A leading Pembrokeshire hotel and wedding venue closed its doors without warning on Friday to the shock of its customers and engaged couples throughout the county.
The Heywood Mount Hotel in Heywood Lane, Tenby - the town’s only 4 star Visit Wales Gold Award hotel - has been in the ownership of the Andrews family for over 38 years.
An announcement on the hotel’s Facebook page on Friday said: “We are very sad to confirm that, due to events beyond our control, Heywood Mount Hotel is now closed.
“We would like to express our most sincere apologies to everyone and we are extremely sorry for the inconvenience this may cause.”
Future customers concerned at the loss of their deposits for bookings, and well-wishers expressing regret at the hotel’s closure were quick to post comments on the site before the page was removed.
Amongst those learning the news through Facebook were Lorraine Thomas and Leslie Wiseman of Summerhill, Amroth who had paid a deposit for their wedding reception for 60 guests and an evening party for 100 at the hotel in September,
“It’s a nightmare,” said Lorraine. “We only made the booking a couple of weeks ago, and we also booked quite a few rooms for guests staying. It’s a lot of money.
“At the moment, we don’t know what to do - do we wait to see if the hotel is taken over and hope they can honour the booking, or do we look for somewhere else that’s within our budget? We might just have to change our plans altogether.”
The hotel is promoted on its website as ‘Tenby’s premier hotel’ and ‘one of the top wedding venues in Pembrokeshire’. A statement on the site said: “It is with the deepest of regret that after 40 years of trading and due to events beyond our control, Andrews Catering Ltd., the operating company of Heywood Mount Hotel, Tenby, has ceased trading with immediate effect.”
The hotel was previously operated by a limited company, Heywood Mount Hotel Ltd., which went into liquidation in July. Trading was then taken over by Andrews Catering Ltd.
A notice on the hotel’s front door over the weekend directed callers to business recovery practice, Begbies Traynor, where a spokesperson told the Western Telegraph yesterday (Tuesday): “We are appointed in November as receivers over the property only, and therefore have no powers to deal with the claims of creditors.
"The decision to cease trading was taken by the directors of Andrews Catering and the decision was not taken lightly.
”Anyone who has paid a deposit to the hotel needs to take their own legal advice.”
The hotel is currently being marketed by Colliers International for £775,000, having previously been up for sale at £1.4m.
The hotel's general manager, Adrian Andrews, said:
"Whilst receivers had been appointed, it was always the remit that Heywood Mount would remain open and trading. Any monies taken were done so in good faith and with honest intentions.
" A buyer had been sourced and was proceeding forward to purchase the property, but decided against the final purchase. This created an untenable situation with an outcome we did not foresee or want. The closure of Heywood Mount is proving extremely difficult to deal with for all parties concerned and we are so very sorry for the upset it has caused and apologise unreservedly for letting all those affected down. It was never our intention to close and the said decision was made for us not by us.
"Once again please accept my most sincere apologies."