Well we survived it!
Uncategorized | Oct 10, 2018
Well I feel I need to apologise for neglecting my blog, and those of you following our story, for so long. But as I’m sure you can imagine its been a very busy time! The unexpected beautiful weather at the beginning of the summer brought the Europeans and those travelling without children flooding to Weymouth. We then hit July and August and achieved 97% occupancy – some of these had booked over a year ago and had a fantastic holiday, enjoying the joys of the traditional seaside. For us this meant no lie-ins and no days off, but also some lovely guests who really appreciated our hard work.
We’ve had some funny moments – one morning during breakfast one of our guests came in the front door looking very sheepish. She had popped outside for some ‘fresh air’ but had somehow then ended up in the dining room next door! After drinking Maria’s coffee and juice she was rumbled and crept back in for the main event in our dining room. We laughed, she was in one dining room and her husband in the other! I’ve had the chance to use my nursing skills. Some may say I never stopped using them (well Andy may not agree!) but this particular guest had severe breathing problems requiring constant oxygen and huge amounts of equipment at night. She was a pleasure and despite her debilitating illness had a lovely few days away. Not all of our guests have been so pleasant, although those sent to try us are very few and far between, and using my breakfast and Andy’s schmoozing we usually manage to win them round!
But its not been all work and no play. Chloe has loved swimming in the sea and more recently crabbing off the wall in the harbour. Most weekends there has been live music on the harbour which has gone down well with a cold beer and reminded both Andy and I that we are more than just business partners! Working together, as the two strong characters that we are, has been very challenging. Before we moved to Weymouth we always said that this may be a potential problem so to avoid any (or too many) arguments we should have our own areas of responsibility. Me – the kitchen, cooking and house-keeping. Andy – health & safety and maintenance. All great in theory, but in practice Andy seemed to feel responsible for all of it with me reporting to him – me supervisor, him manager. As you can imagine, especially those of you that have worked with me in the past, this has caused some interesting debates. But nothing we can’t work through, in time with lots of words, patience and understanding. (and of course apologies from Andy) 🙂
Reviews – the guesthouse owners constant worry. We spend our whole time making sure everything we do leads to positive reviews. Frequently scanning TripAdvisor, Booking.Com, Expedia, Google and Facebook for reviews. There have been times when we have had to bite our tongues to ensure nothing negative comes out in a review. Huge pressure but thankfully paying off. We have achieved awards from both TripAdvisor and HotelsCombined and are now in the top 10 out of 166 guest houses in Weymouth. Now to ensure we maintain this position. On the couple of occasions when the reviews have not been so positive I think that expectation has been the general issue. We are a guest house, inviting people into our home – not an impersonal hotel. We don’t have a 24/7 manned reception – but we do live on site and so can be flexible for check in times. (within reason!) We admit some of our rooms are cosy but they have slimline furniture and new beds to make it a comfortable experience. I’m not an expert chef but after 4 children and lots of cooked breakfasts and dinners I have mastered what people tend to generally like – soft and creamy scrambled egg, runny poached eggs and a Full English served on hot plates. We try to give our guests a homely, personal experience whilst all the time respecting their privacy and space.
We’ve worked through some of the AA assessment recommendations – we now have cushions on the chairs in the dining room, blinds as well as curtains in the guest rooms, local jams and marmalade’s at breakfast including pina colada flavour! Lots more planned for the new year including a refurb in the dining room to give us more space and a downstairs loo – for those bursting moments as guests walk in the door! Talking about New Year – we are doing our special again this year to include 2 nights B&B and prosecco and canapes on New Years Eve – call us if you would like to join in the fun!
After our miles and hours of searching for the right location last year, Weymouth is definitely the best place for so many planned events – carnival week with the fantastic firework finale, Iron man 70.3 triathlon with over 2000 athletes powering their way round and through Weymouth – such admiration for them, and the Pommery Seafood festival, to mention but a few.
Finally to celebrate our first anniversary – if you would like to come and stay with us during November to January we have a very special offer for £150 per couple to include:
- Two night stay in a comfortable king size room and delicious full English breakfast on both mornings
- Afternoon tea including a selection of sandwiches, home-made scones with clotted cream and locally made strawberry jam. Followed by a slice of cake served with freshly brewed tea or coffee.
We look forward to it!