At the top of the town, you will find a true gem: Lloyds. For rooms and dining, and hospitality at its finest, Lloyds draws visitors to Llanidloes from all corners of the UK and from countries as far afield as Australia and New Zealand. Sample 'The Lloyds Experience' they entrust their best friends, close family and work colleagues.
What makes Lloyds special. Quite simply, the welcome and personal attention given to every aspect of your stay by the proprietors, Tom Lines and Roy Hayter, backed by a dedicated team of part-time staff who help maintain the five-star standards of housekeeping, dinner service and preparation.
Lloyds has been offering hospitality to visitors to Llanidloes for over 140 years, and under Tom and Roy's direction, since 1992. The exterior of the building (which is in the town's conservation area) reflects its humble origins offering accommodation to commercial travellers, and those arriving in the town by train (it was well located for the railway station). The interior has been transformed through the tireless efforts of its current proprietors, and on-going, substantial, investment. The result is an array of individual touches, eclectic art collection (much of which reflects Roy's upbringing in southern Africa), pleasing décor, superior beds (the top of the range of a leading manufacturer of hotel beds), quality linen, and thoughtful accessories to help make guests' stay comfortable.
Lloyds is graded by VisitWales as 'four-star guest accommodation'. This replaced the three-star hotel classification achieved prior to the introduction in 2007 of common grading criteria across the tourist authorities for the UK, and the changed emphasis now given to facilities such as in-room telephones, dedicated reception staff, room service of meals, guaranteed provision of dinner every night and such like. Lloyds, with only seven guest rooms and the need to book dinner in advance, was therefore obliged to drop its hotel status. That said, regular guests have been reassuringly delighted with what Lloyds does offer: the sort of welcome friends give, thoughtfulness to meeting individual preferences and needs, and time for relaxed conversation.
The building and its location do however, impose restraints. The staircase to the two bedroom floors is quite narrow and steep. Parking is on the street (although spaces are available close by, depending on the time of day and comings and goings of shoppers and townspeople). While all the street-facing bedrooms have secondary glazing, and many have views of the surrounding fields and hills, Llanidloes is a bustling small town and the noise of conversation and traffic can be heard from the rooms. Finally, while have a licence to service alcohol to residential guests and diners, we do not have a dedicated bar (several good pubs are within a short walk).
Dining at Lloyds. This is a leisurely occasion, an evening to linger over delicious, freshly prepared dishes, made especially for you. On a typical day, Roy will be in the kitchen from noon, having completed a morning tour of the nearby supplier of organic vegetables and fruit, and the local greengrocer. The menu is a surprise one, and there is no choice. The five courses are carefully planned to provide a balanced meal, and exclude any ingredients that evening's guests have indicated they do not like, prefer to or must avoid. The collection of recipe books, which provide Roy much of the inspiration, is substantial and regularly added to. Diners are asked to assemble at around 7.30 pm, for pre-dinner drinks and it is then that Tom will describe the menu and consult on choices for those who enjoy wine with their meal. The meal service begins shortly after 8 pm, and generally it is 10.30 to 11 pm when the coffee/tea stage is reached. Quite often, and especially on Fridays and Saturdays, guests linger to midnight or later. You will not feel rushed.
The Lloyds tariff. Bed and breakfast prices in 2013 are £50 per person sharing a double or twin room, £59 in a superior double; £50 for a single room, £59 and £69 for single occupancy of a twin/double and superior double. Dinner is £44 per person. Special break terms are available for a stay of two or more nights, for two or more people, dining each evening, representing a discount of around nine percent. These prices are what you pay, include VAT, and there is no imposition of a service charge, or expectation that a tip should be offered (if so it will be refused) or left.