously 3pm) and latest Check-Out is at 10am (previously 11am).
We’ve had to change this because the room cleaning guidelines mean it will take us longer to change over & disinfect rooms, so we need the extra time. If you would like an early check-in or late check-out, please ask but please don’t be offended if we have to say no.
If there is another group checking in when you arrive, please wait at a safe distance and we’ll get to you as soon as we can.
Why are you asking us for extra personal information?
Along with all other hospitality businesses we’ve been asked to collect the name, address, email address & phone number of the person that made the booking and will also ask for the names of everyone else in the party.
This information will only be given to “Track and Trace” teams in the event that we, or another guest here at the same time as you, develop Coronavirus symptoms. We’ll shred it after 21 days & we will never use it for any other purposes. Hopefully we’ll never need to use it.
Do I need to bring anything?
The rooms will still have everything they’ve always had in them including bed linen, towels, hair drier, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner, loo roll etc. There are a couple of flourishes like the coloured runners & cushions on the bed that will be missing as we can’t wash these at the high temperatures that get rid of the virus.
Are you doing food & drink?
We’ll still be providing our freshly cooked Grange breakfasts every morning (see above), either in the dining room or delivered to your room.
We may do evening meals, depending on how many rooms we need to change over that day. Ask if you’re interested and we’ll let you know if we can.
If we’re not cooking here, there are lots of places to get great quality take-away food locally, and pubs or restaurants are now able to open their inside areas for “sit in”. See the what’s open section for more details.
The Grange is fully licensed with a great selection of Welsh beer, cider and spirits and a cracking wine list. You can bring your own drinks but (as usual) if you want to drink it in public areas, there will be a small corkage charge – we’ll even chill it for you & provide glasses.
Will you be servicing the rooms?
Guidelines say that we should stay out of guest rooms during your stay where possible, so if you’re staying for 3 nights or less then we will not service your room. The rooms should be stocked with everything that you need for your stay but if something needs changing, restocking or replacing, just ask.
If you’re staying for longer, we’ll do a complete room clean and refresh every 3 days. We’ll discuss how we can do this safely with you when you check in.
Can I invite friends over?
No. In normal circumstances we’re happy for guests to invite friends over to The Grange for food and drink, even if they’re staying elsewhere. Unfortunately we need to restrict it to “guests only” for the time being.
Is the Bike Store & Bike Wash available?
Yes! The bike store, bike-wash, shoe-driers & drying racks will all be available as normal. We need to control access so that only guests from the same room are using the area at any one time, so you might have to wait a bit longer than usual for access.
We’re not offering kit or clothes washing services for the time being.
Can I bring kids to stay?
Absolutely – as long as they’re able to stay safely socially-distanced from other guests. If the kids are younger than 13, there’s a limit of two per adult.
What if I get sick?
If you suspect you have Coronavirus symptoms, please DO NOT travel to The Grange and let us know that you’re not coming as soon as possible. We will not charge a cancellation fee if you cancel because you or any of your group are ill.
If you do travel and we suspect that any of your group are showing virus symptoms we reserve the right to ask you to leave. If we do we will charge you for the whole of your booked stay. It’s better to be cautious and not travel than to potentially pass the virus on to other guests.
In the unlikely event that you develop symptoms while you’re here, it is your responsibility to get tested as soon as possible. Government guidance says that, where possible, you should return home if you are ill. If you have no option but to self isolate at The Grange, you will need to pay the full room cost for the whole time you need the room(s), any associated deep cleaning costs after you leave and any costs associated with us having to cancel other bookings.
If you develop symptoms up to 14 days after visiting us, please let us know so that we can inform Track and Trace teams. This will allow them to anonymously contact others and allow us to get tested ourselves.
What’s open in the area? (Updated 8th September)
This section is correct at the time of posting. If you spot any changes or errors, please contact us and we’ll update it.
🟢 Open as normal, 🟡 Open but offering a limited service, 🔴 Closed
🟢 Bike Park Wales Fully open Thursday to Monday (but closed Tuesday & Wednesday) including the uplift service which has more limited capacity than usual. Pay As You Go uplifts not available until further notice. Booking essential.
🟢 Black Mountain Cycle Centre Fully open including a limited uplift service. Booking essential.
🔴 Cwmcarn MTB trails Trails, toilets and take away from the visitor centre currently closed due to local lockdown restricting travel in and out of Caerphilly Borough, where Cwmcarn is located , 🔴 Cwmdown uplift service “unlikely to reopen before November”.
🟢 Afan MTB Trails Trails open, toilets & cafes open for takeaway
🟢 Road and singletrack in the Brecon Beacons & the Taff Trail – Almost all open as normal.
🟢 EC Cycles Our excellent local bike shop is open for servicing, parts and equipment. They’re very busy so call before visiting.
🟢 Brecon Beacons National Park All areas of the park & car parks are now fully open Please continue to respect distancing when walking or riding in the national park.
🟢 Penderyn Whiskey Distillery Distillery shop open & tours running normally with more limited numbers than usual. Advance booking essential.
🔴 Brecon Mountain Railway Will not be reopening until 2021.
🟡 Big Pit – National Coal Mining Museum Now open 4 days a week on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday. The underground tour is currently closed. Online pre booking essential
🟡 St Fagans – Welsh National Museum of History Now open 4 days a week on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday – online pre booking essential
🟢Dan Yr Ogof Showcaves Open but online pre-booking essential
🟢Rock UK Summit climbing Centre Most facilities including the odoor climbing wall now open – see their Facebook page for latest information.
🟢 Cyfarthfa Castle Park & grounds open 9am-6pm. House and museum open 11am-4pm 7 days a week
🟡 CADW run castles including Caerphilly Castle & Castell Coch Most sites are now open 4 or 5 days per week. Visitor numbers are strictly limited for your safety and tickets must be booked online at least 24hrs in advance. 🔴 Caerphilly Castle will be closed for as long as Caerphilly Borough local lockdown is in effect
🟡 Cardiff Castle Currently closed until further notice, however you can go into the grounds, look round and eat your lunch as it’s been opened to enable social distancing in the centre of Cardiff.
🟢 Most shops are now open
Restaurants & Pubs
Restaurants & pubs are open again – but bear in mind that everyone is operating at reduced capacity because of table sapcing requirements. Most bars & restaurants are asking that you pre-book but even if they don’t, we strongly advise that you book in advance to avoid disappointment. Note that very few places apart from Mango House are open on a Sunday night. If you can’t get a table anywhere, you’re always welcome to bring takeaways back here to eat.
🟢 Mango House (Indian) – Open for eat in (reservations essential) & takeaway. Call to order or make a reservation on 01685 388005. Closed Tuesdays.
🟡 Jol’s (Modern British) – Takeaway only for the foreseeable future. Book a slot and see menus on their facebook page
🟢 Trefechan Fishbar – open as normal. Call 01685 386291 to order or just call in.
🟢 Sammy’s Fish and Chips – open as normal
🟢 Evergreen (Chinese) – open as normal
🔴 Woodfired – permanently closed
🟢 Cefn Tearooms – open for takeaway and have inside seating and a garden area open between 1030-1600, pre booking essential – call 01685 723361
🟢 The Aberglais (Country pub)– Open for eat in & takeaway. Call to order or make a reservation on 01685 377344.
🟢 Red Cow Inn – Ponsticill (Country pub) – Open for eat in & takeaway. Call to order or make a reservation on 01685 387775.
🟢 New Crown Inn – Lively pub in the centre of Merthyr with a Portuguese influenced menu. Open for eat in & takeaway, call to order or make a reservation on 01685 387925.
🟢 Red Lion Inn – Penderyn (Country pub) – Open for eat in & takeaway. Call to order or make a reservation on 01685 811914.
🟢 Chang Thai – Brecon – Open for eat in & takeaway. Call to order or make a reservation on 01874 622 330