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The Hand Hotel (Llangollen)

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  • Feather pillows
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      09.08.2002 00:03
      Very helpful



      • "Feather pillows"

      Nestling in a beautiful part of North Wales is a lovely scenic town called Llangollen. We have been there three times in 1997, once in 1998 and now in 2002. On three of those occasions, we have stayed at the Hand Hotel. On July 25th this year, we went back there on our honeymoon. We wanted to return to Llangollen to celebrate our wedding, as that was where we first met each other exactly five years before. We arrived on the Thursday, some ten hours after becoming husband and wife. We spent three nights at the hotel, returning home on the Sunday afternoon. My Dad paid for us as a treat. It cost him £255 for us to stay for bed and breakfast for the three nights. We emailed them and arranged everything online, securing the booking with a £20 cheque sent through the post. The balance was then paid when we arrived, but you can pay when you leave if you prefer. We arrived tired and weary. We had been up since around 7am, got married at 10am then had a buffet reception before leaving around 4pm and driving from Bristol to Llangollen. We got into the hotel only to find the reception desk was unmanned. We had to go to the bar to find a staff member, which involved battling through a crowd of OAPs listening to an electronic organ playing old songs. Not a great start! However, when we did find our man (as it were), he was very helpful and was the most efficient and friendly person there. I don’t know if he was the Assistant Manager or something, but I would assume he was. He seemed to be working pretty much all the time, but was always easily approachable and couldn’t be faulted. Our room was lovely. We asked for a bridal suite, which they hadn’t really got, so they offered us Room 33 instead which has a huge four-poster bed. I would definitely recommend it. It had a beautiful view too as it overlooked the River Dee and you could see the ruins of the inspirational Castle Dinas Bran in the dist
      ance. (This was so inspirational that we climbed to the top of it and I wrote for quite a while in my notebook!) The room was right next to a church though and you soon got fed up of the bells tolling every fifteen minutes! It wasn’t a huge room but was big enough for the two of us and was well equipped. It had a sink with a mirror over it, a wardrobe, a table with two comfy chairs, a corner table with a chair, a waste-bin, telephone, radio and two bedside tables with lamps on. There was a heater on the wall, but the room seemed warm enough without using it. There was also a small hairdryer in the room. In the corner were the most important things – the kettle and the television! Well, I love my tea and only become human after two cups in the morning. The TV was an essential too, as there was gymnastics on from the Commonwealth Games and the all-important Big Brother final! The TV was a good size and had a remote control, so we could lounge in our big four-poster bed and channel hop to our heart’s content. The kettle was accompanied by two cups and saucers, teaspoons plus a basket of coffee sachets, sugar packets, tea bags, mini milk cartons and biscuits. Unfortunately, there was nowhere near enough tea or milk for me, so we had to go down to reception several times over our stay to ask for more. Our requests were always responded to quickly and efficiently and with a friendly smile. One bad thing I discovered about the room was that all the pillows were feather. Being asthmatic, I can’t sleep on these so I had to ask if they could replace them with non-feather pillows. However, they didn’t have any in the whole hotel! In the end, the best they could find was one of those V-shaped pillows you can have for neck support and that made an adequate substitute, but if we had taken the kids as well, we would have needed more of these and there weren’t any. So if you are allergic to feathers,
      be sure to tell the hotel in good time, so they can go out and buy some – or just take your own! There was an en suite bathroom, which had a toilet and a bath with shower attachment. There were towels provided (white to match the décor!) as well as shower caps, shower gel, shampoo and soap. It was a bit of a pain having to walk into the bedroom to use the sink though and the noise was loud in the bathroom when you put the light on. But these were only minor issues and overall, we were very pleased with the room. The hotel is very pretty from the outside and is on Bridge Street, which is an ideal location as it is near to all the shops, cafes and restaurants. The car park is large and we didn’t have any problems finding somewhere to park or leaving the car there. There is also a riverside garden for residents to use, which was just below our window and an ideal place to sit and relax in the sun. The hotel inside has three large spacious rooms for conferences and the like (the Denbigh Suite is the biggest (70-100 people), the others are the Novello Suite and the Lounge), a bar and food available. There are 58 bedrooms and all the ones we have stayed in have been very good. It can be a bit hard to find your way around the hotel at first, as there are lots of narrow winding corridors and sudden turns, but follow the numbers and you should be okay. There are lots of stairs too and I didn’t see any lifts, so I wouldn’t recommend this for wheelchair users, unless you check first. We weren’t very impressed with the breakfast facilities. The first morning, we got down there for around 9am (about half an hour before breakfast was supposed to end) only to find one extremely stressed Welsh man packing everything away. When I explained it was only 9am, he made some snide comment that we should have been earlier. I explained we had just got married the day before and were on our honeymoon, so he ended up
      insisting on taking us to a local café to eat instead! When we did experience a hotel breakfast, it was disappointing. They were ridiculously under-staffed with the poor old Welsh guy rushed off his feet. The food wasn’t up to much either with cooked breakfast, toast or cereals available. I would have preferred croissants or crusty bread rolls myself. Still, they had big pots of tea ;-) If you wanted to eat in the hotel at other times of the day, you could buy a variety of sandwiches, snacks and cooked meals. Examples of the food available include ham and salad baguette for £2.95, cheese Ploughman’s for £3.50, vegetable stir-fry and rice for £3.25. A pot of the essential tea costs £1, with coffee at £1.25. We had sandwiches on our first night and they were nice enough, but a bit pricey for what they were. We ended up eating out for nearly every meal, which is easy to do in Llangollen where there are so many places to eat from cheap cafes to expensive restaurants. So overall, we were satisfied with the hotel, but there were a few faults. The service was generally good, but it seemed to be the same two people doing most of the legwork! (It reminded me of Carry On Abroad, with Peter Butterworth taking on all the roles!) The breakfast could be improved and they need to get some non-feather pillows. But it is good value and a nice place to stay in what must be one of my favourite towns in the world. We had a lovely honeymoon there and we plan to go back and visit in the future, when we would definitely consider staying at the Hand Hotel once again. The Hand Hotel Bridge Street Llangollen Denbighshire Wales LL20 8PL TEL : 01978-860303 EMAIL : info@hand-hotel-llangollen.com


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