Whatley evolves in 2021

The last 18 months has presented some exceptional challenges to the hospitality industry, our business has had to constantly evolve and adjust to changing circumstances and new ways of operating. The term “pivot” has certainly been widely used.

Being able to reopen on May 17th was a positive move forward and an important step towards returning to normality and our wonderful guests have been so supportive with bookings flooding in.

One side affect we did not anticipate in the buzz of reopening plans was the significant staff shortages we would face post opening.

You may be aware from recent news stories that the hospitality sector is facing a significant staffing crisis, a perfect storm of Covid, post Brexit regulations and nearly two years of missed training across the sector has depleted potential employee numbers.

This is a very real challenge to our industry and despite intensive recruitment drives we have been unable to fill our gaps. This leaves us in the position of being understaffed in key areas of the business.

At Whatley we pride ourselves on delivering an exceptional guest experience, this is achieved thanks to the commitment of our wonderful team and their dedication to the hospitality industry.

Right now that team is depleted and the burden on those who are propping up the industry is heavy.

For this reason we have taken the decision to change our business model to allow us to protect the health and wellbeing of our team and continue to offer the very best guest experience we can.

From the 2nd August onwards our restaurants will both be closed on Monday and Tuesday, Grey’s Brasserie will open Wednesday to Sunday and The Dining Room, Thursday to Sunday.

Reducing our restaurant offering to 5 days enables us to take care of our team and ensure they get the down time they need to rest and recover after a working week.

Whilst our dining options will be closed on Monday and Tuesday we will continue to take reservations on a room and breakfast basis on these evenings.

Guests staying on these evenings will still have full use of Aquarias Spa and all of our drawing rooms and garden areas.

In addition we are introducing some new elements of service that will ensure guests staying on these evenings still feel that they have enjoyed a very special experience.

Included in the room rate on Monday and Tuesday evening will be a light supper of charcuterie, cheese and accompaniments. This will be a self-service buffet available from 6.30 – 8.30pm each evening for guests to enjoy at their leisure with a glass of wine seated in any of our drawing rooms or weather permitting garden terraces.

Staying at Whatley on Monday and Tuesday will be a very relaxed affair, we will have a small team operating all day, a full breakfast service will be available each morning, the bar will be open in the evening and the spa will be open as usual.

Guests will enjoy the warmest of welcomes and lots of thoughtful details to make the B&B stay luxurious whilst also being a little less formal.

This has been a challenging time for hospitality as indeed it has for many sectors.

We thought that reopening was the road to recovery and whilst there is no doubt there is demand it is very sadly impossible to fulfil it in the present circumstances.

The hospitality sector has some challenges ahead and the recruitment issue is not going to be resolved quickly.

Whilst we wait for a solution as a business we will do all we can to care for the health and wellbeing of our team and continue to deliver the very best guest experience that we can whilst continually evolving our business offering.

We are incredibly thankful to our guests for their understanding and patience whilst we navigate an ever-changing picture.

Find out more about our Room and Breakfast stays