The new director of Palé Hall near Bala, who has managed award-winning hotels across the UK, has returned to Wales to run of one of the country’s leading country house hotels.

Calum Milne held a similar role at Llangoed Hall near Brecon, and was a tourism ambassador for the Prince of Wales - now King Charles III - during his previous 15 years working in Wales.

Calum, who lost his hearing five years ago, has managed award-winning hotels in England and Scotland. Now he has been recruited by Palé Hall’s new owners, Anthony and Donna Cooper-Barney.

They have exciting plans for the luxury hotel and its 50-acre estate, as well as supporting Bala and the local community.

Calum wants to establish Palé Hall as a coveted destination in the beautiful heart of Wales by employing local people, enhancing skills and showcasing quality, Welsh artisan food and drink products and art and crafts.

Exciting investment plans in the pipeline include developing a sculpture trail in the impressive gardens, which are being redesigned by noted New Zealand-born landscape designer Anthony Paul.

Exclusive chauffeur driven Rolls Royce guided tour packages will also be provided, reflecting the hotel owners’ passion for luxury cars.

This is Calum’s first major hospitality post since becoming deaf, following illness, five years ago. With the dedicated help of his parents back in Scotland, Calum has learned to lipread and a telephone app instantly converts verbal conversation into text.

He feels returning to Wales and Palé was preordained. Scottish railway engineer and entrepreneur Henry Robertson bought the estate in 1868 and took three years to build Palé Hall.

“There are so many coincidences about me being here that it was obviously meant to be,” said Calum. “Palé Hall was built by a Scotsman in the style of a Scottish baronial castle, and now another Scotsman is back running it.”

“I shall be entering the hotel for awards to showcase our green credentials. We already produce 65% of our own energy through hydro power and are introducing new measure to save water.

“The owners have exciting plans in the pipeline to support the local community and attract more visitors to Bala, so watch this space. We are determined to be good neighbours and to support the community in any way possible.”

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