This week I took a phone enquiry from someone with a child who was a little put out that we don’t accept children. Since opening, we’ve had an over 18s policy and been exclusively for adults. The only exception to this has been Julian’s nephew and niece who come once a year with their parents and are closely supervised and well behaved.
There are lots of lovely family friendly places to stay on the English Riviera, and it’s important to have a niche and not try to be all things to all people. Many of our guests choose to stay at The 25 as we are child-free.
There are various reasons why we chose not to take children:
It’s our past
Many of you will know that we had a successful hotel in North Wales for several years before moving to sunny Torquay.
When we first arrived in Caernarfon, we had no experience and decided to welcome all guests including any age from new borns upwards.
Unfortunately, we had various bad experiences over the years and each time we had a bad experience, we raised our minimum age limit! The trouble is, you never quite know how someone will be and one person’s perception that “my child is very well behaved” may be different to someone else’s.
It’s our alcohol
As a licensed premises, we have an honesty bar in our Drawing Room so that guests can help themselves to drinks at any time of the day or night. When Julian and I go to stay at a B&B, we like to be able to help ourselves to a pre-dinner drink while we’re waiting for a taxi to take us to dinner or perhaps have a nightcap when we return. Ok, we also like a nice glass of wine or a G&T in the sun in the afternoon but then we’re on holiday! Because we’ve created The 25 to reflect our ideal place to stay then we put in an honesty bar. This of course would cause an issue with children about. As B&B owners, we are sometimes not around and it would not be in line with the principles of our alcohol license to have free access to alcohol whilst children were in the building. We also provide complimentary alcohol in the in-room fridges for anyone booking direct for two or more days.
Lots of our guests are couples. Many have busy lives and jobs and maybe they don’t get to spend much quality time together. As a result, they book somewhere like The 25 for a romantic weekend together. With things like our in-room entertainment, mood lighting, comfy beds, and all the little touches, we make it very easy to spend time together – sometimes it’s difficult to get guests to leave their rooms at all. So the last thing you want when you’re enjoying a quiet drink in the drawing room, maybe reading the newspaper or just chatting, is for a young child to be running round the room screaming. After all, many of our guests are parents themselves and have come away for a break from their own children or grand children.
We’re not ashamed to boast. Yes, that’s right, The 25 is beautiful. We’ve spent many long hard hours making sure that our B&B on the English Riviera is stunning in all aspects. Therefore the last thing we want is spillages on the floor, food in the rooms, marks on the bedding or sticky hand prints on walls, glass surfaces and furniture. We also don’t want to ruin the aesthetics of the rooms by adding single beds, bunk beds or cots.
For anyone who is already a regular guest, you’ll know that Julian loves his technology. Although we try and only install user-friendly kit, we do have a whole host of features like Smart TVs, coffee machines, mood lighting, air conditioning, iPads etc. This all works as it should and is tested daily when we clean rooms, but it is possible with using them wrongly or messing with them to break or affect them which causes us time and hassle to sort out.
It makes sense
From a business point of view, our core customer base is couples. We attract the young trendy crowd from London who are pre-children, which long term helps family friendly businesses across Torbay. These guests fall in love with the English Riviera and continue to come here once they have children (but using some of the fab B&Bs that do take children). These go on to eventually become our other core customer base – those whose children have left home and they’ve got a little more money to treat themselves to a nice break away occasionally. We are creating lifelong visitors to the English Riviera.
I’m sure you all can see that it makes sense now why we don’t accept bookings for under 18s. We hope you’ll come & have a relaxing adult only break with us soon!