Accommodation providers across Flintshire are looking to rebound strongly post-pandemic after diversifying their service offerings to give locals as well as those coming into the county something new to experience.
Under previous Welsh Government restrictions, accommodation sites have been forced to open and close intermittently throughout 2020 and into 2021.
But a number of providers within the county have opted to take advantage of the situation by adding to their businesses ahead of a post-pandemic growth in demand for accommodation services.
The Springfield Hotel at Pentre Halkyn is one such establishment, spending around £200,000 to redevelop part of the hotel’s ground floor into a new restaurant.
The restaurant, named 32A after the junction along the A55 where the hotel is based, seats up to 130 people and provides them with a modern fine-dining experience, combining meals dashed with a touch of Wales alongside views over the Dee Estuary.
Owner of the Springfield Hotel Sebastian Janney said: “The pandemic offered us the unique opportunity of time, giving us the chance to take a step back and decide how we can develop the hotel into a business that was prepared for the future and provides a more complete experience for our customers.
“The opening of Restaurant 32A is one way we’ve looked to achieve that goal and was the next step in our long-term plan to refurbish the hotel from top to bottom after developing our reception area and building an outdoor heated terrace area for guests.
“We have been passionate about further expanding the area’s fine dining options and this development has allowed us to pursue that opportunity and we hope with restrictions continuing to ease we can turn the site into a must-stay location within the county.
“Since opening the restaurant under restrictions in April, we’ve had incredible support from the local community who have come and enjoyed their meals and we look forward to welcoming more locals, as well as travellers heading into Flintshire, in the future as restrictions ease further.”
Trelan Farm near Cilcain has also taken the time during the pandemic to diversify its offerings, with the location adding a second luxury glamping cabin to the farm.
The cabin, named the Wonder Wagon, has been converted from a wagon trailer originally part of the fleet for Flintshire-based steelworks’ John Summers & Sons, providing guests with a cosy boutique retreat at the foot of Moel Famau.
Since opening the second cabin, the staff numbers at the farm have been boosted through the hiring of a pair of part-time cleaners to help maintain the sites due to the strong demand in bookings.
Owner of the cabins at Trelan Farm Catherine Davies said: “We have wanted to further expand the glamping site at the farm for a long time and when we were given the chance to bring aboard a second glamping site after a family friend offered us the wagon, it was one we could not pass up.
“The expansion to the cabins is just one way we are looking to supplement the farm going forward post-pandemic; we have also teamed up with the North Wales Wildlife Trust to plant 2000 natural Welsh trees on the farm to expand habitats and progressing with an orchard of Denbigh plums to provide our guests with more to see and do on the property.
“The cabin has been fully booked up since initial restrictions on accommodation were lifted in March and remains booked up through to the end of August, which is incredibly encouraging to see the site succeed in such a way.
“A lot of guests often decide while they are staying with us to book another stay; we’ve got one couple who have stayed three times so far and are planning a fourth visit in the near future.
“It is great to see that the services we are offering are making an impact and drawing return visitors to the local area, as not only does it do wonders for the local economy, but it also helps further develop Flintshire into a county that people want to stay a while in and enjoy everything the local area has to offer.”