Archive for the ‘Dragon Posts’ Category

The Best Business Venues in Swansea

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Swansea is building its reputation as a key location for big business conferences and company training days. Whether you’re looking for an intimate location for a small staff meeting or to entertain hundreds of important delegates, thousands of people are finding that you can do it in and around Swansea.

Here are some of the best business venues you’ll find in Swansea. And yes, The Dragon Hotel is on the list…

The Liberty Stadium

As well as being home to the famous Swansea City, the Liberty Stadium is also a first-class conference venue. With a range of different rooms and lounges that can house 8 to 800 guests, it’s used by a number of different companies – particularly those with a sporting interest.

However, it is just under two miles from Swansea station, so it does mean that anyone arriving without a car will have to take a short taxi drive to the stadium. .

Brangwyn Hall

Situated down on Swansea Bay, just a stone’s throw from the sea, Brangwyn Hall is one of Swansea’s most aesthetically pleasing large venues. A popular choice for big events, this beautiful venue is adorned with art deco styling, classy wood panelling and decorated ceilings – so if you’ve plenty of budget to spend and want to make a big impression you’d love Brangwyn.

Capable of accommodating 500 diners or just over 1000 in a conference event, Brangwyn Hall certainly isn’t small and would only be suitable for the biggest, most show-stopping events.

Sketty Hall

It’s not quite as large as Brangwyn Hall, with only space for 150 people, but Sketty Hall is no less impressive. With a range of rooms, and some excellent grounds if you fancy a quick walk, the venue is very popular with smaller conferences.

It is a few miles out of Swansea towards the Gower coast, and while this means its settings are pretty impressive, it means that logistics can be difficult if you’re not all travelling by car.

The National Waterfront Museum

Not only is the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea a great place for the young and not-so-young to learn about Welsh history, but it’s also a decent venue for conferences too. The museum has a range of spaces available for hire by businesses and training specialists, and can be an interesting, niche way to chew the fat with clients.

The Dragon Hotel

Even if we do say so ourselves, our business facilities are definitely some of the best in Swansea. With a wide range of intimate rooms, all the audio-visual equipment you need, free Wi-Fi, food from award-winning chefs and a tailored service, at The Dragon we specialise in making your business meeting as personal and as enjoyable as possible.

Guests also love us for our central location, free private car parking facilities and very easy access to both the M4 and Swansea railway station – as well as access to our health club and award-winning restaurant.

Want to find out more about our conferencing facilities? Take a look at our events page today.

How to Make Healthy Chocolate Protein Cookies

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

What’s going on in the health club?? They’re behind the desk eating cookies!

Chocolate cookies

But these aren’t any chocolate cookies…
They’re healthy, high protein cookies.

So this means you can now eat cookies guilt free.

Our resident Health Club expert Tara was getting creative in her kitchen and has put an incredible twist on the chocolate whey protein that we offer at the health club.

Bet you didn’t know you could use this powder for more than just your protein shake did you?

So if you want a guilt free treat, check out this recipe from Tara’s Chocolate eBook.

How to make healthy chocolate protein cookies

All ingredients are available at our health club.

  • ¼ cup whey protein
  • ¼ cup pea protein
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tbsp crunchy nut butter


  1. Mix all the ingredients together to form a dough.
  2. Split into 6
  3. Pop onto greaseproof paper and cook in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees for 12-15 mins.

1 serving is 2 cookies for a yummy, balanced snack. Perfect eating after a heavy workout!


Want more tasty, healthy recipes from Tara?

Pop down and we’ll share more delicious recipes with you!

6 Things You’ll Never Find Outside Wales

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Wales is a glorious country – the land of Gareth Bale, Dylan Thomas, Richard Burton and Aneurin Bevan. And there are plenty of things to enjoy when you’re here, many of which you just couldn’t anywhere else.

Here are five of the best:

Welsh cakes, done right

Welsh cakes © ZingyYellow

Even if you cook them, or eat them, outside of Wales, they won’t taste the same. That’s a fact.

A good cwtch

Cwtch © Phunkstarr

Once you’re not in Wales, a lovely Welsh cwtch becomes a boring cuddle. And we all know that a cwtch trumps a cuddle, every time.

Not sure what a cwtch actually is? Check out our beginner’s guide to the Welsh language.

A healthy disrespect for vowels

Welsh Vowels

Why use one vowel when you can supplement it with six similar consonants, eh?

Really long place names

Long welsh name © Espinar

Or not this long anyway. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is officially the longest place name in Europe and, according to Wikipedia, the second longest place name in the world.

Score-knowing rugby players

We’re certainly #TeamMike in this instance.

An Araf, approaching your car slowly

Araf © Phillip Perry

Want to make the most of Wales? Here at The Dragon Hotel we’re perfectly positioned in central Swansea for you to enjoy the best that Wales has to offer – from stunning beaches and natural scenery to great restaurants and sensational shopping areas.

Get exclusive web rates for your Swansea break by calling +44 (0)1792 657 100 today.

6 Reasons the Gym is Best for Travelling Businessmen

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

The Dragons Health & Leisure Facilities

The gym is becoming the new boardroom. And for businessmen who travel, it’s an essential part of 21st century life. Here are 6 reasons why.

1 – It’s where you get healthy

First things first, the gym is where you go to get healthy. We don’t just mean firm pectorals, strong legs and an enviable six pack – nice though they are – but a strong brain and good decision making skills. That’s essential for any ambitious employee.

2 – It’s where you get productive

You can never have too much productivity and creativity in your life. And doing the same thing breeds the same results, over and over again. If you’re stuck in a rut and want to improve your output at work, get down the gym! Working your body hard in the gym gives you more energy and can boost creativity.

3 – It’s where you can get fit for free

Let’s face it, many travelling businessmen travel with the hallowed company card. For their night away with work, the company pays for everything – within reason, of course. And at The Dragon Hotel, our business rooms include free use of health facilities and the gym for all guests, so it makes sense to get yourself down the gym and work out while it costs you nothing at all.

4 – It’s where you can hone those abs

OK, it’s time to be superficial. If you’re on the road with business, that means you’re probably in the practice of impressing people. And people, whether you like it or not, are more likely to be swayed by someone who looks good. Healthy, well turned-out businessmen will make an impression – so you owe it to your commission fees to make the most of hotel health facilities when they’re available!

5 – It’s where new clients and connections are

Want to grow your business? Perhaps you’re feeling like you’re in a professional dead end? Get yourself down the gym. If you want to see your friends, and make new ones, you should get yourself down the gym. Sure, you can also fraternise at the footy, down the pub or even over dinner, but the gym’s where you can meet a wide variety of connections.

Sure, at the gym there’s no place for overtly-aggressive self-promotion and marketing (not many people will accept a business card on a bench press after all). But at some gyms such as ours, where we’ve a heavy contingent of travelling businessmen, you’d be surprised at the potentially-influential people you could meet.

6 – It’s where you de-stress

There’s no denying that travelling around for business can be sometimes be a stressful process – particularly if you’re somewhere unfamiliar. Getting on the bike or pumping some iron is the perfect remedy for a worrisome business life as exercise increases your brain’s production of the stress-busting chemical norepinephrine.

Every guest at The Dragon Hotel enjoys access to our unrivalled health, leisure club and gym – one of the finest in Swansea. Find out more about our Swansea gym and leisure facilities today.

FORE-feits – How Golfing Forfeits Can Add Spice to Your Golf Trip

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

The perfect 'GOTCHA!' © Akeg

Have you ever brightened up a golf trip by introducing forfeits? Incredible scenery and challenging courses may be important aspects of enjoyable golfing play, but the beauty of golf lies in the banter.

Forcing rules and funny golf forfeits is a great way to make a golfing break that little bit more memorable – and to put an extra ounce of pressure when you’re teeing off.

What are your punishments?

If you’re doing golf forfeits, you need to establish the perfect punishments. Golfers are famed for their ability to put drink away at a remarkable rate, and plenty of golfing forfeits do revolve around booze. Players will pick up ‘tabs’ and be obligated to settle their ‘debts’ at the bar later.

However, we’re keen to promote safe and responsible golf and it is possible to create non-alcoholic forfeits.  Why not introduce financial forfeits, with a charity kitty benefitting from golfing failures? Or perhaps the golfer with the worst record has to buy the steak dinners later on? You could even establish a series of embarrassing forfeits to complete if you fail your challenge – whether that’s swimming in the mid-winter sea, playing a hole without any clothes or banning specific clubs. The choice, dear reader, is yours.

Which are the best golf forfeits?

First in…

A simple one, this, but very effective. Are you the first player in the bunker? Forfeit. The first in the water? Forfeit. The first to hit a tree? Forfeit. The first to bogey? Forfeit. The first to double bogey? Forfeit. The first to triple bogey? You get the idea.

Bloodsome scrambles

Want to shake up a round? Try a Bloodsome Scramble, where each golfer drives and marks their effort. However, everyone hits their second shot from the same place as well – wherever the worst shot went. The same happens until you eventually hole out. This is perfect if you like a challenge.

The Portuguese Caddy

Do you find yourself wanting to sabotage your friends’ golf rounds sometimes? Thanks to the Portuguese Caddy rule, you can do just that. Each player is allowed one opportunity during a round to kick an opponent’s ball. Don’t use this special rule lightly – this is a highly tactical tool that can really transform a game.


The Gotcha! rule is a perfect way to build an uneasy anticipation during a golf game. It allows each player one opportunity to shout GOTCHA! during an opponent’s drive in the hope that they’ll shank their first shot wide. However, be careful with this rule – once it’s gone it’s gone and you’ve lost the fear of anticipation too!

The worst putts

Any golfer will tell you that putting can make or break a round. You can do all the excellent approach work you want, but if you haven’t brought your game on the greens then you’ll struggle, big time. Putting is a great way to introduce some forfeits – perhaps a set punishment for the most consecutive missed putts or the easiest shanked putt of the day.

Last, but not least

And finally, there should be forfeits for every ‘last’ that happens on the golf course. For instance, if you’re the last person to find the water, to bogey, or to make a shoddy excuse for a mis-hit shot, you deserve punishment. We think that’s only fair.

Looking to create a golf break to remember? Visit The Dragon Hotel in Swansea and visit some of Britain’s best courses around South Wales.

This spring, enjoy 2 nights’ bed & breakfast at The Dragon Hotel as well as rounds at two of South Wales’ finest golf courses for £132.50pp. Book online today or call +44 (0)1792 657 100 today to get your golf break sorted!

(Image: © Akeg)

European Boulevard – a step closer

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Thousands of motorists will soon have a smoother drive in and out of Swansea every day.

As part of the boulevard scheme, the stretch of Quay Parade and Victoria Road between The Strand and Albert Row is being resurfaced.

The resurfacing works, due to start, weather depending, on Monday March 3, will last for up to three weeks.

The works, being undertaken at night to minimise disruption to motorists, will require carriageway closures between the river bridges and West Way. Works will be undertaken separately on the eastbound and westbound carriageways, ensuring that one carriageway is always open.

Whilst the closures are in place for the carriageway resurfacing, some works on the central reserve between the Strand and New Cut Road will also be undertaken in preparation for the next phase of the boulevard project.

Well-signed diversions for traffic will be in place via New Cut Road, Bridge Street, Dyfatty Street, Alexandra Road, De La Beche Street, Christina Street, Dilwyn Street and West Way while the westbound carriageway is closed. The reverse route will be in place while the eastbound carriageway is closed.

Access to Sainsbury’s, the Maritime Quarter and businesses including the LC will be maintained throughout the works.

A Swansea Council spokesperson said: “The resurfacing works are a vital part of the boulevard project, but they’ll need entire carriageway closures to take place. We’ll be undertaking these works at night to minimise disruption to motorists and will do all we can to keep residents and businesses informed.

“We’re starting to make tangible progress on site and are still on schedule to finish the overall scheme by the early autumn. Once complete, the boulevard project will benefit motorists, businesses and pedestrians by greatly improving the look of a major city centre gateway and encouraging more people to pass between the seafront and the city centre.”

Work will also take place at the same time but during the day to upgrade Somerset Place. These works will include widening the western footway and planting new trees to improve the link between the bottom of Wind Street and the Sail Bridge. A temporary, one-way system will be in place in the Maritime Quarter throughout the scheme and local residents and businesses are being kept informed.

The boulevard project, which stretches from Princess Way to the River Tawe bridges, is funded by the Welsh Government’s Regeneration Area programme, the European Regional Development Fund and Swansea Council. The completed scheme will include 80 new trees, wider pavements and the introduction of improved crossing points at key locations.

Have a look at or call 01792 635705 for more information.

Elijah Wood Poses With Staff After Staying at The Dragon Hotel

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Elijah Wood @ The DragonHere at The Dragon Hotel, we’ve been keeping our very own hobbit-sized secret over the last few weeks.

Elijah Wood – star of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy – has been staying at The Dragon Hotel while filming his latest movie in Swansea.

Elijah has been shooting Set Fire To The Stars, a new film that takes a look at the legendary Swansea poet Dylan Thomas (played by Anglesey actor Celyn Jones) and his fractious relationship with his tour agent and fellow poet John Malcolm Brinnin, played by Wood).

Although it’s set in early-50s America and tells of Thomas’ publicity visits to the US, the film has been completely shot in the Welsh poet’s native South Wales. Filming has been mostly in Swansea but also around the Gower and it is directed by Downton Abbey and Doctor Who director Andy Goddard. Gruff Rhys, frontman of Welsh band Super Furry Animals will also be composing the score for the movie.

Zoe Holland, who works in our Food and Beverage department, is a big Elijah fan – and ended up a little tongue tied when she first brought room service up to the star’s room. She said:

“Once I realised how nice he is in real life, it became easier to not be so star struck!

“You can imagine how excited I was when I was offered to go along to a shooting of a scene from the film in Pier Street, one of the older parts of Swansea.

“When I got there, I thought I had been transported back in time! All of the cars being used for the shoot were completely different from cars that we drive today, and they had a snow machine, which brought a magical feel to the occasion. It was so exciting to see the cameramen going about their work, and the actors being so natural in the roles that they were employed to do. It was an experience I shall never forget, and I would like to thank the film crew for being so accommodating.

“After the shoot had finished, I was asked if I wanted to go for a drink with the crew, but as I had work the next day, I declined their offer with thanks. I headed home for a good night sleep, with dreams of Elijah fresh in my mind!”

We’d just like to thank Elijah for choosing The Dragon Hotel and for being the perfect guest! The pleasure was all ours.

Set Fire To The Stars is out later on in 2014 – we can’t wait to see it!

Paint the Town Red (White and Green) this St David’s Day!

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014


The Dragon Hotel, situated in the heart of Swansea city, is proud to be Welsh. This year, to celebrate St David’s Day, we’re showing our patriotism by inviting you to celebrate our great nation in style.

Join the hotel for a 3 course St David’s Day Lunch a full day early on Friday 28th February, with a creative selection of well thought-out Welsh menu dishes.DSC_1022

It’s not only Welsh fare and Tomos Watkin’s ‘Dewi Sant Ale’ that’s on offer on Friday. The Wales Tartan Centres, also situated at the heart of Swansea city, has joined forces with Swansea’s premier hotel to offer a unique twist to the celebrations. Staff members will be happy to proudly wear  the Centre’s traditional Welsh tartan whilst looking after diners during the celebrations.

Tony Collins at Wales Tartan Centre, said: “St David’s Day is a great way of expressing how patriotic we are and we’re really pleased to be asked to dress up some of the men at The Dragon Hotel for the day. The St David’s Tartan Kilts always get a great reception and I am sure the customers at the hotel will love the effect and get involved with the fun on the day”.

Tony joked: “We hope it becomes part of the staff uniform eventually, so even more customers get to see the boys knees!”

DSC_1026Along with the Welsh dress, a Welsh themed mouth–watering lunch menu has been created to whet the appetites of diners and add to the overall experience for those celebrating on St David’s Day.

“The menu has been designed to capture the true spirit of Welsh cuisine”, says Head Chef Steve Williams “and includes items like Bacon, Leek & Lava Bread Risotto, and Grilled Loin of Pork with Leek Mashed Potato.

The meal will also include a complimentary taste of Tomos Watkin’s ‘Dewi Sant Ale’, just the tonic to kick start St David’s Day celebrations!

Dawn George Sales Manager at the Tomos Watkin Brewery said: “We strive to work in partnership with businesses such as The Dragon Hotel to promote Wales & the finest things that this small but proud nation has to offer.

“Our determination to become an iconic Welsh Brand drives our core statement to support, encourage and help develop the Welsh economy and increase the profile of ‘Brand Wales’ around the world. Saint Davids’ day is of special importance to us, so we are proud to brew a unique ale to celebrate our patron saint- Dewi Sant ale – Iechyd Da!”14-_MG_4760

“Working alongside suppliers as passionate about Wales as us is always a pleasure and clearly St David’s Day is the perfect opportunity to do so” said Cath Garcia, General Manager at The Dragon Hotel. “I would like to see the day celebrated as enthusiastically as St Patrick’s Day and as long as we keep in mind St David’s message of ‘remembering the small things’ the day is certain to be a success – one I would hope to see emulated throughout the city and indeed Wales, in years to come.”

St David’s Day Lunch will be held a day early at The Dragon Hotel, between 12:00pm – 2:30pm on Friday 28th February 2014 and the 3 course meal is priced at only £19.95 per person – reservations are still available but prompt action is required to avoid disappointment!

We’d love to celebrate St David’s Day with you – call 01792 657100 to book your place.

Eight Oddest Things Left Behind at The Dragon Hotel

Friday, February 14th, 2014

How often have you left things behind after staying in a hotel? There are some things that are very commonly left behind, such as mobile phone chargers and odd bits of makeup. But we’re not here to talk to you about ordinary things left at the Dragon Hotel, oh no!

Here are some of the strangest items our housekeepers have come across:

Pat Sharp wig

Quite why anybody would want to wear a wig that looks exactly like Pat Sharp’s mullet is beyond us, but how they could possibly leave it behind is even more of a mystery. Feeling quite sorry for the abandoned hair, we adopted it and even forced a hen to wear it on her hen weekend to Nice!

Blow up dolls

The amount of inflatable sex toys and genitalia we come across is rather shocking, but then we do cater to a lot of hen parties and stag nights! Opening the wardrobe to be pounced on by a blow up doll is not uncommon in a normal day of housekeeping.

inflatable sheep ©

Blow up sheep

Ah yes, the old you’re Welsh you must love sheep joke. We aren’t surprised at all that this was left behind, nobody wants to go home hungover with a sheep under their arm. Don’t worry, it’s in good hands now!

One shoe

This one really upset us. Such a beautiful shoe and now the pair is ruined. We’re hoping that whoever left this lonely shoe behind had another pair and didn’t just hobble out the door with one shoe on.

Feather dusters

We’re still not entirely sure whether people with obsessive compulsive cleaning disorder are staying in our hotels or if it’s just hens who want a bit of slap and tickle. These are probably one of our most common left-behind hen party items, we’re thinking about creating a museum dedicated to them!

Fancy dress costumes

From cave girls to Prince Philip and the Queen, we’ve had it all. Dozens of fancy dress costumes get left behind every year, with such a range of varieties and sizes. It is always fun to go into a room to clean and find half a dinosaur spread out and abandoned on the floor.

girls in fancy dress ©

Robin (sans Batman)

This has been our all-time favourite costume that was left behind. Either somebody decided to go out on their own to fight crime, or Batman cut and run forcing Robin to make a hasty, no-time-for-clothes escape. More than likely though, this was just someone from a stag do with a head too sore to think straight the morning after.

A giant box

How it got there, we don’t know. What it was for, we don’t know. What did we do with it? One of our housekeeping pranksters climbed in and hid in the box then jumped out and gave the other housekeepers a real fright!

We try our best to reunite our customers with their lost belongings, so if you find that you’ve left anything behind then give us a ring and we’ll rummage around in our lost property box for you.

The Five Best Walks in South Wales for Stunning Scenery

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Wales is well known for several things: male voice choirs, an extreme love of rugby and having some of the most fantastic, unspoiled scenery to be found anywhere in the UK. Normally the best walks are kept relatively secret in order to stop a huge influx of tourists flocking there and spoiling the countryside. But here are five of the best walks you can go on across South Wales, unveiled:

Rhosilli Bay © Rhosilli Bay, Swansea

Despite being a short drive away from Swansea’s bustling city centre, Rhosilli Bay is still one of the local’s best kept secrets. With its sandy shores, beautiful cliff faces and miles of miles of rolling countryside it’s no wonder Rhosilli is such a firm favourite with ramblers across the UK. The walk itself is roughly 5 miles long and is a circular route, so you can go round as many times as you want. Some of the views you get include the Worms Head and Burry Holmes tidal islands and an astounding 360-degree view of the Gower.

Penbryn Beach ©

#2 Penbryn Beach, Ceredigion

The best walk in Ceredigion is Penbryn Beach which may not be a long one, at around 1 ¾ miles, but it is second to none for views. Due to its rural location, Penbryn makes an excellent spot for star gazing, with clear nights offering fantastic views of millions of stars and even a glimpse of the Milky Way. Nature lovers will be excited by the variety of bats that come out around Penbryn Beach at night or the birds that flock to its shores during the day.

Pen y Fan ©

#3 Pen y Fan Horseshoe, Brecon Beacons

If it’s a challenge you’re after then why not tackle the Pen y Fan Horseshoe? The ascension for Pen y Fan is more than enough for some people, but the Horseshoe walk takes you over three other peaks – Corn Du, Cribyn and Fan y Big, a challenge for even the most experienced of ramblers. While the climb may be a real slog, the views you get at the end of it are more than worth it – on a really clear day you can see all the way to Mumbles, 40 miles away!




Cwmdown © Forest Drive, Cwmcarn

Another one of Wales’ best kept secrets is Cwmcarn Forest Drive – only a 20 minute drive away from Cardiff and you find yourself in a whole new set of surroundings. With a fantastic panoramic view of Cardiff, Newport and, on a good day, the English Coast this is one of the most beautiful locations in South Wales. The walk to the top can be quite strenuous, but the view is phenomenal and more than makes up for the graft.




Coastal Path © Coastal Path, Pembrokeshire

One of the longest purpose made walking trails in the UK. You can follow the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path 299km through some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK. Of course, you don’t have to do the whole thing! There are many stopping and starting points all along the trail, allowing you to customise the length and difficulty of your walks based on your abilities and time constraints.


If you’re walking around Swansea then why not make the trip more enjoyable and stay in the luxurious Dragon Hotel? After a hard day’s walking you can relax in our spa, enjoy a delicious dinner and then rest your weary head on our extremely comfortable pillows.