Is it really true that Palé Hall is the only Five Red Star Hotel in Wales? Is it really true that Palé Hall is the only new Five Red Star Hotel outside London this year? Is it really true that Pale Hall has the highest AA score and the highest Visit Wales score for a hotel in Wales? Is it really true that we have achieved this in just two years? Is it really true that Alan and I moved into Palé Hall three years ago today. Well, yes it is, so here goes…
The short version
Thank you to every single member of staff, guest, contractor, supplier, friend, family who have helped us.
The long version
In roughly time order, thank you to:
Michael Caines MBE and Steve Edwards, in it from the start, in fact before there was a start, they were advisors and mentors, laughed with us, drank with us, helped us make every initial hotel-based decision, helped us find staff, get publicity, designed our early menus, developed our wine list, made introductions to systems specialists, found us a PR company, introduced us to suppliers, designed our kitchen, stopped us making some huge mistakes and on occasion argued with us. It was a three-year contract that has come to a natural end, but the friendship will never end. We saw Michael at the AA awards last week, he’s basking in his own incredible success with Lympstone Manor but was, as ever, generous in his praise for what we have achieved. He has promised to come back next year.
David of Western Aspect, our website designer, who keeps our outward face to the world looking beautiful, alluring and working.
Sauce Communications, our PR company, have done a stunning job of getting us national and international coverage. There’s hardly a week, and never a month, that goes by without coverage somewhere.
Williams Homes of Bala, and all their contractors who completed the renovation to such an exceptional standard, with whom after three full years we still have an excellent relationship; who still turn up for us when things go wrong, fires, leaks, floods, blocked drains, boilers, ongoing renovations, ongoing repairs. And all these things always happen on New Year, or at 8pm on a Sunday evening, or 1am in the coldest January night on record in the snow. There is no way to say thank you enough except recommend them over and over again and try to make things a little bit extra special when they come. I shouldn’t single individuals out, but I must make a special mention of Mark and Tony, our ports (often literally) in a storm, who never let us down.
To our local contractors and suppliers, Collinge Antiques, Prestige Curtains, ACL. Castle Carpets, Hill and Roberts Accountants, Gamlins Solicitors, T. J. Roberts and Sons Butchers, Rhug Estate, David Ogilvie, Clog Flowers, Llandrillio Post Office, Bala Post Office, Stori Beers, Tanners Wines, Snowdonia Gin, Welsh Cheese Company, Henllan Bread, Pren Woodturning Bala, The Welsh Truffle Company, Fineline Printers, Borras Laundry, Corwen Farmers, AB Fire Prevention, Wern Vets, Gwynedd County Council, P Hughes, BDW Services, D.H.Jones, Steve Woods for window cleaning and fishing experiences, Raw Adventures, Standard Lifts, Tiwniwyr Piano, Derek’s taxis, Global Taxis, Mari’s Taxis, Diamond Line Premier Chauffeur, George Randles, Plas Yn Dre, Travis Perkins, Dragon Drilling, Renewables First, Minafon Garage, Saracens Tyres, Bryntirion Inn, Wood Energy Wales, CEF Electricals and to any I have unintentionally missed. Thank you. There are also a host of national suppliers for example, Tielle Linen, James Hare Silk, Zoffany, CCS, Villeroy and Boch, Studio William, Bidfood, Richard Wellock, M&J Seafood, Matthew Clark and many more. We must also make mention of Small Luxury Hotels, thank you for your faith in us, and for taking us into your fold when we were not even open, we learned such a lot from you.
To Relais & Chateaux, that family of like-minded souls of independent hotel owners who have welcomed us and supported us, it’s great to be a part such a prestigious brand. We are proud and honoured to carry your torch in Wales. It’s a relationship that is already seeing significant increase in overseas guests.
The warm welcome and ongoing support from the local community has been vital to us. I just thought I would name a figure. In the three years since we bought Palé, excluding the purchase price but including all local contracted work, supplies and services and salaries we have injected over two million pounds into the local economy. We have stuck to our promises to deal locally and employ locally where we can. We try to be good neighbours and if on occasion we get it wrong, we are sorry, it’s never intentional. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship and we thank you once again.
Almost without exception our guests are lovely, warm, interesting people who treat our staff with respect and courtesy, who are careful with Palé herself and are very supportive in their reviews. Already we are developing a very loyal and vocally supportive group who return again and again. Without our guests we would have no business, so a huge thank you to you all.
Now to the people without whom Palé would be a less wonderful, less welcoming, less beautiful place to be: our staff. There are no words, although I will try, to thank them for all they do. They are an amazing team and five red stars is made even more astonishing because the vast majority of them have never worked at this level before. Many had never worked in hospitality before. Together we have developed the Palé way of doing things. They have turned our dream of a beautiful home in the country with five red star service into a reality. They are loyal, hard-working, adaptable, don’t count hours, talented, kind and thoughtful people. They are a group of strong minded, strong willed, characterful people who have big hearts. We have laughed and cried together, hugged and danced together, worried and annoyed each other. As a group they are Palé and Palé is them. I am not going to single anyone out because everyone is included in these words and all have played their part. So to every member of staff we have ever had at Palé, thank you. Five Red Stars recognises every single one of you and all you do.
To say that Alan and I are proud of what we have achieved at Palé doesn’t even begin to cover it. We have put everything we own into this beautiful dream. We have also put our hearts and souls into it. We came very close to losing it all in the first few months and I have never seen Alan so worried. We are a team, in it together, we too have laughed, cried, lost sleep and whooped with joy. Palé has turned a bit of a corner this summer. We too have played our part.
Of course, there’s more to do, we can always be better, there are other heights to strive for, but right here, right now we will put them to one side and enjoy Pale’s moment in the sun with you all.