You can’t miss the George IV hotel. It is a large and splendid stone building dominating the High Street in the centre of Criccieth. It dates from 1830 and was built shortly after the turnpike opened in anticipation of developing Porthdinllaen as a ferry port for Ireland. Those grand plans came to nothing when the A5 and Menai Bridge was built and Holyhead was chosen instead.
The hotel is now one of the Leisureplex Group of Hotels owned by Alfa Travel and is very popular with coach holidays.
The hotel has a lot of character with a massive wood staircase (There is a lift for those who can’t manage stairs) and wood panelled dining room overlooking the High Street.
I was allocated a twin bedded room for single occupancy, on the third floor along the side of the hotel with a view across the roof tops to the large grassy area, Y Maes, in the centre of the town. By craning my head I could just see the sea.
It was a comfortable room, clean and warm. It was also very quiet. The bed was very comfortable and the duvet sufficiently snug that I didn’t need the extra blanket in the wardrobe. It was furnished with modern light wood furniture. There was plenty of hanging space in the wardrobe and drawer space in the desk and bedside cabinet. There was tea making equipment, hair drier and small flat screen TV. Lighting was also good – a bonus as so many hotels seem to go for dim lighting.
The bathroom had a walk in shower that produced a good flow of hot water. Towels were large and dried well and there was soap, shower gel and shampoo provided.
The hotel was full which meant there were 150 plus people needing to be fed. We were allocated a table and a time. Meal times were staggered to try and ease pressure on serving staff and the kitchen, although it didn’t really matter if you didn’t stick to you allocated time.
We had to order our evening meal at breakfast time. It was served plated to the table. Menus seem to be the same for all Leisureplex hotels and there is a standard weekly menu. It was traditional style cooking with old fashioned puddings like bread and butter pudding, crumble and rice pudding. Actually I was rather reminded of school lunches… Helpings were very generous and several nights I was struggling to finish the main course.
There was always a choice of roast, fish and vegetarian along with the Chef’s special of the day (cheese and pasta bake, cottage pie, breaded fish and chips…)
Breakfast was serve yourself to cereals, fruit juice and grapefruit sections or prunes with plain yogurt. The traditional breakfast included bacon, sausage, fried egg, baked beans, tomato, hash brown and fried bread – guaranteed to set you up for the day – along with toast.
Service at breakfast could be very slow and we were often waiting 15 minutes for the waitress to take our order. My request for a pot of hot water fell on deaf ears (or perhaps she didn’t understand it?) Staff were nearly all foreign.
There was a comfortable lounge area overlooking the High Street. The small bar at the back of the hotel had the usual selection of beers and drinks but no real ale. I understand there was entertainment at night but I gave this a miss.
I enjoyed my stay at the hotel. It is a good location and just a short walk into the centre of Criccieth or to the beach.