Investment totalling £1.2 million in the past 18 months has helped one of Wales' top hotels and conference centres secure four star status for the first time in is history.
Managing director Justin Baird-Murray is delighted that a key target set five years ago has been achieved, with both the AA and Visit Wales granting The Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells a fourth star.
He has no intention of resting on his laurels, however, as The Metropole's 75 staff have now been set a new target of becoming the highest ranked four star hotel in Wales. He has also challenged head chef Nick Edwards and his team to achieve a second rosette for the hotel's fine dining Radnor restaurant.
To achieve the extra star, the popular hotel has invested £500,000 on new heating and broadband wireless systems and is currently spending £700,000 refurbishing the 120 bedrooms. To mark the achievement of four stars a new logo has been developed and a new website is currently being built.
Mr Baird-Murray revealed that £5 million had been invested in the hotel over the past seven years.
"We always need to be investing and evolving, as we cannot allow the business to stand still," he said. "It's a constant programme of improvement.
"Nowadays people are much more discerning and want quality whether they are organising a conference, a weekend break, a meeting or ordering a bar meal. Our aim is to provide the best quality product for our customers.
"We have also invested a considerable sum in staff training and a big part of the hotel's success is down to having a loyal and talented team. Everyone is delighted that we have achieved four star status, which is reflected in the very positive and buoyant atmosphere in the hotel."
The Metropole, which has an annual turnover of £3.7 million, is the largest business ratepayer in Powys. Although the recession has put a big dent in the hotel's conference business, Mr Baird-Murray is pleased with the increase in leisure tourism this year.
"In the past, Mid Wales was seen as an inaccessible place, but that image is changing," he added. "We are delighted with the growth in leisure tourism and future prospects look good.
"Our spa facility is doing exceptionally well and we are getting very good feedback to our Spa Day Escapes, which are currently the fashion. People are still prepared to indulge themselves occasionally."