Hotels across Wales have taken the difficult decision to close their doors for the foreseeable ahead of new tighter coronavirus restrictions coming into force from Friday.
After the First Minister Mark Drakeford announced last week that Wales would be faced with tougher measures from December 4, a number of luxury hotels have opted to close as business becomes unviable, forced to miss out on the lucrative festive trading season.
Speaking to Boutique Hotelier, Andrew Evans, general manager at St Brides Hotel in Saundersfoot says: “The enforced new restrictions in Wales has now closed most hotels till mid-January. Our exceptional track record providing safe managed environments over the past 8 months to agreed national protocols, dismissed.
“An ‘own goal’ by our poorly advised First Minister, unable to take hospitality seriously, ignoring our special industries economic and social contribution to communities and national wellbeing.”
The new rules state that pubs, restaurants and cafes must close at 6pm and the sale of alcohol is strictly permitted at any time.
Hotels are able to serve alcohol to residents as part of room service only and this will end at 10pm.
Evans continues: “All hospitality liquor revenue in Wales during this peak trading period will be lost, gifted to supermarkets, headquartered outside Wales, bypassing our local and national circular economy.
“Liquor sales represent 30-50% of restaurant revenue, 80% in our bars, now consumed in uncontrolled, unlicensed, public and domestic environments, without adequate ventilation, in close confined spaces, unregulated and a risk to public health with no Covid safe protocols.
“We are devastated. Today we cancelled six weeks peak trading revenue, left to lick our wounds, lifting ourselves from the canvas once again, planning and preparing for a post Easter boom.”
Pale Hall is to close from December 4 at 6pm, until December 17 whilst ‘awaiting clarification on what is possible over the festive period’.
Angel Hotel in Abergavenny also decided to completely close its doors, while the new Welsh hospitality restrictions in place.
As part of the same group, Michelin-starred The Walnut Tree Inn will only be open for lunch Wednesday to Saturday.
Owner Williams Griffiths said: “For the past week we have been decking the halls, putting up Christmas trees (our biggest ever outside the front of the hotel), hanging wreaths, feeding our Christmas cakes and mixing huge tubs of mincemeat. Our menus were all planned and cocktail lists written for our most favourite time of the year.
“However, following the announcement from the Welsh assembly yesterday it is not possible for us to operate. It is simply not viable for us to open the business partially and with a limited offer due to the complexity and scale of our operation.”
Lake Country House Hotel also posted a closure statement on its website: “Following today’s announcement, we have made the very difficult decision to close the hotel, as we don’t feel that it is viable to remain open whilst these restrictions remain in place.”