One of Wales’ most successful leisure and hospitality businesses, The Vale Hotel, nr Cardiff is celebrating its 10th anniversary this week. The £50m hotel resort opened its doors to its first hotel guests in November 1999, just before the Rugby World Cup and has now played host to a staggering 750,000 hotel guests during its first decade in business.
The 143 bedroom hotel, based within a 650-acre rural setting, has enjoyed significant success since its inception, with a string of awards including most recently two AA rosette award winning restaurants on site and in September 2009 was awarded a Gold Award from Visit Wales in recognition of its outstanding quality, exceptional comfort and hospitality.
It has been a winning year for the Vale Resort which is flying the flag for Wales’ hospitality industry after receiving a top AA score and new AA rosette for its Vale Grill restaurant earlier this year (May 2009). The Resort achieved an 82% AA merit rating out of a maximum 85% within the four star rating band, with its contemporary Welsh restaurant the Vale Grill achieving its first AA rosette.
The hotel has now established itself as one of the UK’s leading destinations for family breaks thanks to its wide-ranging sports and leisure facilities, extensive and spacious accommodation and family friendly policies.
The hotel employs more than 270 staff and prides itself on employing more than 90% of colleagues from the local area.
The wide ranging line-up of celebrity guests that have stayed in the luxury four-star hotel including Catherine Zeta-Jones, Westlife, Reverend Desmond Tutu, Jamie Oliver, Sir Alex Ferguson, Charlotte Church and Sir Ian Botham. It has played host to top sports teams and events including the British and Irish Lions, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Sir Steve Redgrave’s Golden Five Celebrity Charity Golf Events and a number of golf’s senior Challenge Tour tournaments.
A popular destination for wedding receptions and short breaks during its 10 years, the hotel has hosted more than 1,000 wedding receptions, 275,000 rounds of golf, provided 40,000 massages and sold 80,000 bottles of champagne.
Stephen Leeke, Managing Director of the Vale Resort said: “This is an important landmark to celebrate as we recognise the significant investment that our business has made to Wales’ hospitality and leisure industry and the economy in this area.
“Our aim at the Vale is to consistently perform at the top level and in world-class company. We have seen this with the creation and development of the extensive sports facilities here with unrivalled training homes for the WRU, FAW, Cardiff City and Cardiff Blues - which are amongst some of the finest in Europe - if not the world.
“Our hotel seeks to provide a very personal, high quality and consistent service to all our guests and we strive to beat these standards year on year as we develop and invest further in our business.
“We are very proud of what we have established at the Vale and we look forward to another successful 10 years in the hotel business.”
Wales top 10s, Stephen Jones, Sam Norton-Knight and Stephen McPhail took time out of their busy schedules to help celebrate the hotel’s landmark decade and cut the hotel’s birthday cake.
Scarlets and Wales rugby star Stephen Jones, stayed at the Vale Hotel as part of the Wales team just after it had opened, during the 1999 Rugby World Cup.
He said: “Having our training base here at the Vale makes a huge difference to the way we prepare for internationals. We have the best of both worlds; the facilities are outstanding and the surroundings of the hotel and leisure facilities make it a relaxing, comfortable location for the players to be – it makes it easier for us to switch off and chill out when we want to. It’s been a great success story since it started and the Wales players are pleased to be based here.
“It’s also a great central point just off the M4, so for players like me based in West Wales it only takes just over an hour to get here which is a real plus.”
Irish football international Stephen McPhail of Cardiff City FC added: “The Vale is a top-class venue for us, there is no better facility around that I’ve seen. It’s all kitted out, we have everything we need in one place and it makes such a difference to have all these great hotel facilities on site – a few of the boys enjoy rounds of golf, it has some top-class courses - others use the leisure facilities. It does make you feel more relaxed and comfortable.”
Australian rugby international Sam Norton-Knight, who joined the Cardiff Blues from Super 14 side the NSW Waratahs has seen training facilities across the globe. He said: “Coming to work at a facility like this, with everything the hotel can offer as well, takes any anxiety out of training because you have a world-class home and you know you are going to get the most out of every session. It doesn’t compare to anything I’ve seen before, it’s phenomenal.”
Ben Danielsen, General Manager of the Vale Resort said: “This is an exciting landmark for the Vale hotel and gives us the chance to celebrate what we have achieved in the past decade.
“Hospitality is all down to teamwork and we have a great team here who we will look to develop further to ensure we consistently provide a high quality customer experience.”
The Vale chose to celebrate its decade with some one-off number 10 related celebratory offers for its customers and members;
• Play a round of golf for only £10
• Group Golf – 1 FREE golfer for every 10 booked
• £10 buggy hire
• £10 off golf coaching
• £10 birthday meal special for two-courses and a glass of wine.
• One free delegate for every 10 booked on Conference business
• For those guests on winter breaks at the hotel; £10 for a nail shape and polish plus 10% spa retail purchases and £10 upgrade from superior to deluxe bedrooms.
For more information please visit www.vale-hotel.com.