When we bought our last hotel in North Wales, some ten years ago now, it was kind of on a whim! We had no experience at all, having never worked in a hotel, restaurant or even a bar. However, undaunted we gave up everything to "live the dream".
We did hit a rather steep (as in nearly vertical) learning curve and everything had to be carefully considered and debated to work out the best way to do it. What we decided though, and this is still true today, is that we have just one thing we need to consider whenever we do something new and that usually gives us the common sense answer...
If I was the paying guest, what would I want?
Both in our last successful business and now at The 25, all we've done is create our ideal place that we'd like to stay at. We always think "what we would want?" and go with that.
As we're both a bit OCD and clean freaks then you'll find everywhere is spotlessly clean. Julian doesn't like to go away and not have the technology he would have at home so you'll find large Smart TVs, Netflix, fast reliable Wi-Fi and all manner of other technology incorporated in the bedrooms.
Personally, I like to go somewhere that you feel extra special and it's the little things that mean the most to me. My absolute must is fresh milk - when we're on holiday, we have the very rare opportunity to be able to enjoy a cup of tea in bed watching the news, but there's nothing worse than only finding those nasty long-life tubs on your tea tray. Hence all our bedrooms have a fridge with chilled fresh milk replenished daily. You'll also find chilled bottled water, and if you currently book a two night stay direct on our own website, you'll even find a complimentary mini bar!
The second thing that impresses me when I arrive somewhere is getting offered a drink and it being accompanied by something homemade like cake or biscuits. It's only a small token but really makes you feel welcomed and so few people nowadays get chance to do home baking that it's nice to be treated like that. When you arrive here, you'll always get cake - usually my famous (and very secret recipe!) chocolate brownies. You're not restricted to tea or coffee though. As we're licensed, we also offer a glass of wine, prosecco or a beer.
We are pretty picky and exacting as guests to be honest - I think that's why we rarely get invited to friends' houses unless they've just redecorated and also had professional cleaners in! But that's a good thing - right? We insist on everything being perfect (or as near to perfect) as we can make things. We know we'll never please everyone, but we do try hard to. If we'd be happy to stay in one of our bedrooms then generally our guests will be too.
Our fabulous TripAdvisor reviews are testament to our hard work and it seems that putting ourselves in the shoes of our guests seems to have paid off so far. However, we're always open to new ideas and even after ten years in the business, we still place feedback forms in the bedrooms and look for new ideas and ways of improving - often ideas come from guests.
We'd love to show you how good our B&B is and if you haven't already visited us, please find an excuse to book up soon.