2020 – The Year of the New Normal

Uncategorised   |   Nov 12, 2020

This is the year of the phrase – the new normal. Not a phrase we like to hear but it does describe how our world has changed and will probably look well into 2021. So we opened again on the 4th July and in those early weeks apart from the hand sanitiser sitting on reception and the lack of hand shakes (or even hugs for our regulars!) life felt reasonably normal. Behind the scenes there were quite a number of changes but we tried hard to keep things normal. We were full through to the end of September and into the beginning of October, this really was the year of the Staycation! We’ve adopted a pre-order approach for breakfast (which the guests have loved) but our offering hasn’t changed – no grab and go bags for us, still the full English or variations on, along with all the delicious extras that guests love to eat on holiday. Just all ordered and brought to you at your table – really what’s not to love?

Pre-order has also allowed us to offer freshly baked pastries and introduce specials such as waffles and smoked salmon. We think we’ve got the balance right between offering a warm welcome, ensuring familiarity and keeping you and us safe. The masks that we had to introduce in September have really been the only barrier, but we’ve all had to adapt to wearing masks and Andy was just thankful he didn’t need to wear it in the height of the summer. It sure was a busy one as we made the decision early on not to take on any additional help, so we couldn’t have done it without Chloe.

Thankfully our reviews have shown that generally people have felt safe and well looked after. Reviews are a fact of life in todays world – Google, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Online Travel Agents such as Hotels.com and probably many more. We have so many guests arrive and tell us that they booked because of our fantastic reviews.  What matters to us is that our guests enjoy all that we offer, that they appreciate our small family run approach – non-corporate and individual, and for that they often then provide a review. We know that its a competitive world and, following a dispute with TripAdvisor we dropped from number 1 to number 32 out of 168 in Weymouth. But through hard work, kindness and sheer enjoyment in what we do, we have since climbed back up to number four. Thank you to all of you for writing these reviews – it means so much to us.

Once life slowed down a little and before Lockdown 2 – the sequel, we managed a few lovely days out seeing the sights – including Lulworth Castle, Bennetts Water Gardens and of course our favourite – Portland Bill. All places we would recommend when you fancy a change from the beach. Dorset has so much to offer, which we really appreciate more and more on our little jaunts. Andy’s favourites catchphrase has been ‘We’re on ‘oliday!’ Which it has certainly felt like. I have used these trips and our daily walks to develop my love of photography, using any opportunity to snap away on my iPhone. The cruise ships have continued to come and go and in fact generated a fair few bookings from people who should have been sailing on them so came for a visit from afar. If we had a pound for each guest that walked in and said we should be in [insert country], we would be rich!

And what about now? We are a week into lockdown 2 and so our doors are closed again. Weymouth certainly feels different to the first lockdown, in fact almost normal except for the absence of a cold beer in the beach cafe or the meals out. We are biding our time, planning our winter refurb and waiting for the 2021 bookings to come in. I think next year will once again be the year of the Staycation so remember for the best price – always book direct. And until we meet again – take care and stay safe.

Leave a comment