Okay, surprise, surprise, I didn’t manage to write the blog at the Royal Victoria Hotel in Llanberis on Friday! It wasn’t because there was no Wi-Fi (there wasn’t!) and I could actually get a good signal on the Dongle this time! No, alas it was other factors which came into it, which are too detailed and boring to go into! All I can say is that there were a few teething troubles with the hotel room, which we had put up with, as well as trying to find something to eat (we’re veggies!) I wasn’t particularly bothered regarding these niggling issues myself, as I wasn’t there to appreciate the facilities, however my partner was slightly annoyed by it all! Fortunately, her frustration was assuaged by the excellent customer skills of the receptionist, Dawn, who gave us a reduction on the price of the room and also a complimentary bottle of wine as an apology. This was very much appreciated and, if you ever get to read this Dawn, many thanks again! You are a credit to your hotel and profession.
In relation to the Hotel, my main aim was to have a good look round and take in the surroundings, the reason being that I am including this as a location for the part of the novel which is set in Llanberis. Fortunately, I was able to complete my fact-finding mission successfully, even though I was a bit worried the staff might think it a bit odd! (I mentioned to Dawn that I was aiming to use it as a setting for a novel, just in case anyone thought my wanderings a little odd – she said that was fine and I got the impression the hotel has been used by other novelists in the past anyway!) The hotel itself was built in the 1830s by the local owner of the railways (to attract tourists) and has been expanded ever since. The main part, where the reception is, is the oldest part. We actually stayed in an executive room in the more modern annex. It is a fairly large hotel with a lot of accommodation space, as well as some pretty spacious function rooms. In my scenario, however, it is no longer a hotel. In the post-catastrophe time, it’s the residence of a prominent local politician (which is all I’m going to say at this time!) I had already written some of the relevant scenes set in the hotel before visiting (making some basic assumptions on the lay-out). However, now that I have been there and seen what it is really like, it won’t be any hardship to make the necessary alterations. In fact, some of the changes based on the lay-out which actually be an improvement!
So, I think it was successful trip, all in all (and fairly good value and all!) Llanberis itself is great little village, and ideal as a setting in so many respects. I intent to elaborate a bit more on this over the next few days, based on my own observations during my stay there.
In the meantime, if you are interested, look at the link below to find out some more about this place (including details of the Hotel):