A POWYS couple who ventured out into the big wide world of glamping five years ago are celebrating after their business was voted the best in Mid Wales.

Wigwam Holidays Builth Wells, run by Emma Staggs, along with her partner Andrew Davies, has been named ‘Best Glamping Site’ by campsites.co.uk. They also finished as a runner-up in the ‘Best Family Campsite’ category.

It’s a supreme feat considering they only pitched up with their business five years ago and faced stiff competition from nearly 600 others.

Wigwam Holidays offers six luxury glamping pods, all en-suite and four of them boasting wood-fired hot tubs, located in Llandewi Fach, between Erwood and Painscastle.

County Times:  Emma Staggs and Andrew Davies. Emma Staggs and Andrew Davies. (Image: Wigwam Holidays Builth Wells)

Even though they were close to an award last year – they were a runner-up for best site with open water swimming facilities – Emma said to be named best glamping site in Mid Wales 12 months later came as a complete shock.

“We had no idea we were going to be winners, we didn’t know anything about it,” said the mum-of-one, who is from Presteigne.

“It was a genuine shock. I had an email a couple of minutes before the award was announced, saying congratulations and that we had won.

“It’s an amazing feeling, especially this time of year when it’s raining and blowing a gale, water is running off your face when you’re cleaning hot tubs; it’s nice to be recognised.

“There are so many lovely sites locally, the website says there’s about 590 in Powys, so it really was a big shock.”

The site is based on farmland owned by Andrew’s family. He also volunteers with the Brecon Mountain Rescue Team.

Emma, a nurse who still works part-time, took the glamping business on when she was pregnant with their daughter, and to supplement the farm’s income.

Emma believes the couple’s decision to not hike up prices and capitalise on the staycation boom following Covid is key to their success.

County Times:  Wigwam Holidays Builth Wells has been named ‘Best Glamping Site’ by campsites.co.uk. Wigwam Holidays Builth Wells has been named ‘Best Glamping Site’ by campsites.co.uk. (Image: Wigwam Holidays Builth Wells)

“The pandemic hit hospitality really hard. We were lucky as I worked for the NHS and Andrew got a contract working away for two years,” she added.

“Staycationing helped us and we didn’t up our prices, we kept them true to what they are, we didn’t try to cash in.

“In return, a lot of our business is return business, people are coming back again and again, and I think that’s because we’ve stayed true and not increased the prices.

“We’ve opened a lot of people’s eyes to glamping and what it can be like. We have a lot of families staying here, and that includes ours.

“Our daughter has just turned five; we often book in when it’s quiet and have a hot tub night. It’s like a mini holiday and she loves it.”

County Times:  Inside one of the 6 pods, 4 of which have hot tubs. Inside one of the 6 pods, 4 of which have hot tubs. (Image: Wigwam Holidays Builth Wells)

Since opening in 2018, the couple are always keen to improve the site, taking the money they earn and investing in what they have.

She said: “We have extended to create an outside space for guests following Covid.

“When people could meet legally outside, we put in a rough shelter for when the weather was bad.

“It’s literally 4 pillars and a roof, but now we’ve developed it into a lovely barbecue area. We’re also now building proper drying facilities for walkers.

“We try to put money back into the business every year to develop it.”