Borders hotel makes a sensational return from lockdown

A Borders hotel has surged back from lockdown by welcoming 8,000 guests and serving 7,000 breakfasts since reopening in May.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 9:28 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 9:28 am
Waverley Castle. (Photo: Nick Smith)

Staff and management at Melrose’s Waverley Castle, part of the Bespoke Hotels' Coast & Country Collection, have been happily run off their feet since welcoming back guests – as the statistics demonstrate.

The four months since May saw 7,343 breakfasts served and 8,221 guests passing through the premises.

It’s a reflection of how the 'staycation' boom in the UK has encouraged a busy summer period for British tourism and these statistics really help to highlight its impact on the Borders.

With the pandemic having put the hotel at risk of permanent closure last year, a bumper summer since its reopening has seen the hotel bounce firmly back, as it continues to go from strength to strength.

Reflecting on a hectic few months, the hotel management team was pleased to see the numbers of guests it had served in that time after the quiet closure period.

James Moutrie, general manager of Waverley Castle, said: “Looking back on what we’ve achieved in the last few months is always a rewarding feeling, but when you put some numbers on it, it just makes it all the more eye-opening. In hospitality, you’re often very much focused on looking after the in-house guests, so you can easily forget just how many people you’ve looked after over a period of weeks and months.

"To think that we’ve had more than 8,000 guests in already since reopening really underlines how much the hotel and destination has to offer and how hard the hotel team has worked, whilst also offering great positivity for the future.”

He continued: “It’s not just for the hotel either. Another layer of reward comes from knowing that we’ve supported that many people visiting the Borders. Given we’re an area usually popular with tourists, the positive impact for other businesses in the area is huge. We look forward to both working with, and serving the local community with our hospitality offering – it’s great to think that everyone else around us is also hopefully bouncing back alongside us”

James added: “Just to say as well, given the superb demand we’ve been seeing, we are always looking for more people to join our amazing team. So, if anyone from the Borders area is looking for work – do please get in touch.”

Waverley Castle Melrose is part of the newly formed Coast & Country Hotel Collection, which consists of 37 properties, spread across well-established leisure destinations throughout England, Scotland and Wales. Formerly part of the Shearings brand, the hotel was at risk of permanent closure but has bounced back under new ownership.

The wider group is also reflecting on a successful first quarter since re-opening, having looked after a total of 437,966 guests across the portfolio.

Paul FitzGerald, portfolio managing director of the Coast & Country Collection, commented: “Following an enormously challenging re-opening period, we’re delighted to have had such a busy summer season. It is always interesting and fun to review some of the quirky statistics that are generated by our business – such as having cooked and served more than 350,000 sausages to our guests at breakfast, which is quite extraordinary! Our teams across the collection have all been working so hard throughout the summer and it’s fantastic to see how busy the hospitality industry has been.”

The collection includes celebrated spots such as the Windermere Hotel in Windermere, The Great Western in Oban, Argyll and Bute, and the Ship and Castle in St Mawes, Cornwall. Many of the hotels, as their collective name implies, are within areas close to coastal or rural attractions and offer guests a base to visit established regional tourist attractions or take part in active outdoor pursuits.

The group is actively recruiting across all its properties for a variety of roles and welcomes applicants, whether they be experienced hospitality operators or those looking to explore a new career.

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