Archive for the ‘Dragon Posts’ Category

Where to Meet in Swansea on Business

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Visiting Swansea on business? You’re in luck. Here, there’s somewhere perfect for meeting clients, contacts and acquaintances – regardless of what you’re looking for…

If you want somewhere posh…

It’s really tough to look past Café TwoCann in Swansea Docks, which is a chic café by day and a much-admired fine dining restaurant by night. Situated in a grade 2 listed building, TwoCann is highly recommended if you’re looking to really impress their clients.

We challenge you not to fall in love with TwoCann’s coffee, particularly its latte, with coffee that has ‘bean’ locally toasted in Ogmore Vale.

If you want somewhere achingly hip…

Well, why not the Attic Gallery? It’s a bit of a Swansea institution and has been showcasing modern and traditional art in South Wales for over 50 years. There’s an ever-rotating array of art that you can cast your eye over while, of course, appearing achingly cool to the clients or contacts you’re meeting.

If you want somewhere cheap…

If you haven’t been blessed with the company card, then it makes sense to try somewhere slightly affordable. And nowhere offers a great value for money than the One Shoe Café on King Edward Road which is well-known locally for its chic atmosphere, ever-excellent espressos and very generous portions found on the lunch menu. We recommend the wide variety of paninis on offer. Yum.

If you want somewhere with a view…

You won’t find anywhere higher in Swansea, or in Wales for that matter, than the Grape and Olive which is situated on the top floor of Swansea Bay’s Meridian Tower. Offering a sensational view over Swansea Bay, The Mumbles and the rest of the city, it’s a great place to go, even if it can be a little pricey.


Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor

If you want somewhere outside…

Sure, it’s probably not practical (and there’s definitely no Wi-Fi or coffee on tap) but when the sun’s shining it’s a shame not to get outdoors and see Swansea in bloom. On a nice day, we’d recommend getting down to Singleton Park, where you could chew the fat in its botanical gardens and gain some creative inspiration from the stunning natural sights.

If you want somewhere all-encompassing…

dragon lounge

Visit us at The Lounge in The Dragon Hotel! It’s not just our great location, comfy beds and brilliant breakfasts that our businessmen love us for. When it comes to business meetings, we’ve got it all covered – from free Wi-Fi, a great selection of coffees and AA Rosette a la carte lunches to great views and an ever-friendly atmosphere. When you sit down at The Lounge, you’ll find us to be as classy as it is comfortable and convenient.

Looking for great business rates when staying in Swansea? Talk to the team at The Dragon Hotel today!

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring! What Are We Going To Do In Swansea?

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

If you follow our Dragon posts then you will know there is plenty of outdoor activities to do in Swansea. We love the stunning beaches in and around the area in particular! But what do you do when the heavens open and it chucks it down? Well, not to worry, we have the solution with these indoor activities in Swansea.

See Some Hieroglyphics

 

hyro

The Egypt Centre at the University of Wales Swansea in |Singleton Park is a great day out for those interested in the Pharaohs and pyramids of ancient Egypt. Admission to the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities is free too!

Most of the 5,000 items on display here were collected by a pharmacist, Sir Henry Wellcome. And the others come from locations such as the British Museum and private donators. So if you are looking for an authentic Egyptian experience brimming with history head over to the Egypt Centre for an educational experience.

Make and Taste Delicious Chocolate

 

choc

For a tasty afternoon trip book into the Chocolate Factory at Kingsway in the Swansea West Industrial Park. Tour around one of Wales’ leading chocolate factories and see how the delicious treat is made. Learn about the history of chocolate and of course enjoy a taste of the many different types they make at the factory. Yum!

Read a Poem

 

sylan

Born in Swansea, in 1914, Dylan Thomas was a Welsh writer and poet who became hugely famous in his short lifetime. If you would like to learn more about the wordsmith pay a visit to the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea city centre.

This is a permanent exhibition so is open all year round chronicling the life and times of the literary giant. Or for even more fun why not attend the annual Dylan Thomas Festival?

Play With Lasers

 

laser

Lasers are cool right? Well, play with them in a safe and fun environment right in the city centre next to Swansea castle. Laserzone is a high-tech, live action laser game which is played over the multi-level themed play arena. There are special effects such as fog, laser beams and pulsing music for an exhilarating experience like no other.

Anyone over the age of 7 can play and groups of up to 30 can battle it out at any given time. So strap on your body armour and pick up that laser gun and protect that base!

Watch a Show

 

theatre

A 5 minute walk from the Dragon Hotel is the drama-filled Swansea Grand Theatre, the perfect place for a show after dinner. This is a cultural gem in the middle of the urban city with many live events and shows held every week. The Swansea Grand Theatre plays host to around 450 performances every year in its auditorium and another 200 in its purpose built Arts Wing.

So whether you are after dance or drama, a show from a touring company or a local production the Swansea Grand Theatre is a great place to start.

There is always plenty to do in Swansea, whatever the weather. For more rainy day activities ask a member of staff or ask us on Facebook!

 

(images: Wikipedia, Noctourniquet, The Guardian, robnlizzie and Wikimedia)

13 Reasons We Love Nev from the Call Centre

Friday, May 30th, 2014

We won’t need to tell you that we’re huge fans of the BBC Three program The Call Centre, which has just finished its second series. Principally, we love its protagonist, the self-made millionaire Neville Wilshere – or as his loyal workmates call him, Nev.

Here are 13 reasons to salute the big man:

1 – He’s a proud Swansea boy

Like us, Nev loves this fair city. Born and bred in South Wales, he worked his way up and now employs hundreds in his famous call centre. That makes him alright by us.

2 – He’s unconventional

Nev takes an irregular approach to HR. When a member of team wanted a promotion, he said he could… as long as he beat Nev in an armwrestle. Did he win? Take a look at the video:

3 – He’s a trier

Nev may be in charge of a multi-million pound business, but he knows what it’s like to lose it all. In the 90s, he divorced and his business went under. Unable to see his kids for 6 months, Nev couldn’t even sign on to unemployment benefits.

Nevertheless, he got back up, started again and look where he is now.

4 – He’s not averse to being a bit of a prat

Nev Call Centre Gif

5 – He’s funny on Twitter

nev

6 – He’s not averse to Dad jokes

Midway through the first season, Nev was in his car giving the film crew one of his trademark pearls of wisdom when he was interrupted by an onrushing ambulance:

“He’ll never sell any ice creams going at that speed”.

There’s no joke like a Dad joke.

7 – He’s positive to a T

As with many successful entrpreneurs, Nev is relentlessly chipper – optimistic until the very end and insisting that “happy people sell”. And that’s a good way to be.

8 – He’s created a great workplace

Nev’s Save Britain Money Group is currently fifth in the Sunday Times list of the best UK companies to work for. Impressive.

9 – He’s got an excellent approach to dating

Nev believes in “SW,SW,SW? N! – some will, some won’t, so what? Next!” It’s tough to argue with that.

10 – He’s a singer

Like any good South Wales boy, Nev loves a sing song and is well aware of the power of music.

11 – He’s a shouter

But in a good way.

12 – He finds a place for staff who don’t fit

Many bosses are unsympathetic to staff who don’t cut the mustard. Not Nev.

When members of his team aren’t up to the job, he tries to find them a suitable role somewhere else in the company – like when he gave Hayley Pearce a new lease of life as the office ‘tea lady’.

13 – He’s cool under pressure

And doesn’t get flustered when he’s ambushed on the BBC!

Yeah, it’s fair to say that Nev is a bit of a Swansea institution. But you know what?

So are we. We’ve been standing proud in Swansea City Centre for over 50 years. Make the most of our fair city by checking out more of our blog today.

Or, for exclusive rates on four-star stays in the heart of Swansea, call +44 (0)1792 657 100 or book your stay online today.

Staff Member of the Month: Bryony Williams

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Bryony Williams We’re delighted to announce that Brony Williams is the latest Dragon Hotel Staff Member of the Month.

Bryony has been a Beauty Therapist with us for the past 2 years and she is always found with a smile on her face. She’s enthusiastic and passionate about her work, delivering treatments to the highest standard. Customers often remark on how they have enjoyed their treatment time with Bryony and return time and time again.

Here’s what she had to say on winning Staff Member of the Month:

“I’m very happy! I absolutely love my job and look forward to meeting new clients each day and giving them a treatment of the highest standard.

“I love listening to people and chatting to them about their lives and sharing stories. I adore all of the treatments that we offer here at the Health Club especially our Power Regeneration Facial as I love seeing the amazing results that can be achieved after just one treatment.

“I think that I am a bubbly, smiley person and like to think I make people feel comfortable and at ease in my presence. I love nothing more than seeing how pleased a client is after receiving a treatment.”

Congratulations Bryony!

Are You Man (Or Woman) Enough for the Mumbles Triathlon?

Monday, May 19th, 2014

The Mumbles Triathlon is now less than a month away.

DSC00230

The famous race, voted as the race of the year at the 2012 Triathlon Awards, starts on Saturday 14th June 2014 and invites some of the UK’s most talented athletes to put their bodies through hell in the sensational surroundings of The Mumbles.

Check out this video of the triathlon from 2010.

How the race runs (and rides, and swims)

There are two races: a ‘long’ course and a ‘short’ course – which is still pretty long, all considered. The long course consists of:

  • A 750m sea swim P1030649
  • A 32km bike ride
  • A 5k run

The short course consists of:

  • A 750m sea swim
  • A 21km bike ride
  • A 2.5km run

The run takes athletes along Mumbles Road, with full views of the seafront, while the swim is yet to be confirmed but will involve a dip in the cold Mumbles sea.

The bike ride starts alongside Mumbles Road before veering into the picturesque hills to the west of the area, taking in Pennard and (for the longer contestants) a loop around Fairwood.

Think you’ve got what it takes to win this esteemed event?

P1030635

Last year, the short and long courses were won in (frankly ridiculous) times of 1hr 20secs and 1hr 22mins respectively.  Good luck!

Unfortunately, the Mumbles Triathlon is now full up, but there are still places up for grabs at the Gower Triathlon on 27th September.

Remember, the sea will be a little warmer in September…

Looking for Mumbles triathlon accommodation?

Join us at The Dragon Hotel. We’re chosen by many endurance athletes every summer as the perfect accommodation for the Mumbles Triathlon. Carb load beforehand at our esteemed AA Rosette restaurant The Dragon Brasserie and then enjoy the perfect night’s sleep afterwards in our luxurious, well-appointed rooms.

Want special rates for triathlon athletes? Call our bookings team today on +44 (0)1792 657 100.

(Images: Mumbles Triathlon)

Golfing in Swansea – Pennard Golf Club | The Dragon Hotel

Friday, May 16th, 2014

The latest edition of our Golfing in Swansea series sees us tee off at one of South Wales’ oldest, most esteemed courses, Pennard Golf Club.

Ladies 14th tee to 16LR

Where is Pennard Golf Club?

In the middle of The Mumbles, Pennard is just south of Swansea airport and a 20-minute drive from The Dragon Hotel.

To get there, take the A4067 westwards out of Swansea when it will become the B4436 (Pennard Road).  Follow this road into Pennard, past the primary school and you’ll see signs for the course.

How it Plays Out

Designed by the golfing legend James Braid, Pennard is known in South Wales and beyond as ‘the links in the sky’. Some 200 feet above sea level, it’s still chock full of links-style dunes, humps and hollows – as well as a smattering of wild cows and horses.

These often-hidden hazards mean that blind shots aren’t unheard of – you’ll certainly enjoy your fair share of ups and downs when playing Pennard, both metaphorically and literally.

At 6,329 yards, Pennard isn’t the longest course, but it’s quirky, charmingly rough around the edges and packed with plenty of pretty punches.  The whole course is overlooked by the ruins of the 12th-century Pennard castle and the short par 4 7th with its elevated tee and undulating fairways, coupled with the castle on your right, is a particular highlight.

Other popular Pennard holes include the downhill par-3 5th and the wide, barren 11th with a sensational angled green that tempts you towards a treacherous sand trap.

Best of all however, is the 493-yard ‘Great Tor’ 16th which demands a blind 2nd shot and delicate approach play to reach the clifftop green in good nick. Once you’re there, the green gives some frankly ridiculous views over the surrounding area.

16th tee

Why You’ll love it

As you’d expect from a golf course 200 feet above The Gower, the views at Pennard must been to be believed. Unspoilt, remote and utterly charming, it’s tough not to fall in love with the course’s rugged charm.

If you want a challenge, you’ll love Pennard. Aside from the tricky hazards, naturally uneven bounces and undulating fairways, there’s plenty of wind to contend with too. It is, after all, a couple of hundred feet above sea level.

Pennard also rewards tactical, astute golf play. This quirky golf course isn’t one that rewards the strongest, most consistent driver; at Pennard it’s the thoughtful, experienced golfer that will get the best from the surroundings.

Why You Might Not

There’s no doubt that Pennard’s charm lies in its ragged, rugged unpredictability, but that’s probably its weakness too. Its huge array of holes, bumps and quirks mean that you could play the exact same game twice and come out with wildly fluctuating scores.

Don’t get us wrong – you still need all your wits about you to get a half-decent score, but there will be times when you’ve done all you can and your scorecard will still be littered with bogies. Don’t worry – we’ve all been there.

Just enjoy the view.

Want a hotel near Pennard Golf Club?

Just 20 minutes’ drive from The Mumbles, the Dragon Hotel is a particular favourite for golfers looking for hotels near Pennard Golf Club.

Speak to our team today about how we can book your group a flexible golfing break package that incorporates all of South Wales’ most sensational courses. Make your booking today – call 01792 657140.

(Images: Pennard Golf Club)

The 18 Best Golf Quotes and Sayings of All Time

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Golf is a funny game – and over the years it’s provoked some amazing quotes. Here are some of our favourite funny golf quotes and sayings: some bitter, some witty and some wise.

“If I had cleared the trees and drove the green, it would’ve been a great shot.” – Sam SneadGolf ball

“I know I am getting better at golf because I’m hitting fewer spectators” – Gerald Ford

“To find a man’s true character, play golf with him” – P.G Wodehouse.

“The man who can go into a patch of rough alone, with the knowledge that only God is watching him, and play his ball where it lies, is the man who will serve you faithfully and well.” – P.G. Wodehouse, again.

“I’m the best. I just haven’t played yet.” – Muhammad Ali

“Hockey is a sport for white men. Basketball is a sport for black men. Golf is a sport for white men dressed like black pimps” – Tiger Woods

“While playing golf today I hit two good balls. I stepped on a rake”  – Henry Youngman

“In the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre: au revoir, Gopher” – Carl Spackler in Caddyshack

“One minute you’re bleeding. The next minute you’re haemorrhaging. The next minute you’re painting the Mona Lisa” – Mac O’Grady

“If you watch a game, it’s fun. If you play at it, it’s recreation. If you work at it, it’s golf “– Bob Hope

“You win all the Tucsons, all the Kemps, all the Iron City Opens you can, nobody remembers. You win a Masters, nobody ever forgets” – Bob Goalby

“Golf is played by twenty million mature American men whose wives think they are out having fun” – Jim Bishop

“I don’t fear death, but I sure don’t like those three-footers for par.” – Chi Chi Rodriguez

“They say that golf isn’t a contact sport. Not the way that we play it” – Alice Cooper

“Although golf was originally restricted to wealthy, overweight Protestants, today it’s open to anybody who owns hideous clothing.” – Dave Barry

“You little son of a bitch ball! Why you don’t you just go HOME? That’s your HOME! Are you too good for your HOME?” – Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore

“Obviously a deer in the road has seen you tee off before when he knows that the safest place to be is right down the middle” – Jackie Gleason

“I regard golf as an expensive way of playing marbles” – G.K Chesterton

Looking for bespoke golf breaks in South Wales? Speak to The Dragon Hotel today – simply call 01792 657140 and let us build a package that suits you and your mates.

Date Night in Swansea: Returning Since Your Uni Days

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Were the years spent at Swansea University some of the best years of your life? Well, sadly they are now over but why not come back and visit. You could make it a nice romantic short break for you and your partner. And after a walk down memory lane, head to some of the best restaurants in the area for some fine dining in Swansea.

Swansea University logo

The Indian CottageGrape & Olive Swansea Bay

If you like your food with a kick but still want to enjoy the sophisticated atmosphere of a posh restaurant then head to The Indian Cottage in Pontardawe. The restaurant is famous in Swansea for their fine dining twist on the classic Indian meal and only the best ingredients are used here.

The Grape & Olive

The Grape & Olive will certainly provide you with a dinner with a view. Situated at the top floor of the tallest building in Wales you can pick your favourite dish from the menu and enjoy the stunning views across Swansea Bay and the Mumbles.
The food here is made from Welsh products of the finest quality so you can give your other half a real taste of South Wales.

Munch of Mumbles

Munch opened in December 2012 and over the last 18 months has established itself as one of the best restaurants in Swansea. The meals here look too good to eat and are masterpieces of Ben Griffiths the owner. He runs this restaurant with his wife Jacqui and youngest daughter Anna, so there is a warm and inviting atmosphere that comes from the family ownership.
And once you’ve enjoyed a good hearty meal here why don’t you go for a nice stroll along Mumbles pier.

Mosaic in SwanseaMOSAIC

If you decide to discover the new Urban Village area of Swansea then make sure to pay MOSAIC a visit. There is an electric mix of influences here with a melting pot of meals and people. The company owned 2 restaurants before opening their doors in Swansea so have good experience in what people want. And the prices aren’t bad either!

Other Romantic Activities

Of course a romantic meal isn’t everything. There are plenty of other things you can do together.

  • Go for a stroll along the stunning Gower Peninsula and take in the panoramic scenery. Take a picnic and stay until sundown for a truly spectacular set.
  • Want to explore somewhere that won’t get sand between your toes? Then maybe try Clyne Gardens? This well looked after manicured garden is open to the public and is particularly breath-taking in early summer when the flowers begin to bloom.
  • Become the Queen or King (for a few minutes) and visit Oystermouth Castle. This 12th century castle was rewarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2013 and makes for the perfect break from looking around the shops in the Mumbles.

If all of this tires you out then take some time for yourself and visit the specialist treatment room here at the hotel. Indulge yourself with a holistic or sports massage and maybe a seaweed wrap so you’ll be looking your best for the rest of the trip.

For more information about other activities around Swansea take a look at our previous blog posts or ask at reception.

A Brand New Team for Your Brand New Health Club!

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

We’ve all got ants in our pants in the health club as we’re closing for one week for a complete facelift and change.

The club is having a revamp and so are the team!

Tara, our Health Club Manager, is stepping down from the role and staying with us as Personal Trainer and Health Club Sales Manager.

Andy is stepping up as manager, Louise is stepping up as Deputy Manager and Tom has left to be replaced by Tom (Nice and easy to remember the name)

Wait – there’s more!

We’re excited to welcome Ceri to the team who is coming to us from The Dragon Brasserie and we still have Ashleigh and Bryony

So if you see some brightly coloured trainers running around the Swansea area a little more than normal – that’s our team putting their clients through their paces outdoors whilst the club is locked and having a bit of a DIY SOS moment.

We’re opening back up on Saturday 3rd May and would love to see you at our brand new club with our brand new team!

 

Get Active in Swansea!

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

If you are looking for attractions near Swansea for a hen do or maybe as an alternative to golf on a long weekend, you may want to consider doing something active. There’s plenty to do in Swansea, so get outside and enjoy the beautiful coastline. You won’t regret it!

Surfing

Head down Caswell Bay Road and you will find Gower Surfing School. Surf GSD is the only licensed surf school by the County of Swansea and is the only company allowed to run surfing lessons from this stunning seaside location. SurfGSD has been running for over 10 years and is a British Surfing Association approved school so you know it is a safe and fun place to learn this fun new skill.
Book online and whether you are looking for a beginner’s tutorial or a whole afternoon of advanced training you are sure to catch the surfing bug.

Waterpark LC2 Swansea

The LC2 in the middle of Swansea’s town centre is a modern leisure centre that has been awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2013. With its very own waterpark there are slides, a small lazy river and even a one-of-a-kind Boardrider.
There is also a 30ft climbing wall and a fully kitted out gym making this the perfect location for an active day come rain or shine.

Paintballing

A 15 minute drive from the town centre you will find Teamforce Paintball & Activity Centre the perfect location for a day of getting down and dirty. The centre is able to host 120 players at any given time on its 15 acre site and therefore is popular among groups of all sizes. So defend that castle, run over the bridge and capture that missile command bunker!

Indoor Karting

Skidz Karting in Swansea West Business Park is a fun place to go especially if you have a competitive side to your personality. The only indoor karting track in Swansea, there are 2 tracks to choose between as well as a big games room where you can play pool, air hockey or have a go at the driving simulator. Just remember, don’t drink and drive!

Mountain BoardMountain Boarding

Have you always wanted to try mountain boarding? The BRD Mountain Boarding Centre near Weobley Castle in Llanrhidian is a great place to start. Hire the equipment and take part in one of the lessons or courses served here on the 200m of sloping grass and woodland, for fun-for-all abilities that gets you out in the great Welsh outdoors.

Canyoning, White Water Rafting and Coasteering

For water sports in Swansea, Goytre is the place to be. The Liquidfriction Adventure Centre is the base for many adrenaline filled activities such as canyoning, white water rafting, coasteering and a high ropes challenge. The centre is located in the Afon forest so makes a beautiful setting to take part in these activities and a lovely place for an after activity picnic.

Do you like the sound of any of these activities? If you have any further questions just ask – we’re always happy to help!