You vet us, we vet you
When you phone a hotel with a number of questions, you are quite rightly checking that the hotel will match up to your exacting standards. However, you may be surprised to learn , particularly in small hotels like ours, that we make a judgement as to whether you match up to the exacting standards that we expect from our guests.
The reason is quite simply that years of dealing with guests has taught us that there are certain people that are better off, from their point of view and from ours, not coming to stay at our hotel. They should, for their own sakes, walk on by on the other side of the road and find a hotel that suits them
At a mundane level, there are those looking for "facilities". Now we are arguably the best hotel in Newquay, but we do not offer "facilities". We offer good food, relaxation, sea views, high standards of hotel keeping, but we do not offer "facilities". To the uninitiated "facilities" are what most Newquay hotels offer swimming pool, sauna, games room, croquet, putting course, gym and the like. Trouble is if the price being charged is low, it is inevitable that the facilities supplied will be less than top quality. Those who ask about "facilities", I proudly inform that I am happy to say we have none what so ever. The questioner then usually decides, quite correctly, that we are not the hotel for them
Another group are those who have seen us on TV or in the press if we have just won an award. I got inundated with restaurant customers when I won the "Best Wine Cellar" in Britain award from Egon Ronay. The strange thing was that most who came for this reason, they did not drink wine, or if they did it would be modest wine that could be got anywhere.
Another group are the perpetual "first nighters". A new hotel opens and they want to go there as soon as it opens. The main purpose of the exercise is to criticise, to knock the latest opening, which they will never visit again anyway, as they have just heard about this new place that has just opened. And so it goes on.
Perhaps the baldest example of the telephone vetting I have had was with a lady who asked me a series of detailed questions. As the conversation progressed, I realised that she and I were not made for each other, so at a suitable point in the proceedings, I tactfully interjected the thought "I really am most terribly sorry, but we are completely full then" There was a long pause, and the reply came "I have not said when I want to book for yet"
Life is too short for us to get the wrong customers, they will not be happy either. The kindest thing is to stop it before it starts.
And if you want to stay in a nice hotel by the sea in Cornwall, Corisande Manor Hotel, Cornwall
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