The Sunnyside, Llandudno, Wales
For very good reasons I recently ended up taking the Ferry from Holyhead to Dublin. Due to ferry timetables it meant an overnight nearby so after much research The Sunnyside in the Victorian seaside town of Llandudno in North Wales was chosen as our overnight stop.
The description of The Sunnyside is a little confusing as on their website they call it a hotel. However, on some pages it refers to itself as an ‘establishment’. It has 20 bedrooms and only serves breakfast. Therefore I feel that the correct category is that of a Bed and Breakfast ‘establishment’. Llandudno is one of those Victorian resort towns, stuck in a time warp. As we drove along the Parade with dozens of hotels, one after the next, on long terraces it felt quite nostalgic. The exteriors of some looked better than was portrayed on their websites whilst others made me heave a sigh of relief that we hadn’t chosen that particular establishment.
The Sunnyside was situated back from the main Parade so doesn’t have a sea view but it was a quiet street and other buildings were well restored and in good condition. In the small front garden The Sunnyside has some nice seating and palm trees which gave it a Mediterranean ambiance. The main living room was very spacious with lots of sofas and chairs and an enormous wall mounted television. There wasn’t a knick knack in sight. I have a preference for less is more in hotels but it was a tad on the bland side and somewhat soulless. However, my grandson really enjoyed watching his ‘Paw Patrol’ on a big screen so that was a Big Plus.
Our bedroom, was tucked away under the eaves on the third floor with a window overlooking the street. It was accessed via meandering old fashioned very narrow corridors. The bedroom doors were pretty grim and of the type not seen for a decade or two. However, on entering it was a spacious family room with Queen and two single beds. Bed linen was good quality plus there were tea making facilities and complimentary water. Also there were plenty of clean towels and nice toiletries. There were no face flannels but this is now almost the norm so I usually bring my own.
The only problem – and it was a big problem – was that the mattresses were shockingly bad. I had thoughtfully allocated myself one of the singles and spent the night almost clinging to the wall to prevent myself sliding on to the floor. The next morning my daughter, who slept in the large double, announced that her mattress was ‘shot’! The only person not to complain was the 3 year old in the other single but when we checked that mattress too had seen far better days.
A nearby Gastropub was recommended for dinner. Suffice to say that I had one of the worst Beef and Ale stews ever. The amount of salt used made it positively poisonous. A pity as it was a very pretty pub. I won’t say the name but a clue would be a small house and a type of bread. You can figure that one out yourself.
Breakfast in The Sunnyside was good; I wasn’t expecting freshly squeezed orange juice so wasn’t disappointed when I didn’t get it. On checking out we did inform the nice young man at the desk that the mattresses were awful. He told us that they had a big supply of new ones ready to go into the bedrooms but hadn’t got around to it as they were too busy. I think this should be a priority as after all the most important thing is the bed and guests having a good night’s sleep.
I also discovered that I have a serious dislike for Victorian piers that have too many stalls selling cheap tat; though to be fair there were some nice looking craft shops. If in Llandudno again I will definitely check out the geology and mining history, including the Great Orme, which dates back to the Bronze Age. I gather that the West Beach is well worth a walk – preferably when it is summer time.