A challenging time
Recent months have been challenging and in many ways ‘life changing’ for everyone – especially us ‘Ways’! - Being forced to stop and re-evaluate lifestyle and priorities - a valuable lesson for some. I expect other people may identify with me in remembering times in our busy and complicated lives when we thought how good it would be to say ‘Stop the world – I want to get off’ – to make time stand still and allow us to catch up with everything we that we want to do and just don’t have the time or energy for! Suddenly lots of opportunities to achieve all the jobs that always get side-lined miraculously appeared with the lockdown period but so did the glorious weather and that was the downfall of my many good intentions! It was so easy to ‘make the most of the sunny day’ - all those boring indoor jobs could wait for the day that weather changed!
After this unprecedented ‘holiday’, and faced with a situation that so often felt like ‘the blind leading the blind’, July came and we were all catapulted back into the ‘real world’ which was suddenly a different world to the one before the word ‘Covid’ became part of everyday language.
There were so many things to think about prior to re-opening the 2 hotels and it suddenly seemed a daunting prospect– the Luttrell Arms had never been ‘closed’ before that anyone could remember and so ‘starting from scratch’ was something of a shock – very few forward bookings as everything had been cancelled –absolutely no food in stock - so many questions and so few answers.
After being given the greenlight, we decided not to rush but to wait at least a week before re-opening to see what others were doing (That didn’t work as maybe they were waiting to learn from us!) and how busy we could expect to be initially. Most staff were very keen to get back to work having been on ‘Furlough’ but others were not so confident – the whole complicated process of ‘unfurloughing’ everyone and get them back to work was undertaken by our clever and long suffering Becky and there were endless ‘risk assessments’, staff training in new cleaning and service procedures, special PPE equipment to buy, signage, screens etc to organise and fit and many days of intensive cleaning everywhere.
However, both big days finally arrived and both hotels opened and we were confident and greatly encouraged by the enthusiastic support that we received from so many of our wonderful loyal customers.
We have now been open for 2 months – our new policy of giving resident hotel guests more space and several separate ‘ residents only’ priority areas is proving very popular and guests have been returning enthusiastically to both the hotels and Mews Salon.
Hopefully we can now look forward to the Autumn/winter season when in addition to the usual cosy nights by log fires our guests expect they will enjoy the new winter treats we have planned - a new out of season al fresco dining experience with the introduction of our new heated dining pods on the terrace (at the Luttrell Arms) and indulgent Hot stone massages in the Salon. In fact why not look at our latest packages, an Exmoor Staycation or our Winter Warmer at The Mews. You get to enjoy two nights with us, dinner on your first night – you can sample Barrie and Miguel’s seasonal menus, then you can explore the beauty of Exmoor in the Autumn and treat yourself to a cream tea. Or for extra pampering, pick the Winter Warmer and you get to choose from a relaxing massage or a refreshing scrub. Either way you’ll be recharged and rejuvenated!
Hope to see you soon!