May 22, 2024

Historic North Wales hotel wins a global award for trailblazing “green revolution”

Liam Donnelly at The Llandudno Bay Hotel.

A four star seaside hotel in North Wales has won a major global award after a “green revolution” cut its carbon footprint by a spectacular 84 per cent.

The historic Grade II listed Llandudno Bay Hotel, one of the jewels of the Queen of Welsh Resorts, has been honoured at the international Lux Life Travel and Tourism Awards.

As a result of a raft of pioneering eco-friendly initiatives there, owners the Everbright Group were crowned Sustainable Luxury Hotel Group of the Year.

The award is the latest in a series of accolades for the hotel, including being hailed as a trailblazer by the Net Zero North Wales Network for showing that investing in green technology made sound business sense as well as being good for the environment.

It was also named as the Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Hotel of the Year 2023 at the Go North Wales Tourism Awards.

When the Everbright Group took it over in 2021, the hotel on Llandudno’s magnificent Victorian seafront had been closed for over two years, there was no hot water to the top floor and it was facing rocketing energy bills forecast to be over £300,000.

Three years on the green refurbishment of the hotel has seen those bills slashed to just over £80,000.

Now the company intend to roll out the renewable recipe for success across the other hotels in the group, the Belmont and the Queens, in Llandudno, the Wild Pheasant Hotel and Spa in Llangollen and Rossett Hall Hotel, near Wrexham, and the George Hotel and Stonecross Manor in the Lake District.

The award judges said: “Llandudno Bay Hotel adopts an environmentally conscious approach, investing in the latest economic systems to reduce costs and implement best practices.

“It is a remarkable seafront hotel with a simple strategy of providing outstanding service, a welcoming attitude and sustainable practices to shape the future of hospitality.”

Liam Donnelly, manager of the Llandudno Bay Hotel, said: “The hotel just wouldn’t have been viable with those energy costs but we had taken over while the hotel was still closed due to Covid which meant we used the difficulty to invest in new systems.

“We wanted to introduce more technology and we did this over two stages, the first to modernise the existing systems and the second to decarbonise the business.”

New aluminium and copper radiators were installed which only required 650 litres of water compared to the old system’s 2,500 with that water only heated to 55C instead of over 70C.

Multi-zone temperature controllers were fitted in all the bedrooms and public areas to avoid heating empty spaces to the same level as those in use while new electric vehicle charging points were installed, including a 50Kw DC Fast charger.

Everbright have now also fitted solar panels including thermodynamic panels as an alternative to air-source heat pumps with the electricity generated by the panels capable of being stored in batteries to be used at peak times and also to support the electric car chargers.

Liam, a Llandudno man himself from the West Shore, said: “The new heating system using gas instead of electricity was installed in eight weeks but with the hotel closed at the time we could take everything up to fit it.

“We were still doing the third floor when we re-opened in April 2022 but it was soon completed and we were able to re-open fully. We are now looking forward to seeing the full effect of those solar panels as we go into the summer months.

“They’re on the south-facing rear roof so you can’t see them from the bay and in the summer we expect them to be generating eight times as much electricity as in the winter.

“We’re seeing guest numbers picking up too including international guests, most recently from Italy and the USA and we have Scandinavian groups coming in next so it just shows the overseas business is there to be had.”

Everbright Hotels Group Operations Director, Darryl Shaw said: “The big savings in carbon emissions will really kick in when the green energy generation and storage systems come fully on stream so that when peak usage occurs, we will have batteries ready to transfer the stored energy back.

“We have invested £150,000 in the project and we estimate that we will get payback in two years.

“We have instigated a proactive approach to sustainability, so fewer delivery miles from local suppliers have reduced our carbon footprint.

“Voltage optimisers have been installed to scale down electricity consumption by 11 per cent.

“It’s a treble win because we get the much-needed cost saving, we get a significant decarbonisation of 90 tons annually and we get customers because the market is saying that people are choosing to stay in hotels which are environmentally responsible.”

“The good news is that our green energy initiatives have enabled the hotel to operate more economically and with a substantial reduction in carbon emissions.

For more information on the Everbright Group Hotels go to https://www.everbrightgrouphotels.com/