We were extremely pleased to be able to attend the prestigious AA B&B Awards this week. It was wonderful to see so many hosts and hoteliers there and be able to celebrate their achievements.
We believe that the B&B industry is unique because each property is run by dedicated individuals or small teams who put their mark on each one. The buildings could be art deco or eclectic, chic or characterful, but there’s no corporate branding or identity, no identikit rooms and no feeling that a guest could be anywhere in the world. But what there is, and the one thing they have in common, is the personal touch. And guests value the personal service that B&Bs can give. They like the fact that someone will ask them what they’re doing that day, suggest a little known place to visit, and go the extra mile to make them feel comfortable – not just check them in and leave them to it. Or even, just email them the code to the keypad and tell them to let themselves in.
Which is why it was such an honour to be able to celebrate that friendly service with the AA – championing some of the properties who do the utmost to make their guests feel welcome.
And we were delighted to be able to sponsor the AA Story Award!
The idea of this new award was to give B&Bs a chance to tell their story. Whether that is to do with the property or the people behind it, with history or the present day, this award lets B&Bs make the most of their individuality.
We know that there are plenty of B&Bs with rooms to sell and a story to tell. We work with properties such as converted schools, windmills and churches. There are places where famous composers, inventors or writers have lived. We’ve heard the tales from a property in a Lake District inn once managed by William Wordsworth; we’ve recently spoken to a property namechecked by Charles Dickens and another where someone once tried to assassinate the poet Percy Shelly.
We had some great entries for the Story Award, but one stood out, from a property which has been offering accommodation for 3 generations and which told the tale of how over the years things have changed but the core tenets of quality, comfort and good old fashioned hospitality have stayed the same. And the winner was The Grove in Cromer.
Congratulations to all the winners! Check out some of the pictures from the event below: