The Atlantic Hotel, Tenby

The Atlantic Hotel, Tenby

This hotel combines three houses which were built in the 1870s. All three were originally as tall as the right-hand section of the hotel is today.

The pair of houses on the left, where you now enter the hotel, was bought by Warren de la Rue for his retirement. His family fortune came from a printing business which produced postage stamps, railway tickets and playing cards, among other things. He removed the houses’ top storey and remodelled the frontage, including the new central entrance.

Notice the horse’s head carved in stone above the entrance. It depicts a successful racehorse named Trayles, which Warren owned. He named the house Trayles after the horse – see the inscription above the head.

Across the road, he had a terrace excavated on the clifftop before the First World War. The terrace is now the Atlantic Hotel gardens. He made mathematical observations of the movement of the tides from the terrace.

Trayles became the Atlantic Hotel after his death in 1921. The hotel expanded into the taller building next door in 1960. The railings there are in a different style from the ones in front of the former Trayles.

In the 1940s the Atlantic Hotel was the headquarters of the free Belgian armed forces. Soldiers and airmen who had escaped the Nazi invasion of Belgium and France regrouped in Tenby to assist in the Allied war effort.

The hotel was the base of General Victor van Strydonck de Burkel, who had distinguished himself in the First World War. The exiled Belgian government appointed him commander-in-chief of the free forces in October 1940 and he put together a well-trained battle group.

Another Belgian, Viscount Arthur de Jonghe d’Ardoye, recruited Belgian special agents in Tenby from 1942 to 1944. After intensive training, they were sent into occupied territory, some by parachute.

Postcode: SA70 7DU    View Location Map

Atlantic Hotel website