Criccieth is a beautiful place to holiday and this hotel is in a handy location on the main street and close to shops. The beach, promenade and castle are an easy walk away for the mobile. There is obviously a lot of history attached to the hotel. Photographs depict it as an imposing building in 1891, as the resort begins to develop and it retains its lovely facade. On entering the hotel, the public could be forgiven for thinking that they have strayed into an elderly people's home. The lounge areas have sofas and chairs arranged neatly around the perimeter of the rooms, rather than in the more informal settings recognisable in the majority of today's hotels. Whilst this may facilitate ease of movement around the public areas, it should be remembered that the majority of us 'silver surfers,' who do appear to represent the majority of guests, appreciate the sort of modernity we enjoy in our own homes. Other coach tour operators have recognised this in their modernisation programmes and understand that it is possible to blend the contemporary into an historic building.
We had paid a premium for a 'castle view,' and, making our way up the lovely staircase, could hardly wait to see what awaited us. On opening the door to the room, we could indeed see that the room lived up to its description. It was well-proportioned with a large bay window overlooking the main road and the view beyond to the castle. In the future, there will need to be a culling of trees to maintain this attraction, but for the time being, the view was excellent and it was also possible to see the sea from the left elevation. The room boasted mismatched furniture and a prehistoric television on which it was impossible to alter settings, so the BBC news presenters all looked like orange OomphaLoompas. Bathroom towels had been left on the bed. Why? There seems to be an inclination to do this in some places. I am never sure whether bedspreads are changed between guest changeovers in the same way that sheets are. It is therefore one of life's mysteries why towels would not be placed where they belong i.e. in a bathroom and not on a bed. On entering the bathroom to place the towels that had been left on the bed onto the towel rail designed for the purpose, I noticed the state of the toilet. It had clearly been left in a mess by the previous occupant and had been overlooked by the housekeeping staff. It needed a deep clean. I went back to reception and explained the problem to the manager. Shortly thereafter someone was despatched to deal with the problem, which was explained away as 'rust from the fixings.' I have an academic BA (Hons.) and also a PGCE but, better still, a PHd from the university of life........! The bathroom seemed to have been half-refurbished. Again, a room of good proportions and poor lighting, it had a bath and effective separate shower with modern-ish tiling, while the rest of the room suffered from poor peeling decoration and shabby flooring. Why had the re-decoration stopped where it had? It looked tired and in need of a good clean.
What about the dining experience? The dining room/s could have looked lovely, in a very traditional way, but again fell victim to mismatch and a general lack of care. Breakfasts were okay. The fish was always good. Everything is served at table. Some waiting staff were very efficient, whilst others were 'in training.' Dinners were variable, between poor and average. The poor selection of vegetables was overcooked and tinned sweetcorn was a popular option. The rack rate for dinner is £14. Criccieth is blessed with many fine restaurants offering locally produced fresh food for the same price.
To summarise, this hotel is beautiful from the outside and has retained some of its original features. The owners have not capitalised on its appearance or invested in upgrading the public areas in a contemporary way, sympathetic to its historical origins. Even re-arranging the furniture would contribute to this. We were blessed with fantastic weather throughout our stay, which took us outdoors most of the time. We would not have wanted to spend time in the lounges had the weather been bad. Hoteliers could place themselves in the position of guests to obtain a clearer view of the actual experience of staying in a place to gain a better insight.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- George IV Hotel - Criccieth [3 Alpha & AA Three Star]Situated on the High Street in the centre of Criccieth with magnificent views towards the sea and castle from many bedrooms. 47 bedrooms with central heating and bath or shower and WC (most have bath and shower). All rooms have tea/coffee making facilities, intercom, hair dryer and TV with radio channels. Extensive public areas include a delightful cocktail bar, attractive large restaurant, entertainment room with additional bar and a cosy lounge. A small lift serves first and second floors (not the third floor) and there is ample car parking. A Leisureplex Hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- George Iv Criccieth
- George IV Hotel Criccieth, Wales