My partner was attending a graduation at the University of Trinity Saint David in Lampeter on the Friday and when in Wales, he wanted to stay by the seaside. So when two friends of his also going to the same function booked into the Feathers Royal Hotel at Aberaeron, he booked a room for us there as well. There is no lift in the hotel, so when we arrived we were directed to drive round and park at the back of the hotel so that we could bring hour heavy suitcases in through the back door through the corridor on the first floor to our room. We stayed for three nights in room 2 at the front of the hotel. The hotel (and our room) was facing a traffic junction so I was worried there would be noise from the traffic at night. There was a heat wave in the UK at the time so we had to sleep with open windows. We did hear some traffic but not as much as I had feared. The room itself had a large double bed, two armchairs, a side table, a writing desk with chair, TV and a teas-made etc. inside a cabinet. The wardrobe had just a few clothes hangers but when I asked for more, these arrived quickly within a few minutes. The bathroom was spacious with a large tub but there was hardly anywhere for us to put our toiletries. We were in the UK for 14 days so had brought the pills, potions and lotions that we wanted for that time space. The shelf above the hand basin was in no way adequate, and in the end we had to use a small ledge under the basin next to the bath tub as well as the back top of the toilet. A small table with shelves would have been appropriate in the bathroom for guests to use. There was no WiFi in the room but modem over a cable, so at least he could use his portable pc. My partner is often working even when he’s on holiday, so being on-line is important. We both have mini iPads which we could not use on-line in the room, or his iPhone. When we went down into the lounge and bar area however the WiFi worked perfectly. Also in the dining room the WiFi forked for the iPads and iPhone.
When we visited our friends (room 10) at the back of the hotel facing the parking, there was a large machine outside their window making a lot of noise (air conditioning unit?). They didn't seem to be disturbed by this however and didn't mention it later either. Breakfast the first morning was fine, there was a large German coach group staying but this was not a problem. Orders from the kitchen were eggs any way we wanted, mushrooms, bacon, tomatoes etc. There was also a selection of cornflakes, jams and yoghurts, fruit etc. The second morning however the lady in charge of the breakfast room was apparently very stressed over something (staff missing?) and we had to wait a long time. The third morning (Friday) we were leaving early to travel to Lampeter but the cross lady refused to let us into the breakfast room or place any orders before they opened.
For dinner when we arrived on the first day we asked for the best fish/seafood restaurant in Aberaeron and were promptly told that was the Feathers! This turned out to be perfectly true for what we ordered, scallops and king prawns, these dishes were absolutely fantastic!! We both love seafood and when staying at the seaside we order this every day. The third evening (when dining with our friends) we had the scallops and king prawns again but this time the same dishes were much more mediocre, when we asked why we were told there was another chef in the kitchen (than who had prepared our meals the first evening).
From when we arrived until when we left, we were puzzling over why this hotel was described/listed as being a 5* hotel? We both think this is somewhat misleading as anyone who has travelled in Europe or stayed in larger 5* hotels in cities will be expecting something else. For the sake of good order we were not looking for a 5* experience and only booked a room because our friends had done so already but that is not the point here. The presentation of the breakfast buffet needs some serious upgrading - the selection while we were there can be described as sparse, and in no way what may be expected in a 5* hotel. Neither have I ever heard of any 5* hotel without a lift where guests have to bring their own heavy suitcases in through the back door. At no time did any staff offer to help us with luggage, other than suggesting that we use the back door, instead of struggling up the stairs. The Feathers was perfectly comfortable, the service good (apart from breakfast) and is no doubt the best hotel in Aberaeron but a 5*? No, that is something different.
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- Also Known As:
- Feathers Royal Hotel Aberaeron, Wales