Browns Hotel, Laugharne, celebrates official opening

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    One of the world’s most iconic literary locations hosted an official opening on Friday 28th September after a sensitive and spectacular refurbishment.

    Browns Hotel, in Laugharne, Wales, is renowned as a favourite socializing haunt of poet Dylan Thomas.Now it has undergone more than a year of revamp work to become a jewel in the crown of Thomas tourism in his home country. It opened quietly on July 13 and has already attracted international guests from as far afield as America, Germany and Ireland.
    The hotel has been busy too with guests from Wales and across the UK.

    The grade II listed building has benefited from a £230,000 Welsh Government grant and a substantial investment by its West Wales-based owners. Heritage agency Cadw offered a grant of £62,500 towards structural repairs.

    Browns Hotel general manager Charlie Dyer said: “The transformation has been astonishing. The décor and furnishings are a beautiful throwback to the late 1940s and early 1950s and guests are reacting really warmly to the whole package.

    “Locals from Laugharne and the wider West Wales area enjoy popping in for a drink in the bar and for coffee in the Reading Room.

    “Some tourists come specifically for our unbreakable link with Dylan Thomas; others come because they know we’re in a spectacular coastal area and seek a break from life’s hurly-burly.”

    The official opening will feature appearances by local residents, businesses involved in the Browns revamp and ongoing success, local rugby region The Scarlets and Welsh whisky specialists Penderyn.

    Having fallen into disrepair after 2006 when it last closed as a pub, Browns is now being modeled as a worthy focal point for West Wales tourism.

    The refurbishment reflects the region’s colourful heritage, outlook and range of creativity. It’s now a boutique hotel with the bar as Dylan would recognize it. Each guest room is unique and there are areas for drinks, snacks and business meetings.

    Charlie Dyer said: “Happily, the reopening comes in time for the national celebration of Dylan Thomas’s birth centenary – he was born in October 2014.”

    Browns Hotel has lain empty and dilapidated for six years.
    Built in the mid-1700s, it was a favourite location of Thomas in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He lived a short walk away with wife Caitlin and their three young children in their famous Boathouse but Swansea-born Thomas died in 1953.

    Browns was last used as a hotel in 1959 and closed as a pub in 2006.

    It forms part of the Dylan Thomas tourism trail in Laugharne as his mother’s family had run farms nearby and he had settled in the township with wife Caitlin in the late 1940s. Their shared grave is in a local churchyard.

    Daniel Fountain / 19.10.2012

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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