Stock photo, Aberystwyth: Rex
A hotel owner in Aberystwyth, Wales,
has been fined for grossly misleading guests about his holiday properties.
Emyr Davies, 40, was told by town magistrates that he had "degraded" the area's tourism industry, and he admitted 12 charges of using unfair business practices, according to the BBC
Davies, who owns three hotels in the seafront resort, was fined £8,400 and ordered to pay costs of £3,000 and compensation of £2,200.
A previous hearing was told he continued to use star ratings from Visit Wales even though the tourist body had revoked gradings on his properties, Ty Belgrave House, the Four Seasons and the Queensbridge Hotel in Aberystwyth.
And he booked guests at his "four-star" Four Seasons accommodation even though it was full, forcing people to stay at his own home because there were no rooms available.
Others ended up in lower graded accommodation in other hotels owned by Davies.
One reviewer on Tripadvisor described him as "real-life Basil Fawlty", while another customer arrived at the Four Seasons expecting to see a "newly-refurbished" room and found it filthy, with peeling wallpaper, floor vinyl that was lifting up, and mould in the bathroom.
Davies' defence counsel told the court his client's first language is Welsh, and that he did not understand the meaning of "newly refurbished".
Dafydd Edwards, Ceredigion council's cabinet member for environment, regulation and planning, said the council had only prosecuted as a last resort after Davies repeatedly ignored their advice and warnings.
According to the BBC
, he said: "Not only have we worked to protect consumers and visitors to Ceredigion, we have acted to stop the unfair advantage that Mr Davies attempted to create for himself by misleading customers about his facilities."
Schoolgirl bitten by man on train in Wales
Train driver narrowly misses children having picnic on railway in Wales
Don't let rare cases like this put you off holidaying in beautiful Wales. Discover some of its best beaches here:
- Best for rockpooling: Amroth, Pembrokeshire
Nestled between Saundersfoot and Pendine, this pristine beach is very popular with swimmers and those with a penchant for rockpooling. <strong>Did you know?</strong> At extreme low tide you can see the petrified forest destroyed when sea levels rose 7,000 years ago. Fossilised antlers, animal bones and Neolithic flints have been discovered here in the past...</p>
- Best for royalty spotting: Aberffraw, Anglesey
Kate and Wills have been sighted here on several occassions - so who knows, if you visit Aberffraw you may spot the couple on one of their regular country walks! <strong>Did you know?</strong> In Welsh mythology, Aberffraw is the site of Branwen and Matholwch's wedding festival where Efnysien maimed Matholwch's horses.</p>
- Best for sunsets: Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula
A sandy beach stretching three miles and backed with sand dunes, at low tide Rhossili Bay is expansive, giving you the option of walking over to Worm's Head (pictured). <strong>Did you know? </strong>Rhossili Bay has been used as the setting of New Earth in <em>Doctor Who</em> and the bay was used in <em>Torchwood: Miracle Day</em>.</p>
- Best for a little bit of history: Whitesands Bay, Pembrokeshire
A beautiful beach laden with history, Whitesands Bay is popular with surfers and has been described as one of the best tourist beaches in the world. <strong>Did you know? </strong>At very low tide the remains of an ancient submerged forest can be seen on the beach - a bear jaw was once discovered here.</p>
- Best for watersports: Aberdyfi, Gwynedd
A small harbour resort located within the Snowdonia National Park, Aberdyfi offers a range of watersports including sailing, canoeing, fishing and boat trips. <strong>Did you know?</strong> The Romans established a track into Aberdyfi as part of the military occupation of Wales around AD78.</p>
- Best for rambling: Dinas Dinlle, Llyn Peninsula
A truly peaceful corner of the world with wonderful views, Dinas Dinlle is the perfect place to take a ramble. <strong>Did you know?</strong> From the village, you can take pleasure flights around the peninsula or even take flying lessons.</p>
- Best for exploring the coastal path: Poppit Sands, Cardigan Bay
Poppit Sands, a half mile beach backed with sand dunes, is situated at the beginning (or the end, depending on which direction you're heading) of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. This beach is also a popular spot for power kiting. <strong>Did you know?</strong> Bottlenose dolphins can often be spotted around the bay, as well as porpoise.</p>
- Best for wildlife lovers: Mwnt, Mid-Wales
The beach, which has earned a Green Coast Award, has safe swimming conditions and an abundance of wildlife including seals, porpoises and dolphins. <strong>Did you know?</strong> Mwnt was the site of an unsuccessful invasion by Flemings in 1155 (later celebrated as "Red Sunday"). It's said the bones of the defeated invaders were sometimes visible under the sand during the early 20th century.</p>
- Best for peaceful strolls: Marloes, Pembrokeshire
Marloes, an isolated stretch of sand, is rarely busy. It offers views to Skokholm and Gateholm Islands and is a good spot for surfing and horse-riding. <strong>Did you know?</strong> The remains of neolithic to medieval settlements can be found on the island.</p>
- Best for a romantic walk: Trearddur Bay, Anglesey
Rocky outcrops, sealife, a Millennium Celtic Cross and rockpools can all be found here. The sea is clean and safe for swimming, too. <strong>Did you know? </strong>Legend has it that Saint Ffraid, the patron saint of Trearddur Bay, from Kildare, Ireland was carried over the Irish Sea and arrived at the beach on a square of green turf.</p>
Sign up to our weekly newsletter
| Follow us on Twitter
| Become a fan on Facebook