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Zeta choses Wales for christenings

Aug 15 2003

Robin Turner, The Western Mail

 

Catherine Zeta Jones and husband Michael Douglas have booked an entire five-star hotel in Wales for the double christening of their children.

They will take over the whole of Morgan's, the plush new hotel in the centre of Swansea, for the christening of Dylan, three, and four-month-old Carys.

And they have lined up a host of Hollywood legends for the event due to take place in the first week of September.

Details of where the christening will take place are being kept secret. But tiny Clyne Chapel, a short distance from Catherine's parents' home in Mayals, overlooking Swansea Bay, is thought to be favourite.

Another possibility is All Saints' Church in the centre of Mumbles.

Stars Danny DeVito, a long-term friend of Michael Douglas, Meg Ryan, Douglas's 86-year-old father Kirk and Goldie Hawn are thought to have been invited.

Welsh stars Anthony Hopkins and Tom Jones, plus Swansea-based singer Bonnie Tyler could also be on the star-studded guest list.

The celebrity couple stayed at Morgan's two weeks ago and are thought to have finalised arrangements then.

They will also inspect their 1m mansion which is nearing completion at Limeslade, Mumbles.

Morgan's has been booked for christening guests for three nights.

The 20-room hotel opened last year and has been the couple's favourite ever since.

The hotel building dates back to 1902 and used to be the local headquarters of Associated British Ports. Bedrooms are furnished in silk and satin drapes and have plasma TVs set into the walls. Rooms cost up to 250 a night.

Catherine's decision to book an entire Swansea hotel for her son's christening is confirmation, if any was needed, of her love for her home city.

First of all there was the 33-year-old actress's emotional "Oggy, Oggy" shout at the Bafta awards. This was followed by an even more emotional Oscar acceptance speech earlier this year in which she dedicated her Academy Award to her son, her husband and Swansea.

Next month's christening is sure to be a major media event and a wonderful advertisement for Morgan's.

The hotel backs on to private flats and townhouses, part of rapidly developing Swansea's maritime quarter which will also benefit from worldwide coverage.

The city's SA1 Swansea Waterfront development which is taking place across the River Tawe from Morgan's Hotel is certain to get a shot in the arm from the publicity generated by yet another visit from the city's favourite daughter.

A resident at one of the flats backing on to the hotel said yesterday, "It doesn't do any damage to property prices to have celebrities swanning past the front door. It's very exciting and puts Swansea on the map worldwide.

"We are all wondering at the moment who the godmother and godfather are going to be."

When asked about the block booking, a spokeswoman at the hotel said yesterday, "We cannot say yes or no."

This could be the last time the couple stay at Morgan's, run by Swansea entrepreneur Martin Morgan.

The pair plan to use their palatial new home in Limeslade on future visits. The Douglases will have their own "zone" on visits while Catherine's parents Pat and Dai will live there for most of the year.

Own Character

MORGAN'S Hotel was formerly a dilapidated docks administration building which lay empty for 12 years until successful Swansea businessman Martin Morgan took an interest.

With his wife Louisa, Morgan built up the Travel House holiday agency chain to be such a success Thomson Holidays bought them out for more than 40m.

The couple then decided to create a hotel of distinctive character that the whole city could be proud of.

Each room has been individually designed and has its own identity. The gents' toilet even has a television linked to satellite channels.

Project manager Jill Lewis said, "The aim was to create something the city had never seen before. I think we achieved that goal."

The Morgans have taken over another hotel in Llandeilo as the second in what could become a major chain.

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