From Gareth Bale to Gianluigi Buffon and Jamie Roberts to Joe Root, the Vale Resort is welcoming back-to-back international sporting legends this summer as an unprecedented number of world-famous athletes set up camp in Hensol, south Wales.
The four-star resort is used to hosting leading sports teams, thanks in large part to its world-class sports facilities and award-winning golf courses, but the British and Irish Lions tour coinciding with the Champions League has contributed to an exceptionally exciting season for the 650-acre destination.
Since the Lions’ arrival in May, the hotel has been inundated with world-renowned athletes. The 143-room resort has welcomed four major sports sides this week alone, including the England and Pakistan cricket teams, and Wales’ national rugby and football sides.
“It’s shaping up to be a phenomenal summer for us,” said Paul Beddoe, sales and marketing director at the Vale Resort. “We are thrilled so many fantastic teams continue to choose us as their hosts when preparing for important sporting occasions, bolstering our position as a leading European destination for high-profile athletes.
“While this summer is exceptionally busy for us, years of experience hosting some of the world’s biggest sporting names means we are adept at ensuring each athlete’s dietary and training requirements are met to the highest standard. Everything is pre-planned, although we always maintain a degree of flexibility that is appreciated when dealing with the unpredictable nature of sport and, of course, British weather.”
The Vale Resort’s bumper sporting summer kicked off with the Lions’ pre-tour training camp in May, followed by Juventus’ arrival for the Champion’s League Final on 3 June, with guests including Gianluigi Buffon. It also hosted the England cricket team - captained by Joe Root - for its successful quarter-final ICC Champions League match against New Zealand on 6 June, with the Pakistan cricket team arriving for its quarter final match the following day.
Wales’ rugby squad, captained by Jamie Roberts, has been at the 650-acre resort this week ahead of its South Sea Islands tour, as has the national football team, including Gareth Bale, ahead of its World Cup qualifier against Serbia.
Next week, the Vale Resort is set to host an ICC Champions League semi-finalist team, before preparations begin for the arrival in July of some of golf’s most revered players - including Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie and Tom Watson - as the official hotel for the Senior Open Championship in Porthcawl.
“While the timing of the Lions tour and the Champions League final make this an incomparable year, it is no coincidence that the Vale Resort remains the destination of choice for so many huge names,” said Mr Beddoe.
“We do not take our position as one of Wales’ leading resorts for granted. Our staff always go the extra mile to ensure each guest or team feel at home, for example by learning basic Italian and ordering in Italian newspapers for the Juventus stay. We have already invested more than £900,000 across our business this year, which includes the complete refurbishment of our gym, signalling our appetite to continually improve our guests’ experience – whoever they may be.”
Read more about our sporting facilities here