Plans to improve visitor access and facilities at one of Ceredigion’s most historic hotels will help enhance tourism opportunities in the area.
Hafod Hotel at Devil’s Bridge, near Aberystwyth in Mid Wales was an early 19th century purpose-built hotel serving visitors to the famous waterfalls and narrow-gauge railway in the Rheidol Valley.
It has remained a hotel ever since, with building additions and improvements made over the past 100 years to cater for the changing needs of tourists in that time.
More recently made famous in the bilingual BBC/S4C police drama Hinterland, starring actor Richard Harrington as DCI Tom Mathias, plans have been submitted by Aberystwyth based Hughes Architects to improve accessibility for visitors and luxury accommodation for guests.
Hotel owners Dewi and Nicol Gwynne have already invested heavily in recent years refurbishing parts of the Grade II listed hotel. Part of that an ongoing programme is to improve access to enhance the visitor, leading to four star accommodation.
Doug Hughes, Principal Architect and Managing Director of Mid Wales-based Hughes Architects, explained: “Hafod Hotel is a well known destination for visitors to Devil’s Bridge. Some of the guest rooms have already been refurbished and enhanced by Dewi and Nicol and in the next phase they want to improve accessibility throughout the building.
“This will include a lift out of view at the rear of the property to allow access to all floors from the large rear car park, including a new bridge.
“The plans also include new and enhanced disabled facilities, bedroom, catering and communal areas.”
The front porch will be enclosed with glazing to improve safety and comfort for guests entering via the main road, a bridge walkway at the rear and an expanded kitchen to cater for the increased trade during peak holiday periods.
The front reception area will also be opened up to the main dining room to provide improved space.
“The work will have little impact on the exterior and historic fabric of the building but will improve accessibility and opportunities for the expanding business which is supporting the local economy which relies heavily on tourism year-round,” added Mr Hughes.
Nicol Gwynne said they were keen to have the improvements made in readiness for the peak 2020 season. “We have been investing significantly in the hotel and its facilities and this next phase will help encourage more people to visit and stay in the area.”
A planning application has been submitted this week to Ceredigion Council for consideration.