Keith Griffiths is a real champion of hospitality and the arts and, combining this with his love for his birthplace of St Davids in Wales, has brought a new hotel concept to market. Twr y Felin marked a new era for the hotel sector in Wales when it opened earlier in 2016.
After a significant £7m transformation, the former windmill launched as a luxury 20-bed hotel, filled with a private collection of art from its owner, predominately by street and graffiti artists. Brought up in St Davids, Griffiths sought to bring back to life three historic buildings in a bid to reinvigorate the economy of the area. In 2008 he discovered Roch Castle, and then just a year later he found the derelict Penrhiw Priory and he got to work converting both properties into seven-bed holiday retreats to great success.
Then he saw a gap in the market for a new four- or five-star hotel, in a sector that was undersupplied by luxury full-service establishments. By restoring old buildings, instead of acquiring brand new ones, he was able to avoid the planning problems that often come with new buildings and preserve the landscape and history of the property in his own way. The three buildings – Roch Castle, Penrhiw Priory and Twr y Felin Hotel – allowed him to bring his plan to life.
“We built the business from zero. We researched and purchased three defunct but important historic properties and spent seven years restoring and refitting them as hotels. We established a hotel operations company to run the completed properties and hired and trained all the staff to run that company. Everything we have done we learnt from scratch,” Griffiths said.
The Retreats Group
Properties: Twr Y Felin, Roch Castle and Penrhiw
Location: St Davids, Pembrokeshire