The St George's Hotel
Opened in 1854, the St. George’s Hotel was the first modern building to be erected on the promenade at Llandudno. It was built by Isaiah and Anne Jane Davies. He was an astute young man, born c.1830 at a farm on the Little Orme, the headland at the east end of the bay at Llandudno. His father-in-law owned the King’s Head pub, which the couple inherited. Anne Jane later bought and rebuilt Plas Fron Deg, in Church Walks.
The hotel was well appointed with indoor plumbing and a water-operated lift. This was the first lift inside a hotel not only in Llandudno but in Wales. The tower for the lift shaft remains a feature of the building’s architectural form.
Before the railway was extended to the town, Llandudno’s first horse-drawn bus service (pictured below right) ran from the St George’s Hotel to Conwy railway station, then the railhead for this area of North Wales. The hotel has been extended several times and now has 76 bedrooms.
Proprietor TP Davies ordered an organ for the hotel's Dining Saloon (now the Wedgwood Room) in about 1900 from Thomas Casson, one of the most innovative organ builders of his day. In 1920 it was sold to Bethania Chapel, Eglwysbach, where it remains in regular use.
Five British Prime Ministers have stayed here: Benjamin Disraeli (1804-81), William Ewart Gladstone (1809-98), David Lloyd George (1863-1945), Winston Churchill (1874-1965) and Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013). Churchill caused minor panic among the staff when he arrived and requested a candle, long after the shops had closed for the day. The staff eventually found a candle, and discovered that he wanted it to light his cigars.
Other guests here have included French emperor Napoleon III and his wife Eugenie, and Otto von Bismarck, the politician who united Germany in 1871.
With thanks to John Lawson-Reay of the Llandudno & Colwyn Bay History Society
Postcode: LL30 2LG