We stayed at this hotel for five nights in April 2012 and, on the whole, enjoyed it. I think the Welsh weather (sun, drizzle, heavy rain, snow, blizzards) overshadowed things – but the hotel was very well located, perfectly businesslike and good value.
This Premier Inn is very new, modern and part of a “yuppy”-style waterfront development at Victoria Dock – flats, a marina, gym, shops, restaurants (you know the kind of thing). Construction work was going on during our stay, with lots of workmen in the area, heavy plant and, occasionally, building work noise.
There is no dedicated car park but, to be honest, the spacious and free car park about five minutes’ walk away is fine: easy, safe and close at hand. It’s about as close as you could get and, amazingly in this day and age, totally free of charge.
The hotel is located a short (and very pleasant) seaside walk from the town walls, Caernarvon Castle, shops etc – so we were delighted with how easy it was to flit back and forth from the town centre to the Premier Inn on foot.
The Premier Inn building itself is clean and functional. Not exactly warm and cuddly – and the cold Welsh weather that week made the corridors all seem rather bleak and draughty. Our room was fine, though it felt chilly a lot of the time until the air heater unit eventually kicked in.
The bathroom had no form of heating, so having a shower involved stripping off as quickly as humanly possible and “braving” the cold, bringing back memories of icy school changing rooms! Interestingly, Premier Inns don’t seem to have any electric shaver sockets (very annoying) and the bathrooms have neither radiators nor heated towel rails. Brrrrrrr.
The biggest single factor in the success of our stay at the Caernarvon Premier Inn was undoubtedly Gary, the receptionist. What a star! Welcoming, helpful, friendly, knowledgeable, good-humoured, accommodating - and genuinely interested in us as a family and our enjoyment of both the hotel and the local area.
Nothing was too much trouble for Gary and his presence seemed to lift the spirits of the entire hotel, bringing real warmth and charisma to an otherwise modern, cool and functional building. Charming, fun, witty, resourceful and utterly professional, he is clearly 'a natural' in the hospitality industry.
On days out, we found ourselves saying: “Oooh. We must tell Gary about this when we get back” or “I wonder whether Gary will be on duty by the time we return. I hope we haven’t missed him”. Sad - but true! To be able to develop a very natural rapport with guests like that is a rare gift, in my opinion.
Gary’s colleague Vicki was also very helpful and friendly, capturing the spirit of the Premier Inn ethos with professionalism and a smile.
For food and drink, Premier Inn guests use the nearby, and almost adjoining, Yr Harbwr restaurant. It’s a Table Table venue – with lovely decor, styling and furnishings. Very comfortable and welcoming – and clearly incredibly popular in Caernarvon. We couldn’t find many places to eat in the town, so Yr Harbwr seems to have become a family-friendly (and, in its own way, chic) magnet for both locals and tourists.
Our first morning’s breakfast was chaotic and a bit of a disaster, due to insufficient staff, but that problem was nailed the following day and breakfasts thereafter were excellent and ran smoothly.
One of the waitresses there, Sadie, is a really lovely young lady – helpful, friendly, engaging, efficient and attentive. She served us at breakfast and for several evening meals and made the occasions extremely pleasant and enjoyable. Here is yet another asset to Premier Inn and Table Table: someone who clearly enjoys her work, does it exceptionally well and makes customers feel welcome and valued.
I would certainly recommend the Caernarvon Premier Inn and Yr Harbwr, though the unpredictable weather in that coastal area of North Wales can make the Victoria Dock area somewhat chilly, breezy and cheerless. If Gary is on reception, however, visitors can certainly be assured of the warmest of welcomes.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC