Posted by Laura Edwards on 10th Oct 2019 -- Read Time: 4 minutes
Spotlight on: The Celtic Royal Hotel, Caernarfon
During the summer, I embarked upon a trip to Mid and North Wales to explore the attractions and hotels there that are popular with our clients. I personally find these recce trips really useful in my role as Tour Coordinator, because it means I know more accurately what I am talking or writing about when discussing a hotel or attraction with a client. Seeing a property first-hand allows me to note important details, which means I don’t over promise or under deliver. It also means if someone asks me about something particular (for example, whether a hotel has steps, or what the bar area is like, or if there is plenty of seating for groups) I can answer them easily without having to rely on internet research!
The Celtic Royal Hotel is based in the small port town of Caernarfon, and is a popular choice for our clients who want to tour North Wales. Caernarfon sits on the fringes of Snowdonia, looks out over the Menai Straight and has a history dating back to Roman times. It has cobbled streets, elegant buildings and a proud Welsh culture, but is most well known for its mighty castle – a fortress which has defended the town since the 13th century. The Welsh Highland Railway departs from the town, chuffing its way down to Porthmadog through the wonderful scenery of Snowdonia. There is much to explore in North Wales, from incredible gardens and quirky towns to stately homes, and Caernarfon makes the perfect base for a tour: charming in itself with plenty of amenities, it is also easy to travel to the surrounding attractions from here. The drive here is very enjoyable, with green valleys, gorgeous mountains and grazing sheep to be seen.
I was pleasantly surprised by the hotel itself: the core of the building is an elegant Georgian property (once visited by Queen Victoria herself, hence the ‘Royal’ in the name!) which means it is a grand building, with high ceilings and classic décor inside. It benefits from an excellent location – it’s really a very short walk into Caernarfon town centre, and this central location means it’s easy to get to shops, bars and pubs as well as the castle and waterfront areas. We received a warm welcome when we arrived at the hotel, and we found our standard twin room to be quite traditional, of a good size, really clean, and very comfortable. The hotel also has its own indoor pool, which sparkled under a glass skylight. It looked especially inviting as our trip took place during a heatwave, and the temperature was over 30˚c!
We ate dinner in the hotel that evening, and to be honest I had high expectations! Many of our clients that have stayed here have told me how much they loved the food. I was not disappointed – the meal was indeed lovely, and thanks to the attentive, polite waiting staff it was really good experience all round. The restaurant is very organised when it comes to group dining, I was impressed with how seamless they made it look. With dedicated areas set aside for multiple dining groups, they offered excellent service, whilst still ensuring that the groups benefited from the pleasant ambience of the restaurant. The hotel also has a large bar as well as an additional lounge area, so there is plenty of really nice space for groups to socialise in.
The next morning, I enjoyed the Welsh breakfast – this was served as a buffet with hot and cold items, however tea or coffee and toast were served to the table. This hotel requires groups to breakfast at an allocated time: whilst this is unusual, I can see how this improves the experience for those individuals travelling as part of a group. It prevents large numbers of people all coming down to eat at the same time, which could lead to queues and long waiting times. In addition, by staggering groups of people, it means the hotel can ensure that there will be fresh food available for each group.
Thanks to its ideal location, helpful staff, comfortable rooms, great leisure facilities, delicious food and grand public areas, I feel confident that this traditional Welsh hotel will continue to delight our clients in the future.