Dear Trimstone Manor Friend
A happy summer to you! Whilst of course the pandemic is still very much there and we are all acting wisely and taking precautions, it is lovely to be busy in the Hotel and Cottages again and to have all our facilities available and being enjoyed by sensible guests. We have hardly any accommodation now till the end of August and I suspect most of Devon and Cornwall, including camps sites, are similar. Self-catering has filled first and Hotel rooms second (more expensive of course especially when you need more than one room) but we do have a few gaps if you need to grab a break away – which I can very much understand (I need one too after having been working full-pelt all year so far on both my jobs and other interests but that’ll have to wait!). Give us a call as you never know.
Yes, we have joined the Government scheme so for Monday-Wednesday you can enjoy one of our legendary Cream Teas and with soft drinks on top if desired, for half price (up to a £10 saving per man woman and child)! https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/899768/Eat_Out_to_Help_Out_-_table_talker__English_.pdf
You should be able to ‘just turn-up’ but we recommend you call to pre-book just to avoid disappointment. These can be in our beautiful and large gardens or inside if a tad inclement or cold. We have plenty of room so there’s distance between guests.
You can also have a High Tea (pre-booking imperative) for £17 per person and can add a bottle of bubbly to greet you if desired – alcohol doesn’t but otherwise it’s in the scheme! And hey, why not but you could also join us for a full breakfast if you fancy – that’s usually £12 per person (£6 for a child)! (You must pre-book these).
Of course we are serving these delectations at any day of the week too but Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are special!
VAT ON YOUR HOLIDAY
The industry has been very hard-hit by the Virus and Trimstone no less. The additional costs incurred preparing for the new regime and also incurred in deep cleaning of ‘everything’ after every guest, whether for a day visit or a week are immense. We are unable to do our usual daily Hotel room tidies for guests staying more than one night, including automatically replenishing towels and coffees, etc, as well, to reduce possible infection opportunity (but of course guests must ask for more, day or night!). Sadly we had to close our evening restaurant too as we had to take a decision on its feasibility early in the season. However, there is a great new takeaway only a mile away which will deliver for only £1.50 as well so there are other, new options for something to eat! Our local hostelries are doing their best too even with fewer guest spaces.
We took a fair decision not to increase prices this year, not even by inflation and despite the fact that we expected a significant increase in enquiries and bookings because so few can go overseas. We could have ratcheted-up prices to exploit that situation but we didn’t. We didn’t think that was fair.
So at this stage, the industry welcomes the change and we plan to use the short-term windfall to encourage out-of-season visits to sustain our business and the staff and to give generous incentives to guests making a repeat visit to us, for mutual benefit. Do keep watch on the ad hoc eshots we send out as we shall flag such offers there!
What does this mean! We are introducing a really special incentive for return visits for all guests staying with us during the reduced VAT time (15 July to 12 January)! What we are imagining is a voucher to use against anything for up to 20% of the total spend on your stay and food/drink billed on your invoice! That is actually more than the VAT saving (which is only 16.7% of your gross bill). We’ll also give it against alcoholic drinks too even though the VAT on that is still 20%. So if say you booked a cottage for £1500, you’d have £300 to spend against accommodation! There won’t be any tricks – as long as the new booking results in a payment to us of at least £50 a night per accommodation, you can use it any way you want.
On top of that and despite being full to the gunwales this year, we are also going to better incentivise our guests next year with lower accommodation prices again for those who book directly with us. This saves commission and saves our guests booking costs (eg Airbnb) and we’d prefer for you to have that money in your pocket than the travel agencies.
For those of you who like a little history, we have now enjoyed the accolade of being published on Wikipedia – here it is – enjoy! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trimstone#:~:text=Trimstone%20is%20a%20small%20hamlet%20and%20manor%20in,Domesday%20Book%2C%20and%20which%20is%20now%20a%20hotel.
Do you know – we had forgotten that being in lockdown we wouldn’t suffer from the negatives of ‘TripAdvisor’. We’ve had so many great testimonials but it only takes one or two nasty people to spoil things and that is exactly what a few try to do -even with the ravages of Covid19 with which to contend. So, in May we had a ‘review’ for a visit allegedly last ‘July’. We suspect it was a really nasty man – the worst we had all season last year. He threatened us with the usual – all money back or he’d campaign against us. In fact, as we had the evidence, TripAdvisor did stop their comments last year (of course they sit anywhere else to try to defame us). So ten months later, with a new alias and just before the season starts, with no evidence of anyone having stayed with us at all, another nasty and staff-attacking comment is posted. So we refer it to TripAdvisor to note it breaches its rules. TripAdvisor replies within hours saying “We have completed our investigation into your concern and have also evaluated all other aspects of the review in question. The review complies with our submission guidelines”. It hasn’t confirmed they have evidence he stayed with us at all or it is not the same man barred from commenting last year. It could simply be a nasty person with a grievance who has never been here. And you know what is worse? There is no independent body to which businesses can take the matter any further – it sits there for ever.
We aren’t the only ones though, the local pub had a horrible ‘review’ by a local guest. In the end, it was taken down by the person involved but not before it had caused all forms of inequitable grief for the establishment, a lovely pub.
You can help though regardless – if you have enjoyed our fare, will you leave a nice review on TripAdvisor please to make that one go down the pages? Thank you. Someone somewhere should take TripAdvisor to court on defamation and harassment charges (as they are the ones publishing the material regardless of what their site says) and then see what it does about these unacceptable abuses. https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/UserReview And because rankings are important too, whether it is TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Booking.com or Facebook, really ‘5 out of 5’ are what reviews need to be as otherwise the establishment can be challenged by them and the odd nasty one can be really unfairly destructive. Can we rely upon you to leave a post if you have visited us for any reason in the last twelve months please? Thank you!
THE FASTEST WIFI
We have the fastest holiday accommodation wifi in the whole area! We are fully fibre-optic. This is a super, unique fibre optic link direct to the local Exchange with Ubiquity ‘Enterprise Grade’ equipment.
We were slower than most but now faster speeds than 99% in the Country! We have always believed in free wifi – whether residents or the cream tea or coffee visitor. Holidaymakers need reliable and speedy internet. When I am away, I need to work and others do too. For entertainment – or for their children, it is important and with no access restrictions on broadband width either!
This is not only for tourists but for business guests. Wifi and mobile signals nearby are pretty poor (check before you book!) and unreliable so the frustration for some trying to work won’t be here. We shall also be open for conference facilities too when we can, so imagine streaming presentations – no interruptions or slow speeds – plus reliability and your delegates having great, free wifi. The facility is encouraging more guests (even out of season for those escaping for work projects to enjoy the surroundings too) but more morning coffees and afternoon teas as these guests have direct free access too.
So come, stay and see. Average Broadband download speeds in the UK are 46.2mbps and upload speeds of 6.2mbps. Trimstone’s speed is 300Mbps download and 30mbps upload. Our internet means you can download an Ultra HD film (70gb) in 31 minutes compared to 3.24 hours on the average speed.
Looking forward to seeing you sometime!
Our very best wishes,
Philip & Helen Milton