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ONLINE TRAVEL AGENTS

THEIR ANTI-COMPETITIVE PRACTICES CURBED, WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO TO BEAT THE OTAS?

MERRY HARRIERS

With a dream budget you could add luxury glamping to your property

PLUS! TIGH NA LEIGH

WE PROFILE THIS ELEGANT PERTHTSHIRE GUEST HOUSE

INCORPORATING

INNKEEPER

MAGAZINE WWW.LUXURYBBMAG.CO.UK • ISSUE 37 • SUMMER 2019


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Welcome :HOFRPHWRWKHČ´UVWHGLWLRQRIWKHQHZO\UHODXQFKHGLuxury Bed & Breakfast magazine, which now incorporates sister title Innkeeper magazine. :KLOVWWKHUHDUHVXEWOHGLÎ?HUHQFHVEHWZHHQDQLQQDQGD% % what’s important are those many features they have in common: overnight stays, catering facilities, toiletries, accommodation mar keting techniques, bedding, to mention just a few – all the challeng es of running a successful small business in hospitality. It’s always impressive to examine the creative way in which RZQHUVDQGPDQDJHUVIURPPDQ\GLÎ?HUHQWZDONVRIOLIHWDFNOHWKHVH challenges, which is why we will keep sharing them with every issue. ΖQIDFWWKHQHZO\HQODUJHGPDJD]LQHZLOOIHDWXUHUHJXODUSURČ´OHVRQ inns, guest houses and luxury B&Bs as well as boutique hotels. In this issue we pay a visit to Eighteen 97, built originally as a holiday property for an eccentric German musician and now with all its rooms furnished to an exceptionally high standard, with each room named after a famous composer. We drop in on The Hand & Flower Inn in London, where general manager Carlos is working to rebrand the business as a single entity, rather than keeping the overnight hospitality side separate from the bar. We explore the delights of the 17th century village inn bought and redeveloped by entrepreneur Peter de Savary to see how dreams can come true if the money is there. And we look inside Tigh Na Leigh guest house in Perthshire, which owners Graham and Karen bought last year. With no background in hospitality, they have already won this year’s AA’s Scotland Guest Accommodation of the Year award. :HDOVRSUHVHQWDRQHVWRSURXQGXSRIEHVWSUDFWLFHZKHQLW comes to cash management, to get you through the leaner sea VRQVDQGZHFRQFOXGHWKHLVVXHZLWKDVSRWOLJKWRQDQHZO\LGHQWL Č´HGJURZLQJWDVWHIRUUXPDVNLQJLILWZLOOEHWKHQHZJLQ If you would like to feature your property in LB&B, why not get in touch?

this month... 

NEW ANALYSIS



COMMENT



READERS’ COMMENTS

4

The state of play with OTAs

6 8

B&B Association chairman David Weston

Hospitality business owners’ thoughts on online booking

10



B&B PROFILE

16



MATTRESSES &RQČľLFWLQJČ´UHUHJXODWLRQVJLYHPDWWUHVVVXSSOLHUV something of a headache. We explore emerging manufacturing techniques and a trend for all things natural



READERS’ COMMENTS



INN PROFILE



COMBINED BUSINESS PROFILE



BOUTIQUE HOTEL PROFILE

20 22

26 

34

Editor

Strangest guest requests

The new manager of The Hand & Flower in London is merging the brand of the pub and its overnight accommodation into one brand to appeal to a wider guest SURČ´OH

Peter de Savary has transformed local inn The Merry Harriers WRLQFOXGHOX[XU\DFFRPPRGDWLRQDQGČ´YHVWDUJODPSLQJLQD gorgeous country setting

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XOWUDSUHPLXPVHUYLFHFKDUDFWHULVHWKLVERXWLTXHJHP in the Lake District



GUEST HOUSE PROFILE



DESTINATION WEDDING

38

Bill Lumley

We visit Eighteen 97 Guest House B&B in North Yorkshire built from the remains of an old Goathland church

42

Just months after taking over Tigh Na Leigh Guest house, with no background in hospitality, the owners have won the AA Scottish Accommodation of the Year award

:HH[SORUHWKHWUHQGIRUELJJHUVFDOHFHOHEUDWLRQDQGD relaxation of ceremony constraints



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CASH MANAGEMENT $RQHVWRSJXLGHWREHVWSUDFWLFHIRULQGHSHQGHQW  accommodation business owners

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LAST ORDERS Consumer demand for rum is growing fast according to the WSTA, and an opportunity to exploit this trend is there for the taking




- News / Analysis -

Slaying the dragon Once hailed as potential saviours for the struggling guest accommodation market, online travel agents are now facing government action for abusing their power and routinely deploying anti-competitive business practices to the detriment of innkeepers, guesthouse owners and hoteliers alike. Bill Lumley looks at the evolving issues

E

xpedia, Booking.com, Agoda, Hotels.com, ebookers, trivago: these are names that evoke both strong and mixed feelings among B&B and guest house owners, innkeepers and hoteliers alike. The proposition of the online travel agent (OTA) is a double-edged sword. Many UK guest accommodation business owners have these online booking facilities to thank for enabling them to achieve global exposure and regular business on their behalf. Yet this comes at a very high price. For example, the owner of Hurst Farm in Kent, Victoria Tagg, whose business opened long after the OTAs had become a dominant channel in the

world of guest accommodation, says her luxury % %ZRXOGQRWKDYHWDNHQR΍ZLWKRXWWKHRQOLQHSUHVHQFHD΍RUGHGE\ERRNLQJFRP%XWDW the same time, she says she is greatly troubled by the high level of commission taken for every booking made via an OTA (see page 8).

TWO-SIDED ARGUMENT There are many who take a philosophical approach to OTAs. Referring to the rates of commission of up to 30%, Michael Ibbotson, for instance, landlord of the Durham Ox in Yorkshire, says: “You can look upon the OTA commissions you pay as your marketing budget. They are acting in a marketing capacity. For every £1,000 commission I pay I am probably getting in the Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 4 - Summer 2019

region of £8-10,000 in revenue.” He admits he sometimes despairs at the amount he has to pay in fees to the OTAs, but he suggests businesses should embrace the inevitability of disruption. He adds: “The people I feel really sorry for are the travel agents - the nice, family-owned businesses in the market square with a shop window. Their days are gone.” 0DQ\JXHVWKRXVHRZQHUVDUHȴQGLQJWKDW RQHZD\WRȴJKWEDFNLVWRHQVXUHWKDWDQ\ guest who has booked via an OTA, and who may plan a repeat visit, will only do so by boking direct. High booking commissions of course also mean that property owners have less to invest


- News / Analysis -

back into their business for such things as refurbishment, making it reasonable to argue that the OTAs are responsible for lowering the overall standard of guest accommodation.

ANTI-COMPETITIVE PRACTICES The net is closing in on some of the established but anti-competitive practices of OTAs. Next year will be the 10th anniversary of the LQLWLDORSHQLQJRIWKH8.JRYHUQPHQWȇVČ´UVW investigation into suspected breaches of competition law relating to discounting restrictions in arrangements between guest houses and hotels, and online travel agents. More pressing parliamentary business and a general election are two of the key reasons it has taken so long for the government to act, but taking action it now is, a development due in no small part to the tireless government lobbying for the past two years of Bed & Breakfast Association chairman David Weston. A complaint he submitted in 2017 triggered the reignition of the CMA investigation, leading to its recent enforcement action, and the tourism minister of the day John Glenn assured that the government was on the case. His successor Michael Ellis is living up to that promise. The threat to hospitality businesses from OTAs is multi-tiered. On page 7, David Weston lays bare the concerns of brandjacking by the online giants, and he cites a government petition launched by B&B owner Frank McCready to make illegal the hijacking by OTAs of guest houses, inns and B&Bs. “This practice enables the OTAs to colonise the top of search listings, even for searches of a hotel or B&B’s own brand/name, without the owner’s express permission,â€? says David. “It is typically bundled with all the other terms and conditions, so non-negotiable.â€?

cost of a room upfront could mislead people, SUHYHQWWKHPIURPČ´QGLQJWKHEHVWGHDODQG potentially break consumer protection law. This is a step in the right direction. According to the CMA, all the companies under investigation by the authority have co-operated and voluntarily agreed to make changes to their business practices in four regards: SEARCH RESULTS They have agreed to make it clearer as to the way in which hotels are ranked after a customer has entered their search requirements, for example telling people when search UHVXOWVKDYHEHHQDÎ?HFWHGE\WKHDPRXQWRI commission a hotel pays the site. PRESSURE SELLING They have agreed not to give a false impression of the availability or popularity of a hotel or rushing customers into making a booking decision based on incomplete information. For example, when highlighting that other customers are looking at the same hotel as you, making it clear they may be searching for GLÎ?HUHQWGDWHV7KH&0$DOVRVDZH[DPSOHV of some sites strategically placing sold out hotels within search results to put pressure on people to book more quickly. Sites have now committed not to do this. DISCOUNT CLAIMS OTAs have agreed to be clearer about discounts and only promoting deals that are actually available at that time. Examples of misleading discount claims may include comparisons with a higher price that was not relevant to the customer’s search criteria. For example, some sites were comparing a higher weekend room rate with a weekday rate or comparing the price of a luxury suite with a standard room.

ENFORCEMENT ACTION Since the third quarter of last year, OTAs in the UK have been the subject of an enforcement action by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) due to serious concerns around issues like pressure selling, misleadLQJGLVFRXQWFODLPVWKHHÎ?HFWWKDWFRPPLVsion has on how hotels are ordered on sites, and hidden charges. 7KHČ´UVWDFWLRQWDNHQE\WKH&0$RFFXUUHG last year because it was concerned that certain practices such as giving a false impression of a room’s popularity or not displaying the full

HIDDEN CHARGES They agree to display all compulsory charges such as taxes, booking or resort fees in the headline price. Sites can still break that price down, but the total amount the customer has to pay should always be shown upfront. &UXFLDOO\WKH&0$KDVQRWPDGHDȴQGLQJRQ whether the hotel booking sites’ practices have breached consumer law: ultimately, only a court can decide whether any particular practice infringes the law. The authority can Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 5 - Summer 2019

enforce the legislation through the courts if necessary. However, all parties are reported to have co-operated with the CMA and agreed to make changes to their practices. CMA Chairman Andrew Tyrie says: “The CMA has taken enforcement action to bring to an end misleading sales tactics, hidden charges and other practices in the online hotel booking market. These have been wholly unacceptable.â€? 6L[ZHEVLWHVKDYHDOUHDG\JLYHQČ´UPXQdertakings not to engage in these practices, and these comprise some of the largest hotel booking sites. The CMA will now do whatever it can to ensure that the rest of the sector meets the same standards, he says. 1RWDOOČ´UPVDUHHQJDJHGLQHYHU\RQHRI the practices cited above, but all have nonetheless agreed to abide by all the principles set out in the undertakings. “The CMA will now monitor compliance with the commitments made by the booking sites. All changes must be made by 1 September at the very latest, though the sites have already started making improvements,â€? says Tyrie, who has written to other hotel booking sites including online travel agents, metasearch engines and hotel chains setting out clear expectations for how they should be complying with consumer protection law. The CMA expects these sites to make necessary changes by 1 September this year. ΖILWČ´QGVVXÉ?FLHQWHYLGHQFHWKDWRWKHUVFRXOG be breaking consumer protection law, it will consider taking further enforcement action. As news grows of the astonishing ways in which the much-loved guest houses and B&Bs of the UK have been hammered by the OTAs WKHPHVVDJHZLOOČ´OWHUWKURXJKWRWKHSXEOLFRI how unjust they are. People who have regularly booked their trips on OTAs have become accustomed to such features as knowing they can cancel at the last minute and be fully reimEXUVHGDIHDWXUHWKDWFDQPDVVLYHO\DÎ?HFWWKH hotel and guest house owners concerned, who ZLOOČ´QGLWKDUGWROHWWKHLUURRPDWVKRUWQRWLFH The public can be brought on side with informed media coverage. In the meantime, you would do well to follow David Weston’s advice, and to sign the petition to outlaw hijacking of your brand name by OTAs (page 7). $QGRQSDJHV\RXPD\Č´QGVRPHFRPfort reading the views of others out there in \RXUČ´HOGFRQFHUQLQJ27$V


- Comment / Bed & Breakfast Association -

‘Safe & legal’ accommodation; and ‘Brandjacking’ by OTAs The competition authority has done a good job so far curbing OTAs, but there are more abuses to address, says David Weston Chairman of the Bed & Breakfast Association.

Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 6 - February 2019


W

e should be able to take basic safety compliance of tourist accommodation as a given in 2019 – but with the exponential growth of peer-to-peer platforms like Airbnb, sadly even safety can’t be taken for granted any more, because the platforms’ accommodation is in practice unchecked and unregulated, leaving its guests - and the UK’s tourism reputation – at risk. Last year, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Tourism issued a report on the so-called Sharing Economy, which highlighted the scale of the public safety risk in UK tourist accommodation, and made recommendations to Government to tackle it and level the SOD\LQJČ´HOGRIUHJXODWLRQDQGHQIRUFHPHQW between B&Bs and accommodation on the new platforms. The APPG’s key recommendation was that the Government consult on the creation of a low-cost registration scheme for tourism accommodation. That would create a national database which would allow regulators to do their job in protecting tourists from harm (and LQWKHSURFHVVOHYHOWKHSOD\LQJČ´HOGEHWZHHQ business models). In April the Mayor of London, London Councils (the local government association) and Camden, Islington, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Westminster, and Kensington & Chelsea, all co-signed a letter to Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government saying “the law is near-impossible for councils to enforceâ€? and that the “time has come for a light-touch registration systemâ€?. That letter was co-signed by Airbnb. The signatories say the system must be simple to use, low or no cost to the host, and function as one single database that is accessible online and hosted by one organisation. Karen Buck, MP for Westminster North, has just set up an APPG for the Short-Lets Sector. She said, “I strongly welcome the Mayor’s initiative‌ The law is open to abuse, leaving FRXQFLOVXQDEOHWRHQIRUFHHÎ?HFWLYHO\.QRZLQJ who is actually letting out their properties helps get the balance right.â€? Hadi Moussa of Airbnb said: "A clear and simple registration system‌ will help authorities get the information they need to regulate RXULQGXVWU\HÎ?HFWLYHO\Č‹ We agree. We and our colleagues at UKHospitality and the Tourism Alliance stand ready to play our part in helping the GovernPHQWČ´QGWKHEHVWZD\RILPSOHPHQWLQJODVW year’s APPG recommendations.

- Comment / Bed & Breakfast Association -

All tourists deserve safe and legal accommodation. We look forward to sitting down with the Minister, Airbnb and others to ensure they always get it.

‘BRANDJACKING’ BY OTAS: In many areas of business, there is a growing tension between “realâ€? businesses – those who take risks, own premises and employ people – and giant online platforms, who are mere intermediaries but often now grab a lion’s share of the economic rewards. That’s certainly the case in accommodation: that is, bookings for hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs. Our marketplace is dominated by “online travel agentsâ€? (OTAs) like Booking.com and Expedia. Those two US giants alone are now worth more than the top global hotel groups Marriott, Hilton, Accor and IHG combined. The OTAs don’t own the accommodation, HPSOR\WKHVWDÎ?ZHOFRPHWKHJXHVWVRUWDNH any risk if rooms are unsold – yet their power has grown to the point where they dominate our industry, and have driven up the prices you pay by billions. How? Partly by marketing techniques (fake discounts, pressure selling and the like) condemned by the competition watchdog (CMA) as so “misleadingâ€? that they are banned from next September; partly by “Rate Parityâ€? clauses which let the OTAs prevent hotels and B&Bs from discounting to our own direct customers on our own websites (we are forced by the OTAs to charge you the price inclusive of their 15-25% commission, even when you book direct on our websites); and partly by the OTAs’ domination of online searches. The OTAs now spend $10.7 billion a year on advertising – mainly to “bidâ€? on hotels’ and B&Bs’ own names so that they (the OTAs) come top of every web search. When you think you are clicking on a hotel or B&B name at the top of your search results, it is actually typically an OTA’s link in the hotel’s own name. Some ÂŁ1 in every ÂŁ5 of what you pay then goes to the online platform, not to the property you have chosen. This is because (as with those restrictive “Price Parityâ€? clauses), the OTAs bundle their right to “bidâ€? on a hotel’s name with search engines in all their other Terms & Conditions. It’s a non-negotiable part of the small print we have to sign up to before we can sell through them at all. Some call it “Brandjackingâ€?. B&B owner Frank McCready is typical in saying: “As a small B&B I cannot compete with the billions that OTAs spend on web searches and Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 7 - Summer 2019

am deprived of direct clients by this practice and forced to pay high commissions (15% to 25%) which ultimately of necessity are passed to consumers. The clause hidden in small print allowing OTAs to use our names negates our own websites and internet presence, and it cannot be fair to use someone's own name to divert customers. Such bidding should be by express mutual agreement only.“ Frank has launched a Government petition online to “Make ‘highjacking’ by OTAs of a B&B or hotels name on search engines illegalâ€?. Despite being a somewhat technical issue and (so far) little understood, the petition attractHGVLJQDWXUHVLQLWVČ´UVWGD\VDORQH Do sign it now! I hope consumers will realise that “Brandjackingâ€? is one of the reasons that they are over-paying for their accommodation, and will also sign Frank’s petition. That will strengthen our own calls on the CMA (dating back to July 2017) to ban both Price Parity clauses and Brandjacking, in the interests of consumers and small businesses. Let’s have fair competition in a free market, with the rewards shared fairly. The Bed & Breakfast Association is the UK trade association for B&B, guest house and independent hotel owners, and exists to inform, support & represent owners. Membership costs ÂŁ60 a year. The Association is a non-profit organization with no shareholders, dedicated solely to the interests of its members. www.bandbassociation.org


- Readers Comments / OTAs -

Following an investigation

“Thankfully we no longer use the services (if you can call it that) of OTAs, we have down-sized top two rooms. I note - with some pleasure - that Booking.com had an outage a few days ago, and then Expedia had two outages. This would mean that people searching would more than likely book direct!”

launched in 2017 into anticompetitive practices by online travel agents (OTAs) such as booking.com and expedia.com, the Competitions & Markets Authority has started to take enforcement action against

Hugo Woolley, owner Woodlands Country House, Cornwall

them. With so many guest houses, inns and hotels across the UK dependent on business from such channels, what are readers’ own views of OTAs?

“We don’t list all our rooms on OTA websites. We reserve our most lucrative room for walk-ins and phone bookings.” Anonymous

“Some of the OTAs charge way too much. On the plus side, as a small B&B owner they put my property higher up on an internet search and that has some value to me. My own website will be buried somewhere on page 10. I would never have had such a good start without them, but the percentage they charge is huge.” Victoria Tagg, Hurst Farm B&B, Kent “What everyone is upset about now LVWKHIDFWWKDWSURȴWFRQYHUVLRQ is very high. Everything is getting squeezed really badly. We’ve still got the expenses, but we now have commissions on our rooms’ revenue. If we are being squeezed on our revenue it just becomes harder and harder.” Michael Ibbotson landlord The Durham Ox

“You aren’t going to be able to compete with booking.com, so the way to combat it is to drive your own business instead of waiting IRUERRNLQJFRPWRȴOO\RXUKRWHO You have to do that by yourself.” Carlos Filipe Da Silva Oliveira, general manager, Hand & Flower inn, West Kensington

Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 8 - Summer 2019


- Readers Comments / OTAs -

Ȋ7KHZKROHLGHDZKHQ27$VȴUVW came about was they would drive incremental business that you would not otherwise have got. But then they come and steal all your direct business R΍\RXΖWLVXSWRLQGLYLGXDOEXVLQHVVHV to manage that and to make sure we get our fair share of direct business.” Dan Visser, director, Langdale Hotel, Lake District

“The fact that OTAs are on notice to amend their ways is fantastic because their pressurising tactics are not very nice. My aim is always to convert the guest who has booked on the OTA to come back to book direct, and that is relatively easy if you just chat to them.” Fiona Graham, owner, Eighteen 97, North Yorkshire

“We do use booking platforms because we have to. If we didn’t, we would not get the EXVLQHVVZHQHHG:HDUHȴYHVWDUDQGLI\RX SXWȴYHVWDU3HUWKVKLUHLQWRDVHDUFKHQJLQH WKHȴUVWWKLQJVWKDWFRPHVXSDUHWKHERRNLQJ com pages. You do have to pay through the nose for these things, but without them ΖWKLQNLWZRXOGEHYHU\GLɝFXOWIRUJXHVW houses, hotels and B&Bs to operate. You need them. We have had some problems. When we look at what they are saying about our availability it doesn’t always tally with what we have, and getting through to them and the amount of time you have to hold in a queue, you don’t get a huge amount for your money.” Karen Smith, owner, Tigh Na Leigh, Perthshire

“The trouble with just covering costs is you have nothing left to pay for refurbishment, which is absolutely vital because if you are not able to keep on top of the costs of decorating, carpets, beddings, towels – if you don’t have that pot of money – then your property soon looks shabby, you end up reducing your rates to compensate then you get a lower quality guest and it’s just a downward spiral.” Claire Smith Number One St Luke’s, Blackpool

“The high level of commission we have to pay the OTAs is something we really have to work at. Guests seem to have no idea how much we pay them.” Anonymous

Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 9 - Summer 2019


- 3URČ´OHEighteen 97 -

Eighteen 97 Multi award-winning five-star Eighteen97 Bed & Breakfast was in nothing like today’s condition when owners Fiona and Tim Gardham bought the property after three long years looking for the right B&B to buy. Bill Lumley pays a visit

Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 10 - Summer 2019


- 3URÈ´OHEighteen 97 -

Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 11 - Summer 2019


- 3URČ´OHEighteen 97 -

F

iona and Tim Gardham run Eighteen97 B&B, providing an award-winning breakfast comprised of premium, locally sourced foods. The couple had previously owned a % %'LOORQVRI:KLWE\DČ´YHVWDUSURSHUW\ just a stone’s throw from the town centre, that they had set up from scratch. “We didn’t really feel comfortable in quite such an urban environment,â€? Fiona tells Luxury Bed & Breakfast. “We started to look for somewhere in either the North York Moors or the Yorkshire Dales, and it took a long time to Č´QGWKHULJKWSODFH2YHUWKDWWLPHWKHUHZHUH occasions when we thought we had found the right kind of property and it wasn’t in the right spot, and vice versa. “Then after three years looking, this one popped up. It was in rather a sorry state, but it appealed to us, so we bought it,â€? Fiona says. Neither her professional background nor that of her husband was in hospitality, she says. “Tim had been a commercial photographer and I was a senior manager for a big distribution company in account and contract PDQDJHPHQWČ‹2I7LPȇVSKRWRJUDSKLFH[SHUtise she adds: “It’s useful to have an inhouse photographer when you need to make some changes in the literature for the B&B business.â€? 5HČľHFWLQJRQKHURZQGHFLVLRQWRTXLWKHU former career, she says: “I really just wanted no longer to drive 30,000 miles a year to all parts of the country and sit around board tables negotiating large contracts. I fancied GRLQJVRPHWKLQJGLÎ?HUHQWČ‹

odd place names, believe it or not. It seems there is genuine fascination for it in people for some reason,� says Fiona. And in the guests’ sitting room there is a moose’s head, a nod to Fawlty Towers.

DILAPIDATED STATE The property the couple eventually bought had not been lived in as such for over 40 years. Instead it had served as a private holiday home, but only for two to four weeks each year. In that time, it fell into quite an alarming level of disrepair. “As we fondly say to guests now, if WKH\FRXOGQȇWČ´[LWZLWKDLQFKQDLORUPDVNLQJ tape, they didn’t bother,â€? Fiona says. The property was originally built, as its name suggests, in 1897. It was made from the original remains of an old Goathland church built as a holiday home for the German classical pianist Christian Gottlieb Padel, whose initials are inscribed above the door. With a nod to the initial Arts and Crafts style, it has a VWXQQLQJFHQWUHSLHFHČ´UHSODFHDQGDSDUTXHW ČľRRULQWKHVLWWLQJURRP2QWKHZDOORIWKH EUHDNIDVWGLQLQJURRPLVDPDSČŠ2QHRI guests most popular passtimes is looking for Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 12 - Summer 2019

RENOVATION TIPS The renovation process the couple embarked XSRQWRUDLVHWKHSURSHUW\IURPZUHFNWRČ´YH star B&B took the couple two months longer than envisaged, and Fiona says they picked up


some tips along the way. “The biggest tip I’d give SHRSOHLVWRČ´QGJRRGWUDGHVSHRSOHČ‹VKHVD\V “We were very lucky in that we had already carried out a renovation in the same area before, some 10 miles away, and we had access to a very good electrician, a very good plumber and a very good builder, all on standby, and they were invaluable. That said, we carry out all the interior things such as decoration ourselves – Tim is very good at that sort of thing,â€? she says. “He also used to do a lot of photography for a WLOHFRPSDQ\ZKLFKLVYHU\KDQG\IRUČ´QGLQJ the best tiles on the market,â€? she adds.

Another tip she has for B&B owners XQGHUJRLQJUHQRYDWLRQLVWRH[SHFWWKHXQH[SHFWHGDQGWRPDNHVXUH\RXKDYHDJRRG contingency plan, a lesson she says that could have been of great use to them when the initial pre-opening stage renovations took longer than planned.

JOURNEY “It was just a house that looked sorry for LWVHOIČ‹VKHUHFDOOVČŠ2EYLRXVO\ZHIRFXVHGRQ the guest areas to begin with. The project VWDUWHGZLWKČ´WWLQJQHZGRXEOHJOD]HGZLQ-

Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 13 - March 2019

dows that were in keeping with the style of the property – like-for-like replacement, as the house had the original windows in it. ČŠ:HWKHQUHFRQČ´JXUHGVRPHURRPV essentially to make them more suitable for PRGHUQGD\OLYLQJVXFKDVJXHVWVH[SHFW This included creating the guests’ en suites,â€? she says. “We also had to look at the safety VLGHRIWKLQJVZHLQVWDOOHGDQXSWRGDWHČ´UH alarm system and emergency lighting and things like that, so it’s not just the aesthetics that you focus on but the things you do really need to comply with as well.â€?


- 3URČ´OHEighteen 97 -

The rest of the work to get the house up to scratch involved general building work and redecoration and modernisation, including a thorough rewiring. 6KHUHFDOOVȊ2QHPHPRUDEOHHYHQWZDV discovering you can actually kill a Dyson vacuum cleaner. The original insulation was sawdust between the cavities, and obviously IURPDȴUHULVNSRLQWRIYLHZZHKDGWRJHWULG of that. You’ve never seen so much saw dust in your life!�

UNFORESEEN DELAYS Sometimes the simplest jobs can take an awful lot longer than they should because of XQH[SHFWHGFKDOOHQJHV\RXFRQIURQW)LRQD recalls. “When we were redoing the kitchen, a relatively simple job appeared to be that RIČ´WWLQJDQH[WUDFWLRQIDQLQWKHNLWFKHQ and running it through the boiler house. We started the job, only to discover some previous owners had for some unknown reason poured reinforced concrete down the chimney. So rather than taking half an hour to sort out, it took a whole day,â€? she says. But after all the dirty jobs, the fun part begins – the soft furnishing side of things, she says.

MUSICAL HISTORY The suite and two bedrooms are all named after composers, Elgar, Vivaldi and Ravel, because the house and its history are enFKDQWLQJDQGWKH\UHČľHFWWKHRULJLQDORZQHU German Pianist Padel.

“We could have picked some more interesting composers’ names but we tried to pick ones people recognise and pronounce.â€? She H[SODLQVȊΖWFDQVWRSSHRSOHERRNLQJLIWKH\ don’t know how to pronounce something and if they are not comfortable with it. We had come across that with our previous B&B, so I JXHVV\RXOHDUQE\H[SHULHQFHČ‹ The couple had a very clear view of the kind of market they were aiming for, so they tried to put that across in the rooms as well, she says. “We knew the market here would be VOLJKWO\GLÎ?HUHQWDQGSUREDEO\PRUHPDWXUH compared to what we had in Whitby, where the rooms were a little more daring. It was very much a case of pitching it to what we believed the market to be here and what people ZRXOGH[SHFWČ‹VKHVD\V

MAKING THE MOST OF THE VIEW Each guest room has a great view, she says, yet surprisingly the biggest and most H[SHQVLYHURRPLQWKHSURSHUW\LVWKHRQH WKDWERRNVXSČ´UVW1DPHGWKH(OJDUVXLWHLW is L-shaped and presented in the manner of a mini suite, with a bedroom area, a bathroom and its own private sitting room, but with a TV in both the bedroom and the sitting room. “That suite was originally a combination RIVHYHUDOGLÎ?HUHQWURRPVČ‹VKHVD\VČŠ:H could have gone for two very standard double URRPVRURQHODUJHUVKRZRÎ?URRPΖWKLQN LWZDVGHČ´QLWHO\WKHULJKWGHFLVLRQWRJRZLWK what we chose as we are very much targeting WKHOX[XU\HQGRIWKHPDUNHWČ‹

Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 14 - Summer 2019

GARDEN SWEET 7KHJDUGHQLVMXVWRYHUDQDFUHLQVL]HDURXQG WKHVL]HRIRQHDQGDKDOIIRRWEDOOSLWFKHV Most of it was originally simply a big orchard, and it still retains some of the very of original apple trees at the paddock end of the garden. “More than anything, what we tried to do was to try to create some nice little spaces where people could just sit and read a book or have a glass of wine in scenic surrounds, with a beautiful view,â€? says Fiona. “We did not want to over-formalise the garden – it is there for people to enjoy. We have croquet and various other garden games that guests can use.â€? These also help to get guests get to know each other, she says. “It was such a lovely summer last year we set up the croquet KRRSVRQWKHODZQΖWLVQRWFRPSOHWHO\ČľDWE\ any means, and it is quite a challenge to play, so we had guests who didn’t know each other, but who were going out and playing croquet together, and it is such a hoot because they DUHVLPSO\KDYLQJVXFKDUHOD[LQJWLPH7KDWȇV very much the theme of our B&B: we might EHČ´YHVWDUEXWZHGRQȇWZDQWWRLPSRVHWKDW VWXÎ?\ZKLWHJORYHGDSSURDFKΖWȇVYHU\PXFK WKHUHOD[HGKRPHO\IHHOČ‹

STRANGEST GUESTS Fiona says they have never had to refuse service to a guest. “We’ve been very lucky in WKDWUHJDUGČ‹VKHUHČľHFWVČŠ:HKDYHKDGVRPH FKDOOHQJLQJDQGGLÉ?FXOWJXHVWV:KLOH\RX can’t please all the people all the time, our approach to it is that they are not here forever – they are just passing through, so it can be almost a case of getting your head down and getting through it. The stranger guests were ones the encountered in Whitby, she says. But she says: “Most of them that are challenging are so because they don’t actually understand what is actually involved in what we do, and they don’t understand how much work it involves.â€? She says she recognises that she and her husband are lucky in that a lot of their guests followed them to their new B&B. She says: “Even though we had had a three-year gap between closing our last B&B and opening this one, the first people to knock on the door were people who had stayed with us previously: obviously we had built up a mailing list. And guests recommend you to other guests when they get to know you,â€? she says


- 3URČ´OHEighteen 97 -

ERRNLQJV7KHUHIRUHLIFDVKȾRZLVDOLWWOHGHpleted in the middle of the winter then we get a good boost in January that takes us through until trade picks up a bit later in the year. That would be my biggest tip – it is all about forward bookings. It certainly works,� She adds. ΖQGHHGLQWKHȴUVW\HDUWKH\WULHGWKDWWKH\ were rewarded with an upturn of 19%, she says.

BOOKING CHALLENGES

CASH FLOW There are no periods of the year when they GRQȇWH[SHFWDQ\JXHVWV)LRQDVD\VȊΖIZHFRPSOHWHO\FORVHLWZRXOGEHWKHȴUVWWZRWRWKUHH weeks in January. But even then, at weekends you still get guests as people still have birthdays and anniversaries and other special occasions, and a massive chunk of people who stay with us do so for such reasons. Because they are treating themselves,� she says. The couple are able to take practical measures to bolster their income between seasons.

7LPIRUH[DPSOHGRHVWKHRFFDVLRQDOSKRWRJUDphy shoot for people he used to work for. Fiona says: “Here we don’t have an issue ZLWKFDVKČľRZLQWKHRÎ?VHDVRQEHFDXVHZH DOZD\VWDNHČ´UVWQLJKW VVWD\DVDGHSRVLWIURP guests. I send out newsletters monthly for regular and returning guests, and I always peak that for January so they get a great incentive in January to book for the rest of the year. This means January is by far always the biggest month of the year for forward Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 15 - Summer 2019

ČŠ:HWHQGWRČ´QGRXUERRNLQJFRPJXHVWVIDOO into two categories. They will either be the cash-rich time-poor person who sees it as the easiest option, couple of buttons and they are booked, or the more mature, less savvy internet type person – someone who is more likely to believe what they read on the internet and take everything at face value. So where booking.com are saying it is the last room available DQGLVWKHFKHDSHVWUDWH\RXZLOOHYHUČ´QG those are the ones that you feel most sorry for really when they turn up as they could have got a better deal by ringing you. “There’s really no substitute to someone picking the phone up and talking to you,â€? she concludes.


- In Depth / Mattresses -

Don’t lose sleep over it Investment by a high-end inn, guesthouse or hotel is increasingly focused on the demand for natural and ecologically friendly produce from locally sourced breakfasts to natural gins. The same trend is now escalating for mattresses. Bill Lumley speaks to manufacturers and finds them having to

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jump through hoops to comply with regulation

eplacing your mattresses is neither cheap nor stress-free. Guesthouse and hotel mattresses are subject to the same life expectancy as domestic mattresses, but the frequency with which you should change them depends both on how often the product is used as well as the quality and warranty span. The French Bedroom Company managing director Georgia Metcalfe says: “Quite often a mattress has worn out long before you realise it. The National Bed Federation recommend replacing your mattress about every seven years. After seven years a mattress can be subjected to over 20,000 hours of wear and tear.� But even this may not necessarily be the ideal time to replace a mattress, she says. “Not all mattresses are created equal. Some mattresses may last longer, or need replacing sooner, depending on their construction, how they have been used and care for, and of course the quality of their components.� For as costly an endeavour as replacing your mattresses, it is important to ensure you are buying the right product. It is generally accepted that the last thing a guest remembers when they leave a guest house is the quality of their night’s sleep, so the higher up the premium scale of luxury you go, the more important it is to identify the right mattress. Far from being unique to mattresses, the biggest demand from guests is for natural materials, and most manufacturers are working hard to meet that trend.

IRULWVFRWWRQEDVHGFKHPLFDOIUHHČ´UHVDIH material. The patent covers all wool and cotWRQFRPELQDWLRQVWKDWIRUPDČľDPHUHWDUGDQW fabric to be used in furniture and furnishings. This means that the stringent UK Furniture Fire Regulations (FFRs), dating from the 1980s, can be met without using high levels of toxic Č´UHUHWDUGDQWFKHPLFDOVXVHGE\PRVWPDQXIDFWXUHUVWRSUHYHQWWKHVSUHDGRIČ´UH For decades the company has been on a self-confessed crusade, rebelling against what it says is an unnecessary requirement to use any chemicals in mattresses. In the process, using Cottonsafe, it has developed a range of

NATURAL FILLINGS Mattresses from Devon supplier Cottonsafe, IRULQVWDQFHKDYHQDWXUDOČ´OOLQJVLQFOXGLQJ hand-teased Dartmoor wool, cotton, horse hair and silk. Following a two-year wait, a patHQWKDVČ´QDOO\EHHQDZDUGHGWRWKHFRPSDQ\ Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 16 - Summer 2019

mattresses that appeal to the lucrative fashion for completely natural bedding. (YHQLWVYHJDQPDWWUHVVUDQJHWKHČ´UVWWR be accredited by the Vegan Society, contain QRČ´UHUHWDUGDQWFKHPLFDOVDQLPDOSURGXFWV or dangerous residues that can be inhaled or absorbed. All Cottonsafe mattresses are hand-crafted to order and side-stitched WRJHWKHUZLWKČľD[WKUHDGXVLQJQRJOXHVRU solvents. Meanwhile the wool for its organic range comes from a supplier meeting strict organic accreditation regulations. “There is noticeable move towards a demand for healthy and natural products in


- In Depth / Mattresses -

hotels and guest houses�, says managing director Mark Dowen. “This includes a move to natural soaps and natural non-chemicalised eco-friendly products in hotels.� “There was a movement toward not washing towels every day because of the detergents used, but the last thing a person remembers when he walks away from a hotel is how well he slept. It’s really important that guests come away having had a good night’s sleep. I think hotels and guest houses have no choice but to go for a high-quality mattress. We produce a large range of luxury mattresses that are completely chemical free and biodegradable or recyclable. They are beautifully crafted and comfortable,� he says.

RQHRIWKHČ´UVWPDQXIDFWXUHUVWRVWDUWXVLQJ ZRROLQVLGHDPDWWUHVVDVDQDWXUDOČľDPH retardant,â€? he says. They then began looking at ways of using wool to mix with the cotton to make an outer fabric that would pass. “We worked with a mill in the north of England, John Spencer Textiles, and after much research and a bit of luck, we GHYHORSHGZD\VRIFUHDWLQJZRROOHQČ´UHEDUULers in the actual cotton fabric. Cotton always fails because it smoulders, and the smoulder spreads across the surface of the fabric. By stopping that smoulder, you can stop the cotton from burning,â€? he explains. “So, we had created and patented a cotton DQGZRROQDWXUDOO\ČľDPHUHWDUGDQWIDEULF which meets CRIB 5 for hotel and contract

with huge amounts of these chemicals. He says: “This makes me angry, because if those developing the regulations had simply approached people who were working on QRQFKHPLFDOČ´UHSUHYHQWLRQPDWHULDOVWKHQ manufacturers would have come up with different solutions. To begin with, we had to treat FRWWRQPDWWUHVVHVDQGQDWXUDOFRWWRQČ´OOLQJV with boric acid powder, which is a straightforward pesticide. Boric acid for, instance, is one of the few things that kills cockroaches! In fact, PDQ\RIWKHVHČľDPHUHWDUGDQWFKHPLFDOVDUH linked to pesticides,â€? he adds. ȊΖQWKH86RQO\WKHIRDPČ´OOLQJRIDPDWWUHVVZDVWUHDWHGZLWKČľDPHUHWDUGDQWFKHPicals. The use of many of these chemicals is now banned in many States and Europe due

CHEMICAL REQUIREMENTS

use. We called it Cottonsafe as it remains safe for the life of the fabric. Cottonsafe is also completely biodegradable and is the only hotel mattress which meets the Stockholm Convention for recycling,� he adds.

to health and environmental concerns. Here in the UK, the requirements are so tough that most manufacturers are using considerably more of these toxic chemicals to treat foam, ȴOOLQJVDQGWKHRXWHUIDEULFVDVZHOOWRPHHW the regulations.�

&RQČľLFWVLQ8.IXUQLWXUHČ´UHUHJXODWLRQKDV been covered on Newsnight and in the press over the past couple of years. Essentially, the requirements of the FFRs are tough, and most PDQXIDFWXUHUVXVHČ´UHUHWDUGDQWFKHPLFDOV as the cheapest way to comply. The rules in the UK are similar to - but tougher than those set in California following a class action against tobacco companies in 1975. In the UK, ERWKWKHLQQHUČ´OOLQJVVXFKDVIRDPRUODWH[ and in the outer cover, need to pass the FFRs. In a quest to produce a mattress that would pass regulations without being laden with chemicals, Mark’s team at Cottonsafe found a ZD\RIJHWWLQJULGRIWKHFKHPLFDOVLQWKHČ´OOing materials by using a wool wrap. “We were

REGULATORY ABSURDITIES The company is the only company campaigning to highlight the absurdities of the FFRs introduced in the late 1980s, Mark claims. For examSOHKHVD\VWKHPRVWEDVLF8.ȴUHUHJXODWLRQ the match test, was developed hastily in Whitehall, introduced with little consultation and with a hidden agenda, which was to introduce the ȾDPHUHWDUGDQWFKHPLFDOVXVHGLQ$PHULFDΖQ order to pass the regulations, most UK manufacturers coat mattresses and other furniture

SHEER BULK OF CHEMICALS Mark says a 50m outer fabric roll of cotton would normally weigh between 15kg and 17kg. Once treated, that weight rises up to between 25kg to 32kg, with much of that weight DFFRXQWHGIRUE\Č´UHUHWDUGDQWFKHPLFDOV “People don’t realise the quantity of chemicals used in mattresses to make it pass the regulations,â€? he says. “Up to 5-7kg in a double foam mattress. These are skin permeable and often endocrine disrupting chemicals. “We were particularly unhappy when we opened up several mattresses after a couple RI\HDUVȇXVHRQO\WRČ´QGPRVWRIWKHEDFN coat, which was meant to be attached for WKHOLIHWLPHRIWKHIDEULFKDGFRPHRÎ?DQG was lying loose on the top surface. We were even less happy when we found out what the chemicals were – chlorinated alkanes and antimony trioxide. If we had shaken that fabric and it had gone into the air, it would KDYHEHHQČ´YHWRVL[WKRXVDQGWLPHVWKHOHJDO limit for a workplace environment. Cottonsafe is the only company taking an active role in changing these disturbing regulations.â€?

RAW MATERIALS There are a number of other premium mattress providers in the UK chasing the high demand for natural materials. The French Bedroom Company managing director Georgia Metcalfe says her company’s mattresses Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 17 - Summer 2019


- In Depth / Mattresses -

TIPS ON MAINTAINING YOUR GUEST MATTRESSES • Invest in a high-quality mattress if you want to make it last. • Use a waterproof mattress protector to guard against dirt, spills or liquids. • To keep odours in check, air out the mattress every couple of weeks by freeing it from the sheets and opening a few windows. • Use a removable cover and wash it a couple of times a year. • If you have a foam mattress, don't flip it, but rotate it 180 degrees every three to six months. • Along with regular cleaning and flipping, the right setup can make a huge impact in a bed’s lifespan. You’ll find that the type of support that sits under your mattress is just as important as the different layers of materials. • Make sure materials are breathable and that it gives you zoned support for your hips and shoulders to improve spine alignment. • Handles are convenient to move it. • Make sure materials are breathable and that it gives you zoned support for your hips and shoulders to improve spine alignment. • Ensure it has a removable cover for cleaning. Source: Casper

DUHPDGHIURPWKHČ´QHVWWH[WLOHVDQGUDZ materials and use the latest pocket spring WHFKQRORJ\ČŠ2XU&RPIRUWČ´OOLQJVZLOOLQFOXGH cotton, wool, silk and in addition bamboo textiles, with added treatments like Simply Flow, which wicks away moisture, and Simply Pure, which uses microcapsules that contain 100% Natural anti-allergens all contributing to the latest innovations to complete the natural luxury story.â€? It is not just natural materials that are the heart of a trend, she says, and mattresses manufactured in the UK are generally a very traditional-made product. “Colours are now very soft creams and whites tones, the better quality luxury mattresses are covered in Belgium woven jacquard ticking (fabric). We use high pick count ticking with up to 45 ends Bamboo and Viscose threads, which gives a soft, strong and durable outer fabric.â€? Other trends to watch for are for new unWUHDWHG)5IDEULFWKDWPHHWVWKHVWULFW8.Č´UH regulations, as well as recycled bottles convertHGLQWRXVDEOHČ´OOLQJVDQGWH[WLOHVVKHDGGV Another UK luxury mattress brand is John Ryan by Design, based in Wythenshawe near Manchester. The company’s two guest house QDWXUDOČ´EUHPRGHOVDUHWKH$UWLVDQDQG Artisan Naturals, which like all the company’s inhouse-designed mattresses are sold exclusively online. Spokesman Lee Burkhill says: ČŠ1DWXUDOČ´EUHVDUHEHFRPLQJPXFKPRUH popular as people want to move away from V\QWKHWLFČ´EUHV7KH\DUHFRROHUDQGPRUH resilient,â€? he stresses. Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 18 - Summer 2019

LOCAL APPROACH 7KHFXUUHQWVROXWLRQVIRU8.Č´UHUHJXODWLRQ compliance limit some opportunities for foam and require some adaptation, according to US company Casper which has a UK operation and sells all its products online. A spokesperson says: “For each market we operate in, we take a local approach, and adapt to local needs and preferences when it comes to sleep.â€? A smart combination of materials such as latex, foam, springs is a general trend at the moment in mattress design, to generate the best possible comfort and support, she says. “There is also an increasing focus on the environment and on the health and safety properties of mattresses. In this regard, natural materials are one option, but at the same time we are focusing on improving more traditional materials as we endeavour to achieve achieving the best properties for our products. “As an innovator and tech-enabled company, we increasingly look at holistic sleep soluWLRQZLWK*ORZEHLQJRXUČ´UVWGLJLWDOSURGXFW and more to come,â€? she adds. There is a growing of choice of mattresses WKDWPHHWWKHGHPDQGIRUQDWXUDOČ´EUHVDQG a vast amount of innovation taking place. If you are planning to replace or upgrade your guests’ mattresses it is worth making the time to take a look at the choices available.


DUAL

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HiH33

HT160

HBN22

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HWL83

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A WAKE-UP OPTION FOR EVERY HOTEL. HT160: LCD alarm clock with USB rapid charging and Single Day Alarm. HBN22: Space-saving NFC Bluetooth FM clock radio with speakerphone and dual USB charging. HW4: Qi Wireless charging Bluetooth bedside stereo alarm clock with dual rapid charging USB ports. HWL83: Patented Triple Display Qi wireless charging Bluetooth alarm clock with speakerphone, and dual USB charging ports. HiH33: Patented Triple Display alarm clock with dual USB charging.

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For more information, contacU1SBEFFQ,PUBL at TBMFT!IPUFMUWDPVL5FM www.hotelCFESPPNDMPDLTDPN © Hotel Technologies, LLC. iHome is a registered trademark of SDI Technologies, Inc. iPhone, and iPod are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Bluetooth is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc. All other marks are trademarks of their respective owners.


- Readers Comments / OTAs -

Readers will all have their own stories to tell of strange guest experiences. We ask boutique hotels, B&Bs, guest houses and inns for their strangest guest requests.

$JHVDJRZKHQZHȴUVWRSHQHGZHGHFLGHGWKDW ZHZRXOGZHOFRPHGRJVDV3DGVWRZLVIXOORI WKHPRQKROLGD\ZLWKWKHLURZQHUV$ODVWDLU 6DZGD\ȇVEHIRUH%RRNLQJFRPFDPHDORQJȂ DVNHGLIZHWRRNGRJVDQGZHVDLGZHGLG%XW WKH\SXWRQRXUSURȴOHSDJHWKDWZHDFFHSW SHWVQRWMXVWGRJV $)UHQFKFRXSOHDVNHGLIWKH\FRXOGEULQJWKHLU 6LDPHVH&DW:HVDLGWKDWZRXOGEHȴQH%XW WKHQWKH\VDLGWKDWWKH\ZRXOGQRWEHWDNLQJWKH FDWRXWGXULQJWKHGD\WRWKHEHDFKȊ:RQȇWWKDWXSVHW WKHFDWZKHQZHFOHDQ\RXUURRP"ȋP\ZLIHDVNHGȊ1RȋWKH )UHQFKJXHVWVDLGȊMXVWJRLQWKHUHDQGFOHDQVKHLVYHU\IULHQGO\%XWVKH RQO\XQGHUVWDQGV)UHQFKȋ2XUVFKRROGD\V)UHQFKZDVZHOOWHVWHG :HWKHQUHFHLYHGDUHTXHVWZKHWKHUZHZRXOGDFFHSWDUDEELW:KHQWKH FRXSOHLQTXHVWLRQFKHFNHGLQWKH\WROGXVZLWKJUHDWSULGHWKDWWKHUDEELW ZDVDYHU\UDUHSUL]HZLQQLQJUDEELWFDOOHG1RUEHUW2QHHYHQLQJWKH\ DVNHGLIZHZRXOGEDE\VLWWKHUDEELW:HFRXOGQRWVD\QRȂLWZDVMXVWD UDEELWDIWHUDOO%XWWKHQZHZHUHWROGWKDWKHZDVYHU\VHQVLWLYHDQGQRWWR IULJKWHQKLPRUKHZRXOGKDYHDVHL]XUH:HVSHQWDOOHYHQLQJZLWK6WULFWO\ &RPH'DQFLQJWXUQHGULJKWGRZQDQGZKLVSHULQJDWHDFKRWKHU7KHUDEELW VSHQWWKLVWLPHORRNLQJRXWRIKLVFDJHDWXVZLWKDFRQVWDQWZRUULHGORRN RQKLVIDFHDQGKLVQRVHUDSLGO\WZLWFKLQJDZD\:HZHUHFRQWLQXRXVO\ ZRQGHULQJZKDWWRGRLI1RUEHUWKDGDQȆHSLVRGHȇDQGKRZZHZRXOGWUHDW LW+RZGR\RXJLYHDUDEELWPRXWKWRPX]]OHUHVXVFLWDWLRQ"/XFNLO\1RUEHUW VXUYLYHGWKHHYHQLQJZLWKRXWDQ\FRPSOLFDWLRQV Hugo Woolley, co-owner, Woodlands Country House, Padstow

:HZHUHRQFHDVNHGIRUDUROORIFOLQJ ȴOPVRDJXHVWFRXOGZUDSLWURXQGKLV VRIWWRSFDUDVWKHURRIKDGDOHDNLQLW Andy Banner-Price, co-owner, The 25 Boutique, Torquay

ΖZDVDVNHGKRZP\ZDVKLQJZDVGRQH DQGZKHWKHUWKHGXYHWVKHHWVRUDQ\ RWKHUEHGGLQJKLWWKHȵRRU5DWKHUWKDQ OLHΖKDGWRVD\ΖFRXOGQRWJXDUDQWHH WKDWDWQRSRLQWGLGWKHGXYHWRUVKHHWV PDNHFRQWDFWZLWKWKHȵRRU:HGRQȇW WKURZVWX΍RQWKHȵRRUEXWKRZFDQ DQ\RQHJXDUDQWHHWKDWODXQGU\KDVQRW KLWWKHȵRRUDWDQ\VWDJH":HZDVKLW KHUHWKHQVHQGLWRXWWREHLURQHGDQGΖ VDLGZHFDQȇWJXDUDQWHHWKDWWKHODXQGU\ IDFLOLW\ZRXOGQRWDOORZLWWRWRXFKWKH ȵRRUDWDQ\SDUWLFXODUSRLQW Shannon Slater-Dent, co-owner, Bove Town House, Glastonbury

Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 20 - Summer 2019


- Readers Comments / OTAs -

ΖKDYHKDGVRPHVWUDQJHUHTXHVWRYHU WKH\HDUV7KHVWUDQJHVWZDVDFRXSOH IURP7XULQZKRZDQWWRJHWPDUULHG LQWKH&KDSHO% %6KHLVLQORYHZLWK 7RQ\+DGOH\IURP6SDQGDX%DOOHWDQG ZDQWV7RQ\+DGOH\VLQJLQJ*ROGDW WKHZHGGLQJDQGKHUKXVEDQGWREH GUHVVHGDV(OYLVΖWZLOOKDSSHQ 0DUN+LQFKOL΍HRZQHU The Chapel B&B, Harrogate

$JXHVWZKRKDGERRNHGWZRRUWKUHH URRPVZDQWHGWRFKHFNRXWDQGWKH\ ZDQWHGKHOSZLWKUHWXUQWUDYHOWR /RQGRQ7KH\DVNHGDPDQDJHUWRKHOS WKHPERRNDWUDLQ+HFDPHEDFNVD\LQJ KHKDGERRNHGIRXUVHDWVRQDWUDLQ %XWQRFDPHWKHUHSO\ZHZDQWHG\RX WRERRNDWUDLQ7KLVJXHVWZDVDGDPDQW WKDWZHZRXOGEHDEOHWRERRNDQHQWLUH WUDLQLQRUGHUWREHDEOHWRWUDYHOLQ SULYDWH:HGLGRXUEHVWEXWZHKDGWR WZHDNWKHLUH[SHFWDWLRQVOLJKWO\

ΖKDGDJXHVWDVNLQJIRUDFRRNHG EUHDNIDVWZLWKDERLOHGHJJFRRNHGIRU DVSHFLȴFOHQJWKRIWLPHȂVL[PLQXWHV SUHFLVHO\3HRSOHGRQȇWJHQHUDOO\DVNIRU WKLQJVOLNHWKDW Karen Smith, co-owner, Tigh Na Leigh Guest House, Perthshire

Dan Visser, director, Langdale Hotel, Lake District

-XVWDIWHUZHRSHQHGZHKDGDODVWPLQXWHERRNLQJIURPDVLQJOHPDQ ZKRVKRZHGXSDVKRUWWLPHODWHURQIRRWDQGFDUU\LQJMXVWDVPDOO EDFNSDFN+HZHQWWREHGYHU\HDUO\DQGGLGQȇWHPHUJHDJDLQXQWLO VRPHWLPHDIWHUOXQFKWKHIROORZLQJGD\$PDQRIYHU\IHZZRUGVKH WKHQZHQWIRUDZDONDQGUHWXUQHGVRPHKRXUVODWHUFDUU\LQJDVLQJOH GD΍RGLO7KHIROORZLQJPRUQLQJKHURVHDQGWKHQVDWLQWKHVLWWLQJ URRPVWDULQJRXWWKHZLQGRZKROGLQJKLVGD΍RGLO+HWKHQVLPSO\ GLVDSSHDUHGZLWKRXWVD\LQJJRRGE\H6WUDQJHEXWKDUPOHVV

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Victoria Tagg Hurst Farm B&B, Kent

Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 21 - Summer 2019

Fiona Gardham, co-owner, Eighteen 97, North York Moors


- 3URČ´OHThe Hand & Flower inn -

An Olympic challenge The Hand & Flower inn in London’s West Kensington is situated right opposite the huge Olympia Conference Centre. Under new management, the inn is poised to rebrand itself and widen its mainstream appeal, while not losing the

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lucrative corporate business on its doorstep. Bill Lumley looks at the plans.

arlos Filipe Da Silva Oliveira took over as general manager of the Hand & Flower inn just a month EHIRUHΖSDLGDYLVLWEXWKHKDVȴUP SODQVWRȴQHWXQHWKLVVXFFHVVIXO/RQGRQLQQ primarily serving visitors to the Olympia Ex KLELWLRQ&HQWUHDFURVVWKHURDGDQGWRWXUQLW LQWRDGHVWLQDWLRQKRWHOIRUDZLGHUDXGLHQFH &DUORVȇVEDFNJURXQGLQKRVSLWDOLW\ΖQ LQ/LVERQKHHPEDUNHGRQDFDUHHUSULQFLSDOO\ LQFRUSRUDWHKRWHOVΖQKHPRYHGWRWKH UK and began working in the pub business, and over the ensuing seven years all the H[SHULHQFHKHKDGJDLQHGLQKRVSLWDOLW\FXOPL nated in him taking over the Hand & Flower LQQLQ$SULO His appointment involved a jump from solely UK pub businesses to the inn business, ZKLFKPDWFKHGKLVIRUPHUH[SHULHQFHZLWK

FRUSRUDWHKRWHOVȊΖWȇVDELJFKDOOHQJHEHDULQJ LQPLQGWKHUHGHYHORSPHQWRIWKHDUHD:H are working towards building a foundation for WKHIXWXUHȋKHVD\V Ȋ$WWKH+DQG )ORZHU\RXKDYH\RXUIRRG your drink and your bedrooms, and the whole point is not to sell them as separate businesses EXWWRLQWHJUDWHHYHU\WKLQJLQWRRQHEXVLQHVV Ȋ0\YLVLRQIRUWKHLQQLVWRGHOLYHUȾDZOHVV H[SHULHQFHVDQGWRWXUQLWLQWRDGHVWLQDWLRQ inn, to make it an extraordinary destination,� KHVWUHVVHVȊ7KHIXWXUHLVYHU\PXFKDERXW GHOLYHULQJVRLWLVQRWRQO\DERXWWKHVHUYLFH \RXDFWXDOO\JHWWKDWLVQRWHQRXJKWKHVHGD\V 1RZDGD\VLWLVDOODERXWZKDWH[SHULHQFH\RX JHWIRU\RXUPRQH\7KHUHIRUHYDOXHIRUPRQ H\XQGHUSLQVZKDWZHZLOOWU\WREXLOGKHUH :KHQHYHUJXHVWVOHDYHWKH\ZLOOUHPHPEHU WKH+DQG )ORZHUIRUWKDWH[SHULHQFHȋ

For the time being, Olympia is the over ZKHOPLQJGULYLQJIRUFHIRUJXHVWEXVLQHVVKH VD\V*LYHQWKHEXVLHVWWLPHVIRU2O\PSLDUXQ from September to June, the inn works the RWKHUZD\DURXQGWRFRXQWU\LQQVȊ6XPPHULV probably the quietest time of the year for us, and over Easter, Christmas and bank holidays LWȇVYHU\TXLHWȋKHVD\V

VALUE NOT LUXURY +HGRHVQRWFRQVLGHUWKHLQQWREHDKRWHO ČŠ3HRSOHFRPHKHUHZLWKKRWHOH[SHFWDWLRQV DQGZHDUHWU\LQJWRFKDQJHWKDWČ‹KHVD\V ČŠ:HGRSURYLGHWKHVHUYLFHRIDKRWHOEXW here we are trying to provide people with WKHH[SHULHQFHRIDFWXDOO\VOHHSLQJLQDSXE 2XUDLPLVQRWWRSURYLGHDFRUSRUDWHKRWHO H[SHULHQFHEXWWRSURYLGHDSHUVRQDOLVHG H[SHULHQFHIRUHYHU\RQHČ‹ 7KHGLÎ?HUHQFHVKHH[SODLQVOLHLQWKHOLWWOHWKLQJV OLNHWKHDFWXDOVHUYLFHSURYLGHWRWKHJXHVWV 7KHLQQRQO\KDVHLJKWURRPVEXWKHVD\V this opens up opportunities to provide a WDLORUHGVHUYLFHWRKLVJXHVWVČŠ2XUJRDOLVWR WDLORUWKHJXHVWH[SHULHQFHIURPWKHPRPHQW someone books with us, when you start the H[SHULHQFHIRUWKDWJXHVWRQDIROORZXS ZKHWKHUWKH\KDYHDQ\SUHIHUHQFHRQEUHDN IDVWRURQWKHNLQGRIFRPSOLPHQWDU\GULQNV WKDWDUHJRLQJWREHVXSSOLHGLQWKHLUURRP ȊΖWȇVDOOWKHVHOLWWOHWKLQJVWKDWZLOOVKRZSHR SOHWKHGLÎ?HUHQFHEHWZHHQWKH+LOWRQKRWHO FRUSRUDWHDQGWKHKLJKO\WDLORUHGSHUVRQDO LVHGH[SHULHQFHDWWKH+DQG )ORZHUČ‹

MARKETING 7KH+DQG )ORZHULVDPDQDJHGKRXVH owned by Fuller's and it shares the same FRPPXQLFDWLRQVDQGPDUNHWLQJVWUDWHJ\DV WKHUHVWRIWKHEUHZHUȇVQHDUO\LQQV :LWKRQO\HLJKWURRPVZHZDQWWRPDNH RXUFRPPXQLFDWLRQFKDQQHOVRQHRQRQH:H Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 22 - Summer 2019


- 3URÈ´OHThe Hand & Flower inn -

WKDWFRPHVIRUDGULQNDPHDORUWRVWD\DWWKH +DQG )ORZHU7KDWZLOOVWDUWWKHPRPHQWXP DQGVWDUWWRJHQHUDWHGLUHFWEXVLQHVVDQGFXW out the middle man, and it is our most impor WDQWPDUNHWLQJWRROÈ‹

BREWERY SUPPORT +HVD\VKHJHWVVXSSRUWIURP )XOOHU V$VDPDQDJHGKRXVHZHKDYH guidelines that we must follow, but Fuller's JLYHWKHLUPDQDJHUVWKHWRROVWRDFWXDOO\ PDQDJHΖWLVQRWOLNHRWKHUFRPSDQLHVWKDW ZLOOJLYH\RXVXFKVWULFWJXLGHOLQHVWKDW WKHUHLVQRWKLQJHOVH\RXFDQGRZLWKWKH EXVLQHVV:HKDYHWKHSRZHUWRPDQDJH WKHEXVLQHVV7KH\VHW\RXSDUDPHWHUVEXW DQ\WKLQJLQEHWZHHQLVXSWR\RX ΖIWKHUHLVDWUHQGWRFUDIWDOHIRUH[ ample, he says the brewery will give him WKHFKRLFHRIEULQJLQJLQVXFKEHHUVLIKH FRQVLGHUVWKH\ZLOOEHSRSXODUZLWKSDWURQV +HLVFXUUHQWO\ZRUNLQJZLWKDQXPEHURI /RQGRQEUHZHULHVWKDWDUHVHWWRDSSHDU at the British Beer Festival at Olympia later WKLV\HDULQFOXGLQJ%HDYHUWRZQ%UHZHU\ 7KHSXEFXUUHQWO\KDVWZRRIWKHEUHZHU\ȇV FKRLFHVRQGUDXJKWDQGLVFXUUHQWO\WU\LQJ to arrange something else out for the JUHDW%ULWLVK%HHU)HVWLYDOLQ$XJXVW%XWKH VWUHVVHVȊ:HFDQQHYHUIRUJHWWKDWZHDUHD )XOOHU VLQQDQGWKDWLVRXUFRUHEXVLQHVV :KHQLWFRPHVWREUDQGDZDUHQHVVΖJHW WKH)XOOHU VQDPHRXWWKHUHȋ

BREAKDOWN OF TIME

are endeavouring to build up business away IURPWKHRQOLQHWUDYHODJHQFLHV0RVWRIRXU EXVLQHVVFXUUHQWO\FRPHVIRUPWKHPDQGZH QRZZDQWWRGULYHGLUHFWEXVLQHVV 3URYLGLQJWKDWKLJKOHYHORISHUVRQDOLVHG H[SHULHQFHWRWKHRYHUQLJKWJXHVWZLOOKHOS DFKLHYHWKDWKHSUHGLFWVÈŠ2QOLQHUHYLHZVDUH

very important – nobody will book a room these days before they read the reviews, and ZHZDQWWKDWH[FHOOHQWIHHGEDFN7KDWLVZKDW ZHSURPRWHWRRXUJXHVWVΖWGRHVQRWPDWWHU LILWLVJRRGRUEDGIHHGEDFNZHFDQDOZD\V OHDUQIURPLWȋKHVD\V Ȋ2XUDLPLVWRJHWIHHGEDFNIURPHYHU\RQH Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 23 - Summer 2019

+HLVXQDEOHWRJLYHDFOHDUEUHDNGRZQRIKLV time between the amount he spends on the DFFRPPRGDWLRQDQGWKHWLPHKHLQYHVWVLQ WKHEDUȊΖGRQȇWORRNDWP\WLPHWKDWZD\ȋKH VD\VȊ2QHRIWKHPLVWDNHV\RXFDQPDNHZLWK an inn is to divide a business, for example DFFRPPRGDWLRQDQGEDU7KHEXVLQHVVLVWKH Hand & Flower, and in the future the whole EXVLQHVVZLOOEHFRQQHFWHGDQGZRUNLQJDV RQHEXVLQHVVQRWDVVHSDUDWHEXVLQHVVHV:H won’t have the Hand & Flower Hotel and the +DQG )ORZHU3XEKHVD\V ȊΖORRNDWDEXVLQHVVDVDZKROH:KHQ\RX sell your rooms, it doesn’t stop there – you DUHDOVRJRLQJWRVHOO\RXUIXQFWLRQURRPV \RXUEDUSDFNDJHVGLQQHUVZLWKDFFRPPRGD WLRQΖWGRHVQȇWPDWWHUZKHWKHULWȇVDFRUSRUDWH KRWHORUDVPDOOLQQ\RXKDYHWRDSSO\WKH VDPHPRGHOWRERWKZKHQLWFRPHVWRVHOOLQJ DOO\RXUVHUYLFHV7KDWȇVZKDWZLOOKDSSHQWR WKH+DQG )ORZHULQWKHIXWXUHȋKHVD\V


- 3URČ´OHThe Hand & Flower inn -

As a business, the Hand & Flower opens at DPZKHQLWVNLWFKHQVWDUWVWRVHUYHEUHDN IDVWXQWLODPDQGWKHQWKHNLWFKHQLVRSHQ DJDLQIURPQRRQXQWLOSP

BAR On the bar side of things, he says he is VHHLQJDJURZWKLQJLQVČ&#x160;*LQLVZKDWSHRSOH ZDQW<RXVWLOOKDYHWRSXW\RXURZQSHUVRQDO stamp on a business, but you do not run the business â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it is the guests who run the EXVLQHVV0\MREDVWKHJHQHUDOPDQDJHULV WRDGDSWP\EXVLQHVVWRP\JXHVWVČ&#x2021;QHHGV :KHQLWFRPHVWRJLQWKDWLVZKDWSHRSOH GHPDQGQRZDGD\V*XHVWVH[SHFW\RXWR KDYHDELJUDQJHRIJLQVDQGWKLVH[SHFWD WLRQH[WHQGVWR\RXUUDQJHRIPL[HUV3HRSOH KDYHD* 7EXWUHJXODUWRQLFLVQRWHQRXJK QRZDGD\V<RXQRZKDYHWRRÎ?HUORZFDORULH WRQLFČľDYRXUHGWRQLFDQGVRRQ His gin range extends to Boe Violet, Chase pink gin and grapefruit gin as well as the innâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s WUDGLWLRQDORÎ?HULQJZKLFKLQFOXGHV7DQTXHUD\

ROOMS

EVENTS FACILITY 2QWKHČ´UVWČľRRUFRQYHQLHQWO\EXÎ?HULQJ WKHUHVLGHQWLDOJXHVWVRQWKHVHFRQGDQG WKLUGČľRRUVIURPWKHEXVWOHRIWKHEDURQWKH JURXQGČľRRULVDQHYHQWVVSDFHWKDWFDQDF FRPPRGDWHXSWRSHRSOH1H[WWRWKLVLVD URRPIRUXSWRSHRSOHXVHGIRUFRUSRUDWH PHHWLQJVRUSULYDWHGLQLQJH[SHULHQFHV $OWKRXJKWKHQHLJKERXULQJ2O\PSLDFRQ IHUHQFHFHQWUHLVDGULYHUIRUVXFKPHHWLQJV most of the bookings of the smaller room FRPHIURPORFDOEXVLQHVVHVWKDWVLPSO\ZDQW DPHHWLQJVSDFHIRUWKHGD\&DUORVVD\V As well as a new general manager, the inn KDVDQHZFKHIČ&#x160;2XUYLVLRQRIZKDWWKH+DQG )ORZHUVKRXOGEHWRVWD\LQWRXFKZLWKRXU URRWV:HGRKDYHWRDGMXVWDQGDGDSWWR what the guests want, but at the end of the day we are a pub, and that is what we want to UHPDLQVRRXUFRUHRÎ?HUZLOOFRQWLQXHWREH WUDGLWLRQDOSXEIRRG Č&#x160;$URXQGWKDWFRUHRÎ?HUWKHUHZLOOEHWKHVHD VRQDORÎ?HULQJDQG\RXZLOOMXVWKDYHWRDGDSW to what people want nowadays, so you will see DQLQFUHPHQWDOJURZWKLQYHJHWDULDQDQGYHJDQ GLVKHVUHČľHFWHGRQRXUVSHFLDOVDVZHOODVRXU VLJQDWXUHGLVKHV%XWVWLFNLQJWRRXUURRWVZH ZDQWWRVWLFNWRRXUWUDGLWLRQDOSXEIRRGČ&#x2039;

7KHUHDUHQROLIWVDWWKHLQQDQGWKHHLJKW URRPVDUHRQWKHVHFRQGDQGWKLUGČľRRUVZKLFK FDQEHVRPHWLPHVFKDOOHQJLQJ&DUORVDGPLWV $VWKH\JRXSWRWKHLUURRPVJXHVWVFDQHQMR\ SRUWUDLWVWKDWDGRUQWKHVWDLUZD\ZDOOV 7KHUHIRXUURRPVRQHDFKRIWKHWZRČľRRUVDOO GRXEOHURRPVZLWKDGRXEOHEHGRUWZLQEHGV 7KHIDPLO\URRPLVOHVVSRSXODUDPRQJ FRUSRUDWHJXHVWVEXWYHU\SRSXODUDPRQJ IDPLOLHVKHVD\VČ&#x160;:HSURYLGHDOOWKHDPHQL ties for guests who may wish to stay a whole ZHHNÎ&#x2013;I\RXGRQČ&#x2021;WZDQWWROHDYHWKHURRPDQG MXVWZLVKWRVWD\LQIRURQHGD\EHFDXVH\RX DUHWLUHGRIZDONLQJDURXQG/RQGRQ\RXFDQ UHOD[JRGRZQVWDLUVWRWKHSXEKDYHDPHDO &KLOGUHQFDQVWD\LQWKHURRPZKHUHZHSUR YLGHD3OD\VWDWLRQDQGJDPHV7KHUHLVDGHVN LQWKHURRPLIJXHVWVZLVKWRGRVRPHZRUN Č&#x160;:HRÎ?HUZKDWDFRUSRUDWHKRWHOZLOOQRW SURYLGH\RXČ&#x2039;KHVD\V(YHU\WKLQJLQWKH URRPVČ&#x2021;PLQLEDULVFRPSOLPHQWDU\7KHLQQ promotes its own brand, with a bottle of )XOOHUVEHHULQWKHFRPSDFWPLQLEDUDORQJ with a bottle of still and sparkling water and a small bottle of fresh milk to go with tea or FRÎ?HHDQGDOOURRPVDUHHTXLSSHGZLWKD 1HVSUHVVRPDFKLQHDQGDUDQJHRIXSWR GLÎ?HUHQWW\SHVRIWHDEDJ Č&#x160;(YHU\WKLQJZHSURYLGHIRUWKHURRPZH strive to ensure is premium â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it is a premium H[SHULHQFHVWD\LQJKHUHČ&#x2039;KHVD\V Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 24 - Summer 2019

RENOVATIONS 5HQRYDWLRQDUHVFKHGXOHGWRWDNHSODFHULJKW DFURVVWKHLQQLQ-XO\DVWKHTXLHWVXPPHUSH ULRGEHJLQV$OWKRXJKWKHLQQZDVODVWUHGHF RUDWHGLQDQGWKHUHLVRQO\VOLJKWZHDU DQGWHDUWKHSODFHGRHVQRWFRPHDFURVVDV EHLQJLQJUDYHQHHGRIUHGHFRUDWLRQ Č&#x160;:KHQWKH2O\PSLDVHDVRQUHVXPHVLQ 6HSWHPEHULWZLOOEHFRPSOHWHO\UHIUHVKHGČ&#x2039; VD\V&DUORVČ&#x160;7KHUHZLOOSUREDEO\EHUHEUDQG ing and a redesign of the Hand & Flower image adapted to appeal to both families and FRUSRUDWHJXHVWVČ&#x2039; 7KHQHZLPDJHKHVD\VZLOOHQVKULQHWKH FRPELQDWLRQRISXEDQGDFFRPPRGDWLRQ WREHFRPHPRUHLPPHGLDWHO\LGHQWLČ´DEOH DVRÎ?HULQJDFFRPPRGDWLRQ+HH[SODLQV Č&#x160;7KHEXVLQHVVZDVUXQZLWKWKHSXERQRQH HQGDQGWKHDFFRPPRGDWLRQRQWKHRWKHU and what we want to try to do is present an image of the business as a whole where you LQWHJUDWH\RXUZHWEXVLQHVV\RXUNLWFKHQDQG \RXUKRWHO$WSUHVHQWLWLVMXVWWKH+DQG  Flower and in the future it will be the Hand & )ORZHU3XE.LWFKHQ +RWHOČ&#x2039; He stresses that despite the use of the word hotel he will entirely be devoted to operating it as an inn, not providing the WUDGLWLRQDOKRWHOH[SHULHQFHEXWSURYLGLQJDOO WKHH[SHULHQFHVRQRÎ?HULQDQ\KRWHOLQWKH ZRUOGEXWZLWKDWDLORUHGH[SHULHQFHČ&#x160;1RWZR VWD\VZLOOEHWKHVDPHČ&#x201A;LWLVWDLORUHGVSHFLČ´ FDOO\IRU\RXWKHJXHVWZKDWNLQGRIEUHDN IDVWWKH\ZDQWZKDWNLQGRIFHUHDOVZKDW WKH\OLNHWRGULQNVRRQWKHLUVHFRQGVWD\LI WKH\OLNHGWRGULQNFLGHURQWKHLUČ´UVWYLVLW instead of a bottle of Fuller's beer youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d have DERWWOHRIFLGHULQWKHEHGURRPPLQLEDU ZLWKDQRWHVD\LQJWKDQN\RXYHU\PXFKIRU FRPLQJEDFNČ&#x201A;HQMR\\RXUVWD\3HUKDSVDOVR DSODWHRIKRPHPDGHFKRFRODWHFKLSFRRNLHV ZLWKDQRWHVD\LQJČ&#x160;:HNQRZWKHVHDUH\RXU IDYRXULWHV3RSGRZQVWDLUVDQGMRLQXVIRUD GULQNČ&#x2039;RUČ&#x160;Î&#x2013;I\RXDUHEXV\ZRUNLQJFDOOXVDQG ZHZLOOGHOLYHUWR\RXUURRPČ&#x2039; 7KHYLVLRQIRUWKH+DQG )ORZHUGHOLYHU ČľDZOHVVH[SHULHQFHVDQGPDNHLWDQH[ traordinary destination, and everything we do is geared towards that vision, and it is all GHOLYHUHGZLWKRXWVWDQGLQJFXVWRPHUVHUYLFH KHVD\V7KDWČ&#x2021;VWKHRQO\ZD\WRJRIRUZDUG Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the only way you will boost your reputa WLRQDQGWKLVLVDSODFHWKDWKDVWROLYHE\LWV reputation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the only way we are going WRVHOOWKHURRPVDQGUHGXFHRXUGHSHQGHQF\ RQ2O\PSLDČ&#x2039;KHFRQFOXGHV


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- 3URÈ´OHThe Merry Harriers -

Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 26 - Summer 2019


- 3URČ´OHThe Merry Harriers -

Quenching a thirst for beauty Falling in love with your local village inn, buying it and then doing it up to a luxury standard is beyond the dreams of most people. Fortunately for international entrepreneur and businessman Peter de Savary he had already made his fortune before moving into a Surrey village, where he did just that. Bill Lumley talks to him about the delights of his combined inn, B&B and luxury glamping facility.

J

et-setting millionaire Peter de Savary recently announced the completion of the renovation of his local village inn The Merry Harriers in the picturesque village of Hambledon in the Surrey Hills area of outstanding natural beauty. The innâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s origins date back to the 16th century. The traditional-style welcoming village inn is steeped in history, with the landlordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s names dating back to the early 1700s written on the pub walls. Renovations were completed earlier this \HDUDQGQRZČ´IWHHQEHDXWLIXOO\HTXLSSHG en-suite accommodation suites are furnished to a high standard, with Egyptian cotton bed linen, down pillows, luxurious high-pressure VKRZHUVFRPSOLPHQWDU\WHDDQGFRÎ?HHPDNLQJIDFLOLWLHVDQGČľDWVFUHHQ79V An old hand at identifying the untapped hospitality potential of attractive properties, Peter de Savary moved to the area three years ago. Immediately he recognised the untapped potential of the inn, its surrounding outbuildings and land and, as luck would have it, the owners of the inn were looking to sell up. He tells Luxury Bed & Breakfast magazine: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I only live a mile and a half away from the Merry Harrier. I visited it as one does oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s local pub, and it came to my attention that the owners were wanting to sell and move on.â&#x20AC;? He says he found the whole idea of the place to be interesting. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It only had three bedrooms, and I could see an opportunity to end up with 15 in total, mixed between some bedrooms in the inn itself, some garden rooms in converted

RXWEXLOGLQJVDQGČ´YHVKHSKHUGVČ&#x2021;KXWV Č&#x160;Î&#x2013;WVHHPHGWRRÎ?HUDYHU\QLFHPL[RIWKUHH types of accommodation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; something for everybodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s taste. Rather than having a slick pub or inn and trying to make it Sloane Street, Knightsbridge in the countryside, I would instead keep it very much as a quintessentially slightly eccentric pub, with really nice and fresh JRRGIRRGDQGSOHDVDQWFRQVLGHUDWHVWDÎ?DQG thus make it a pub for everybody. And that is what it is, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m happy to say it is very successful, very popular and doing very well. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As much by accident as design we have hit the sweet spot,â&#x20AC;? he adds.

OUTDOOR LIVING He says he has been attracted to non-city and outdoor properties in the countryside for a very long time, where there is scope to enjoy outdoor living, outdoor lifestyle, and with environmentally interesting features. He says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have undertaken projects where there is SSSI VLWHRIVSHFLDOVFLHQWLČ´FLQWHUHVW ODQGLQYROYHG and coastal protection. I have always been interested in trying to blend and bring together some form of appropriate activity with something that is environmentally sensitive.â&#x20AC;? He stresses that he has never believed, simply because a property is environmentally important or sensitive or beautiful, that it should be â&#x20AC;&#x153;frozen in an ice boxâ&#x20AC;? and that nobody should touch it or do anything to it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always thought there is a way to make it more important and more interesting for people by bringing things together in a sensitive Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 27 - Summer 2019

and appropriate manner,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Merry Harriers is an example of what appeals to me: itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s everything youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d expect of a quintessentially English country pub several hundred years old with a number of rooms added, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very much an inn as well as a pub.â&#x20AC;?

LLAMAS When he bought the inn in 2017, The Merry Harriers was unique in being the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only llama-trekking inn. This is a particular feature he was happy to maintain. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have found the added dimension of llama-trekking to be hugely interesting and attractive to a wide audience. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just a case of going to stay somewhere or to have a meal in beautiful countryside. Here, you can actually get into bed with the countryside by taking a llama on a three-hour trek and having a picnic in the national park,â&#x20AC;? he says. Now, with a number of newly competed shepherdâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s huts in the meadow around the pond with lovely country outlooks, he says it is a natural way to broaden the appeal to visitors, and for the business itself to be more successful. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have taken a traditional concept of a pub and an inn and embraced it more with the countryside.â&#x20AC;? Installing shepherdsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; huts in the land alongside the inn was a project to enhance the attraction and beauty of the place. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These particular shepherdsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; huts, and the way they are located and positioned and organised, is visually attractive,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you are walking or driving past and you see them, you will be impressed at how attractive


- 3URČ´OHThe Merry Harriers -

they are. They bring a sense of adventure to people, whether they have just come out of London or they live in the countryside. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rather than staying just in a nice room with all the usual facilities you would expect IURPDČ´UVWFODVVHVWDEOLVKPHQW\RXKDYH the adventure of being literally in nature: you are in your shepherdâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hut and it is on its wheels; you have a couple of nice RXWGRRUFKDLUVWRVLWLQ\RXFDQOLJKWDČ´UH HQMR\WKHČ´UHSLWVDQGWKHHYHQLQJDLUVLW and enjoy the view or watch the sheep in

WKHČ´HOGRSSRVLWHRUWKHKRXVHVLQWKHČ´HOG adjoining. You are getting closer to nature when you are in a shepherdâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hut than you would if you were in a bedroom,â&#x20AC;? he says.

NEW OPENING The shepherdsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; huts and the garden rooms were only installed in February this year and are newly opened to guests, so everything is brand new, he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re waiting eagerly for a good and popular summer. The guests we have had so far absolutely love it. If you Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 28 - Summer 2019


a bathroom probably as nice as most peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bathroom at home, they have a great bed, a work bar arrangement and a fridge, and they have views to die for. He says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Guests can sit outside, light their Č´UHSLWZDONRYHUWRWKHLQQDQGKDYHDQLFH hearty breakfast or a nice lunch or dinner. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a pretty good little adventure, it appeals to people of all ages, and it is great for taking a family.â&#x20AC;?

REGULATION RESILIENCE

stay there, it is hard to know what there isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t to like. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d have to go a long way and go to DORWRISODFHVWRČ´QGDQ\WKLQJWKDWLVPRUH pleasant,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You may not want to live in a shepherdsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; hut for the rest of your life, but for two or three nights as a getaway itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a bit of an adventure â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s be honest, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not exactly roughing it.â&#x20AC;? Indeed these particular shepherdsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; huts KDYHXQGHUČľRRUKHDWLQJWKH\DUHIXOO\LQVXlated, they have a log-heated stove, they have

Peter de Savary has a thoroughly practical philosophy towards taking on a complex renRYDWLRQSURMHFWVXFKDVKHKDVMXVWČ´QLVKHGDW The Merry Harriers, where there were inevitably multiple levels of regulation with which he had to comply. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s world I am regularly surprised by various things,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been in the hospitality business for over 40 years, so you do learn a thing or two. You make a number of mistakes, but you try not to make the same ones twice. You simply get a good feeling about what can happen and, whilst it is forever changing, whether it is health & safety or any other kind of agency regulatory body interfering, you have to adapt to it. Č&#x160;%XWVRPHWLPHVLWLVGLÉ?FXOWZKHQ\RXKDYH something that is character-building and many hundreds of years old and you are entertaining the public in it, whether they are sleeping or simply eating and drinking there, and you GRIURPWLPHWRWLPHUXQLQWREDVLFFRQČľLFWV between the regulatory side of life and the conservation historical preservation side of life. Both have various authoritative positions and you can, so to speak, be the victim of their disagreement,â&#x20AC;? he admits. Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 29 - March 2019

â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is sometimes quite hard to please everybody all of the time, but you end up doing it because, if you want to have a planning approval, or you want to do something in a certain way, you are not only going to have to deal with the conservation historical people, but you are also going to have to deal with the regulatory people. You then have the common-sense practical aspect of things. It can be frustrating, and you just have to do your best to work around it essentially,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;At our hotels, inns and pubs we have managed by and large to resolve these things and more or les to get everybody on side. Sometimes there is a little bit of a struggle or FRQČľLFWEXWLQWKHHQGZHDOOVHHPWRPDQDJH to have compromise. It can be time-consuming hard work, but it is achievable. The end result is certainly worth it,â&#x20AC;? he stresses.

VILLAGE INN The village inn is set well back from the road, and he has made sure is no car parking in the forecourt. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There used to be, but we stopped that,â&#x20AC;? he explains. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like the idea of cars parked 10-15 feet in front of the building. Instead they are parked away from the inn the other side of the road, which is just the village lane. Therefore, cars do not intrude on the inn itself in any way. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very attractive looking old building,â&#x20AC;? he stresses. Entering the main building, the inn, you walk through the door and straight into the EDUZLWKDQROGZRRGHQČľRRUDQGDELJČ´UHplace. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is all a bit higledy piggledy, there is nothing that looks new, and everything looks like it has been there for a very long time. It


- 3URČ´OHThe Merry Harriers -

is deceptive in the sense that everywhere is meticulously clean and fresh, and it has an old cosy historic feel to it full of atmosphere and ambience,â&#x20AC;? he says. 2Î?WRRQHVLGHRIWKHPDLQEDUDUHDLVD little area called the snug, which has four tables where visitors can go if they prefer somewhere a little quieter than the bar. Away to the other side of the bar is the dining UHVWDXUDQWDUHDZLWKDQRWKHUČ´UHSODFHDQG French windows opening into the garden terrace, where he says guests often prefer to eat during nice weather. This again is an attracWLYHURRPZLWKZRRGEHDPVDQGDČ´UHSODFH

5XQQLQJRÎ?WKDWURRPLV\HWDQRWKHU room with seats for about 18 people, overlooking the garden. This particular room, he says, can be used by regular diners, but the door can be closed, meaning it can be used as a private room.

GUEST ACCOMMODATION Upstairs are four very quirky, attractive oldworld bedrooms that have been completely renovated, with stunning bathrooms. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These embrace everything that historically youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d exSHFWWRČ´QGLQDQLQQVOLJKWO\FUHDN\DQGVOLJKWO\ XQHYHQZRRGHQČľRRUVZRQN\ZDOOVDQGEHDPV Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 30 - Summer 2019

across the ceiling. The rooms are cottagey and quirky but extremely comfortable and very nicely furnished to a high standard,â&#x20AC;? he says. The renovated bathrooms were designed to meet the standards of the most important guest from anywhere in the world to stay the night. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not Claridgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot more fun, and has a lot more atmosphere,â&#x20AC;? he says. Outside in the terrace and garden to one side are the old stable buildings and garden buildings that have been converted into six bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms. Each has a small terrace in front where guests can sit outside their room and perhaps have a glass of wine in the evening or an early morning cup of tea. The rooms are not large, but they are very FRPIRUWDEOHZLWKDOOWKHXVXDOWHDDQGFRÎ?HH making facilities, and each room has a small snack for guests, which makes it all the more pleasant to sit outside on the little terrace and look at the countryside. From time to time the OODPDVZLOOEHORRNLQJDW\RXIURPWKHLUČ´HOG as they regularly have their heads hanging


- 3URČ´OHThe Merry Harriers -

over the gate. The closest of the rooms is just around 25 feet from llamas winking at you. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It's very much a country feeling, and people really like it,â&#x20AC;? he says. Across the lane the property has eight acres of paddock where the llamas live, and across the little village lane is a gravel car park with capacity for around 40 cars. There is then a meadow which runs into the Surrey Hills countryside with a picturesque SRQGZLWKOLOLHVJURZLQJLQLWDQGČ´VKLQDYHU\ attractive setting with trees and a great outlook. Around the pond, set back but overlooking LWDUHWKHČ´YHVKHSKHUGVČ&#x2021;KXWV7KHVHDOOKDYH an awe-inspiring countryside view. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a big window in front of guests when they are sitting up in bed, looking out across the pond out to the absolutely beauty of the Surrey Hills countryside, with sheep, horses and FRZVLQWKHČ´HOG â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like its own little world, really,â&#x20AC;? says Peter. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really lovely - I like it, and the guests who stay there seem to like, it but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also fun. It has a light-hearted attitude to it.

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to scowl or frown when you go to the Merry Harriers,â&#x20AC;? he adds. The inn has jazz bands on Sundays, as well as quiz nights â&#x20AC;&#x201C; â&#x20AC;&#x153;all kinds of things to make it interesting and play a role in the community that gives people something to focus on and look forward to and meet their friends and make new ones. We are very interactive with the community,â&#x20AC;? he says.

SHEPHERD HUTS The inn has nine acres of land in total, so land availability wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the issue when it came to setting up the shepherdâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s huts, but as the owner he insists he is not interested in having any PRUHWKDQWKHČ´YHKHQRZKDVČ&#x160;7KLVLVFDSDFLW\ for the inn,â&#x20AC;? he explains. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We can comfortably cope with 30 people for breakfast if we are full â&#x20AC;&#x201C; two people in each of 15 rooms.â&#x20AC;? Another reason for not wishing to increase the number of guest rooms outdoors is that the place would lose its ability to sustain its quirky atmosphere. Regulation states that shepherds huts must EHDWOHDVWČ´YHIHHWDSDUW7KHRQHVDWWKH Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 31 - Summer 2019

Merry Harriers are at least 20 feet apart from each other, he says. â&#x20AC;?Ours are very nicely spaced out. They sit nicely in the landscape, not all in a straight row like soldiers, but in a round half-moon circle around the pond.â&#x20AC;?

IN SAFE HANDS He acknowledges his good fortune in having the right kind of managers at the Inn. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have a great couple who are running the merry harriers. They are a Yorkshire couple who have been in the pub trade for many years. Danielle is the manager and her husband Sam is the chef. He produces some really interesting and thoroughly enjoyable food, and Danielle is a great lady who brings a lot of the character and atmosphere to the place making sure it LVDOOFOHDQDQGWLG\HÉ?FLHQWDQGZHOOGRQH always with a smile, and she has a great team of people all local ranging from youngsters upwards so it is a nice mix of the village community - itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very lucky that we have this team of people that blend very well with the character of the property,â&#x20AC;? he concludes.


- In Depth / Luxury Toiletries -

How to choose the right toiletries for your luxury B&B Believe it or not, toiletries have a huge part to play when it comes to your guestsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; overall impression of your business.

N

Holly Alderson, Content Marketing Assistant at Out Of Eden.

ot only are they a treat for your guests and a great way to add an element of luxury, complimentary toiletries can also be utilised WRUHČľHFW\RXUEXVLQHVVYDOXHVDQGEUDQG :KHWKHURSWLQJIRUUHČ´OODEOHGLVSHQVHUVDQG bottles, choosing toiletries with Fairtrade FHUWLČ´HGLQJUHGLHQWVRURÎ?HULQJSUHPLXP WUDYHOVL]HWRLOHWULHVWRLPSUHVV\RXUJXHVWV making sure you choose the right products IRU\RXDQG\RXUEXVLQHVVLVHVVHQWLDO6R with this in mind, where do you start?

BOLD BRANDING Another way to choose the right toiletries for you and your business is to opt for a range WKDWČ´WV\RXULQWHULRUDQGFRORXUVFKHPH )RULQVWDQFHLQDYLEUDQWJXHVWKRXVHRXU %H'LÎ?HUHQWFROOHFWLRQPLJKWEHWKHEHVW choice, packaged in brightly coloured bottles

SIZING UP :KHQSURYLGLQJ\RXUJXHVWVZLWKSUHPLXP toiletry collections, you neednâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel limited WRWUDYHOVL]HVLQJOHXVHVL]HERWWOHVÎ&#x2013;QVWHDG dispensers and larger toiletries are a great, FRVWHÎ?HFWLYHZD\RIRÎ?HULQJWRLOHWULHVZKLOH VWLOOPDLQWDLQLQJWKDWIHHOLQJRIOX[XU\7KHODWest addition to the Out of Eden range features our 480ml Orangewood & Neroli collection GLVSOD\HGLQFODVVLFDOO\VW\OHGPLQLPDOERWWOHV &RRUGLQDWLQJZLWKWKHOLWUHUHČ´OOV\RXFDQUHČ´OODQGUHXVHWKHERWWOHDVPDQ\WLPHVDV\RX wish, rather than constantly replenishing, and ZDVWLQJWRLOHWULHVLQ\RXUJXHVWEDWKURRPV Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 32 - Summer 2019

ZLWKSRVLWLYHPHVVDJHVLQFRUSRUDWHGLQWR WKHEUDQG)RUDPRUHPXWHGDQGPLQLPDO interior, the smart and sophisticated Cole & Lewis White Collection might be more DSSURSULDWH7KHFROOHFWLRQFRQWDLQVRUJDQLF KHUEDOH[WUDFWVDQGČľRUDOIUDJUDQFHVZKLOHWKH SDFNDJLQJLVERXQGWRSOHDVHDQ\JXHVW


- In Depth / Luxury Toiletries -

MEANINGFUL MESSAGE As well as being a thoughtful extra touch for your guests, toiletries can also allow you to instil \RXUEXVLQHVVYDOXHVE\SXWWLQJFDUHIXOWKRXJKW LQWRWKHUDQJHWKDW\RXSURYLGH)DLU&RVP(WKLFVIRUH[DPSOHLVRQHRIWKHRQO\WUDYHOVL]H toiletry collections on the market that contains )DLUWUDGHFHUWLČ´HGLQJUHGLHQWVVXFKDVRUJDQLF VXJDUFDQHDQGEUD]LOQXWRLO)UHHIURPSDUDbens, and rich in ethically sourced, nourishing natural ingredients, the collection is a perfect FKRLFHIRU\RXUHFRPLQGHGJXHVWV

TACKLING PLASTIC 7KHČ&#x2020;3Č&#x2021;ZRUGKDVEHFRPHDVWDSOHEX]]ZRUG amongst our customers and their guests, though the issue of plastic in toiletries conWLQXHVWREHDGLÉ?FXOWRQHWRUHVROYHÎ&#x2013;I\RX wish to eliminate plastics from your business as much as possible, dispensers are a great DOWHUQDWLYHWRRÎ?HULQJWRLOHWULHVSDFNDJHGLQ SODVWLFERWWOHV5HODWLYHO\ORZPDLQWHQDQFH JLYHQWKDWWKH\QHHGUHČ´OOLQJOHVVIUHTXHQWO\ WKDQWUDYHOVL]HWRLOHWULHVQHHGUHSOHQLVKLQJ GLVSHQVHUVKDYHWKHDGGHGEHQHČ´WRIEHLQJ VHFXUHGDVDČ´[WXUHWR\RXUEDWKURRPZDOOV

01768 372 939

reducing the need to constantly purchase WRLOHWULHV%XONVL]HVRIRXUOLTXLGWRLOHWULHVDUH DOVRDYDLODEOHWRDOORZIRUHÎ?RUWOHVVUHČ´OOLQJ

A TOUCH OF LUXURY ([FOXVLYHWR2XWRI(GHQ&ROH /HZLVWRLOHWries are the ultimate in premium toiletries, DQGLI\RXČ&#x2021;UHORRNLQJWRSURYLGHVRPHWKLQJ GLÎ?HUHQWWKH&ROH /HZLVFROOHFWLRQLV\RXU DQVZHU$SRSXODUFKRLFHDPRQJVWKRWHOLHUV and high-end accommodation, the Cole & Lewis ranges, including Lemongrass & BergaPRWDQG:LOG)LJDQGÎ&#x2013;ULVDUHSURXGO\PDGHLQ the UK, with a superior formula enriched with natural ingredients and botanical extracts, ZKLOHUHPDLQLQJIUHHIURPSDUDEHQVDQG6/(6 7KHPOUDQJHVDUHSUHVHQWHGLQFODVVLF ERWWOHVZLWKVW\OLVKO\HPERVVHGVLOYHUFROODUV IRUDWLPHOHVVORRN $W2XWRI(GHQZHRÎ?HUDZLGHUDQJHRI WRLOHWULHVLQGLÎ?HUHQWVKDSHVVW\OHVDQGVL]HV carefully selected to ensure there is a collecWLRQWRVXLWHYHU\RQHÎ&#x2013;QDGGLWLRQZHSURYLGH EXONUHČ´OOVWRLOHWU\ZHOFRPHSDFNVDQGKDUG soaps â&#x20AC;&#x201C; made on site in our soap factory â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to DFFRPSDQ\WKHUDQJHV

sales@outofeden.co.uk  www.outofeden.co.uk Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 33 - Summer 2019


- 3URČ´OHBrimstone Spa -

Genesis of a boutique hotel A definitively boutique hotel opened in the Lake District four years ago to appeal to the evolving tastes of an affluent younger demographic keen on exploring luxury destinations. Bill Lumley pays a visit to Brimstone Hotel at the Langdale Estate in Ambleside, Cumbria

Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 32 - Summer 2019


- 3URÈ´OHBrimstone Spa -

Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 33 - Summer 2019


- 3URČ´OHBrimstone Spa -

I

f one thinks of visitors to the Lake District it is likely to conjure up images of older people in Wellington boots, woolly hats and sensible weatherproof coats, looking forward to a traditional pint or a nice cup of tea when they get back to their guest house at the end of a dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hiking. $GHFDGHDJRDVWKHČ´UVWQXFOHXVIRUPHG for the ideas that led to the development of the 16-suite Brimstone Hotel, an unmistakDEO\ERXWLTXHKRWHOLWVRZQHUVLGHQWLČ´HGDQ emerging divergence in visitors to the region. At the time they needed to do something with the standalone hotel situated within a larger complex that was under increasing pressure with a limited amount of timeshare to sell. At the same time, the hotel business on the site that the Brimstone Hotel would HYHQWXDOO\UHSODFHZDVQRWPDNLQJDSURČ´W Langdale Hotels sales & marketing director Dan Visser says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was a bit of a lightbulb moment for the board, collectively realising they needed to do something.â&#x20AC;? At this point Dan became involved in the

new management team and they set to work changing the marketing plan, refurbishing the product and taking it up to a very high-quality four-star hotel, but owing to the timeshare element, and because of the way the resort was set up, LWZDVQHYHUJRLQJWREHKXJHO\SURČ´WDEOH he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We had to decide what to do in order to secure long-term commercial sustainability of the estate. We all knew it was the rooms that would make money; we had space; and we had planning permission.â&#x20AC;? They initially considered putting in 30 traditional-style bedrooms and carrying on competing with all their four-star competitors with premium spa facilities, of which there are many in that part of Cumbria, but the gap in the market was at the very top end, he says. So instead, they built 16 suites where once there would have been 30 guest rooms, and they decided to brand WKHPGLÎ?HUHQWO\IURPWKHUHVWRIWKHEXVLness, resulting in the luxury boutique hotel. Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 34 - Summer 2019


- 3URČ´OHBrimstone Spa -

THE SUITES Each of the suites at Brimstone is very large, most have wood-buring stoves, and rather than having an en suite they all, in Danâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s words, feature signature bathing experiences. Something that most guests would not have at home. 7KHVXLWHVDUHVHWRYHUWZRČľRRUVDOOIHDturing super king size beds, and the minibars are stocked, wherever possible, with produce from local suppliers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of the aims of the rooms is to give guests an experience that they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get at home. Informal luxury was the route we decided to follow. Think of a very high-end ski lodge: thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where we are going,â&#x20AC;? he explains. *LYLQJLWDQHGJHRYHUČ´YHVWDUKRWHOVWKH world over, Brimstone Spa does not have a reception desk. Instead, guests are welcomed at the door, from where they are shown the facilities before being taken straight to their VXLWHDOORIZKLFKIHDWXUHRSHQČ´UHVČ&#x201A;RIWHQ useful, as the Lake District is not always gloULRXVO\VXQQ\7KHČ´UHVDOVRKHOSH[SDQGWKH use of the suites across all seasons, doubly useful given the hotel aims to attract a wider guest target to the traditional outdoor types and to serve as a destination itself. (YHU\JXHVWURRPKDVDEDOFRQ\7KHVWDÎ? uniform meanwhile comprises smart jeans, tweed waistcoats, white shirts, Dubarry ERRWVČ&#x201A;Č&#x160;YHU\GLÎ?HUHQWWRZKDWDWWKHWLPHZDV uniform in this area,â&#x20AC;? says Dan. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That more modern less formal but still very high-quality OHYHOWRRNRÎ?YHU\ZHOOLQGHHGDQGUHVRQDWHG with the guests really well.â&#x20AC;? 7KHKRWHOLVGHČ´QHGE\LWVLQIRUPDOLW\KH VD\VČ&#x160;:HGHČ´QLWHO\GHOLYHUWRSTXDOLW\EXWLW LVQRWGRQHVRLQDVWXÎ?\RUIRUPDOPDQQHU The guests are here to relax, it is a leisure hotel, and people donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t generally come here for business. Guests donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to have to think about anything while there are here or do anything if they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to. And if for example they say they want to go for a walk, we will give them a map of the route and the kit they need.â&#x20AC;?

our key approach is essentially to attract direct business through our web PR. Because LWLVVRGLÎ?HUHQWWRWKHODNHGLVWULFWWKH35 success has been immense, and has built up its own head of steam very quickly: online is online, and anyone with an internet connecWLRQFDQČ´QGXVČ&#x2039; Such PR was integral to helping to drive some of that attention to the Brimstone, he says, and they have learned that their clientèle is much younger than the typical SURČ´OHRI/DNH'LVWULFWYLVLWRUZKRLVRI retirement age or coming up to retirement and likes hiking. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have attracted a much younger demographic with Brimstone,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It comprises a much larger proportion of visitors from London than you would norPDOO\Č´QGLQWKHUHJLRQ0RVW/DNH'LVWULFWYLVitors live within two hoursâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; drive, yet around 40% of our guests are from London.â&#x20AC;? The priorities of quite a few of them are to FRPHWR%ULPVWRQH+RWHOČ´UVWDQGWKH/DNH District second, he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rather than, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m going to go to the Lake District, where shall I stay?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more a case of, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;We found out about Brimstone Hotel - letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s go and stay there!â&#x20AC;&#x2122; followed by exclamations of, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Oh! this is a nice bit of countryside!â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;?

GUEST PROFILE Although the Brimstone actively distinguishes itself from the attractive but traditional hill-walking Lake District guest traditionally associated with this region, it does welcome plenty of such guests despite not setting out ZLWKDVSHFLČ´FGHPRJUDSKLFLQPLQG â&#x20AC;&#x153;We set out to go to market in the same way as we do with all our businesses, where Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 35 - Summer 2019

THE SPA Brimstone Spa has eight thermal experiences and a spa pool both indoors and outdoors, GHJUHHVDOOWKHWLPHDQGLWRÎ?HUVVSD therapy treatments, with 10 corresponding rooms plus one private spa that can be hired by the half-day that is highly popular with Brimstone guests. This includes a private spa, two treatments, and guests get to relax in their own private spa for half a day. Although spa therapy is charged extra, use of the spa itself is included in the price for guests at Brinmstone. Any other guests staying on the Langdale estate have to pay to get in, and it is not available to the general public, adding to its boutique exclusivity, Dan says. Guests at Brimstone also have extensive leisure facilities including hot-tubs, a steam room and access to a 20-metre pool, which they may share with timeshare guests and their families. In recognition of the fact that visitors to the spa can build up both thirst and hunger, integrated in the area is the Brimstone Spa Deli, ZKLFKRÎ?HUVDVHOHFWLRQRISUHPLXPGULQNV and snacks such as sandwiches or a chicken RUVDOPRQVDODGWHDFRÎ?HHVRIWGULQNVRU wines from the old and new world.


- 3URČ´OHBrimstone Spa -

DINING Unusually for a luxury hotel, there is no dedicated onsite restaurant. If guests wish to eat on site they can go to a restaurant a couple of minutesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; walk from the hotel itself. Stove Bar DQG5HVWDXUDQWRÎ?HUVPRGHUQ%ULWLVKFRRNLQJ styles encompassing contemporary dishes and established classics. It also embodies the overall theme of Brimstone Spa itself. Dan explains: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Stove followed the development of Brimstone in line with the theme of informal luxury. The restaurant serves fantastic food, and although we are not chasing rosettes, ZHGRKDYHWKHP:KDWZHZDQWWRRÎ?HULV really good quality food, served in a relaxed

HQYLURQPHQW<RXČ&#x2021;OOČ´QGDWZRURVHWWHGLVKRQD table next to a pizza: itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about choice.â&#x20AC;? In the surrounding area there are a highHUWKDQDYHUDJHQXPEHURI0LFKHOLQVWDUUHVtaurants per capita, he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are not out there to compete with that market. We say WRRXUJXHVWVLI\RXDUHDIWHUH[FOXVLYHČ´QH dining, we will take you to the very best local restaurant, of which there are quite a few to choose from. Although it is not what we are about, for those people who do want to dine out at such a place, we will book them a table, put them in the Land Rover and drive them there and then pick them up,â&#x20AC;? he says. Alternatively, if they want to chill out, relax, Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 36 - Summer 2019

get over their walk to the pub or whatever they are seeking, that is an experience the hotel will excel at providing, he says. +HDGGVČ&#x160;:KHQZHČ´UVWDQQRXQFHGWKDW ZHZHUHQČ&#x2021;WKDYLQJDQ\WUDGLWLRQDOČ´QHGLQLQJ on the premises of a very high-quality hotel, there were a few raised eyebrows, but it has worked out really well.â&#x20AC;?

ONGOING CHANGES The hotel constantly tweaks what it does, Dan VD\VČ&#x160;:HKDYHQRWGRQHDQ\WKLQJVLJQLČ´FDQWO\GLÎ?HUHQWEHFDXVHZKDWZHDUHGRLQJ had been working well. But we do constantly tweak the way we do things.â&#x20AC;?


- 3URČ´OHBrimstone Spa -

For example, he says, within Brimstone is The Library, a very large room that has tea, FRÎ?HHVQDFNVEHHUZLQHIUXLWMXLFHDQGZDter available all day, with as much as guests like to consume during their stay included in the rates. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are constantly looking at WKDWRÎ?HUWRNHHSLWIUHVKDQGWRPDNHVXUH it is up-to-date, seasonal, and sourced locally wherever possible. When there is a locally manufactured gin or beer made down the road like there is in so many towns or villages these days, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll order in some of the product in and give them a chance. We just keep on tweaking detail all the time,â&#x20AC;? says Dan. Even though the boutique hotel itself is only four years old, it attracts a very high level of repeat guests, he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are constantly looking at what we do and how we do it, in order to keep those repeat guests interested.â&#x20AC;?

HIGH END BRANDS The Brimstone partners with Arcteryx, a Canadian brand of high-end outdoor wear that is now branching into fashion. The hotel has a room full of the brandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s waterproof jackets, trousers, backpacks and shoes for people who want to go out and explore the outGRRUVIRUWKHČ´UVWWLPHDQGKDYHQRWEURXJKW them with them because they are not used to that kind of thing. That has proved really popular as well. In the bathrooms and spa the bathing products are from Aramis, but Brimstone has also partnered with a local company that manufactures toiletries and cosmetics. Dan says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;They use environmentally friendly mainly organic ingredients manufactured locally, which is a big tick for us. We have worked in partnership with them to help create our own brand of spa treatments with our own Pure Alchemy, and 80% of our treatments use that brand.â&#x20AC;? It is widely believed that whatever the quality rating of a guest house or hotel, one of the most lasting impressions of the place is the quality of sleep a guest had. Dan says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We had a mattress made for us by Sealy, a Cumbria-based company, so again we are supporting a local company. It is vitally important that we get the best quality mattress we can have. Where we can get it from a local manufacturer is another huge tick for us.â&#x20AC;?

Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 37 - Summer 2019

In the process of the creation of Brimstone Spa the board took a number of gambles as it shaped into a luxury boutique hotel that are now paying dividends as the luxury guest market evolves.


- 3URČ´OHBrimstone Spa -

Genesis of a boutique hotel A definitively boutique hotel opened in the Lake District four years ago to appeal to the evolving tastes of an affluent younger demographic keen on exploring luxury destinations.

I

Bill Lumley pays a visit to Brimstone Hotel at the Langdale Estate in Ambleside, Cumbria

f one thinks of visitors to the Lake District it is likely to conjure up images of older people in Wellington boots, woolly hats and sensible weatherproof coats, looking forward to a traditional pint or a nice cup of tea when they get back to their guest house at the end of a dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hiking. $GHFDGHDJRDVWKHČ´UVWQXFOHXVIRUPHG for the ideas that led to the development of the 16-suite Brimstone Hotel, an unmistakDEO\ERXWLTXHKRWHOLWVRZQHUVLGHQWLČ´HGDQ emerging divergence in visitors to the region. At the time they needed to do something with the standalone hotel situated within a larger complex that was under increasing pressure with a limited amount of timeshare to sell. At the same time, the hotel business on the site that the Brimstone Hotel would HYHQWXDOO\UHSODFHZDVQRWPDNLQJDSURČ´W Langdale Hotels sales & marketing director Dan Visser says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was a bit of a lightbulb moment for the board, collectively realising they needed to do something.â&#x20AC;? At this point Dan became involved in the new management team and they set to work

changing the marketing plan, refurbishing the product and taking it up to a very high-quality four-star hotel, but owing to the timeshare element, and because of the way the resort

was set up, it was never going to be hugely SURČ´WDEOHKHVD\V â&#x20AC;&#x153;We had to decide what to do in order to secure long-term commercial sustainability of the estate. We all knew it was the rooms that would make money; we had space; and we had planning permission.â&#x20AC;? They initially considered putting in 30 traditional-style bedrooms and carrying on competing with all their four-star competitors with premium spa facilities, of which there are many in that part of Cumbria, but the gap in the market was at the very top end, he says. So instead, they built 16 suites where once there would have been 30 guest rooms, DQGWKH\GHFLGHGWREUDQGWKHPGLÎ?HUHQWO\ from the rest of the business, resulting in the luxury boutique hotel.

THE SUITES Each of the suites at Brimstone is very large, most have wood-buring stoves, and rather than having an en suite they all, in Danâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s words, feature signature bathing experiences. Something that most guests would not have at home. Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 34 - Summer 2019


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LWLVVRGLÎ?HUHQWWRWKHODNHGLVWULFWWKH35 success has been immense, and has built up its own head of steam very quickly: online is online, and anyone with an internet connecWLRQFDQČ´QGXVČ&#x2039; Such PR was integral to helping to drive some of that attention to the Brimstone, he says, and they have learned that their clientèle is much younger than the typical SURČ´OHRI/DNH'LVWULFWYLVLWRUZKRLVRI retirement age or coming up to retirement and likes hiking. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have attracted a much younger demographic with Brimstone,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It comprises a much larger proportion of visitors from London than you would norPDOO\Č´QGLQWKHUHJLRQ0RVW/DNH'LVWULFWYLVitors live within two hoursâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; drive, yet around

7KHVXLWHVDUHVHWRYHUWZRČľRRUVDOOIHDturing super king size beds, and the minibars are stocked, wherever possible, with produce from local suppliers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of the aims of the rooms is to give guests an experience that they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get at home. Informal luxury was the route we decided to follow. Think of a very high-end ski lodge: thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where we are going,â&#x20AC;? he explains. *LYLQJLWDQHGJHRYHUČ´YHVWDUKRWHOVWKH world over, Brimstone Spa does not have a reception desk. Instead, guests are welcomed at the door, from where they are shown the facilities before being taken straight to their VXLWHDOORIZKLFKIHDWXUHRSHQČ´UHVČ&#x201A;RIWHQ useful, as the Lake District is not always gloULRXVO\VXQQ\7KHČ´UHVDOVRKHOSH[SDQGWKH use of the suites across all seasons, doubly useful given the hotel aims to attract a wider guest target to the traditional outdoor types and to serve as a destination itself. (YHU\JXHVWURRPKDVDEDOFRQ\7KHVWDÎ? uniform meanwhile comprises smart jeans, tweed waistcoats, white shirts, Dubarry ERRWVČ&#x201A;Č&#x160;YHU\GLÎ?HUHQWWRZKDWDWWKHWLPHZDV uniform in this area,â&#x20AC;? says Dan. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That more modern less formal but still very high-quality OHYHOWRRNRÎ?YHU\ZHOOLQGHHGDQGUHVRQDWHG with the guests really well.â&#x20AC;? 7KHKRWHOLVGHČ´QHGE\LWVLQIRUPDOLW\KH VD\VČ&#x160;:HGHČ´QLWHO\GHOLYHUWRSTXDOLW\EXWLW LVQRWGRQHVRLQDVWXÎ?\RUIRUPDOPDQQHU The guests are here to relax, it is a leisure hotel, and people donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t generally come here for business. Guests donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to have to think about anything while there are here or

GUEST PROFILE

40% of our guests are from London.â&#x20AC;? The priorities of quite a few of them are to FRPHWR%ULPVWRQH+RWHOČ´UVWDQGWKH/DNH District second, he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rather than, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m going to go to the Lake District, where shall I stay?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more a case of, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;We found out about Brimstone Hotel - letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s go and stay there!â&#x20AC;&#x2122; followed by exclamations of, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Oh! this is a nice bit of countryside!â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;?

Although the Brimstone actively distinguishes itself from the attractive but traditional hill-walking Lake District guest traditionally associated with this region, it does welcome plenty of such guests despite not setting out ZLWKDVSHFLČ´FGHPRJUDSKLFLQPLQG â&#x20AC;&#x153;We set out to go to market in the same way as we do with all our businesses, where our key approach is essentially to attract direct business through our web PR. Because

Brimstone Spa has eight thermal experiences and a spa pool both indoors and outdoors, GHJUHHVDOOWKHWLPHDQGLWRÎ?HUVVSD therapy treatments, with 10 corresponding rooms plus one private spa that can be hired by the half-day that is highly popular with Brimstone guests. This includes a private spa, two treatments, and guests get to relax in

do anything if they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to. And if for example they say they want to go for a walk, we will give them a map of the route and the kit they need.â&#x20AC;?

Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 35 - Summer 2019

THE SPA


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their own private spa for half a day. Although spa therapy is charged extra, use of the spa itself is included in the price for guests at Brinmstone. Any other guests staying on the Langdale estate have to pay to get in, and it is not available to the general public, adding to its boutique exclusivity, Dan says. Guests at Brimstone also have extensive leisure facilities including hot-tubs, a steam room and access to a 20-metre pool, which they may share with timeshare guests and their families. In recognition of the fact that visitors to the spa can build up both thirst and hunger, integrated in the area is the Brimstone Spa Deli,

ZKLFKRÎ?HUVDVHOHFWLRQRISUHPLXPGULQNV and snacks such as sandwiches or a chicken RUVDOPRQVDODGWHDFRÎ?HHVRIWGULQNVRU wines from the old and new world.

DINING Unusually for a luxury hotel, there is no dedicated onsite restaurant. If guests wish to eat on site they can go to a restaurant a couple of minutesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; walk from the hotel itself. Stove Bar DQG5HVWDXUDQWRÎ?HUVPRGHUQ%ULWLVKFRRNLQJ styles encompassing contemporary dishes and established classics. It also embodies the overall theme of Brimstone Spa itself. Dan explains: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Stove followed the developLuxury Bed & Breakfast - 36 - Summer 2019

ment of Brimstone in line with the theme of informal luxury. The restaurant serves fantastic food, and although we are not chasing rosettes, ZHGRKDYHWKHP:KDWZHZDQWWRRÎ?HULV really good quality food, served in a relaxed HQYLURQPHQW<RXČ&#x2021;OOČ´QGDWZRURVHWWHGLVKRQD table next to a pizza: itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about choice.â&#x20AC;? In the surrounding area there are a highHUWKDQDYHUDJHQXPEHURI0LFKHOLQVWDUUHVtaurants per capita, he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are not out there to compete with that market. We say WRRXUJXHVWVLI\RXDUHDIWHUH[FOXVLYHČ´QH dining, we will take you to the very best local restaurant, of which there are quite a few to choose from. Although it is not what we are


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about, for those people who do want to dine out at such a place, we will book them a table, put them in the Land Rover and drive them there and then pick them up,â&#x20AC;? he says. Alternatively, if they want to chill out, relax, get over their walk to the pub or whatever they are seeking, that is an experience the hotel will excel at providing, he says. +HDGGVČ&#x160;:KHQZHČ´UVWDQQRXQFHGWKDW ZHZHUHQČ&#x2021;WKDYLQJDQ\WUDGLWLRQDOČ´QHGLQLQJ on the premises of a very high-quality hotel, there were a few raised eyebrows, but it has worked out really well.â&#x20AC;?

ONGOING CHANGES The hotel constantly tweaks what it does, Dan VD\VČ&#x160;:HKDYHQRWGRQHDQ\WKLQJVLJQLČ´FDQWO\GLÎ?HUHQWEHFDXVHZKDWZHDUHGRLQJ had been working well. But we do constantly tweak the way we do things.â&#x20AC;? For example, he says, within Brimstone is The Library, a very large room that has tea, FRÎ?HHVQDFNVEHHUZLQHIUXLWMXLFHDQGZDter available all day, with as much as guests like to consume during their stay included in the rates. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are constantly looking at WKDWRÎ?HUWRNHHSLWIUHVKDQGWRPDNHVXUH it is up-to-date, seasonal, and sourced locally wherever possible. When there is a locally manufactured gin or beer made down the road like there is in so many towns or villages these days, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll order in some of the product in and give them a chance. We just keep on

tweaking detail all the time,â&#x20AC;? says Dan. Even though the boutique hotel itself is only four years old, it attracts a very high level of repeat guests, he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are constantly looking at what we do and how we do it, in order to keep those repeat guests interested.â&#x20AC;?

HIGH END BRANDS The Brimstone partners with Arcteryx, a Canadian brand of high-end outdoor wear that is now branching into fashion. The hotel has a room full of the brandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s waterproof jackets, trousers, backpacks and shoes for people who want to go out and explore the outdoors for WKHČ´UVWWLPHDQGKDYHQRWEURXJKWWKHPZLWK them because they are not used to that kind of thing. That has proved really popular as well. In the bathrooms and spa the bathing products are from Aramis, but Brimstone has also partnered with a local company that manufactures toiletries and cosmetics. Dan says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;They use environmentally friendly mainly organic ingredients manufactured locally, which is a big tick for us. We have worked in partnership with them to help create our own brand of spa treatments with our own Pure Alchemy, and 80% of our treatments use that brand.â&#x20AC;? It is widely believed that whatever the quality rating of a guest house or hotel, one of the most lasting impressions of the place is the quality of sleep a guest had. Dan says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We had a mattress made for us by Sealy, a Cumbria-based company, so again we are

Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 37 - Summer 2019

supporting a local company. It is vitally important that we get the best quality mattress we can have. Where we can get it from a local manufacturer is another huge tick for us.â&#x20AC;? In the process of the creation of Brimstone Spa the board took a number of gambles as it shaped into a luxury boutique hotel that are now paying dividends as the luxury guest market evolves.


- 3URČ´OHTigh Na Ligh Guest House -

Frae Bonnie Scotland

Barely nine months after Karen and Graham Smith took over Tigh Na Leigh Guest house and with no background in hospitality, they have just won the AA Scottish Accommodation of the Year award. Bill Lumley takes a look at their outstanding business

Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 38 - Summer 2019


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aren and Graham took over the property on 16 Jul 2018, Karen having given up her job as a specialist obesity nurse and her husband GraKDPKDYLQJUXQDČ´QDQFLDOVHUYLFHFRPSDQ\ Karen tells Luxury Bed & Breakfast: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We had always thought about getting into the hosSLWDOLW\EXVLQHVV:HKDGWUDYHOOHGDORWDQG stayed in a great many luxury boutique hotels and guest houses, and we were convinced ZHFRXOGGRLWRXUVHOYHV:HMXVWGHFLGHGZH ZRXOGGRLWEHIRUHZHJRWWRRROGČ&#x2039; Both of them believed they had the right kind of personality for a B&B as well as other attributes that would enable them to give guests what they wanted out of a stay, .DUHQVD\VČ&#x160;:HUHDOO\LGHQWLČ´HGDVSHRSOH SHUVRQV:HUHDOO\HQMR\PHHWLQJSHRSOHČ&#x2039; Graham has a strong interest in whiskies, a highly useful attribute when it comes to YLVLWRUVNHHQRQ6FRWFKZKLVN\)XUWKHUPRUH Tigh Na Leigh is situated very close to a great many types of outdoor pursuit and he has a SDVVLRQIRUWKDWVKHVD\V â&#x20AC;&#x153;This means he is very good at suggesting to people what they might want to do on a day out, and he is always able to give them advice in the morning as to where guests PLJKWOLNHWRJRIRUWKHGD\Č&#x2039; .DUHQPHDQZKLOHORYHVFRRNLQJČ&#x160;:HFRRN dinner here too, and I enjoy looking after the JXHVWVDQGFRRNLQJIRUWKHPČ&#x2039;VKHVD\V There are quite a few B&Bs across the UK that have the facility to provide evening meals that Luxury Bed & Breakfast has featured in SDVWLVVXHV+RZHYHURQHRIWKHIXQGDPHQWDO GLÎ?HUHQFHVEHWZHHQDJXHVWKRXVHDQGD% % Karen says, is that in a guest house guests are PRUHOLNHO\WREHRÎ?HUHGDQHYHQLQJPHDO whereas generally in a B&B it is normally pureO\DEHG EUHDNIDVWSURSRVLWLRQ She says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Quite a few of our guests here OLNHWKHIDFWWKDWZHDUHOLFHQVHGDQGFDQRÎ?HU an evening meal rather than them having to JRRXWDQGORRNIRUVRPHWKLQJWKHPVHOYHV$Othough we are not exactly rural, this is a small town, so there are not a lot of high quality GLQLQJHVWDEOLVKPHQWVEDVHGKHUHČ&#x2039;

with the exception of two or three occasions when they opened the guesthouse for people who wanted to rent the whole guesthouse DQGKDYHWKHRZQHUVFDWHUIRUWKHUP%XWVKH says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;In this particular part of Scotland and in fact Scotland in general, unless you are based in the heart of a very busy city, tourists do not FRPHWRVWD\ZKHQWKHZHDWKHULVEDGČ&#x2039; Visitor numbers are therefore very much driven by the seasons in Scotland, a part of the United Kingdom that can have some pretW\VWDUNZLQWHUV That said, the weather in Scotland can also EHORYHO\LQ$XWXPQDQGHDUO\ZLQWHU.DUHQ VD\VČ&#x160;Î&#x2013;WFDQEHFULVSDQGFROGEXWJORULRXV with clear blue skies â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but the you can come here in the summer and it can be pouring ZLWKUDLQDQGLWFDQEHTXLWHFKLOO\WRRLWČ&#x2021;VMXVW RQHRIWKRVHWKLQJV7KHZHDWKHULQ6FRWODQG LVUHDOO\TXLWWHUXQSUHGLFWDEOH<RXFDQH[SHULHQFHDOOWKHVHDVRQVLQRQHGD\Č&#x2039;

SEASONS Tigh Na Leigh will probably never be open for GD\VD\HDUVKHVD\V8QGHURZQHUVKLS of the previous owners the guesthouse was closed form the end of November to the midGOHRI)HEUXDU\DQG.DUHQDQG*UDKDPKDYH IROORZHGWKDWSDWWHUQWKURXJKWKHLUČ´UVW\HDU Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 39 - Summer 2019

The property has six guest bedrooms A cosy, ground floor bedroom with twin beds or super king bed, luxury en suite bathroom with spa bath; A standard double bed in contemporary leather, luxury en suite bathroom with spa bath; A separate lounge with 40" Flatscreen TV, Bluray DVD Player and a very comfy sofa, as well as super king size bed & en suite with spa bath; The largest and most lavishly furnished room has an emperor size bed and a luxurious en suite bathroom with a huge spa bath; Comfortable single room with Flatscreen TV & DVD player, all the usual trimmings, en suite bathroom with spa bath; A room on the third floor, with king sized bed and luxury bathroom. Coved ceilings and a narrow staircase â&#x20AC;&#x201C; â&#x20AC;&#x153;a proper little hideaway!â&#x20AC;? says Karen


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An example of the guest houseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s daily changing menu. BREAKFAST Ingredients for full Scottish breakfast or variations on this theme are all sourced locally whenever seasonally possible. Start the day with something from our Buffet Table. A selection of cereals, granola, mueslis, nuts and dried fruit Fresh seasonal fruit, Greek yoghurt and fruit juices Homemade jam and compote AND TO FOLLOW: The Scottish: Bacon, sausage, black pudding, haggis, fried, poached or scrambled egg, mushrooms and tomato. Eggs Benedict / Florentine (v): Two poached eggs on toasted English muffins with hollandaise sauce and crispy bacon or spinach. French Toast: Thick eggy brioche bread served with crispy bacon or seasonal fruit (v) & maple syrup. Omelettes: 2/3 egg omelette served either plain OR with ham, cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes & peppers. On Sourdough: Your choice of topping(s) on toasted sourdough bread: avocado, tomatoes, smoked salmon or feta. DINNER: Starters â&#x20AC;¢ TWICE BAKED GOATS CHEESE SOUFFLE WITH CARAMELISED WALNUTS & APPLE SALAD - £5.75 â&#x20AC;¢ PAN-FRIED SCALLOPS WITH CHORIZO & CAULIFLOWER PUREE - £6.75 Entrées â&#x20AC;¢ RACK OF SCOTCH LAMB - £15.50 â&#x20AC;¢ SERVED WITH SWEET POTATO, ROSEMARY & RED CHILLI MASH â&#x20AC;¢ PAN SEARED SCOTCH SALMON FILLET - £14.75 â&#x20AC;¢ SERVED WITH HOLLANDAISE SAUCE, WILD RICE AND SEASONAL VEGETABLES â&#x20AC;¢ SCOTCH HIGHLAND RIBEYE STEAK (225g approx.) - £21.00 â&#x20AC;¢ SERVED WITH HANDCUT CHIPS & ALL THE TRIMMINGS

KEY CHANGES The couple were lucky enough to take over a functional B&B, and Karen says that the main changes they have made to the business so far KDYHEHHQUHODWLYHO\FRVPHWLFÈ&#x160;Î&#x2013;KDYHFKDQJHG WKHPHQXVOLJKWO\IRUWKHGLQQHUVÈ&#x2039;VKHVD\V +RZHYHUVKHDQG*UDKDPKDYHFDUULHGRXW DVLJQLÈ´FDQWDPRXQWRIZRUNRXWVLGHLQWKH garden, which had hitherto been a neglected EXWYDOXDEOHIHDWXUHRIWKHJXHVWKRXVH â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have a very big garden, and it needed

Desserts â&#x20AC;¢ SCOTTISH RASPBERRY PANNA COTTA- £5.50 â&#x20AC;¢ DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BROWNIES WITH ORANGE MASCARPONE CREAM - 5.50 The guesthouse can cater for special dietary needs such as gluten-free and dairy-free, provided this is requested at the time of booking. All meals are cooked to order. Wherever possible local produce is used. All meat, poultry, game and fish are sourced in Scotland.

Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 40 - Summer 2019

TXLWHDORWRIZRUN$ORWRILWZDVRYHUJURZQ LQFOXGLQJWKHSDWKV â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have also been updating the guest house with soft furnishings, and we have SXWXSDORWRIDUWZRUNÎ&#x2013;WLVDORYHO\EXLOGing and it had just got a little but tired, and ZHDUHMXVWWU\LQJWRXSJUDGHLWVOLJKWO\È&#x2039;VKH VD\VTXLWHPRGHVWO\ When it comes to serving food she say they always try to use local produce wherever SRVVLEOHÈ&#x160;:HKDYHDOORWPHQWVLQWKHJDUGHQ


- 3URÈ´OHTigh Na Ligh Guest House -

GOLF Alyth is in the centre of a triangle of world-famous courses. It takes you no more than an hour either way to reach the St Andrews , Carnoustie and Gleneagles golf courses - or another 60 courses ranging from links to inland to very hilly (Dunkeld). Closer to home, Alyth has 3 superb Golf Courses - the younger Strathmore with 18 holes, 9 holes and driving range, Glenisla Golf Club with 18 holes and driving range, and the 18-hole James Braid-designed Alyth Golf Course. Blairgowrie Golf Club â&#x20AC;¢ Golf Course Road, Rosemount, Blairgowrie, Perthshire, PH10 6LGJ â&#x20AC;¢ Tel: 01250 872 622 5 â&#x20AC;¢ Web: www.theblairgowriegolfclub.co.uk â&#x20AC;¢ The Blairgowrie Golf Club offers the chance to play on two of the finest championship golf courses, and one of the best 9 hole courses, in Scotland â&#x20AC;¢ The famous Rosemount championship course â&#x20AC;¢ The Lansdowne championship course â&#x20AC;¢ The 9 hole Wee Course â&#x20AC;¢ The nine-hole Wee Course is perfect for a warm-up round or for golfers just starting out.

so a fair amount of the food we serve such as YHJHWDEOHVDQGVWUDZEHUULHVLVKRPHJURZQÈ&#x2039; The meat they serve tends to be produce IURPDORFDOFUDIWEXWFKHUÈ&#x160;7KLVVHHPVWR KDYHJRQHGRZQTXLWHZHOOÈ&#x2039;VD\V.DUHQ â&#x20AC;&#x153;We also use local Sottish produce wherever SRVVLEOHÎ&#x2013;WU\QRWWRXVHDQ\WKLQJWKDWKDVQRW FRPHIURPDURXQGDERXWKHUHÈ&#x2039; Everything is cooked to order, so there is never any need for guests to pre-order breakIDVWWKHQLJKWEHIRUHÈ&#x160;:HPDNHHYHU\WKLQJ IURPVFUDWFKÈ&#x2039;VKHVWUHVVHV I catch up with her as she is making bread IRUWKHHYHQLQJÈ&#x160;Î&#x2013;ZRXOGGHVFULEHWKHPHQXDV PRGHUQ6FRWWLVKÎ&#x2013;WÈ&#x2021;VQRWWRRFRPSOLFDWHGDQG WKHUHDUHQÈ&#x2021;WORDGVDQGORDGVRIFKRLFHV$VLW is just me that does the cooking, it entails just doing as few dishes but hopefully doing them well, as opposed to doing lots of dishes and QRWGRLQJDQ\RIWKHPYHU\ZHOOÈ&#x2039;VKHVD\V

There is a driving range, full practice area, pitching and putting practice greens to warm up or improve your game, or seek the assistance of professional coaches. Whether you are a leading pro or an enthusiastic beginner, the Blairgowrie golf courses offer a challenge for any golfer, with breath-taking scenery, making your golfing experience memorable. DAYS OUT The centres of Perth, Dundee, Forfar, Dunkeld and Pitlochry, Balmoral Castle, Glamis Castle, Blair Atholl and Scone Palace are all within an hourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drive of the guesthouse., as is The famous Grouse Experience, Edradour Distillery and Dewars World of Whisky.

FUNCTION ROOMS È&#x160;:HGRQÈ&#x2021;WKDYHDOLFHQFHWRGRZHGGLQJV although we might consider doing so in the IXWXUHÈ&#x2039;VKHVD\V â&#x20AC;&#x153;The bulk of the guests we get here are aged WR7KH\DUHORRNLQJIRUJRRGYDOXHIRU money, but they are also looking for quality and IRUWKDWOLWWOHELWH[WUD:HWU\WRPDNHJXHVWV feel at home, we try to make them feel comfortDEOHDQGQRWKLQJLVWRRPXFKERWKHUIRUXV â&#x20AC;&#x153;We go out of our way to make sure all our JXHVWVKDYHDUHDOO\QLFHH[SHULHQFHÎ&#x2013;WÈ&#x2021;VQLFH DQGSHDFHIXODQGJXHVWVORYHWKHJDUGHQÎ&#x2013;IÎ&#x2013; was staying here I would think it was comfortDEOHDQGZHOFRPLQJÎ&#x2013;WÈ&#x2021;VQRWWKHVRUWRISODFH

GUESTHOUSE FEATURES: â&#x20AC;¢ Free superfast broadband â&#x20AC;¢ Freeview TV â&#x20AC;¢ Luxury en suite spa baths â&#x20AC;¢ Evening meals â&#x20AC;¢ Enclosed garden â&#x20AC;¢ Pet friendly you could come if you were looking for an H[FLWLQJQLJKWOLIHÈ&#x201A;LWÈ&#x2021;VQRWWKDWW\SHRISODFHÎ&#x2013;W suits people who want to get away from it all DQGMXVWUHOD[È&#x2039;VKHFRQFOXGHV Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 41 - Summer 2019


- In Depth / Destination Weddings -

Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 42 - Summer 2019


- In Depth / Destination Weddings -

Destination wedding A growing number of couples are holding their wedding service in the UK and congregating at a local guest house before jetting off to party with guests abroad. Bill Lumley looks at the extraordinary quirks of this trend and takes a look at an enchanting venue in Northern Italy

Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 43 - Summer 2019


- In Depth / Destination Weddings -

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WEDDING SERVICES CATERING Andrea suggests three local catering companies, which he describes as the best in Lombardy. These include: Scotti Ricevimenti (www.scottiricevimenti.it - www.instagram.com/scottiricevimenti): "Attention to details, design and materials (pottery). An important family culinary tradition represented by chef Claudio Scotti,” he says. Love Banqueting (www.instagram.com/lovebanqueting): “Attention to detail, fittings and trends. They have a lot of vintage design for special weddings.” La Dispensa Franciacorta (www.instagram.com/dispensafranciacorta): "The best catering in Franciacorta, they have a famous restaurant in Torbiato di Adro, guided by the young chef from the international experience Marco Acquaroli.” says Andrea. FLOWER DESIGN Rather than flying flowers in from the UK he recommends ordering flowers from local sources and suggests four such florists that specialise in weddings: Il Profumo dei fiori (www.instagram.com/ilprofumodeifiori) Boheme La Stazione (www.instagram.com/bohemlastazione) La Fiorellaia (www.instagram.com/la_fiorellaia)


- In Depth / Destination Weddings -

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- In Depth / Destination Weddings -

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- In Depth / Finance -

Accommodating dependable cashflow Rising levels of bankruptcy are hitting the hospitality sector hard. Bill Lumley looks at the best ways of keeping the wolf from the door

Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 48 - Summer 2019


- In Depth / Finance -

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he number of UK businesses that fell into insolvency hit a four-year high last year, and hospitality is one of WKHZRUVWDÎ?HFWHGVHFWRUVLQWKLUG place in UK liquidator listings, just behind administration and support and the construction business. The hospitality sector employs a high level RIORZHUSDLGVWDÎ?DQGRQJRLQJLQFUHDVHV to the national living wage and the national minimum wage, coupled with a need to fund pension auto-enrolment, mean many compaQLHV Č´QDQFLDOUHVHUYHVDUHEHLQJVWUHWFKHGWR breaking point. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that smaller traditional accommodation businesses must now deal with the high-density impact of competition from the gig economy such as Airbnb. The ongoing high rate of pub closures continues to threaten the food services sector. Recent analysis from real estate advisor Altus Group reports a 17.9% increase in food and beverage companies entering insolvency in 0HDQZKLOHLQČľH[LEOHOHDVHDUUDQJHments, rises in alcohol duty, the ban on smoking, as well as a general trend toward drinking at home are all features of a demanding hospitality environment. *RRGČ´QDQFLDOPDQDJHPHQWLVFULWLFDOIRU RQJRLQJVXFFHVVDQGSURČ´WDELOLW\ZLWKLQDOO types of hospitality operation, according to Virgate Accounts founder Sarah Travell. She warns: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Any major expenditure, expansion or growth planning should only be considered DIWHUDGHWDLOHGČ´QDQFLDOVFUXWLQ\LQVLWXDWLRQV RIRSWLPLVHGFDVKČľRZČ&#x2039; &DVKČľRZLVWKHFRUQHUVWRQHRIJRRGČ´QDQcial management in any hospitality operation, VKHVD\V$OWKRXJKWKHFRQFHSWRIFDVKČľRZLV easy to understand, it is the prime reason for retailers and hospitality businesses to fail. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many business owners need to take out loans of credit at slow times of year to cover FDVKČľRZVKRUWDJHVEXWHÎ?HFWLYHFDVKČľRZ management can prevent this from becoming necessary. Hoteliers need to commit to a good deal of regular upfront expenditure EHIRUHWDNLQJLQDQ\JXHVWVČ&#x2039;VKHVD\V Martin Ives runs Martin Ives & Co, an DFFRXQWDQF\Č´UPWKDWVSHFLDOLVHVLQVPDOO hospitality business. He says income and expenditure projections, while often overlooked by small businesses, are central to the SULQFLSOHRIFDVKČľRZ He tells Luxury Bed & Breakfast: â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is impor-

Sarah Travell, managing director, Virgate Accounts tant that guest house owners project what is going to happen in the next year. You should SXWWRJHWKHUDFDVKČľRZIRUHFDVWWKDWSUHGLFWV what your income is going to be each month, what your wages, expenses and other outgoings are going to be each month, and projecting that forward, factoring in over the course of the year the peaks and troughs you expect to see in a traditionally seasonal business. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Where you can see there are going to be FDVKČľRZFKDOOHQJHV\RXQHHGWREHVXUHWR SXWPRQH\DVLGHWRDOORZIRUWKHPČ&#x2039;KHVD\V â&#x20AC;&#x153;While you are projecting over 12 months, it is also good business sense to project longer term over 24 or 36 months as well, just so you have JRWDSUHGLFWLRQRIZKDWLVJRLQJWRKDSSHQČ&#x2039; Then, he says, as each month comes to an end you have to make sure you are achieving what you predicted, and if you DUHQČ&#x2021;WGRLQJVRWKHQDGMXVWLQJ\RXUFDVKČľRZ forecast accordingly. He says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;In a very seasonal hospitality business like B&B and guest houses, where there are several sharp peaks and troughs throughout the year, it is important to put together that prediction over the next 12 or 24 months so that you can prepare for inevitable SHDNVDQGWURXJKVDQGFDVKČľRZSUREOHPV This allows business owners to plan for tax payments, salary payments, and maybe over a period to budget for redecorating or refurbishing some of your rooms or you bar or restaurant area, as well as building tax FDOFXODWLRQVLQWRWKHFDVKČľRZSURMHFWLRQ â&#x20AC;&#x153;It should then allow owners to get on with their key role, that of providing a quality customer experience and not being side-tracked IURPGD\WRGD\DFWLYLWLHVZLWKČ´QDQFLDOPDWWHUVČ&#x2039;KHFRQFOXGHV Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 49 - Summer 2019

;Yk`Ă&#x203A;go[jYk`]k The liquidation rate rose in 2018. The estimated underlying liquidation rate in 2018 was one company liquidation per 249 of active companies, up from one in 264 in 2017 The underlying number of company liquidations increased. Excluding bulk insolvencies, underlying company liquidations increased by 9.7% to 14,269. This was the highest yearly total for company liquidations since 2013. Bankruptcies increased last year on 2017 There were 16,582 bankruptcy orders in 2018, a 9.8% increase on 2017. Orders on the application of the debtor increased by 10.0%, while those on the petition of the creditor increased 9.1% The year-end insolvency rate increased - one in 401 adults became insolvent in 2018, up from one in 466 in 2017 There were 34,108 individual insolvencies in England and Wales in Q4 2018, the highest level of individual insolvencies since Q2 2010. In Q3 2018, there were 990 bankruptcies where the individual was self-employed, which was 5.5% higher than Q2 2018 and also 17.7% higher than Q3 2017. Self-employed bankruptcies reached their highest quarterly level since Q1 2015 Source: Insolvency Sevrice


- In Depth / Last Orders -

Rum: the new gin Rum is proving to be the new gin, as sales rise disproportionately high. Bill Lumley suggests Innkeepers and bar managers within guest houses and hotels should pay heed to this trend to cash in on the spritâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s swell in popularity

A

s the managers of many successful inns and guest houses across the UK will testify, their active pursuit of the growing popularity of gin has SDLGRÎ?ZKHQWKH\KDYHHPEUDFHGWKHVSLULW LQFUHDVHGLWVSUHVHQFHEHKLQGWKHEDUDQG complemented it with premium mixers. As Carlos the general manager of the Hand & Flower inn in West Kensington says in an interview on page 22 of this issue, supplementing the existing range of gins at KLVLQQZLWKDGGLWLRQDOSUHPLXPEUDQGVKDV SURYHGWRKDYHEHHQDVHQVLEOHUHDFWLRQWR the growth in popularity in the drink, and has gone extremely down well with the punters, LQWKHSURFHVVXSSLQJWKHEDUČ&#x2021;VWXUQRYHU <HWZKLOHJLQKDVEHHQWKHNH\VWRU\LQ spirits for the past couple of years, the Wine 6SLULW7UDGH$VVRFLDWLRQ :67$ SXEOLVKHG QHZVODVWPRQWKWKDWUXPVDOHVČ´JXUHVZHUH starting to head in the same direction. Î&#x2013;WUHSRUWVWKDWUXPVDOHVSDVVHGWKHeEQ PDUNODVW\HDUIURPWKHVDOHRIDURXQGPERWtles, accounting for almost 10% of all spirit sales.

FLAVOURED RUMS :KLWHUXPEUDQGVVXFKDV%DFDUGLUHPDLQ WKHPRVWSRSXODUUXPEXW8.VDOHVRI ČľDYRXUHGDQGVSLFHGUXPVDUHJURZLQJIDVW ZLWKDOPRVWPLOOLRQERWWOHVVROGLQWKHODVW PRQWKVČ&#x201A;MXVWRYHUKDOIDPLOOLRQERWWOHV fewer than white rum. %RWKWKHZKLWHUXPDQGČľDYRXUHG VSLFHG rum categories were worth ÂŁ137 million over $QG:67$SUHGLFWVWKDWE\WKHHQG RIWKLV\HDUČľDYRXUHGDQGVSLFHGUXPVZLOO NQRFNZKLWHUXPRÎ?WRSVSRWDVWKHPRVW popular type of rum. 6DOHVRIJROGHQDQGGDUNUXPLQSXEVEDUV and restaurants were also up, with golden rum the most popular choice for drinkers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; sales of golden rum were worth ÂŁ374 million, an increase of 7% on last year. The latest increase in sales attests to the

growing appetite in the UK for rum and the LQFUHDVLQJQXPEHURIEUDQGVRQWKHPDUNHW Î&#x2013;QWKHUHZHUHDURXQGUXPEUDQGV RQWKH8.PDUNHWEXWQRZWKDWQXPEHULV approaching 200, underlining the fact ct that 8.GULQNHUVČ&#x2021;GHVLUHWRH[SHULPHQWQHZ HZ DQGGLÎ?HUHQWEUDQGVLVQRWFRQČ´QHGRQO\ RQO\ to experimenting with gin.

A GOOD YEAR 0LOHV%HDOHFKLHIH[HFXWLYHRIWKH Wine and Spirit Trade Association, VDLGČ&#x160;Î&#x2013;WČ&#x2021;VEHHQDQRWKHUJUHDW\HDU IRUUXPVDOHVLQWKH8.%ULWLVK drinkers have more choice than HYHUEHIRUHZKHQLWFRPHVWRUXP &UDIWVSLULWVDUHČ&#x2020;RIWKHPRPHQWČ&#x2021; DQGDQLQFUHDVLQJQXPEHURIDUWLsanal spirits producers are crafting their own interpretations of the spirit - often alongside their gin range.â&#x20AC;? Rum suppliers are sitting to atWHQWLRQ'DQ%XFNODQG&RIRXQGHU'UXP %ODFN5XP&RVD\V &RQVXPHUVDUHEHFRPLQJPRUH DGYHQWXURXVZLWKWKHLUEHYHUDJH choices, and the more exploration WKH\GRWKHPRUHNQRZOHGJHDEOHWKH\ EHFRPH7KH\ UHVHHNLQJEUDQGVWKDWGHČ´QH them as individuals, and the craft rum movement in the UK is showing more people that rum has the potential as the drink of choice. 8QWLOQRZVSLFHGUXPVKDYHEHHQDVVRFLated with lower quality mixing spirits. However, if crafted as a premium sipping rum with DQLQQRYDWLYHČľDYRXUSURČ´OHVSLFHGUXPFDQ EHFRPHDQDFFHVVLEOHDOWHUQDWLYHIRUVSLULW GULQNHUVZLWKPRUHUHČ´QHGWDVWHVDVZHOODVD new, exciting luxury drink for those exploring the rum world. :KLOVW'UXP %ODFNDQGDVPDOOQXPEHU RI%ULWLVKUXPVDUHDFWXDOO\GLVWLOOHGRQKRPH VRLOZHZLOOVHHWKDWPRVWQHZEUDQGVUHO\RQ EXONLPSRUWVÎ&#x2013;DPORRNLQJIRUZDUGWRVHHLQJ Luxury Bed & Breakfast - 50 - Summer 2019

more distilleries open here in the UK. As with the gin movement, this is when we will start WRVHHUHDOFUHDWLYLW\LQWKHFUDIWRIQHZ%ULWLVK EUDQGVKHSUHGLFWV

BAR SALES SA TIPS Rum co consultant Peter Holland of the Floating Rum Shack tells Luxury Bed & Breakfast: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Growth is down to all manner Breakfa RIPHDVXUHV5XPLVDJOREDOVSLULW RIPH FDWHJRU\DQGEUDQGVIURPDURXQG FDW WKHZRUOGDUHORRNLQJWREUHDNLQWR WK WKH8.PDUNHW7KHUH VJHQXLQH WK diversity in rum, and this results d LQDIDEYDULHW\RIWDVWLQJVW\OHV LQ EDFNJURXQGDQGKLVWRU\<RXPXVW E also factor in the continued rise a of internet-facilitated means of sharing information. One market sh might get a rum that proves popm XODURWKHUPDUNHWVKHDUDERXWLW X and clamour for more.â&#x20AC;? a +HRÎ?HUVDGYLFHIRULQQNHHSHUV DQGEDUPDQDJHUVČ&#x160;(QVXUH\RX D have a few crowd pleasers - the h HDVLO\LGHQWLČ´HGEUDQGV1RWHYHU\HD one wants a challenge after all. Make sure there are a few spiced rums - these are WKHQH[W*LQEHOLHYHPH<RXKHDUGLWKHUH Č´UVW%XWPDNHVXUH\RXKDYHDQDVSLUDWLRQDO selection. A lot of rum lists look like they were VRXUFHGIURPDČ&#x2020;JHQHULFVXSHUPDUNHWČ&#x2021;DQG TXLWHIUDQNO\DUHQ WDWDOOLQWHUHVWLQJ Č&#x160;/RRNWRWKH*DUJDQR&ODVVLČ´FDWLRQZKDW V the development route, do you understand ZK\WKHUXPVDUHGLÎ?HUHQW"'R\RXXQGHUVWDQGZK\WKH\WDVWHGLÎ?HUHQW"2Î?HULQJ a grown-up selection will make you look awesome. You just need a couple from each FDWHJRU\DQG\RX UHDOOVHWČ&#x2039; +HDGGVČ&#x160;2KDQGIRUJHWFODVVLČ´FDWLRQ E\FRORXUQRERG\WDONVDERXWZKLWHJROG or dark rums anymore, not if they want to sound like an expert.â&#x20AC;?


  

 

  # #@(% @  @ %!#@%!@ @ !@#@ @%' # @!!!@ 

       @ :12,14/8@@ 549-498@ @ :814-88@ 49-77:69154@ 5;-7@ @:*21+@@3625>-78@1)*1219>@ @ :814-88@-/)2@ =6-48-8@ 5;-7@ ? 5<@ =+-88@ 57@ 2)138 ? &@$0-.9@@++1,-49)2 )3)/-@ >@:-898 ? @"-+:719>@ 54,191548 Running a B&B or guest house is hard work and ringing around for days on end getting insurance quotes can be hassle and stress you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really need. Hodgson Insurance Services are an independent family run insurance broker based in Bude, Cornwall. We have been insuring guest houses all over the UK for over 40 years and understand the needs and insurance requirements of the modern-day B&B owner. You wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ever be dealing with a call centre, you will always be speaking ZLWKWKHVDPHRUWUDLQHGVWDÎ?PHPEHUV (YHU\EXVLQHVVLVGLÎ?HUHQWVRPHRÎ?HUDIXOOEUHDNIDVWRWKHUV allow guests access to cooking facilities. Some provide an element RIKROLGD\OHWWLQJPD\EHXVHRIDKRWWXEVRPHHPSOR\VWDÎ?:H take time to understand how you run your business, as independent brokers we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just use one insurer, we have access to a number of specialist guest house insurance schemes and will search the market

WRČ´QGWKHEHVWPDWFK for your business, so you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just sell on price, we make sure the covers are adequate for your needs. All guest house schemes have GLÎ?HUHQWWHUPVVRPH require security on doors & windows, some donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t, some include full Theft By Guests and some RQO\RÎ?HUWKHIWFRYHU by forcible or violent entry. What excess do you have to pay in the event of a claim? All policies vary!! A burst pipe causes water damages to rooms which you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t now rent for 6 months, will the policy compensate you for lost business?? An insurance broker should always fully explain the main conditions of a policy to ensure it meets your requirements. As general insurance brokers we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just do guest house insurance, although hospitality is a large part of our operation and we can look at quotes for holiday homes, restaurants, public houses etc, we also insure many landlords, shopkeepers and private motor vehicles. For more information or advice on your insurance needs please contact our brokerage.

            



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Profile for Iain Hoey

Luxury B&B Magazine - Summer 2019 Issue  

Luxury B&B Magazine - Summer 2019 Issue  

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