Seabank Hotel

Esplanade
Porthcawl
Mid Glamorgan
CF36 3LU

Email: seabank@leisureplex.co.uk

Tel: 01656 782261
Fax: 01656 785363


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Porthcawl Beach
Porthcawl Promenade
Porthcawl Theme Park
Porthcawl Promenade
Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl
Seabank Hotel,
Porthcawl


  • Your Hotel
  • Hotel Facilities
  • Bedrooms
  • Your Resort
  • Hotel History
  • Magnificently located on the sea front with outstanding views from all public rooms and most of the bedrooms
  • Attractive Smugglers Bar
  • Two lounges
  • Large entertainment/conference room with its own bar where entertainment is provided most evenings
  • 89 bedrooms all with tea/coffee making facilities, internal telephone, hair dryer and TV with radio channels
  • All bedrooms have bath or shower and WC
  • Central heating throughout
  • Free Wi Fi in public areas
  • Large lift serves all floors
  • No smoking throughout the hotel
  • Golf, walking and water sports are available locally
  • Extensive car and coach parking

    Hotel Facilities

  • Air conditioned entertainment suite on the ground floor complete with bar, dance floor and entertainment five evenings per week
  • Attractive split level Smugglers Bar
  • Two lounges
  • Extensive car parking
  • There are several steps to the front of the hotel with a ramp for wheelchairs
  • Level access from Reception to all ground floor areas
  • Lift suitable for wheelchairs provides level access to most bedrooms
  • Check in from 16:00. Check out by 11:00. Additional charges apply where earlier check in or late check out are required

    Dining

  • Our attractive ground floor restaurant can seat up to 150 people
  • Breakfast: We provide a waiter served breakfast from 08:00 to 09:30 with last orders at 09:00
  • Lunch: We offer bar snacks in the Smugglers Bar at lunch time. Lunch is also available in the restaurant for pre-booked parties
  • Dinner: We provide a waiter served table d’hote dinner from 18:30 to 20:00 with last orders at 19:15
  • Special Diets: A selection of vegetarian options is available on the dinner menu. For a more efficient service we recommend these are requested in advance of the meal. Special diets can also be catered for on request; we ask that you contact us at least seven days prior to arrival and provide a diet sheet
  • To see our current menu, please follow this link.
  • 89 bedrooms on Ground, 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors (including 5 ground floor rooms)
  • 27 double rooms, 35 twin rooms, 23 single rooms and 4 rooms with a double and a single bed
  • Lift serves all principal floors but a few of the sea view rooms are accessed by several stairs from the lift level
  • We have 38 rooms with excellent sea views where you can sit by the window and enjoy the view
  • All rooms have central heating but we do not have any rooms with air conditioning
  • All rooms have tea/coffee making facilities, hair dryer and Freeview TV with radio channels
  • All rooms have a telephone for communication with other rooms and hotel services and receiving incoming calls (but we do not have an outbound direct dial service)
  • All bathrooms are equipped with a bath or shower and WC. Most rooms have a shower rather than a bath; if you have a strong preference for one or the other, please tell us when you make your booking because we are often fully booked and it can be difficult to change rooms on arrival
  • Cots can be provided on request in any room type except single rooms
  • Ironing facilities are available from reception
  • Smoking is prohibited in all of our bedrooms
  • We do not provide room service in normal circumstances

Porthcawl was originally a port for the iron and steel industries and still has some interesting features from that period including the oldest maritime warehouse in Wales, an attractive harbour and the last coal and gas powered lighthouse in Wales.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century it was transformed into an attractive seaside resort which continues to delight the visitor. At the western end of the resort is the world famous Royal Porthcawl golf course, the finest course in Wales and one of several courses in the area. A rocky promontory with spectacular sea views separates the golf course from the main part of the town including the harbour and the expansive sandy beach to the east.

Coney Beach, a fairground with a variety of rides and amusements was named as a tribute to the famous New York amusement park on Coney Island. The town has an attractive high street with numerous shops and the fascinating Grand Pavilion offers theatre and a pleasant bar. There is good bathing from several beaches and the Atlantic swell ensures there is often excellent surfing.

During the summer months the pleasure steamers 'Waverley' & 'Balmoral' leave Porthcawl’s harbour for cruises along the Bristol Channel and over to Lundy Island. Nearby Bridgend offers additional shops and a cinema. In the summer, Porthcawl hosts several festivals including the annual Porthcawl Carnival, Sea Festival, Porthcawl International Jazz Festival and Wales’ biggest Celtic Festival of music and dance.

Porthcawl is surrounded by places of natural beauty including Kenfig National Nature Reserve, one of the most impressive conservation areas in Britain. Porthcawl is just 20 miles from Swansea and 35 miles from Cardiff, making it a superb location from which to explore the rich history and breathtaking beauty of south Wales.

Town Centre

Porthcawl's town centre is mostly pedestrianised and enjoys a good range of shops, restaurants and cafés. At its seaward end lies the famous Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl's popular seafront theatre, with its octagonal dome and striking frontage.

Beaches

Sandy Bay and Trecco Bay are both backed by the Coney Beach Pleasure Park, whilst the quieter Rest Bay boasts a European Blue Flag award. Visitors to Porthcawl's beaches will find plenty on offer, including yachting, kayaking, surfing, scuba diving, windsurfing and kite surfing, a local speciality.

Activities and Attractions

Tourist Information
Tel: 01656 786639
www.welcometoporthcawl.co.uk

Royal Porthcawl Golf Club
Tel: 01656 782251
The club was once described as 'one of the twelve finest courses in the world' and is a regular host of some of the most prestigious tournaments in the golfing calendar.
www.royalporthcawl.com

Grove Golf Club
Tel: 01656 788771
This popular 18 hole course nestles in rolling countryside with spectacular views across the Bristol Channel.
www.grovegolf.com

Southerndown Golf Club
Tel: 01656 880476
Famous for its year round golf and natural conditions.
www.southerndowngolfclub.com

Pyle and Kenfig Golf Club
Tel: 01656 783093
Just 5 minutes from the Seabank Hotel, this 24 hole course lies in sand dunes next to Kenfig Nature Reserve.
www.pandkgolfclub.co.uk

Porthcawl Grand Pavilion
Tel:01656 815995 (Box Office)
Built in 1932, The Grand Pavilion, with its octagonal dome and striking frontage dominates the Porthcawl seafront and is one of the area's top entertainment venues, with a range of top-class entertainment including comedy, musicals and theatrical productions.
www.grandpavilion.co.uk

Parc Tondu Historic Ironworks
Tel:01656 722315
This former Victorian ironworks is a unique legacy of South Wales' industrial revolution; visitors can explore the Scheduled Ancient Monument, learn about iron making and enjoy the natural woodland and landscaped parkland setting.
www.erih.net

Kenfig National Nature Reserve
Tel: 01656 743386
Situated just 10 minutes from Porthcawl at Kenfig Pool, Glamorgan's largest lake, Kenfig is home to many endangered animals and plants including the rare Fen Orchid.
www.kenfig.org.uk

Ocean Quest
Tel: 01656 783310
South Wales' premier water sports facility offers tuition in a range of watersports, including scuba diving and kayaking.
www.ocean-quest.co.uk

Outdoor Activity Centre
Tel: 01656 782300
The centre provides facilities for all ages and abilities.
www.adventureswales.co.uk

Coney Beach Amusement Park
Tel: 01656 788911
Established for over 90 years, Coney Beach was modelled on New York’s Coney Island and offers many facilities including rides, restaurants, cafés, arcades and shops. The amusement park is on the edge of a sandy beach, where there are trampolines and donkey rides.

Millennium Stadium
Tel:0870 013 8600
Cardiff's superb stadium is just 35 minutes' away and hosts spectacular sporting and musical events.
www.millenniumstadium.com

Events

Porthcawl Jazz Festival
Tel: 01656 815995
Held annually at the Grand Pavilion in April a glittering array of Jazz talent.
www.porthcawl-jazz-festival.com

Porthcawl Carnival
Tel: 01656 786639
A colourful, themed procession of floats during July.
www.porthcawlbuckaneers.co.uk

Porthcawl Sea Festival
Tel: 01656 786639
Held in August this celebration of the Sea has themed displays and competitions. Activities include heritage walks, sand castle building and beach football.

Porthcawl Interceltic Festival
Tel:01656 766667
The festival welcomes performers from Celtic nations including Ireland, Scotland and of course, Wales to participate in a celebration of Celtic music, song and dance.
www.bridgendbites.co.uk

Porthcawl Elvis Festival
Tel: 07711 419736
Held in September, the festival attracts Elvis fans from all over the world who flock to Porthcawl to celebrate the life of the 'King of Rock n Roll'.
www.elvies.co.uk

Bridgend County Show
Tel:01656 661338
Takes place in July and features a host of equine events and trade stands.

For further information about events in Porthcawl and the surrounding area see:
www.bridgend.gov.uk

Places of Interest

Tenby has two lovely beaches, a picturesque harbour and atmospheric streets with historic town walls and pastel coloured buildings.
www.virtualtenby.co.uk

Swansea is just twenty miles away and as well as excellent shopping boasts the National Waterfront Museum and Dylan Thomas Centre.
www.visitswanseabay.com

Mumbles and the Gower The Victorian seaside resort of Mumbles is located in Swansea Bay and is the gateway to the beautiful Gower peninsula.
www.enjoygower.com

Margam Country Park is set in 1,000 acres of glorious parklands with 18th Century Orangery, Victorian Mansion House and famous deer herd.
www.margamcountrypark.co.uk

Singleton Park Enjoy the walled Botanical Gardens, famous for their herbaceous borders which, planted in 1921, were once part of Lord Swansea’s estate.
www.swansea.gov.uk

Clyne Gardens Internationally famous for its superb collections of Rhododendrons, the gardens are set within 50 acres of beautiful woodland.
www.swansea.gov.uk

National Botanic Gardens of Wales The first National Botanic Gardens to be created in the new millennium boasts a collection of more than 8,000 plant varieties from around the world, as well as themed gardens, the world's largest single spanned glasshouse and a fascinating scientific research facility.
www.gardenofwales.org.uk

Aberglasney Gardens is reputedly one of the finest gardens in Wales and highlights include an inspirational Cloister Garden and Yew Tunnel.
www.aberglasney.org

Laugharne (pronounced Larne) is the former home of poet Dylan Thomas, immortalised in his work 'Under Milk Wood', but it is also interesting as an ancient town with a 12th century castle and quaint winding streets.
www.laugharne.info

Llanelli is home to the breathtaking Millennium Coastal Park; 22km of coastline along the Loughor estuary has been transformed into a unique array of tourist attractions, wildlife habitats and leisure facilities.
www.millenniumcoastalpark.com

Kidwelly, dominated by its medieval castle, is home to a splendid Gothic church and Kymer's canal, the first canal to be built in Wales. The famous Kidwelly Industrial Museum is the site of the second oldest recorded tinplate works in the UK.
www.kidwelly.gov.uk

Brecon Beacons The beautiful scenery of the Brecon Beacons offers many delights including the Brecon Mountain Railway and Penderyn Whisky Distillery.
www.breconbeacons.org

National Mining Museum The Big Pit is a real coal mine and the museum provides visitors with a real insight into how life was for the miners who worked hundreds of feet below ground at the coal-face.
www.museumwales.ac.uk

Cardiff is the cosmopolitan capital of Wales and is full of interest. St Fagans National History Museum, one of Europe’s premier open air museums and the most popular heritage attraction in Wales, features reconstructed buildings brought from all parts of the Principality. Another popular attraction is Cardiff Bay - the rejuvenated waterfront development is the largest in Europe and proudly boasts a host of facilities and attractions.
www.visitcardiff.com

Dyffryn Gardens This outstanding Grade 1 listed garden features a stunning collection of garden rooms, formal lawns, an extensive arboretum featuring trees from all over the world and an abundance of exotic plants and flowers.
www.dyffryngardens.org.uk

Barry is a traditional beach resort with panoramic views over the Bristol Channel. It was originally famous for the export of coal but is perhaps currently better known as the setting for the TV series 'Gavin and Stacey'.
www.barrywales.co.uk

Bridgend Designer Outlet Tel: 01656 665700
Nearly 100 brand name stores offering goods at discount prices.
www.mcarthurglen.com/

Merthyr Tydfil lies in one of the most beautiful and historically fascinating areas of Wales; nestling between the Brecon Beacons National Park and Cardiff, this area is rich with culture and blessed with delightful scenery in all directions. Once the 'iron capital of the world', Merthyr's Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery, set in 160 acres of parkland, gives a fascinating insight into the social and industrial history of the region.
www.visitmerthyr.co.uk

The Seabank Hotel is probably the most prominent building in the Porthcawl, along with the Grand Pavilion (Built 1931/2). The Seabank’s current structure is in the main the same period as the Grand Pavilion around the 1930s although the original building and infrastructure began its life in the 1850s.

Seabank Hotel 1860

The original building was begun in 1854; the architect was George Derent who was also the architect for most of Porthcawl town centre. John Brogden of Clitheroe in Lancashire was the owner of a large business that was responsible for many railway and coal projects in the North West including Victoria Station in Manchester and the viaduct to Miles Platting. He and his family purchased a large area of the South Wales coalfield in the Ogmore Valley and also purchased a large area of land in Porthcawl. A house was built on the site as a private residence and was called “New House” being completed about 1860. This lasted for only a few years before being expanded to a larger property and renamed “Seaview Bank”.

The Brogden family eventually removed the “view” part of the name and it became Seabank House in around 1870. James the son of John Brogden, married Mary Caroline Beete a relative of General Picton of Haverfordwest, an aide of Wellington and the most senior officer to die at Waterloo in 1815.

The main streets of the town centre of Porthcawl were named after the members of the Brogden family, (John, Mary, James & Caroline Street (became the “The Esplanade” in 1857) etc.). The family have a tomb and vault in St Johns Churchyard, Newton. This was originally a foundation of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem in the 12th Century.

The family were also responsible for the building of the Harbour and the lighthouse alongside the Jennings Building (the oldest maritime warehouse in Wales). The family business fell into decline due to the shortage of modernisation capital and the harbour was closed as a commercial venture, so in the1880s the family business was finally wound up and the house along with the harbour was sold off.

Seabank Hotel 1900
Seabank Hotel 1900

In 1890, the house was converted into Porthcawl Boys College, a boy’s boarding school. The Reverend E. J. Newell, (M.A). of Oxford University became the headmaster. The school lasted until 1907 when the house was purchased by a John Elias as a private residence. It remained a private residence well into the 1920s when a decision was made to convert it into a “modern Hydro Spa”, it becoming a hotel for the first time. The Duke of Windsor made a visit to play golf at Porthcawl, there after the name of the famous links course changing to Royal Porthcawl Golf Club.

Seabank Hotel 1920
Seabank Hotel 1920

It was a fine hotel and in 1930 major alterations were made, a new concrete façade was created to suit the arc deco design and being renamed “The Seabank Hydro”. The hotel took on a more recognisable shape and the appearance for the first time of the Italianate bell tower on the roof, which can be seen today.

Porthcawl Promenade circa 1940
Porthcawl Promenade circa 1940

It remained a hotel until the Second World War, at which time the military authorities took over the premises. Troops were billeted here for the duration of the war.

The 49th West Riding Reconnaissance Regiment was formed at the hotel in 1942 drawing recruits from the North East and East Midlands. There were gun drill exercises by the Regiment's Anti-Tank Battery on the common opposite the Seabank and they went on to be a spearhead regiment of the invasion troops for France and the Netherlands in 1944 and 1945. The 49th West Riding were disbanded in 1946 and the local museum housed in the Old Police Station on John Street has memorabilia from the regiment.

In Late October 1943 the 107th Field Artillery (part of the 28th Division) were billeted here and General (later President) Dwight D. Eisenhower inspected them in 1944. This was before they departed for France in July of that year. It is reported in local documents that Eisenhower stayed on the premises overnight. This regiment has a close association with the Pittsburgh area. In November 1944 the 75th US Infantry Division arrived and were stationed here for a month and by December 13th were in France. They were soon to take a major part in the Battle of the Bulge where they suffered major losses.

June 1945 saw the “Seabank Hotel”, as it was now known, begin refurbishment, the familiar tiles, recognisable form, and structure of the current building taking shape. The building was returned to commercial use as a hotel and again became a major landmark and integral part of the town.

The façade and some detailing of the hotel was changed in the 1960s and the roof line was altered. The tennis courts and garages at the rear fell into misuse and were removed (Middleton Court is now built on this area of land). The 1990s saw further refurbishment and modernisation.

Porthcawl 1970s
Porthcawl 1970s

Leisureplex bought the hotel in 2010 and since this time has undertaken a rolling program of updating the hotel to keep up with guests expectations and we intend to continue this process throughout our guardianship and tenure of such an historic building and important part of the town of Porthcawl.


If you have any historical information or photos for the Seabank Hotel, why not email us at hotel.history@leisureplex.co.uk

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