Recently, a staggering nine of our customers were awarded an Expedia Insider Award! The annual award rewards the very best hotels available in the marketplace based on customer reviews. We want to take a closer look at what makes these properties so great!
One of the winners was The Marsham Arms Coaching Inn in Hevingham, Norfolk. This family-run 19th century country inn is set in the heart of the Norfolk countryside. The property offers cosy comforts such as a log burner, a tap room boasting locally brewed real ales and a garden room overlooking the flowered terraces.
We spoke to owner Nigel Bradley about his views on what makes a B&B successful.
So, how long have you been in the B&B business?
We started the B&B business in 1989.
And what do you think the key to success is for your business?
Well, several things: attention to detail, caring about your product, having hard working, adaptable staff and listening to people.
What do you do to keep guests coming back?
Just by giving good service and always innovating. Making sure that everything’s fresh that you don’t rest on your laurels, you keep changing things.
Do you have any advice for other B&B owners?
Always question every aspect of your business, and improve it! The hardest thing to do is think I’m doing it really well, but then getting a bit complacent. You’ve got to go out and look at other peoples businesses. Every time I go away somewhere, I always pick up something and then I do it. It’s a constant learning process in our job because everything changes. Like eviivo, when we first started there was nothing like that, so you’ve got to really keep innovating.
What’s the strangest thing a guest has left behind, or the oddest request?
A set of teeth!!! The funniest thing was a few weeks ago, a chap who said ‘there’s a fly in my room, get rid of it!’
What is one thing you wish someone had told you before you went into the B&B industry?
Well I’ve thought about this for a long time and basically you need to start small and not try to do everything for everybody, be inside your own comfort zone and then grow organically.