In the heart of Snowdonia, 400 meters under a Welsh mountain, lies a hidden gem that beckons adventure seekers and history enthusiasts alike. Situated in the Cwmorthin quarry on a hillside at Tanygrisiau, near Blaenau Ffestiniog in Gwynedd, this Victorian mine dates back to the 19th century and now boasts the title of housing the deepest underground bed on the planet. Once employing hundreds of men, the mine closed down in the mid-20th century, only to be resurrected in recent years as an extreme adventure playground by Go Below Underground Adventures.
The company has turned this abandoned mine into an adrenaline-fueled haven, offering thrilling experiences such as the world’s first deepest zip line and free-fall. Now, available since April 2023, they have added a unique accommodation option to their repertoire, claiming the title of the deepest overnight stay on the planet: Deep Sleep.
To reach the exclusive log cabins nestled deep within the mine, guests embark on a two-hour hike through the labyrinthine tunnels. An experienced instructor accompanies them, sharing captivating historical insights about the environment they are about to explore.
The journey to these secluded cabins is not for the faint of heart, as it involves a 45-minute walk up into the mountains and an adventurous descent through steep inclines, decaying bridges, zip lines, and flooded slate chambers. Altogether, the access takes about two hours or more.
Private twin-bed cabins are available, and, for a touch of romance, a grotto with a double bed can be reserved once a week, from Saturday night through Sunday morning. They are priced at about 410€ and 640€, respectively. Dinner and breakfast are included in the price.
Once settled into their cozy accommodations, guests are treated to an expedition-style meal at a large, covered picnic table. The food provided, although not gourmet, is warm and filling, consisting of freeze-dried expedition-style meals. It’s worth noting that, for safety reasons, alcohol is not permitted in the mine.
As the night unfolds, Deep Sleep guests find themselves immersed in a world far removed from the surface. The experienced staff takes their responsibilities seriously, ensuring a comfortable stay by attending to tasks such as stripping beds and replenishing food stores, working the mine as a regular hotel, despite the unique challenges posed by their subterranean surroundings.
Deep Sleep even offers limited connectivity with the outside world through a 1km long armoured Ethernet cable, providing Wi-Fi access from a 4G antenna on the surface. However, mobile phone reception remains elusive in these depths.
While Deep Sleep is an extraordinary and thrilling experience, it is important to note that it caters to guests aged 14 and above.
As morning dawns, guests are treated to a buffet-style breakfast comprising a range of items, including muffins, croissants, flapjacks, bread, porridge, and of course, tea and coffee. After nourishing their bodies, visitors face the challenging return journey, an uphill climb that tests both their stamina and determination.
The opening of DeepSleep coincides with a growing trend among travelers seeking unique and immersive experiences that foster a connection with history and nature. By repurposing a decommissioned mine into a retreat, the hotel showcases the potential for creative restoration and preservation of industrial heritage.
Deep Sleep in Wales offers a unique opportunity to escape the mundane and delve into the depths of history and adventure. As guests rest their heads deep below the surface, they are immersed in an unparalleled experience that combines the thrill of exploration with the tranquility of a night’s slumber, creating a memory sure to last a lifetime.