Archive for the ‘Dragon Posts’ Category

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.

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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?

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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!

Accommodation

Friday, April 25th, 2014

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Comfortable, All-encompassing Accommodation

accommodation-spThe Dragon Hotel offers guests a choice of 106 immaculately-adorned en-suite bedrooms. All are  refurbished effortlessly, offering a comfortable environment. So whether you’re visiting for business, pleasure or a combination of the two we’ve somewhere you can really relax.

Want to take a look around? Please take a look at images of our accommodation in our picture gallery.

Our Four-star Rooms

Each bedroom in The Dragon Hotel enjoys modern décor and is kitted out with the latest mod-cons for your pleasure. When you stay here, you’ll benefit from:

  • Secure key card access
  • Direct dial telephone
  • Digital flat screen TV
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Hairdryer
  • Tea/Coffee making facilities
  • In-room movies and Sky TV
  • Air-conditioning

We’ve a wide range of rooms to suit all requirements and budgets. Why not choose from a simple and elegant Superior Double or Twin Room, a spacious Superior Family or Executive Double and Twin Rooms.

We also offer Superior Disabled Access Rooms with wide doorways, walk-in showers and rails for wheelchair users. Or, for a touch of decadence, you may want to treat yourself to an Executive Suite which boasts an impressive additional lounge.

Important Information

Guests can check in from 2pm on day of arrival. Check out is 12 noon. To avoid charges, cancellations must be made by 2.00pm on the scheduled day of arrival.

Did you know that The Dragon Hotel is home to an award-winning restaurant? Book a table at our AA Rosette Brasserie during your stay or enjoy our carvery Sunday lunch. For more information about our holiday accommodation and what we can offer you, speak to a member of our team today on +44 (0)1792 657 100.

5 Terrific Things to do in the Swansea Valley

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

The area around the River Tawe to the north east of Swansea is a historic, varied area. With so many things to see and do, it’s a haven for both visitors and locals.

Stuck for something to do in Swansea? Here are the 5 best things to do in the Swansea valley:

Swansea Canal © Gareth Lovering

#1 – Walk the Industrial Routes of Swansea Canal

During the industrial revolution until the First World War, the area around the River Tawe was one of the most industrialised in the world. Coal mining was huge business.

Swansea may not be the industrial power it once was, but its canal, opened in 1798 at a cost of £60,000, is a throwback to those heady times. It ran for more than 16 miles, and although only 5 miles remains of active water it still offers a range of great walks. The perfect way to taste the valley’s rich history.

Looking for more great walks in and around Swansea? Check out our great guide.

Dan yr Ogof © Chris SampsonDan yr Ogof © SocialRobot

#2 – Descend Down into Dan yr Ogof Caves

The National Showcaves Centre for Wales at Dan-Yr-Ogof is a perfect place to take both young and old. Voted by Radio Times readers as Britain’s greatest natural wonder, the caves are reportedly the largest in Europe.

Cave divers have identified that the network stretches at least 11 miles underground, although they also anticipate that it could go as far as 90 miles underneath huge swathes of South Wales. At Dan Yr Ogof you can get your hard hat on and enjoy the three huge main caves that are open to the public, or even find out about dinosaurs that walked round Wales.

Waterfall @ Sgwd Henrhyd © Jason Rogers

#3 – Wonder at the view of Sgwd Henrhyd

Sgwd Henrhyd, or Henryhd Waterfall, on the southerly edge of the Brecon Beacons is a jaw-dropping attraction – and at 90ft the tallest waterfall found in South Wales’ esteemed Waterfall County. It’s a popular spot and easy to walk down to from the National Trust car park just outside Coelbren.

Batman fans may well recognise the waterfall, which was used as the entrance to the Batcave at the end of The Dark Night Rises. Just don’t jump down.

Craig y Nos Castle © Gruenemann

#4 – Get Haunted at Craig Y Nos Castle

South Wales is famous for its castles, but the grounds and locale of this Victorian Gothic country house make it perhaps one of the best in the Swansea Valley. Bought by the opera superstar Adelina Patti in the late 19th century who developed it and added an iconic Grade 1 listed opera house to the already-impressive castle, Craig Y Nos is now a successful hotel and wedding venue

It is also said to suffer from paranormal phenomena. Patti and her second husband have been reported to roam the estate, as well as a number of children who supposedly died when the estate was used as a hospital to fight TB in the mid-20th century. So if you’re visiting on one of its ghost tours and notice some spooky goings on, don’t say we didn’t warn you!

#5 – Swim and splash around at The LC, Swansea

Right at the very mouth of the River Tawe in Swansea Bay, the LC Swansea (previously known as Swansea Leisure Centre), is probably South Wales’ most impressive leisure centre. Its amazing pool has a number of wicked water slides, while on dry land you can climb its 30ft climbing wall, use the multi-purpose sports hall or make the most of the extensive spa and gym facilities.

Have we missed any of your favourites? What do you think are the best places to go in and around the Swansea valley? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook and let us know!

Cocktails with a Twist for the Perfect Hen Do

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Are you heading to Swansea for your friends hen do? Good decision. Wind Street is the perfect location for a night on the tiles to celebrate their upcoming nuptials. Enjoy a meal at our Dragon Brassiere and then why not create a few unusual cocktails of your own to get the party started?

Flaming Russian

Here are a few cocktails with a twist for the perfect hen do (they’re not exactly a black Russian or sex on the beach):

The Flaming Russian

If you are looking for something with a real wow factor then what is more impressive than a drink on fire? Pour 2/3 shot of vodka into a glass and carefully layer with 1/3 shot of rum. Ignite the rum and serve. It’s sure to put a fire in your belly.

Chocolate Truffle Martini

Every girl loves chocolate right? Then what could be more indulgent than a chocolate truffle martini? This cocktail is a combination of shaved truffle, vodka, cream, syrup and chocolate liqueur. And we think this impressive drink would go perfectly with our pistachio crème brûlée with chocolate shortbread. Yum!

Popping Candy Cocktails

Surprise your bride-to-be friend and add a little pop to proceedings with a secret ingredient to the hen do cocktails – popping candy! Mix raspberry vodka with pineapple juice and the delicious sweets for a hen do cocktail that is sure to impress.

The Prosciutto Melon Cocktail

Prosciutto and melon are delicious together so why not combine them to make an unusual cocktail? A savoury cocktail will make a great break from sweet beverages and who else can say they’ve drunk a ham cocktail?

This cocktail will take some prep beforehand so start it off at home before you travel. Infuse some grappa with honeydew melon for between 2 weeks and a month prior to the hen do. On the night shake the grappa over some ice and then poor into some glasses. Finally wrap a melon ball in prosciutto and spear with a toothpick and add to each cocktail.

Candyfloss Cocktails

Pink and sweet this cocktail is a great drink for a girly night out. Stock up on Grey Goose vodka and cranberry juice and pour this mix over a handful of the sweat treat in a martini glass. It’s that easy! They’re cheap to make and they taste amazing!

The Aurora

The aurora borealis is one of the most amazing natural light shows you will ever see and this cocktail takes its inspiration from this marvel. We’ve had cocktails on fire and ones that pop in your mouth but this one is even better – it glows in the dark!

Okay, confession time. You will need a black light to see the effects of this drink but it is well worth it. Mix gin or vodka with tonic water and pink lemonade concentrate before quickly switching to the black light.

Huddle around and watch the liquids glow and swirl around in the glass in bright pink and blue shades for your very own personal light show. It’s awe inspiring!

Do you know any unusual cocktail recipes that would be perfect for a signature hen do drink? Then tweet us the recipe. We hope it’s delish!