Recently, we held our eviivo awards 2015 recognising the hard work of our customers.  One of our winners was the Tavistock House Hotel who was awarded with the most beautifully presented hotel! Their beautiful boutique hotel in Devon, is a wonderful example of how to not only have a beautifully presented accommodation, but how to reflect that on their website too!  

The Tavistock House Hotel opened May of this year and owners Brad and Gill have been working 24/7 to get themselves on the map and go that extra mile for their guests. We spoke to Brad to find out more about their journey into the industry.

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So, congratulations on your win!

Thank you, we’re chuffed to bits – it’s fantastic. We’ve only been open since May of this year and the house was in a real mess when I bought it, so it was really nice to win especially after all that hard work restoring the property and getting it open – so it was great.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I’ve been bought up in hotels; my parents owned a hotel so from a young age I’ve always worked in the industry. I did my degree in hotel management and my dissertation was on town house hotels nearly 20 years ago when it was a brand new kind of category. So, since then I always wanted to own my own town house hotel. Pretty much most of my life I’ve been working towards the point of opening last May- I moved from Manchester down to Devon to do this.

With regards to the presentation of the building, it was dictated to me by the building itself because it’s a grade 2 listed Victorian town house. I tried to stay in keeping with the building but bring it up to date; so I’ve given it a modern twist but I’ve still given a nod to all the original features and designs of the building.

What kind of challenges have you faced?

Initially, the actual building itself was an amazing challenge as it was derelict for four years as nobody wanted it- it was in a bad state of repair. I put original features back in – like the mouldings and the front windows trying to make it look perfect and bring the building back to life. The first month after opening was trying to get known as the business didn’t exist. It was a massive help to get the pictures ready from a friend who’s a photographer and he got the pictures just right. But what helped massively was the eviivo website because of the way it’s designed and is easy to use as well. Your website is your shop window, especially with hotels and hospitality and the actual website itself done a massive job of driving people to the hotel because it looks so great.

How do you deal with your reviews?

Touch wood, we’re actually number one on TripAdvisor in Devon right now. So we’ve had nearly 100 reviews- 97 of them excellent and 3 very good! So, we’ve not had any negativity. Myself and Gill go the extra mile to do stuff for our guests, we drop them off at venues and if they want something we’ll get it in for them. I do little bits in the rooms, like have free Netflix on the 40” TV. It’s little things like that that nobody else does round here, I’m even going to put little iPads in the room so that, so you can check in and stuff like that. I also respond to the fantastic reviews and say thank you.

Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of entering the industry?

Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. I’ve been bought up in the industry so I know how full on it is and how it’s 24/7. A lot of people stay in a hotel and think we could do this, but when you look at the other side of actually running a place- it’s very different. Make sure you have a clear goal and have an idea of what you want to present, because there are so many places out there now that you have to stand out. You have to have the edge and be a bit different from everyone else. Never rest on your laurels and always be adapting, soon there’ll be someone opening up next door and they’ll be doing it better or doing something different. You’ve got to keep moving forward.

What’s the oddest request you’ve had?

A guest wanted anchovies in her scramble egg!

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A big factor in The Tavistock House Hotel’s success if having great photos on their website, find out more about how simple changes to your websites pictures can get you more bookings here.