Member Spotlight – Mary Lewis of the Cawdor Hotel

Updated on: July 2 2013

Member Spotlight

This month’s Member Spotlight features another lovely establishment from Wales; The Cawdor Hotel to be exact!

The Cawdor has been welcoming guests over its doorstep since way back in 1796. A historic coaching inn, the hotel is set right in the heart of the market town of Llandeilo in Carmarthenshire, “the Garden of Wales”. Having been lovingly refurbished, this Grade II listed building is now a contemporary boutique hotel that has managed to retain its historic charm. Hosting coffee mornings, leisurely lunches and romantic evening meals, it’s a hive of activity from morning till late evening. It’s also the perfect location for a local wedding, as the Cawdor has its very own chapel dating back to 1874, which is now lovingly restored to its former glory.

We caught up with general manager Mary Lewis to find out more about this uniquely community-centric hotel.

1) Hello Mary, apart from the fact that The Cawdor is a beautiful hotel, could you let us in on the secret of why it gets so busy?

I think it’s mainly because The Cawdor is such a long standing hostelry in Llandeillo – it sits right in the centre of the village! It’s also really versatile. Our local ladies use The Cawdor to meet friends and chat, the corporate community use it for meetings and conferences but we also host weddings and social functions. We’re even playing host to part of next week’s Jazz festival with some of the bands playing right here in our courtyard!

Everyone has fond memories of some sort about The Cawdor and we’d like to think it’s the friendly, helpful staff and warm hospitality that brings them back every time. I was born and raised in the local area so there’s nothing I love more than chatting to passing locals and greeting friends as they enjoy what we have to offer.

2) Being a wedding venue, the hotel must need to look picture perfect at all times. How do you prepare it for weddings and the wedding season in general?

The décor will change more or less constantly during the wedding season, purely because of the fact that no one couple will require exactly the same theme as another. After consulting with guests we’ll decorate our little chapel according to their specific colour scheme and tailor our furniture and flower arrangements to match their weddings style. We always use fresh flowers too, to make sure they’re always looking and smelling their most beautiful. We’re pleased to offer a service and wedding facilities that can be tailored towards specific needs for such a special day.

3) When it comes to the linens for your hotel, what do you find is your biggest challenge?

We often find that although the price of many hotel linens are rising, the actual quality of the products isn’t. With our hotel being such a hive of activity and customer experience being our number one priority, we need to be filling The Cawdor with reasonably priced but high quality products that will leave guests feeling happy, relaxed and more than willing to return. We also need to be able to receive the goods quickly and when we actually require them, which has been something of a challenge in the past.

4) What are the specifics you look for in your hotel bedding?

As this is such a busy hotel we need our linens to last, but most of all reflect the 5 star experience. 100% cotton bedding and a luxurious feel is a must, and we go for a 300 thread count Egyptian cotton as standard. As these are laundered so often we also need them to withstand lots of washes without them losing their lustre along the way.

As we like to be involved with community, one thing we love to do is source our products as locally as we can, but we’re also willing to go further afield to assure the quality. We want to reflect the Celtic heritage of Wales so have carried a palette of strong, traditional colours and earthy existence throughout the hotel.

It’s clear to see that Mary has put plenty of love and passion into this hotel, and her dedication seems to be paying off! It’s this level of customer service and community spirit that really makes a hotel stand out from the rest.

Have you been inspired by The Cawdor Hotel and would like us to feature your own establishment in a Member Spotlight? Contact us via

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Michelle Pegg is the Assurance and Compliance Manager at Hilden Linens.