Twenty eight elderly ladies travelling to Llandudno were in danger of being left stranded after their newly renovated hotel announced it wouldn’t be ready in time. They had booked a year ahead and were getting so desperate they were prepared to “wear hard hats and hi-vis jackets” if building work wasn’t completed.
Last June the group, aged from 65 to 87, booked 20 rooms at the new Premier Inn on the site of the former Tudno Castle Hotel. All are members of the Lancashire West Trefoil Guild, an adult branch of Girlguiding.
They are due to attend the Guild’s national conference at Venue Cymru, Llandudno, on June 24-27. Around 1,000 members from across the UK are expected to join them.
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Christine Verity, treasurer of the Lancashire West Trefoil Guild, had been getting increasingly concerned as the hotel’s completion date was pushed back. When Whitbread, owner of the Premier Inn chain, announced a further delay to July 1, she began demanding answers.
“The hotel was originally due to open in February, then March, then May 20 and then June 17,” said Christine. “Then I read the work wouldn’t be finished until July 1. There wasn’t much we could do about it, though we were pretty upset.
“A young lady phoned me to say the hotel manager would be calling me to discuss the possibilities. I later discovered he did call but his message went to spam.
“I tried calling the hotel but couldn’t get through. We didn’t mind if just one floor was available – we would have been happy to wear hard hats and hi-vis jackets if necessary. I also began looking at other places, like Rhyl.”
North Wales Live contacted Whitbread to establish what was being done to support guests booked in before July 1. The company said the short delay had been necessary to get everything “absolutely right” at the new 90-bedroom hotel in Llandudno.
Once the delay became apparent, arrangements were made to out-book guests, said the company. The company had attempted to make contact with Christine but there had been a “breakdown of communication”.
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This week, Christine and her group agreed to move to the Glan Conwy Premier Inn, some four miles away. A Whitbread spokesperson said: “There is absolutely still room at the inn for Christine and her party – our local team can’t wait to welcome them. We’ve offered a free breakfast for the misunderstanding as a goodwill gesture and we wish them a great conference.”
Christine said she was happy enough with the new arrangements. “It’s been distressing but we’re relieved we now have a solution,” she said. “It’s not ideal, as it’s four miles away and I’d need to renegotiate with the coach company that’s taking us.
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“But at least we now know we’ll have beds. And Premier Inn has offered us a free breakfast each on the first morning, saving us around £300, which will help with the costs of extra coach travel.”
Across the UK, there are more than 1,100 Trefoil Guilds with over 18,000 members, each supporting the guiding ethos – including the pledge to help other people. Many members pass on their skills and knowledge to local guiding units, as well as taking on their own personal challenges.
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