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Life After Lockdown - What Happens Next?

Life After Lockdown - What Happens Next?
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The WAY Forward...

In truth no one is quite sure! But we do know that when we re-open it won't be the same as before, at least not for some time.  We expect to have less than half of our rooms available and dining and drinking areas will have to be rearranged to follow social distancing guidelines.

We as a family have been offering hospitality for more years than I care to remember...and hospitality is all about being nice to people, bringing people together and creating a warm welcoming environment.  This is contrary to all we know about COVID-19 and the need to socially isolate, distance ourselves from our fellow man and form small insular pods!

For us it goes against everything we know, and we still want to offer a warm welcome and great service otherwise we don't feel it's worth opening.  We don't want your time with us to feel clinical and solitary.  Our initial thoughts and plans are to open with some rooms at each hotel on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis and invite guests to stay for two nights or more.  This way we can care for all your needs and offer a personal service whilst adhering to all the necessary conditions.  We won't rush into opening if we can't offer decent levels of service, catering and hospitality.

We are busy putting procedures in place to increase cleaning, ensure guests and staff have easy access to sanitisers throughout the hotels and making as much as we can contactless, thank goodness we are dealing with this in a time when technology is advanced as it is!

We will of course adhere to all legislation, ensure our staff are trained in this new style of hospitality and we will expect our guests to follow suit whilst with us and not visit if they are unwell.  Just as importantly we will only open when the local community are happy to welcome visitors from outside the area.  We have always played an active part in our villages and we want to ensure we behave responsibly for our local customers as well as those from further afield.

Many of our actions will be decided by national leadership - I am not sure what the government are doing but we have to abide by what they say, and we must be grateful for their leadership along with our great NHS and the British love of joining a queue and being naturals quite often at social distancing!  In our local leadership - the Way family, Anne, Becca and I - we will put the safety of guests and staff first and at the centre of our decision making.  

In the meantime the staff who haven't been furloughed are very few but keeping busy.  Becky Edwards who was in charge of finance across all 4 hotels, and was perhaps looking forward to the pleasure of looking after 2 has instead found herself learning all about furlough and it's many complexities and communicating that to our staff.  Michell and Miguel at The Porlock Weir Hotel are living in and caretaking the property as if it were their own.  Joe, Jill with a G and Beth make up a small commune of two women and one man at The Luttrell Arms.  Gill in normal times is the office administrator but now finds herself in charge of housekeeping and weeding.  Joe the handyman has made full use of an empty hotel and has been busy decorating areas that in normal times would be hard to access without displacing customers, such as the lounge as well as the reception office and corridors.  Beth one of our cheerful receptionists has in addition to her usual tasks been busy Facebooking, weeding and dusting!  The hotels are in good hands. Unfortunately Anne and I haven't been furloughed and although not at the hotels we are busy working from home, although we are also dusting and weeding!

One thing that concerned me that I heard on the radio today was that people who talk loudly (which Anne is always accusing me of doing) tend to project up to 40% more water particles and hence potentially the virus, so I suspect I do need to talk more quietly and/or wear a mask!  Hopefully this won't be used against me!

Until we all meet again please stay safe and let us know if you have any bright ideas for the way forward...

Kind regards,

Nigel Way

What our guests say...

The staff really go the extra mile

We’ve been staying here on and off for over 18 years and it just keeps getting better. Fantastic location for Exmoor, the west Somerset coast and Dunster. The staff really go the extra mile and are superb, the rooms are original and comfortable and the food is good. Lots of different public rooms to explore and relax in, two bars both with open log fires plus lots of character plus lovely gardens...
James F

Amazing staff

My wife and I stayed two nights recently here with our young son to attend a wedding in the village...the hotel was very busy throughout the weekend due to the annual music festival, and yet all the hotel staff went out of their way to make us feel so welcome....

Happy Hotel

I rarely feel compelled to give reviews, but this hotel is worth one. It occupies a charming old building of great character with a good garden. In keeping with its age, it has stairs but no lift. The bedrooms are clean, bright and with good modern accommodation. The dining room is very attractive, and the restaurant menu is excellent. The staff are competent, friendly and helpful. It is a happy hotel...
Mr Fletcher

Our favourite hotel

We had such a lovely time at this hotel. 2nd visit and we shall definitely return. Everything is just so. Hotel rooms, service, staff is just lovely and food delicious. We couldn't fault it at all. The main bar area just makes you feel like you want to spend the rest of your day sitting by the fireplace sipping on your drink and reading the paper. Our favourite hotel and we would highly recommend ...

A perfect lunch

We stayed here earlier in the year and returned just for lunch today.We weren’t disappointed. My wife had the roast beef and I chose the seafood chowder. Though quite different both of these meals were delicious.A beautiful location, friendly service and great food! What more could you ask for?...

The hotel is a gem

My wife and I booked in for a birthday trip in November. Dunster is a charming small town / village destination with a great castle. We stayed for two nights with dinner on one night and afternoon tea on the second. The hotel is a gem, with lovely old bars and lounges plus a main bar very popular with the locals-four real ales and a selection of ciders and lagers. Staff were excellent. Dinner was ...
Peter T

Quirky in the right sense

Lovely clean room and bathroom. Super public rooms and spaces with fires. Quirky in the right sense and not as a euphemism for inconvenient. Great location for walking and touring. Wonderful food both breakfasts and evening meals. We felt thoroughly pampered...
Sarah P

Pulled out all of the stops

My Partner and I had a really great stay with the dog. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff. They really pulled out all of the stops to ensure a carefree stay with the dog. We found the whole set up and inclusive treatment for dog owners to extremely well done and a real home from home with all the old world charm of a historic building in a historic and idyllic country setting. We will definitely...
Andrew W

Terrific hotel, great gardens

Loved this hotel. Lots of nooks and crannies. Nice welcoming bar, would be very nice in the winter if imagine, because there is a grand, big fire place. Garden is beautiful, great to relax in on a summer day. Highly recommend although a Little expensive, but worth it for a treat....

Helpful Staff

Great hotel and location. The food was very good particularly the breakfast. The staff were very helpful especially when we had to amend the booking. Dunster castle was within walking distance and along with the mill is worth a visit....
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