Harbourmaster Hotel


Having travelled extensively in both Europe and the southern hemisphere, the owners felt that Ceredigion was lacking an establishment that offered good food, drink and accommodation in a relaxed stylish atmosphere. They wanted to get away from the mindset that you had to go to a country house to have good food. They saw a gap in the market in their home town of Aberaeron for a stylish boutique hotel, vibrant bar and restaurant that served fresh local food in a relaxed environment. This, combined with their passion for food and drink and the dearth in Ceredigion of the type of establishments that they both enjoyed, led to the establishment of the Harbourmaster Hotel.

Our main challenges when starting the business

Both founders had to get used to running a 24/7 operation having come from a non catering industry background. In addition, recruiting full-time industry committed staff to an establishment and business that was in its infancy, with no long-standing reputation was the main challenge, as well as bringing trade up to a level that could sustain staffing the business 12 months of the year with full time staff.

Success Factor

The business is located on Aberaeron’s harbourside and both the town and hotel’s exposure in both national and regional press and television brings more people to visit throughout the year. The opening coincided with a growing trend to take short breaks in the UK and the hotel has benefitted greatly from this. In 2007, the owners purchased a warehouse adjacent to the original Harbourmaster Hotel. As the business had reached saturation point within the old premises, the opportunity to more than double the floor space was one that could not be ignored and the increased bar space, new bedrooms and more service areas has transformed the business. Finally, the owners like what they do, and are totally committed to the business. They know what customers want and all staff are indoctrinated to maintain standards, focus on the customer and their dedication is what makes the business successful.

The Future

The Harbourmaster Hotel will consolidate and constant evolve to the requirements of the market whilst focusing on cost control. It will also market on a regular basis to its existing client base as loyalty and repeat business is the key to success.