Archive for the ‘Dragon Posts’ Category

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!

Murder on the Menu at The Dragon Hotel

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Murder was on the menu on Friday 25th October at The Dragon Hotel as we hosted our very first Murder Mystery dinner. All those attending had been invited to ‘The Writers Guild Romance Novelist of the Year Award’ and found themselves performing some detective work after one of the nominees was found horrifically poisoned.

Guests arrived to a drinks reception of Poisonous Punch in our Margam Lounge before going through to the Pembrey Suite where the story of the murder mystery dinner unfolded. As everyone sat down to their table, the host for the evening stood up to announce the winner of the illustrious accolade. However, it then transpired that an altercation had broken out and screams could be heard from the corridor. Then a limp, lifeless body was found.

All of the main suspects were present at the evening and the gaggle of extroverted characters – including the British Prime Minister and his mistress – all argued amongst each other as participants enjoyed their tasty 3-course meal.

Throughout the dinner, secrets were revealed as careless suspects argued amongst each other, giving clues as to who could be the culprit. It transpired that all five suspects had a motive for killing the victim – and it was up to those attending the awards ceremony to solve the mystery.

Guests were given the opportunity to question all potential suspects and examine the evidence in order to come to a conclusion and we’re pleased to say that the killer was correctly identified – so we could all relax and enjoy the rest of the murder mystery evening!

Christmas build up!

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Well it’s the end of October already and our thoughts at The Dragon Hotel turn to December and Christmas. Being our busiest time of the year, there is much to prepare for, ensuring that we have everything in place and ready to go, though judging by the fact that my neighbour put his Christmas lights up last week, we are not the only ones planning ahead!

This will be my fourth Christmas at The Dragon, and I hope it will be the best yet. The long days are made all the worth while, when the good people of Swansea and its environs have been for their Christmas parties, and leave with a smile and a hiccup!! So, if you haven’t booked your party yet for the festive period, get on to our Conference and Banqueting team, book your table, and come and enjoy the fun Yuletide.

Merry Christmas to you all (it will be here before you know it)!

 

Thank You for Macmillan Support

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Coffee MorningJust a quick word of thanks to all who supported the Macmillan Coffee Morning at The Dragon Hotel at the end of September, with special thanks to Denise Rees for coordinating the event as she does each year.  Over £250 was raised in the name of this worthy cause this year, bringing the total sum raised in eight years to over £2,000.

Fix up and look sharp…. There is a song in there somewhere!

Friday, October 11th, 2013

New UniformsNew uniforms 2Finally, the day has arrived where we can abandon our old uniforms (thankfully) and start afresh!  There was a buzz in the hotel yesterday as all of us were patiently waiting for the personalised delivery of our new uniforms by Cath our GM who had the pleasure of humping boxes, sorting through skirts, waistcoats, tunics, shorts, aprons… – you get the drift!

Sticking with the red and black Dragon colours the new uniform appears a reverse of its predecessor – no more redcoats for us! And barring a few sighs of ‘it’s too tight!’ and ‘it fitted me when I tried it on before’ we’re all ready to look dapper and better than ever.  Impromptu fashion shows were taking place all over Swansea last night and the local upturn in shoe sales is singularly down to Dragon staff!

 

Tara on TV!

Friday, October 4th, 2013

We’re all excited at the prospect of watching our very own Tara Hammett featuring on BBC 1 Wales at 9pm on Wednesday, 9th October 2013.

Live Longer Wales is a season of programmes from BBC Cymru Wales inspiring us to change our lives.  Tara features in ‘Is My Job Killing Me?’ where she visits the DVLA in Swansea to initiate a change in lifestile for those in sedentary jobs.

Take a sneak preview here!
 

Rubbish Keith, Rubbish!

Friday, October 4th, 2013

The long serving Keith Codd wins the team member of the month accolade for September, not only for his excellent services to The Dragon’s cellar and beverage management over a complete change in stock but also for overseeing (and literally getting his hands dirty) with the hotel’s new effort at recycling. 

Over the summer period we’ve introduced a new system of handling our waste, so that we are now better than ever at recycling glass, cardboard, plastic, paper, tins and food waste.

As always, the transition hasn’t all been plain sailing and Keith has played a major part in making a success of the new initiatives. 

Having worked at the hotel for over 22 years, Keith has seen many a change.  ‘The progression over the years has been very interesting, with the hotel’s fabric, offering and staff having changed a lot over time.  I would like to think that every change is for the better and as a member of the hotel’s Green Team I think it’s important that we’re recycling more’

Here’s to Keith’s rubbish ways of doing things!

 

Macdonald Hotels & Resorts named 2013 – 2014 AA Hotel Group of the Year

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

In what can only be described as an outstanding achievement Macdonald Hotels & Resorts has, for the second time in 5 years scooped the prestigious AA Hotel Group of the Year 2013/14 award in London.

Achieving AA Hotel Group of the Year 2013/14 underlines the group’s commitment to deliver outstanding standards of product and service across its 40-strong hotel group.  Demonstrating ongoing investment, an unwavering focus on the quality of food and customer care further enhanced by the launch of The Macdonald Hotels’ Signature Collection earlier this year and a progressive approach to its corporate and social responsibility were all factors which impressed the judges. 

This latest accolade comes just 12 months after the leading hotel group was crowned AA Eco-Hotel Group of the Year in recognition of its commitments to fulfil self-imposed ‘Room 15’ energy saving targets. 

David Guile, Chief Executive of Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, commented: “We are both delighted and proud, on behalf of all our employees to have won AA Hotel Group of the Year, especially as it is the second time in five years that we have received this prestigious accolade.

“This award is a testament to the quality and dedication of our Executives, Hotel Managers and all our team members, each of whom have played an important role in our commitment to service excellence and the continued financial success of the group.”

Andrew Strong, CEO of the AA said of Macdonald Hotels & Resorts’ award: “I am delighted that Macdonald Hotels and Resorts are the AA Hotel Group of the Year for 2013 and have gained this national recognition.”

It’s been an incredibly exciting 12 months for Macdonald Hotels & Resorts.  Earlier this year, The Macdonald Hotels’ Signature Collection was launched.  Offering captivating and historic locations, award-winning restaurants, a personalised service and fine attention to detail, the group’s leading five-star, 4-red star and upper 4-star hotels now proudly bear The Macdonald Hotels’                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Signature Collection status; including the five-star Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel in Bath and the recently awarded 4-red star Macdonald Windsor Hotel. 

Completing £10million in investments over the last 12 months, significant projects have included; a £1million investment at Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel & Spa, Aberfoyle, a £1million new golf clubhouse at the Spey Valley Championship Golf Course at Macdonald Aviemore Resort and £700,000 invested into new bedrooms at Macdonald Rusacks Hotel. 

With over £6million of capital expenditure already committed this year, and significant investments earmarked for the next 12 months, the group continues to lead the way.  These projects include a further £1million IT investment, completing next month which will enable the group to provide a free WiFi service to all guests, several projects underway to build on the already successful Vital spa brand and investment planned to enhance the facilities at Macdonald Berystede Hotel & Spa near Windsor.

Moreover, the group is still firmly committed to its quality food offering and continues to develop and invest in new ideas to remain consistently ahead of the competition.  Restaurants across the group now collectively hold over 40 AA Rosettes, the highest number of any hotel group, which includes most recently, a second AA rosette at the Jeremy Wares restaurant at Macdonald Houstoun House and a third AA rosette at Rocca Bar & Grill Restaurant located in the iconic Macdonald Rusacks Hotel.

Blodwen to Check-in at The Dragon Hotel!

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

The Dragon Hotel is excited to report that an award winning celebrity will be checking in to the four star Swansea city centre property very soon.

Cath Garcia, General Manager says ‘We hope that our VIP guest will be very happy at the hotel and will enjoy a rewarding, extended stay with us!’Blodwen

The eagerly anticipated celebritty is Tomos Watkin’s very own Blodwen, Hurns Brewing Company’s newest offering in their worldwide mission of promoting ‘Brand Wales’.

Blodwen’s Beer is a blonde ale made from  the finest pale malted barley delicately flavoured with citrus hops.  Hand brewed at the company’s 22,000sq ft purpose built brewery in Swansea, in 2012 it won a True Taste of Wales Gold Award and sits comfortably amongst Tomos Watkin’s other bottled beer.

‘Our Welsh heritage is very important to us here at The Dragon Hotel’ says Cath ‘Our guests travel from all over the world and the ability to serve an award winning ale that’s brewed practically on our doorstep is fantastic.  Furthermore, there will be an opportunity for each guest to return home with a souvenir of their time in Swansea with a Three Bottle Gift Pack containing firm favourites Taffy Apples Premium Cider and Cwrw Braf ( which translates as Fine Beer) as well as Blodwen’s Beer’.

Dawn George, the Sales Manager from Hurns Brewing Company says ‘Whilst we’re busy selling our produce in China and Australia, we can’t forget the importance of the local market here in Swansea.  Working together with companies who share the same ethos towards Welsh success can only help enhance Wales’ presence in the marketplace! We hope Blodwen will have a long and healthy residence at The Dragon Hotel!’