The 25 Boutique B&B is lucky enough to be included in the Good Hotel Guide, an independent guide which you can’t pay to be included in, and recommendations come from their loyal readers. We were also in the guide at Plas Dinas Country House, our last hotel, so we’ve now been included for almost ten years.
Adam Raphael, a former journalist is the Marketing Director and writes regular newsletters for interested subscribers. I usually have a read over lunch and find he often offers a different slant on a subject and regularly includes what other hotels are doing or saying so it’s interesting to hear others’ views. There is also a section entitled “Fawlty Towers” which includes some of the more amusing horror stories from their travellers’ comments.
Most recently Adam discussed the subject of single travellers and I was surprised how few hotels embrace this market segment.
Single travellers can fall into a variety of categories: some may be visiting friends or family in the area, others are here for work, some are attending an event, perhaps that the local Riviera International Conference Centre only five minutes walk away, and some will just be on the English Riviera for a relaxing holiday.
Whatever the reason for their travel, we’d like to think we give them a warm welcome.
We don’t have any single rooms – who would want to sleep in a single bed or be confined to a room the size of a cupboard anyway? Instead, we offer all of our double rooms at a discounted single person rate. This discount does differ per room.
For business people, we offer a heavily discounted mid-week rate of just £99 per night. Many are here just for the one night which is something we only offer to single business travellers. As a general rule of thumb we have a minimum stay in place which varies from two to four days throughout the year for tourists. Business travellers are often booking at the last minute, sometimes the same day, so it helps fill up empty rooms or gaps between bookings.
Business travellers often have differing needs to a tourist and we can accommodate earlier breakfast times and speedy check out. Of course, every bedroom has excellent Wi-Fi, a desk and decent lighting so working is easy, and you’re unlikely to be disturbed by other guests as there’s no restaurant, lift or bar to be concerned about.
For those single travellers on holiday, they will find that most of our guests are very friendly and chatty, and conversations often strike up over breakfast, even though each room sits at a separate table. Many of our guests are return visitors and like to share their tips for the best places to visit or to eat.
There’s plenty to occupy guests in their room with complimentary on-demand movies via Netflix and Amazon, as well as the Readly app on the in room iPad offering thousands of magazines to read.
If women are travelling alone, safety can be a concern. With our key fob entry system, no strangers can enter the building without a fob or being let in, and each bedroom door is secure. With only six bedrooms, there are never large groups like stag dos and with no bar (only the small honesty bar) there’s no chance of coming across a drunk in a lift or corridor.
Dining alone can be an uncomfortable experience. As we provide a list of recommended restaurants, we can guide guests accordingly on our personal experience. Many of our recommendations are provided just as much because of their friendly, interested and chatty staff as the food. Many are also smaller and personally run by the owners who really care about their diners having a great experience – very much like Julian and myself.
Personally, I would rather have a bedroom filled at a discounted single rate, knowing there’s one less breakfast to provide and the room is likely to be a lot less messy when I clean it the next day than a room sit empty.
A B&B full of single travellers would be bliss – imagine Julian’s joy if I told him he only had six breakfasts to cook instead of twelve each day.
The difficult part is attracting single travellers and them even knowing that we exist. We can only hope that they are using TripAdvisor and spot us at the top of the list (Best B&B in Torquay as well as Devon) or come across our website.
Spread the word folks! If you have a single traveller friend or someone who visits our area regularly for business, send them our details!
A warm and friendly welcome awaits them at The 25!
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