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Empire Hotel Llandudno 4.0

Llandudno, Conwy County, North Wales

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Upscale family-run hotel with period features
  • Two minutes' walk to Llandudno beachfront
  • Air-conditioned rooms with marble bathrooms
  • Two restaurants and lounge bar with live music
  • Two swimming pools, sauna, steam room, and whirlpool
  • In-room DVD players and free access to library of 400-plus movies
  • Rooftop terrace with kids' paddling pool
  • Cooked-to-order breakfast included in room rate
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Annex building lacks elevator
  • Entry-level rooms are small

Bottom Line

An upscale, family-run property, the Empire Hotel is a few minutes' walk from the western end of Llandudno's beach. Decor is handsome and stately throughout, with numerous period touches and antique furnishings. The 62 rooms are generally spacious and well laid out with flat-screen TVs, DVD players (a free film library is on-site), free Wi-Fi, and mini-fridges, but some of the lower-priced rooms can be small. Spa facilities are particularly impressive, with both indoor and outdoor pools, a sauna, steam room, and whirlpool, while breakfast and dining options in the two restaurants are also top-notch. Rates are reasonable for what's offered; St. George's Hotel has better sea views but lacks a swimming pool.  

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Scene

Third-generation family-run hotel with stately upscale ambience

With its neoclassic architectural touches of Doric columns and Roman-style pediment blending with a stately Victorian facade, there's more than a little period grandeur at the Empire Hotel. Inside the air of colonial elegance continues, with marble-slab flooring, wood paneling, and plenty of gilt and tasseled trim bathed in light from domed ceiling lamps and a centerpiece cut-glass chandelier. An eclectic collection of original watercolor and pastel artworks adorn the walls and combine with real antique furnishings and polished brass railings to create a stately effect. The building was constructed in 1854 as Llandudno’s first modern department store, was repurposed as a hotel in 1904, and extended by the present owners -- the Maddocks -- the third generation of the family that has been running the hotel.

Location

Minutes' walk from Llandudno beachfront promenade and pier

Map of Empire Hotel Llandudno

The hotel is located on a pleasant road sloping down toward the west side of the bay in the town of Llandudno -- the largest seaside town in Wales and one of the most popular in the U.K. It's a short walk to plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bars, located at the bottom of the Great Orme headland and close to its cable car and ancient copper mines. (It's about a 15-minute walk or five-minute drive to the headland, and the tramway, which conveys visitors to the visitors center at the top, is a two-minute walk.) The beachfront promenade is about a two- to three-minute walk, while the vintage Victorian Llandudno pier is about a five-minute walk. There is also plenty to explore by car, including Conwy Castle, about a 15-minute drive, while the majestic Snowdonia National Park, which features some of the country's most spectacular landscape and walking trails, is about a half hour's drive. 

Rooms

Italian marble bathrooms and extensive movie library

While 54 of the hotel's guest rooms are located in the main building and reachable via an elevator, another eight are in a separate town house next door, and this property does not have an elevator. Room decor is consistent with the stately grandeur of the rest of the hotel, with antique furnishings, pleated drapes, and plenty of period touches. All rooms are air-conditioned, and include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee facilities, mini-fridges, and 32-inch flat-screen TVs with DVD players (there's a free library of more than 400 movies). All bathrooms are finished in Italian marble and have shower/tub combos, and provide Gilchrist & Soames toiletries while Superior Rooms have gold-plated bathroom fixtures and include bathrobes. While most rooms are fairly spacious, The Budget Rear and Budget Side Rooms can feel a bit cramped.

Features

Heated indoor and outdoor swimming pools 

The hotel's impressive Watkins and Co restaurant offers a buffet and cooked-to-order breakfast each morning, which is always included in the room rate. The restaurant is also open for dinner and Sunday lunch, with a daily-changing table d'hote menu. The Poolside Restaurant, overlooking the hotel's indoor swimming pool, provides more informal dining, while a cocktail bar serves drinks accompanied by live piano music. The indoor pool area also has a sauna, steam room, and hot tub, while a small outdoor heated  pool is surrounded by a sundeck with loungers -- there's even a rooftop garden terrace with a children's paddling pool. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.

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Address

73 Church Walks, Llandudno LL30 2HE, United Kingdom

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