It’s time to relax, switch off the phone and grab an evening beer for 60 seconds with Barry from The Knoll Guesthouse.


What advice would you give someone before they took a leap into the accommodation business?

It would be to get some experience, read the rules and be prepared to deal with ignorant people.

What do you think is the most important thing about being running your own B&B, guest house or small hotel?


What’s the funniest thing that a guest has requested?
To bring their pet hamster with them.

What is one thing you wish you knew before getting into this industry?

 Nothing. I was formally trained to manage hotels and restaurants and have spent 20+ years running country hotels – 3 in my own gastro-pub, 10 running houses for titled families and 5 running this guesthouse.

What is the hardest part of your job

Dealing with ignorant people.

What is the best part of your job?

The satisfaction of thanks from guests and therefore knowing, on the whole, that I’m doing a good job.

What tips do you have to make sure guests book with you directly?

Make sure there are enough cards and guesthouse leaflets on display. Also, satisfied guests can easily become ‘regulars’ and advocates.

Can you offer any tips for making sure you stand out against your competition?

Provide the best experience you can = great PR leading to more good reviews and recommendations. We are very successful because of that.

Why did you choose to get into the accommodation business and what career did you have before?

I’m an English graduate who didn’t know what to do after uni. So as I came from a family who always seemed to give and go out to parties, it was natural to look towards hospitality. Also my sisters and I had been taught to cook and how to properly lay and serve at table. So I approached certain hotel groups to sponsor me on the top hotel & catering management course in London at the time.

To read more of our customers stories click here.