The Star Inn at Dylife – under new management

Update January 2014: brilliant – as of December ’13 the Star Inn at Dylife is under new management. It’s going to be refurbished – see its Facebook page for progress and opening times. To celebrate I changed the title of this post to something more promising, and the following post is of historical interest only.


We’re planning our summer long-distance walk. It’s going to be the mid and higher sections of the Cambrian Way, having done the lower section over 9 days last year. Although 19 country miles is a hell of a long way in Wales, it will be worth it to avoid the Star Inn at Dyliffe (or Dylife) with its ungracious, racist staff and malodorous rooms. When we stayed there in 2005 on Glyndwr’s Way they wouldn’t serve breakfast before a sluggish 8.30 a.m. although 6 of their guests were on long distance journeys which required an early start. They and some friend who dropped by had a prolonged joke in the bar about slipping bacon into the sandwiches of a group of orthodox Jews holidaying down the road, for whom one of them was catering. They insulted absent guests in the presence of other guests. Their packed lunch was both meager and unappetising, not to mention untrustworthy (I’d told them I was Jewish soon after the racist incident). The room was shabby, ugly and smelt of chip fat. Others have called the Star Inn ‘grim’ – it’s the worst place I’ve ever stayed. Rather sleep rough than give them a penny.

Update: read the comments below for some alternative places to stay in the area.

79 thoughts on “The Star Inn at Dylife – under new management

  1. I was walking the Glyndwrs Way long distance path with a walking group during April 2008 & we had booked an over night stay in the Star Inn at Dyliffe. As we walked down towards the Inn from a distance it looked a comforting sight after the 15 miles that we had covered that day. On the door of the Inn it had an AA star rating which looked promising & I was looking forward to a comfortable evening & night of rest. Once inside it was a different story the rooms were so run down depressing & decrepit it was a real shock the common bathroom/toilet were really in a bad state. After going in the rooms it was noticed that there was no electric & that the cold water was non-existent hardly a small trickle from the cold water tap- the water pressure was shocking. The electric was restored by one of the staff after it was pointed out that it was off. After making a hot drink the taste of the coffee was horrendous & with close inspection of the milk containers supplied it was noticed they were all out of date. We all went to have a meal in the Inn but the woman owner who was a very domineering person wasn’t a very pleasant woman who was very sharp & rude to a few of the other people I was with. The meals were not that good either two people had the fish & they both couldn’t eat it & had to leave it because it was so bad. For the following day we were all going to order some packed lunches but the prices were so inflated that most of us decided against it. We too wanted to get away early the next morning for our next stage of the Glwyndwrs Way but there was no compromise for an early starting time from the Star Inn staff for breakfast so we lost valuable time by setting off later. I am afraid we encountered very poor rooms, service & bad manners & I wouldn’t recommend a stay in the Star Inn it’s worth doing some extra mileage to avoid it. The other members of the group had exactly the same feelings. You have been warned!

    • We have just returned from a riding trip across Wales where we were booked into the Star Inn and having two horses with us had no choice about staying anywhere else. On arriving at the Star all the doors were locked and when we finally got someone to open up were told that we were too early although it was after 5pm and we had ridden all day! The paddock for the horses was littered with rubbish and the only water was foul dirty water in an old bath. Our room was little better with thick dust everywhere and dirty towels. We were accused of being raving alcoholics when having a bottle of wine with our meal, an early request for breakfast was refused and our pack lunch consisted of two tatty sandwiches and two apples. The final straw was when we did eventually get breakfast there were ear wigs in the cereal so we declined a cooked breakfast jumped on our horses and rode away as fast as possible – even the horses were glad to go! Our hostess was rude and unfriendly and her like or lump it attitude very irritating. I have run a hotel in the Lake District for over 25 years and believe me a place like this would not last a week here.

      • “we had ridden all day” – riding all day is what you signed up for, wasn’t it? So don’t blame the Star Inn if you got there tired.

        “the only water was foul dirty water in an old bath.” – I hope you tipped it out and filled it with clean water, seeing that you were going to have another long day’s ride the next day. The Star Inn is not responsible for looking after the horses.

        “Our room was little better with thick dust everywhere and dirty towels” – Seeing that your luggage would have been delivered, that shouldn’t have been much of a problem, you did bring your own towels, didn’t you?

        “We were accused of being raving alcoholics when having a bottle of wine with our meal” – 2 people, 1 bottle of wine – according to government guidelines, you would be 🙂

        “pack lunch consisted of two tatty sandwiches and two apples.” What more did you want? Think of the horses who would have had to carry the bigger rations.
        ” jumped on our horses and rode away as fast as possible” – terrible horsemanship; you start a day’s riding at a gentle pace,

      • How strange and disagreeable of you, Anonymous, to come onto this blog and respond the way you do above to former guests of the Star Inn who told of a standard of service which was worse than inhospitable.

        I think it’s very telling that, apart from me when the criticism went too far, you are the only person to defend the Star Inn in the face of these reports. I can conclusively say that no other such comments in favour of the Star have been made here. And yet your approach is to disparage the people making the complaint, rather than illustrating how they are mistaken. And by the way, it’s usual to expect towels at B&B accommodation – that’s probably why there are towels in the pictures of rooms on the Star Inn’s website.

        I think you’ve rather strengthened our point: The Star Inn has not welcomed us, has given us a poor stay, and has deterred us from going back unless its management changes, in which case speaking for myself, I would happily return.

      • we are thinking of buying the star inn if we complete will you be taking the links down off this website as i wouldnt want any future buisness ruined by some of these comments as being in such an isolated spot all trade will be needed

      • My priority will be to help your business. What I would propose to do is ask you to send me a short announcement – I would place that at the top of the page so everyone who found it via a Web search would be in no doubt that a line had been drawn under the previous bad management. Because of the way Web searching and caching work, that will be better for business than the page disappearing. Will that be ok with you?

      • That will be fine should know in about two weeks

        Flesh is Grass wrote:
        “And I’d re-title the piece to something neutral or better.”

      • @Leslie Williams
        I live in Dylife and have been renovating my cottage for almost two years now; taking it back to bare walls and giving it a complete overhaul. This has included re-roofing (correctly), underpinning, new floors, re-wiring, new heating system including underfloor heating, insulation, plumbing and groundworks.
        When I moved to the area I had no information in respect of reliable tradesmen and spent some time researching for the best. I believe I found them and would be very happy to share their information with you.
        Good luck with your purchase, The Star Inn has huge potential as there are no Inns or Restaurants for miles. Attracting walkers, cyclists and tourists would be very easy and you will certainly see me there often more than not!
        Please keep us posted.
        Best regards,

  2. Ooooh, you’ve reminded me how unwelcome The Star Inn made us feel. It’s got so much potential but its wasted on the owner.

    I know what you mean, you spy it from that high drovers way and it looks like a little beacon of hospitality. But no! It’s absolutely grim. And the worst thing is that it’s the only place for miles. We had to walk not 19 but 24 miles to avoid it.

  3. Yes, it’s a shame the owner is very rude & that her Inn is kept in a very poor & shabby state. The last thing I want to do is run a place down but at least a warning is being given out to folk who are thinking of staying at the Star Inn of what to expect there. We were actually warned by other guesthouse proprietors/proprietress prior to our arrival at the Star Inn in around about fashion when asked if we were staying in the Star Inn at Dyliffe & when the answer was yes there were replies of “eat what you can now & the shaking of heads etc “. At the time I thought these comments & actions were just sour grapes but obviously these people knew something what we didn’t know & what we were going to come across.

    I can only think that the proprietress regards the Star Inn as a monoply & it’s kind of “like it or lump it” attitude from her part which is such a pity. I would think that if there was an alternative bed & breakfast or accomodation in that area of a reasonable standard then it would do a roaring trade.

    Doing 24 miles is a long slog indeed to avoid the Star Inn but after what we have both encountered it’s well worth doing in my opinion.

    I can’t understand how the Star Inn got a good AA rating it’s quite remarkable after staying there as something doesn’t tally? Maybe the AA need to re-visit the Star once more? Well hopefully other walkers have an insight into how grim, dirty & unfriendly the Star Inn is & what to expect if you are unlucky to walk through the front door of the Star Inn.

  4. Ash, this sounds very familiar. The morning after we’d stayed at The Star we met a woman who takes B&B guests and she commiserated with us. Apparently most walkers who stay there are disappointed. If we could have planned to push on along Glyndwr’s Way another four miles we’d have stayed with her but it was dusk by the time we got to The Star and anyway, we’d booked.

    Did I mention how meagre the packed lunch the landlady gave us was? In fact, it wasn’t enough to fuel the day’s walk and you know how high it gets round there – we were lucky we had some nuts with us or we’d have been in trouble.

    As for its unfeasibly high rating, I can only assume that the AA assessor didn’t look in all the rooms. Maybe they give their worst rooms to walkers…?

  5. It seems that there are many other people who have had bad experiences at the Star. It’s a pity that you only knew about the alternative accommodation the next day but as you said you had already pre-booked your night at the Star as we did in advance. It’s good to know that there are other B & B’s around & anyone who is planning to do the Glyndwr’s Way can at least look into staying somewhere else were hopefully they won’t have a bad experience as we have encountered.

    Most of us were completely taken back by the inflated prices of the sandwiches offered to us & there were only two of the group if my memory serves me right who ordered them as they had no food of any sort on them so didn’t have much choice I suppose. I personally didn’t have too much food on me but the thought of the dirty, shabby rooms came to me & I could imagine what the state of the kitchens would probably be like so that did it for me. Unfortunately I can just picture what kind of sandwiches etc that you must have been offered by the Star. It’s not surprising that the packed lunch was not up to it with what I witnessed when I was there but you don’t normally get this low standard at other places.

    I did have a chance to look into two of the other rooms they were slightly better & maybe as you have suggested the AA just went into them & not the others but still the rating was a little high or misleading in my opinion. I remember looking at the AA star rating on the evening we turned up thinking at least we will have a chance to relax in a nice place after the hard day of walking but we were all disappointed it’s definitely not rated correctly & needs re-grading. Once again to anyone who is thinking of staying at the Star be aware of the shabby, dirty unhygienic accommodation & rude staff that you will encounter if you stay there.

  6. Hi, fleshisgrass,
    re-accomodation in Dyliffe, apart from Star Inn (had bad experiences of this some years ago) … do you know the name of other B & B’s in walking distance? Much appreciate it if you could let me know. Thanks

  7. There are now other B&Bs nearby, Cwmbiga Farm, Dyffryn Glyn, Talbontdrain, I ahink there is somewhere near Aberhosan, and there is a B&B about to open in Staylittle. Someone has done a list for Glyn Dwr’s way which comes up when you type accommodation Glyn Dwr’s Way into google

  8. We have just started a family run bed and breakfast at Pennant, which is about 2 miles from Dyliffe and the Glyndwr Way.
    We are keen walkers and cyclists so are aiming to provide what we would be looking for when we stay at b & b’s.
    Full details are on our web site, Alternatively give us a call for details 01650-521486.

    • Hi to all that read this!
      I had the pleasure this year to be the first paying guest at The Old School House, Pennant. I am a keen cyclist and walker and planned two days mountain biking nearby. In keen anticipation of my weekend away I turned up at The Star a couple of miles away where I had booked for two nights, I had a few hold ups on my trip from Worcestershire so did not arrive until 10.45pm. Very tired I was given a key and pointed in the direction of my room. Oh dear, the first few steps upstairs did not bode well, and everything you have probably read previously was true! If I had turned up earlier I would have left straight away but I had to see out the night. The next day I went out cycling determined that if I could not find anywhere else to spend my second night I was going to rough it by sleeping in my car. Low and behold the angels sent in my direction two of the most friendly, hospitable people you could ever wish to meet (Karen & Bernie) unbelievably they were out publicising their new B&B The Old School House, I had no hesitation booking myself in for the night and turned up soon after car and belongings and was lead straight to my room. A beautiful twin room, brand newly decorated, ready for its first guests along with a lovely clean and also newly fitted bathroom. I think that as I was there more out of luck than judgement I had caught them unawares and was offered to join them and their family at the BBQ they were having in the garden. Fantastic, what a difference, Karen & Bernie transformed what was looking to be disastrous weekend away into a very memorable break. Do not, whatever you do, discount this B&B, I would definately return again. Take my little addition here as testament and good reference that you will be treated like royalty (OK maybe that’s a little over the top) but you will not be disappointed. Good luck to you both with your new venture, and sorry it’s taken me 5 months to get around to posting this!!

  9. I walked the Cambrian Way in August 2010 and spent a night at The Star. It was the worst B and B I have ever been in. Everything was too much trouble for the unpleasant lady owner. A disgrace.

    • John

      I’m sorry to hear of your unpleasant experience. Please don’t let it put you off visiting the Mid Wales area again as there are some lovely places to stay in the area. We have been providing accommodation for walkers, cyclists and nature lovers since Summer 2007 and have welcomed a number of guests who had previously stayed at the Star Inn and are now regular visitors with us.

      Please get in touch next time you want to visit the area –


  10. Glad to hear there are now alternatives in the area because it is a beautiful art of the country, will be returning sometime I hope.

  11. I wish I had found this site before booking my accommodation. Just got back from a 5 day walk along the Glyndwrs Way – Knighton to Mach. Spent one night at the Star Inn at Dylife. An experience I do not want to repeat. The whole place was grubby. The room was not very clean, the carpets were threadbear and covered in stains, the en-suite was unpleasant, although there was hot running water. The landlady just seemed like everything was too much trouble. We were told we could have breakfast at 9.30 and had to virtually plead to get an 8.30 one so we could get underway at a reasonable time. The pay phone next to the pub had the hand piece missing – maybe removed by the pub owners to stop you making an escape to a civilised B&B?! AVOID the Star Inn AT ALL COSTS.

      • Hi
        I cannot believe this place is still trading! I read with interest whenever anything is written on this blog. As one of the other writers, I too remember the AA 2 Star rating on the door and wondered as I left the place how it ever got it? Interestingly I just looked at the AA website and checked for this Inn and nothing appears at all, so have just forwarded them a link to this blog for their comments. Will let you all know if I hear anything back.
        Hope Karen & Bernie are enjoying their first full season, may be booking again soon!

      • Looks like the place is now up for sale! it will take years of hard work to get a good reputation back!

  12. What a dump The Star Inn is the place should be shut down, its up
    for sale now, will be hard to find a buyer will all the bad publicity!!!

  13. Glyndwr’s Way (Machynlleth to Llanidloes)
    We stayed at the Star Inn last summer and what an absolutely filthy and disgusting place it was!
    We had found the old drovers inn on the web and recognised it as being AA rated – that’s a joke!! It might have been 20 years ago but not now.
    Run by a woman (who we assume was the landlady) who could only be described as being very rude, abrupt and obnoxious. She not only addressed another guest at the bar in a hostile manner (when he asked for food at around 8pm) but, due to her overweight and unfit demeanour, when she eventually brought out his ‘fast food’ she appeared to be sweating all over it! She is way past her sell by date, probably like the food!!
    The room we had (at the front with an ensuite) was absoloutely filthy. There was (and probably still is) active mould growing on the walls adjacent to the window. I remember my wife showing me the shower curtain; having grimme about a foot up from the bottom and the pressure from the shower was barely enough, especially after a days hiking across the Cambrian hills!
    The carpets in the accommodation were all thread bare and looked like they’d never seen a vacuum cleaner. Got only knows what is under the beds! It was clearly evident that no money whatsoever had been spent on keeping the place to any standard expected of a public guest house.
    We now understand it is up for sale but, if still running as a guest house, it deserves a suprise visit and inspection from the HSE and the AA need to revisit and revise their very misleading rating!!
    Finally, if I remember rightly, we had only paid a £10 deposit to book the room. We would have gone elsewhere but there was no mobile phone reception and the BT phone box at the foot of the hill in Dylife had no handset! It would have saved us waking up the next morning wondering if we were not alone in bed!

    • Please remember that there are some excellent alternative accommodation providers along the Glyndwr’s Way who are not far from the Star Inn, like us at Cwmbiga Farm ( We are Green Tourism Business Scheme Gold Star award winners (the only one in Wales) providing good accommodation and premium quality food.


  14. Hi, we have been looking into buying The Star Inn. I can reassure you that if we are successful that you can be sure of a very different experience! I love to look after people, I love to cook and I love experiencing people from all walks of life. My husband and I are very keen to get our teeth into something which can be turned around and this looks like an excellent challenge. So if you hear of a change of ownership, (hopefully it will be us) please give it another go and I promise you will not leave dissatisfied again!

    • If it came under new management I would definitely give it another chance. It’s a gorgeous pub in fantastic walking country. Just needs some TLC. Let us know what happens – and good luck to you.

      • Hi Unhappy Guest, I decided to delete your other comments since they either contained gratuitous insults or weren’t adequately substantiated. I’m responsible for what I decided to publish here – let’s keep it down-to-earth and better still, constructive. The hope is to improve the business – I understand the desire to let off steam, but here is not the place. If the current owners were to improve their hospitality, that should be sufficient for us.

    • Yes, I’d give it another go with different owners – the potential for a successful venture is huge there. More shame on the present owners!

  15. If only we’d read these reviews before booking an unforgettable night’s stay at the most hideous accommodation I’ve ever been in. Everything about it was vile. Good job we were there with friends who had a sense of humour. We were cycling the Lon Las Cymru, & the only accommodation showing on the Sustrans map was the Star Inn, so we assumed that was all there was in the wilds of Dylife. Heed the warnings, and avoid this place at all costs until the slovenly, rude and unhelpful present owners have sold!

  16. I had the misfortune to stay at the Star Inn last week – utterly grim in so many ways! The rooms were dirty and in need of repair; the food was awful (grey scum on poached eggs anyone?) and the landlady was hostile. No red wine available, nor any darts despite the dartsboard. Couldn’t bring myself to eat the packed lunch. Hope someone takes it over soon.

  17. I realise it’s too late for Lorna (see above) but Susan and I run a B&B near to Dylife: Cwmbiga Farm. Cwmbiga is also on Lan Las Cymru (NCR 8). We are accredited Walkers Welcome and Cyclists Welcome and, for those who are interested, Cwmbiga is the only Green Tourism Business Scheme “Gold Star” winner in Wales. Our breakfasts feature meats from the local baconry, local bread and local eggs. Walkers, cylcists and horse riders are our favourite guests as they tend to appreciate the wildlife at Cwmbiga and all the other things we offer.

    A map showing our location (3 miles due south of Dylife) can be found here –

    • New policy of mine – when anyone commenting on my blog brings up food taken from live or dead animals, I bring up veganism.

      So now that’s done, isn’t it great there is so much choice round Dylife? I am looking forward to returning.

  18. Hi
    we have a viewing later this month at the star Inn as potential buyers,so have found the above comments very interesting,my wife and I have run successful bushiness in recent years and would relish the challenge this offers,rest assured customer satisfaction and attention to detail will be our priority as would a complete refurbishment of rooms
    It would be nice to bring it back to its former days as some of the reviews from 2004 to 2008 were very good
    I understand from agents a new roof has now been fitted which may go some way to curing the leaks.

    Martin & Jill

  19. We called at The Star Inn on a day out, wishing to support any business surviving so far out in the sticks and the whole visit was like a comedy sketch. Firstly the landlady gave us a grim look on entering and then a huge sigh and shaking of head with every drink ordered. The rudeness was staggering. I then asked for a packet of salt and vinegar crisps..misheard when she said she only had plain so asked again and got told “Theres a jug of vinegar over there I could throw over ’em” !!! We couldn’t get away fast enough…surely the desired intention..nobody could be so rude to customers and actually want them. We are keen to know what happened to the new potential owners

  20. Thanks Paul, that’s really welcoming for the new proprietors or the Star Inn. I’ve changed the way the comments display to make sure that your offer appears close to the top.

  21. Please note that my comment on May 12, 2013:
    “I guess after a full structural survey there was just too much of a challenge?” was just that – a guess.
    I understand that a structural survey has never been performed on the Star Inn and would like to point out that this comment was not meant to mislead. There is nothing more than I would like to see the Star Inn running as a successful business.

  22. is the sale going ahead with the lady who said she may know about now or not as may be interested myself but live quite a long way away from pub. hope you can help.

  23. Having stayed at the Star Inn while walking the Cambrian Way, I feel that some of the comments are harsh. Yes, there are problems with the fabric. Probably the greater problem is that the landlady is in effect disabled and carrying on, presumably owing to delays in selling the place. I found the food was of good quality and there was a hot bath. The cold water did fail because it’s piped from a spring and has to be re-pumped sometimes. Let’s hope that someone achieves an upgrade soon to this potentially great place.

  24. As the previous commenter, I think negative comments should not be overstretched – I have absolutely nothing to say against accomodation. Food was not excellent, but not awful eithe. If indeed service was somehow grumpy (“breakfast at 8 ? This is not possible – I have served it at 8.30 for thirty years and I shall not change for you”), the landlady is old and obviously disabled, I could understand this ; and indeed as commenters on Tripadvisor pointed, the whole thing has a “comedy sketch” feeling that can redeem it on the positive side. As long as you are a walker who likes eating warm for dinner, this seems a better option than pitching your tent in the middle of nowhere.

    • Another Cambrian Walker, I can’t remember when I read a less convincing defence – like-it-or-lump-it is what you seem to be suggesting, and that’s precisely what I object to in the hospitality industry. Disability has nothing to do with the spite and lack of welcome that I and other walkers experienced.
      And by the way, dinner wasn’t bad – but as I explain above other things can give you a bad taste in your mouth.

  25. There is a new buyer due to complete on the sale next month. I know her and will be helping her out. Please be assured of a warm welcome, refurbished and spotless rooms and great food. Louise is vegetarian but I am not so everyone will be catered for. Please do not give up on The Star Inn. You will not be disappointed.

    • Good luck they accepted our offer and had a completion date of mid june .but they give us the run around for months theyd lost deeds etc every excuse possible blamming solicitors so good luck we gave up in sept as kids had to change schools think they were after what bit of summer trade they could get
      .we have had surveys done .
      if your interested let me know
      Good luck

      • Thanks Les. Actually we would be interested in any info you can give to help. Here is a cryptic contact. Hope you can work it out. SHERYL20888 at

      • Les, very sorry to hear that! I know that I (amongst other locals) were very much looking forward to ‘our local pub’ being up and running again 😦
        I had noticed the large skip outside the Star Inn has been there for about 5 months no; an eyesore to the country side, especially when the wind blows items out and into the surrounding area!
        On the subject of the cryptic message and email address above (also ‘Sheila’) who’s comment above does not make sense now – I suspect bogus and now totally irrelevant? Too bad! 😦
        All the best to you and your family.

  26. There is no “Sheila” commenting ! As I said before, the pub has been sold and new owner will be in next month. Thanks Les, I will carry on the conversation with you privately.

  27. Has The Star Inn changed hands yet? We are in llanidloes on 15th November and would like to toast its return to the land of the living.

  28. What comments…living up North, some of our family were intending to stay at the Star – Midland friends say the area is amazing..hope new people get in quick..

  29. Norman – If your friends are in the area of Dyliffe, and want accommodation, we run a 4* B&B – The Old School House B&B ( at Pennant, about 4 miles away. We will happily pick up / drop off walkers in the Dyliffe area free of charge. Its a fantastic area.

  30. Hello all, this is the new owner of the Star Inn at Dylife! I am now in residence, and will be doing some refurbishment as soon as I can, pending grants and so on! I shall keep you posted on the facebook page (I see you already have this link up at the top) about the progress of work, in the meantime I shall do the best I can for anyone who’d like to come in to meet me with what I have available!!
    I’m looking forward to doing B&B for walkers, cyclists and trekkers this summer, as well as morning coffee, afternoon teas and lunches.
    It would be LOVELY if we could possibly change the title of this as was mentioned earlier in the thread, I know it’s not quite up to the standard yet but I’m working on it!
    Louise 🙂

    • Hi Fleshisgrass, thank you for amendments, thanks for good wishes, looking forward to meeting you, do make it plain who you are when you come visit, won’t you? Thanks again, /*Louise 🙂


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