A famous Beddgelert hotel – where the legend of Prince Llywelyn and his faithful hound Gelert was sold to the world – has been bought. The Royal Goat Hotel – whose guests have included Ingrid Bergman – was originally built as the Beddgelert Hotel in 1802 by Thomas Jones, whose wife had inherited the Beddgelert estate. It was conceived to cater for the increasing numbers of tourists visiting Snowdon and was the birthplace of a marketing masterstroke by the first tenant manager David Pritchard. He promoted the story of Gelert, the loyal hound mistakenly slain by his master Prince Llywelyn and created a monument known as Gelert’s Grave in a nearby field in an attempt to further boost tourism.
It worked, as the legend became a talking point in Victorian homes and to this day thousands of people visit Gelert’s grave. The hotel became the Royal Goat in the 1870s to commemorate a visit by Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught. Other famous guests who have stayed at the hotel include Casablanca star Ingrid Bergman, while filming The Inn of the Sixth Happiness. Real estate advisors Colliers International completed the sale of the Royal Goat Hotel to Parkfield Snowdonia Ltd.
Acting on behalf of previous owners Ben and Vicky Doodson, who have sold the business to concentrate on a recently launched restaurant venture in Abersoch, Colliers secured the sale from an asking price of £875,000. The new owners are David and Michelle Cattrall, directors of Parkfield Snowdonia, who operate the recently refurbished Saracens Head pub restaurant with accommodation in Beddgelert, and plan to invest in the hotel. The hotel has 33 en suite bedrooms, two residents’ lounges, a public bar and two restaurants.
Neil Thomson, associate director, hotels agency at the Manchester office of Colliers International, believes it demonstrates a materially improved hotel landscape throughout North Wales during the past 12 months. Mr Thomson said: “We’re very pleased to announce this sale. This improved hotel landscape throughout the region has been, and continues to be, driven by a strengthening economy and the subsequent rise in hotel trading performances within popular destination locations such as the Snowdonia National Park. There is no indication there will be any slowdown in demand, and Colliers remains prominently and pro-actively involved in hotel transactions and advisory work throughout the area.”
The Gelert story, as written on the tombstone reads:
“In the 13th century Llewelyn, prince of North Wales, had a palace at Beddgelert. One day he went hunting without Gelert, ‘The Faithful Hound’, who was unaccountably absent. On Llewelyn’s return the truant, stained and smeared with blood, joyfully sprang to meet his master. The prince alarmed hastened to find his son, and saw the infant’s cot empty, the bedclothes and floor covered with blood. The frantic father plunged his sword into the hound’s side, thinking it had killed his heir. The dog’s dying yell was answered by a child’s cry. Llewelyn searched and discovered his boy unharmed, but nearby lay the body of a mighty wolf which Gelert had slain. The prince filled with remorse is said never to have smiled again. He buried Gelert here. The spot is called Beddgelert.”
Published by: The Daily Post, Monday 6 June 2016