Archive for the ‘Dragon Posts’ Category

The Festive Factsheet to earning those Christmas Calories

Friday, December 13th, 2013

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Christmas is a time for giving, seeing loved ones, relaxing and, of course, eating. The average person in the UK manages to eat around 7000 calories on Christmas Day alone – that’s three times a woman’s daily recommended intake.

However, there are plenty of extra-curricular calorie-combatting activities that the average Brit gets up to in readiness for the big day. We wanted to take a look at how many calories you actually burn in the days and weeks of preparing for your festive feast.

Go on, take another roast potato or honeyed parsnip – you deserve it!

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What’s on at Swansea’s Winter Wonderland?

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Christmas Swansea

Swansea’s Winter Wonderland is back, and it’s better than ever. Until the 5th January, revellers from across South Wales will descend upon the grounds outside the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea Bay.

When you wrap up warm and head down to the Bay, you’ll find that there’s plenty to do and see at the annual Wonderland, including:

Ice skating

At Winter Wonderland, there’s not one but two most-excellent ice rinks so that both young and old can slide and skate their way across the frozen floor. Anyone under 1.35m tall can sharpen their skating skills on the children’s rink and the Admiral Rink is perfect for revellers of all ages.

You can buy tickets from Tourist Information in Plymouth Street, or by booking online. And if you’re not skating, you can sit back on a rink-side seat with a warming cup of mulled wine and watch your loved ones slip and slide all over the place.

Funfair

Perhaps the most spectacular part of Winter Wonderland is the funfair which has more rides and attractions than ever before, including:

  • The carousel
  • Snow storm
  • Fun House
  • Children’s rides
  • Simulators
  • Games and Stalls

The best of the lot, however, is the brand new Sky Ride – a spectacular chair ride that takes you 60m into the air above Swansea. Check out this video of the Sky Ride from when it operated in Cardiff.

Santa’s Grotto

Until the 22nd December, when he’ll take a trip back to Lapland to ready himself for a reasonably busy Christmas Eve, Father Christmas is residing in Swansea in his grotto at Winter Wonderland – so why not bring your little ones along to meet him? For £5, children can meet Saint Nick himself, receive a festive present and get a picture with the big guy.

As the most respected hotel in Swansea City Centre, there have of course reports that Santa is staying at the Dragon Hotel in between his shifts at the grotto. We cannot confirm or deny the rumours.

The stalls

As well as the rides and attractions to be found at Winter Wonderland where you can browse, buy and play. From hot and cold food and speciality fare to chic stocking fillers and classic fair games with great prizes, there’s all sorts to do and see.

If you’re heading down to Swansea to sample the festivities during the most wonderful time of the year, why not stay overnight? At The Dragon Hotel, we offer great rates on overnight stays and a classy, comfortable four-star experience. Talk to our team today about exclusive online deals.

(Image © City and County of Swansea www.swanseachristmas.com)

Your Guide to Swansea Christmas Market 2013

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Christmas Swansea

Have you visited Swansea’s Christmas market? Whether you’re one or two stocking-fillers away from finishing your well-constructed Christmas shop or have a long list of presents yet to buy, it’s an absolute haven for festive shoppers of all ages.

The colourful, exciting market on Oxford Street, just a few minutes’ walk from the Dragon Hotel, is perfect for buying those extra-special gifts for your loved ones. Whether you’re visiting from the local area or from further afield, it’s perfect for getting in the festive spirit.

What’s on offer at Swansea market?

With 39 different stalls – painted in a spectacularly seasonal green and red – offering all sorts of wares, foods and gifts, there’s every chance you’ll find what you’re looking for. There you’ll find:

  •     Arts and crafts
  •     Homewares
  •     Jewellery
  •     Speciality foods
  •     Christmas accessories
  •     Decorations
  •     Gifts

Heck, even if you’ve done all your shopping you should head on down. With all sorts of lights, trees and Christmassy smells, the atmosphere’s sure to get you feeling merrier than a night in with Home Alone, Die Hard and other classic festive flicks. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to catch local school choirs singing some of your favourite carols.

What’s more, you can get your photo taken with a life-size snowman amid plenty of the white stuff in the innovative snowglobe.

When is it open?

You can visit the market 7 days a week between 10AM and 5.30PM and on Thursdays until 8PM. There’s also reduced parking rates of £1 in St David’s multi-storey car park for late-night shoppers on Thursday nights.

However, if you’re one of those who likes to leave your Christmas shopping down to the very last minute, beware! The last trading day is on Sunday 22nd December.

Will you buy the golden ticket?

To add a little more excitement to an already-exhilarating time of year, anyone who shops in the city centre markets could win £1,000 worth of presents by entering the special golden ticket competition. All you have to do is fill in your details on a ticket – available in many shops and stalls around Swansea – and post it into one of the few golden post boxes around Swansea city centre.

(Image © City and County of Swansea www.swanseachristmas.com)

Why is Free WiFi More Important than a Comfy Bed?

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

In recent years, many travellers have started rating free Wifi as one of the most important aspects to look for when finding a hotel to stay in. This is even more prevalent for business travellers who need access to the internet in order to check their emails, do work online or simply Skype home. The need for WiFi has driven the majority of hotels and B&Bs to have some form of internet available; here’s why most people think WiFi is more important than comfort:

Short term stay

If you’re a business traveller then chances are you won’t be staying in the hotel for a very long time. However one or two nights on a hard bed is nothing in comparison to one or two nights without the internet. Depending on how far you have to travel and the amount of meetings you have to attend, by the time you get to bed you’ll probably be too tired to notice the bed.
On the other hand, if you’re trying to use your phone’s data to do the work you have then you’ll be cursing yourself for not finding somewhere with WiFi. When people stay for longer periods than this then comfort starts to play a bigger part; however, many people have claimed to have stayed at a ‘less ideal’ location for the added benefit of an internet connection.

More important than breakfast

A study carried out by hotels.com found that WiFi in the rooms was more important than a complimentary breakfast – not just for business travellers, but for those staying for leisure as well! In this day and age, people are constantly connected to others through the internet; without it, people start feeling lost and are happy to get breakfast elsewhere as a compromise.
People use their laptops and tablets not just for business use, but also to plan trips and activities. Staying in a comfy room is great, but if you can’t find out what’s out and about with quick internet access then the holiday could be jeopardised.

The future is tech

When it comes to traveling people no longer seem to be so focused on having a comfortable room, instead they want simple amenities such as power outlets and WiFi. This doesn’t mean that hotels will be cutting their budgets for fluffy pillows in order to put the internet in every room, but it does mean that the way we stay is changing.
Expect to see everyone from five star hotels down to low budget B&Bs starting to provide the internet as a free service. Many chains across the UK have already started doing this, making it very easy to find free Wifi Hotels in Swansea, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Birmingham and other major cities. This will make your choices when looking for hotels much easier, as you can pick on other merits like comfort and location as you know that WiFi will be provided as standard.

The Dragon team go on the sales offensive!

Friday, November 29th, 2013

“Whose silly idea was this” text Colonel Whitticase at 6.30am while sipping a latte waiting for the troops to arrive at the three Swansea Park & Ride depots.

Our mission was to spread the word about The Dragon Hotel to the good people of Swansea so we filled our tanks with mince pies and targeted commuters on their way to work by attacking them while they were half asleep!

We operated in three teams:

  • Team 1 – Tara & Justin dubbed themselves ‘Team Misbehave’ and were the first to finish sharing their mince pies (we can’t decide if they were at the busiest park & ride or if they simply ate them all themselves!)
  • Team 2 – General Garcia and Beautician Byrony AKA Beauty & the Beast had a splendid time with the help of Scott and team at the Fforestfach Park & Ride despite not many takers for mince pies. They boarded the buses for their campaign which resulted in General Garcia joining the conference call late………………whoops!!!
  • Team 3 – Rudolph & Prancer, fortified with lattes along with their mince pies, force-fed their targets by getting them in a head lock as they mounted the buses. It was a pretty effective tactic.

The word was certainly spread and we have a number of new BFFs in all the Park & Rides. Our mission was completed with a few visits to some car dealerships on the way home to spread the Christmas Cheer.

At the time of writing, we are sitting at 4,319 covers for Christmas and hope this campaign will boost our enquiries for those last few spaces remaining. If you’re looking to book somewhere to stay over Christmas give us a call on (0)1792 657 100 and find out what deals we can sort for you.

Cheryl as Rudolph Bryony in the Park & Ride Depot

Beaujolais Nouveau Day at the Dragon Hotel

Friday, November 29th, 2013

The Dragon Hotel welcomed over 300 guests again this year to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau Day on Thursday 21st November. We can’t believe how quickly this day seems to come around each year.  The whole event was sponsored by Fine Wines Direct, who supply The Dragon Hotel all year round with all sorts of vineyard delights, and Flags and Bunting Galore who have a huge collection of traditional sewn flags all made locally.

The Brasserie and Restaurant was bursting at the seams with 200 guests booking individual tables to entertain friends, colleagues and clients.

The event in our Pembrey suite enjoyed a 3 course lunch and guests were entertained at their tables by Sean Heydon, one of Britain’s top illusionists!  Sean brought the afternoon to a Pembreyclose with his grand finale that saw some guests floating from the furniture!  A lucky dip took place and the winning table enjoyed a complementary bottle of champagne – certainly a good finish to a great afternoon.

Beaujolais Day is on Thursday 20th November in 2014…book now to avoid disappointment!

Firstly though, back by popular demand, we will be celebrating St David’s Day, albeit a day early, on Friday 28th February 2014 with a 3 course Welsh lunch menu complete with Dewi Sant ale tasting courtesy of Tomos Watkin Brewery, all for £19.95 per head.

To book Beaujolais Day or Saint David’s Day please call our Events team on 01792 657100.

SWIMMING POOL OPEN!

Friday, November 29th, 2013

We are glad to announce that the swimming pool has now reopened and that full operations are restored at The Dragon Health & Fitness Club.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we ensured that all was safe following the incident on Thursday.

The Protein Works Supplements & Food Arrives at the Dragon Hotel

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

We’re excited to announce that the Dragon Hotel will be offering the innovative sports nutrition brand, The Protein Works™.

TPW™ embodies the way we believe sports nutrition should be. It has invested heavily in doing things the right way and listens to customers on a daily basis to develop its product offering. Like us at The Dragon Hotel, they are passionate about what they do and care deeply about not only meeting customers’ expectations, but exceeding them.

When it comes to the products, their philosophy comes down to three key principles:

  • PURE
  • PROVEN
  • PERSONAL

The TPW™ products we’re now offering at our health club are excellent for improving nutrition and aiding people in their workout. Along with protein shakes, we are also offering coconut oil, nut butters, vitamins, fish oils as well as high protein snacks.

If you’re unsure which TPW™ products are suitable for you, all of our health club team are on hand to offer the best advice. They can tell you what the products are, why you should be taking them and how best to get the most from them to help you with your health & fitness goals.

Call in to the health club or call us on 01792 65721 for more information.

SWANSEA CHRISTMAS PARADE & LIGHTS SWITCH ON

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

 

Santa returns on Sunday 17 November from 5pm to switch on the Christmas Lights in Swansea. Come along with the kids and cheer on Father Christmas as he passes in the Christmas Parade.

The parade will begin at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Somerset Place, before continuing onto Wind St, up onto College St, along the Kingsway, St Helen’s Road

This year’s parade has a great range of floats including:

  • Community floats and theatre floats supporting a Christmas Pantomime theme
  • A Dylan Thomas themed float
  • A Waterfront Winterland float
  • A float provided by The Wave and Swansea Sound
  • A Bumbles of Mumbles float

The floats will be complemented by walking processions, marching bands and street entertainers.

 

In order to stage the Parade safely, a number of road closures will be put in place on the evening of the event. Road closures will be kept to a minimum in order to limit inconvenience to people living, visiting or working in the areas concerned. Closures will be implemented on a rolling basis between approximately 4.30pm and 7.00pm, except for ‘Guildhall Road North’ which will be closed from 2.00 pm on the day of the event. Alternative routes will be signposted and access for residents will be maintained as long as it is safe to do so. Access for emergency services will be maintained at all times.

 

The designated route of the Parade will be as follows:- East Burrows Road, Somerset Place, Wind Street, Caer Street, Castle Bailey Street, Castle Street, College Street, The Kingsway, St Helens Road, St Helens Crescent, The Guildhall.

The Dragon Hotel does not anticipate much disruption for car park access, but please consider the event’s impact on travelling times when making travel arrangements.

The South Wales Derby – Disappointment for Swansea

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

It’s been a busy week or two for me recently, kicking off with the local derby between Swansea City and Cardiff City on Sunday 3rd November. I’ve never been to a derby game before so I approached the match in Cardiff with a little trepidation I must admit.

The bubble match concept certainly makes you feel like a flock of sheep – no matter how amazing it was to travel in convoy along the M4 with a police escort and with every junction closed as you passed!

However, by all accounts the system worked as there was no trouble between the rival fans – which was good news to South Wales as a whole given that the eyes of the world were upon us.

The Jack Army was corralled into our section of the Cardiff City Stadium where the atmosphere immediately notched up anther level.  Some of the chants made me laugh out loud, my favourite possibly being “Who do you think you are?  Wrexham in disguise?”!  Some however were a bit more hostile, harking back to darker days and I was more than happy to focus on the more humorous banter. We sang: “We’ll always be White, We’ll always be White, We’re Swansea City, We’ll always be White!”

With the play all happening at the other end of the pitch during the first half we looked forward to seeing some close up action after the restart.  Alas it was not to be and Swansea were not at their best in wet conditions.  To add insult to injury, ex-Swansea player Steven Caulker was the man to break the deadlock and win the match. Sullenly we made our way back home down the M4 to lick our wounds.

We’re already thinking of the return match on February 8th – a chance to impart some much-needed revenge. After all, no team has ever done the ‘double’ over the other in over 100 years of South Wales derbies.

Michael Laudrup, meanwhile, said that: “We have a long way to go before the return visit on February 8th. It is crucial we put the disappointment behind us…”  Hmm, easier said than done Michael!