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Hotel Defends Decision To Introduce £200 Membership Fee To Deter Instagrammers

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Hotel Defends Decision To Introduce £200 Membership Fee To Deter Instagrammers

A hotel has decided to introduce a £200-a-year membership for the use of its bar after being overrun with tourists who want to take photos of its stunning views.

The Druidstone Hotel in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, has seen a huge increase in the number of visitors after images of its cliff top bar were shared on social media.

Owner Angus Bell told the BBC: "It was becoming a Folly Farm for food, pints and sunsets."

He went on to say he and his staff had struggled to cope with the influx of tourists from nearby campsites and Airbnbs, while locals had begun to avoid the place due to how busy it had become.

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Angus said: "It just got too much. My guests were having to wait 45 minutes at the bar to get a drink and a lot of the local people would avoid us in the summer because we were too busy."

A sunset view from The Druidstone Hotel. Credit: Alamy
A sunset view from The Druidstone Hotel. Credit: Alamy

But the move has been criticised by some, with a flurry of new TripAdvisor reviews slamming the decision.

One reviewer claimed to have been visiting the hotel for food and drinks for more than 40-years but said they would no longer be able to go.

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Another said the new fee was 'utterly elitist and backward', writing: "So disappointing to have such a lovely place turned into an elitist members-only clique where you can only drink if you're staying there or pay £200+ a year."

However, despite the critics, Angus stands by his decision - he told the BBC the new rules were to help keep the number of visitors under 'control'.

"We could have gone down the route of having a second bar, but we don't want to be a pub and I didn't like walking into my garden to find 60 people there that I didn't know," he said.

He added: "Non-members can still book rooms or a table in the restaurant - membership is really about the bar."

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A door from the hotel to the beach. Credit: Alamy
A door from the hotel to the beach. Credit: Alamy

The former home was turned into a 10-bedroom hotel by Angus's parents Rod and Jane Bell in 1972 - and was originally run as a members-only club.

Angus took over after his parents died and now runs it with partner Beth Wilshaw.

On The Druidstone website, a note explaining the ins and outs of how the new membership scheme will work, adds that the couple 'know there are people who really love this place but for whom £200 annually just will not be possible'.

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It goes on to explain that they don't want to 'price people out' so urges them to get in touch.

LADbible has approached The Druidstone for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/The Druidstone

Topics: UK News, Wales

Claire Reid
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