By Lucy Wonnacott, Marketing Manager
Today is a special day for Milford Waterfront, as the doors to the brand new, 100-bedroom Tŷ Hotel Milford Waterfront open to guests.
We’ve been on quite a journey over the last 30 years, reinventing the former dockyard into a tourism destination. It must have been quite hard for locals to believe in the 1980s what the area would become in the future, but just look at it now. From the Tall Ships Race launching at Milford Marina back in 1991, to the transformation of heritage buildings into attractions, the addition of new buildings to accommodate residents, and hospitality, retail and service businesses, and innovative additions for visitors to eat and stay. Over the last 10 years in particular the transformation has been incredible thanks to a dedicated independent business community, committed to making Milford Haven a place that people want to visit. We’re extremely proud that our hidden gem in Pembrokeshire has evolved into a must-visit destination for locals and visitors, who come to Milford Waterfront to enjoy our bustling food scene, browse in the fantastic boutique shops and galleries, enjoy attractions such as Milford Haven Museum and Phoenix Bowl, and a varied calendar of events. But many guests just enjoy spending time here taking in the ever-changing views of Milford Marina and the Milford Haven Waterway.
So, why have we built a hotel? The Port of Milford Haven’s raison d’etre is “Building the Haven’s prosperity”. This doesn’t just mean generating income for the Port itself, it means that we invest in projects and initiatives which facilitate opportunities for us to prosper, as a community (in fact, as a Trust Port established by an act of Parliament, we ensure that our profits are reinvested for the long term benefit of the community). Growing prosperity in hospitality and tourism is one of the Port’s key strategic themes and we’re fully committed to investing in Milford Waterfront to enhance the local tourism economy. We have a strategic partnership with Visit Pembrokeshire, and also actively support the great work that Visit Milford Haven does in promoting all that Milford Haven has to offer.
The project to build a hotel started many years before the demolition crew came in to start removing the old ice factory which served the fleets that fished out of Milford Haven for decades. It was a collaborative project which took detailed planning, and an investment of over £10m by the Port of Milford Haven. But, as our CEO, Andy Jones would say, “We know how to run a port, but we don’t know how to run a hotel so finding the right partner to manage this successfully for us was crucial.” So, we were delighted to announce in March 2021 that the Celtic Collection would be managing this brand new 100-bedroom Tŷ Hotel, right in the heart of Pembrokeshire and that it would be built by Welsh contractor, Carter Lauren Construction.
To be working with such an iconic Welsh brand as the Celtic Collection really is a dream, and to welcome Tŷ Milford Waterfront, and dulse restaurant, to the Milford Waterfront family is the start of the next chapter for our growing destination. Guests are in for a real treat, with beautifully appointed rooms – almost all having a water view – and a superb location from which to explore all that Milford Waterfront has to offer, before venturing further into Pembrokeshire. Guests will be able to enjoy the fantastic selection of places to eat, shop and enjoy on their doorstep and have a perfect base to enjoy events at Milford Waterfront.
When we first started collaborating with the team who run the world-renowned Celtic Manor Resort, we were struck by just how excited they were to be working with us, and this collaboration has been key to the project being delivered on budget and on time, opening on the first day of the Easter holidays.
Celebrating Milford Haven’s ‘sense of place’, or what makes our destination special and unique, is very important to us, and it doesn’t get much more local than a Hotel Manager and Executive Head Chef both being from Pembrokeshire! With Ade Andrews and Sy Crockford leading the management of the hotel, guests will be assured of a warm Pembrokeshire welcome. The menu at dulse restaurant, which is open for lunch and dinner for non-residents, is inspired by fresh seafood, drifting seaweed and sparkling tides of Sy’s childhood, and bursting with pure freshness from the Pembrokeshire coast and countryside, championing the highest quality local produce.
Covid has presented a challenging period for the businesses located at Milford Waterfront, but the resilience, ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit has seen lots of new businesses and producers locating here over the past two years and exciting new alfresco dining experiences such as COCO’s Sunset Bar, the Foam Domes and other covered spaces for diners to eat outside, really adding to the overall destination. I may be biased, but the quality and variety of places to eat here now is second to none. So, whether you fancy a cocktail in the sun, a freshly made Neapolitan pizza, freshly caught seafood, a traditional Sunday lunch, afternoon tea, a full breakfast or even a cuppa and an ice cream, there’s lots on the menu to choose from.
Tŷ Hotel’s opening date is perfectly timed as we look forward to the start of our first ‘normal’ season at Milford Waterfront, post-Covid. We have an exciting events calendar to look forward to this year, including children’s activities at Easter, the Festival of Fire at the end of the month, Milford Haven Round Table’s Big Beer Festival next month, Milford Haven Street Food Festival in August and the spectacular annual Fireworks Extravaganza, organised Milford Haven Round Table.
We look forward to welcoming visitors to enjoy all that Milford Haven has to offer, and as the dames in the Torch Theatre’s production of Cinderella in December said, “Milford Haven’s the place to be!”. We couldn’t agree more.
Croeso i Aberdauggleddau, Tŷ Milford Waterfront.
Discover Tŷ Hotel Milford Waterfront
Guests are in for a real treat with beautifully appointed rooms – almost all having a water view – and a superb location from which to explore all that Milford Waterfront has to offer, before venturing further into Pembrokeshire.
Experience memorable dining at dulse
With stunning waterside views over Milford Marina, dulse is the perfect spot to drop by for a laid-back lunch with friends, or a delicious evening meal bursting with flavours from the Pembrokeshire coast and countryside.
Sunset Cinema - Top Gun: Maverick
Next on: Friday, 19 August 2022
The Torch Theatre are back at Milford Waterfront with their Sunset Cinema programme and a special open-air screening of Top Gun: Maverick on Friday 19th August.Find out more