July / August 2021 marks Cadair View Lodge's 18th birthday.
It really doesn't seem like 5 minutes since Cadair View Lodge log cabin was purchased back in 2003 and it was decided that we'd manage it ourselves.
At the time it was quite a radical thing to do. With no knowledge of a holiday accommodation business it was a steep learning curve. Within 6 months Pine Tree Lodge had been added to the portfolio and from then on owners kept asking CVL to manage their cabins on Trawsfynydd Holiday Village for them. We've never had to go out looking for cabins to manage - people have come to us (either through recommendation or by seeing the service that we offer).
Here I am, 18 years later, still telling people how great the area is and why Snowdonia is their ideal location to stay.
The focus has always been on trying to give the best customer service and offering our guests things that the bigger accommodation providers offer.
We were the first to give every guest a welcome pack
We were the first to accept card payments and bank transfers (Trawsfynydd Holidays were sending guests to the cash point in Trawsfynydd village to get cash on arrival)
We were the first to conduct our business (answer queries, take bookings, send out arrival instructions, etc.) online
We were the first to be available out of hours for guest queries and to take bookings outside of office hours
I'm sure that there were plenty of other "firsts" too.
We have won awards for our customer service and never say "no" approach (well almost never) and this can be seen from the feedback that we get and the guests who return year after year.
It's an honour to know that many of our guests have got engaged during their stay with us, have visited us for their honeymoon (or mini-moon) and brought their children back to visit. We even think that some of these children may even be... hmmm! "Cadair View Lodge babies"!
We've had our ups and down - every business has, but we're still here which must say something. At our height we were managing 26 cabins at once (this was before automated online booking systems). For me working in the office, promoting the cabins, answering emails, answering phone calls, processing bookings and all of the other admin that goes on, I was working at least 16 hours a day during the Summer months.
Of course things have moved on. The advent of online booking systems (not AirBnB and the ilk) means that we have far fewer phone calls (more likely an email, WhatsApp message or a social media DM) but I still have the phone by my side 24 hours a day. Many of our guests are happy to book through the online system which is great but we still make sure that our guests know that they have a wealth of information about where to eat, what to do when they come and what to expect at the cabins if they need it.
Social media has made a huge difference to how we market the cabins and although we still have a huge and comprehensive website, we now spend more time sharing smaller bits of information and photos on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
And, of course, the whole accommodation booking business has moved on since we started. Things like AirBnB, Vrbo, Booking .com have arrived and many owners decide to promote their own cabins through these which is great, but they sometimes don't have the support network that we have in place if needed. Cadair View Lodge has a local team who can be called on if needed. We also have our own back office systems, developed over 18 years to take payments, send out arrival instructions and deal with late availability and special offers.
And why don't we still manage a large number of cabins you might ask. Owners sell their cabins (they are an investment that can be "cashed in"), family circumstances change (the children don't want to come to Snowdonia any more), people pass away and some owners decide that they'd rather keep their cabins just for their use. My life has moved on too. I can't spend as much time in the office as I used to. But that doesn't mean that I don't do as much for owners OR guests. I take the Office on holiday with me. Although my Team took a lot of the burden from me I was still working when I was in Florida!
I've been looking back at the properties that we've managed and WOW there are even more than I'd imagined.
HAVE YOU STAYED IN ONE OF THESE CABINS / OWNED ONE OF THESE CABINS / CURRENTLY OWN ONE OF THESE CABINS?
5 no name 6 Pine Tree Lodge
18 Llais y Gwynt 24 Hafan Guy
25 Heddychol (?) 27 Tan yr Ffrwd
33 Dan y Ser 48 Gorlan Fach
52 Sunset View 53 Nutshell
56 Haulfryn 62 Cadair View Lodge
63 Ty Coed 66 Mountain View
70 Caban Eryri (was Ytldo) 84 The Windchimes
99 Ymlacio 103 Celtic Dream
105 Celtic Retreat 108 Tan y Coed
141 Trem y Rhinogau 148 Snowdonia Lodge
149 Encil Rhinogau 161 Cae Garw
175 Swn y Nant 210 The Glades
216 Cuddfan 217 Nyth y Dryw
220 Lila Stuga 230 or 231 (?)
251 Snowdrop Lodge 281 Encil Cadair
292 Caban Rhinog 297 Y Ffrwd
302 Cyfareddol 330 Min y Coed
333 Swn yr Afon 339 Ger yr Afon
350 Lle Heulog ? The Welcome Bark
+ possibly a couple more short term
And at the Rhiw Goch Inn:
Rhiw Goch Cottage Courthouse Lodge
And Quarryman's Cottage in Manod
And Llys Ednowain in Trawsfynydd village
So where do we go from HERE
We took a bit of a knock from Covid . Some of our cabins are in the process of changing hands... but will be back. We're hoping to have WiFi in all of our cabins soon meaning that the teenagers will be happy and guests who are working from home will be able to come for a working break in Snowdonia (mid-week deals available HERE)
Llys Ednowain is back open again! BUT for the moment we are just having single groups to stay at a time (up to 20 guests - minimum cost for whole building equivalent to 4 beds per night).
And so for the next 18 (or more) years!
There are plans to work with some of the local adventure providers to offer more adventurous things to do - for all ages.
We are looking at crafting breaks... maybe "woolly" weekends looking at all things wool from sheep, to sheering, to spinning, to felting, to knitting and crochet.
Hopefully more mountain biking and trail running events will be available soon.