Stradey Park Hotel back in business

Why should you support a local hotel?

Llanelli is a relatively small town in the grand scale of towns across the UK. It has seen its fair share of success and disasters. It has had to adapt to the changing times where once there was industry there are vacant brown field sites or in the case of the Millennium Coastal Park, a green corridor edged by the Burry Estuary, overlooking one of the most beautiful areas of natural beauty, the Gower peninsula.

You only get a real sense of the scale of the beauty from the air. It is breathtakingly beautiful. The problem with tourism is tourists. Not that they are problematic, it is the problem of where do you put them. If like us you have a lot of friends who live in different parts of the country and the world, the only option is to squeeze them into the family home, hope the B&Bs are not fully booked or foot the bill for a hotel.

Llanelli can boast two historic hotels. The Diplomat in Felinfoel, a family run Hotel which offers a great service, friendly staff, plenty of entertainment and the luxury of a gym and spa. It is almost certain that the Diplomat has reaped some of the benefits of being the only hotel open in Llanelli for a couple of years.

Within the last couple of days, the second hotel has reopened its doors. We took a visit, having been intrigued that it had reopened and curious as to how it would look.

We arrived and were able to drive straight up to the doors. A bonus for anyone with dodgy knees or hips. That familiar doorway was the same, the outside as grand as ever, the views over the estuary unchanged through time and as stunning as ever.

Moving into the reception, some friendly staff welcomed us as we headed for the bar area. Surprisingly it all looked very familiar apart from the fact that the reception area and hallways were much lighter. The paintwork had been renewed and offered a sense of light and space. Some of the original furniture was still in place, which was great to see.

The bar staff were friendly but it was ever so empty. Just a small group of people sitting and enjoying a chat and a drink. We opted to sit in one of the hallway areas with the comfy chairs, wooden tables and lovely lighting. It all looked exceptionally neat, clean and tidy.

Having purchased a very reasonably priced glass of Guinness, we were able to truly relax after a day at the office.

One of the staff was on a walkabout checking things and stopped to chat. This lovely lady was one of the employees and was juggling work and home-life working a split shift of mornings and evenings. She was a local lady trying to earn a living to support her family.

We had a lovely chat and she was charming, well dressed and informative. The hotel will take time to get back to anywhere near what it was. A lot of work is yet to be done on some areas which are not open or accessible to the public.

There has been a lot of interest for bookings and events and you can stay overnight and have breakfast. The roof terrace is not open as yet but that will open in time and offer those incredible views.

There may be some who will frown on anything positive written or said about the hotel but the deluded souls who consider they have been the saviours were nowhere to be seen. The hotel needs customers, it needs guests. It will need weddings and birthdays and functions. It will need the people of Llanelli and surrounding areas to support it along with the Diplomat Hotel. The town deserves to have both thriving. It brings people in, it has a knock on effect for suppliers. It offers us, our family and our friends somewhere to be proud of and to share those memories again.

Whatever one believes, whomever one believes, it is as my old Gran would say now – “water under the bridge.”

Those who still sow the seeds of hate will not frequent and support, and many would not have before the debacle we saw unfold.

There was and now is something special about the Stradey Park Hotel. The grandeur and quality of a building that has and will with your support punch above its weight once more and welcome visitors from all over the world.

With your support we can now say that Llanelli boasts two great hotels. Ymlaen Llanelli.

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