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Wish you were here!

Wish you were here!
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The Road to Re-opening

Well – Time has really flown by now since the day that Boris set out his ‘Road Map to Recovery’ - here in Somerset at our two Exmoor hotels, we have mixed feelings. It is of course an optimistic thought and nice to hope that at last it seems we can see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ - but May is still such a long way off that the next couple of months of continued inactivity is rather a sobering thought! This clearly defines those amongst us as being either ‘glass half full’ or ‘ glass half empty’ individuals in their feelings about life under continued restrictions. We are all facing and sharing the financial and health worries that accompany our family of hotels, staff and customers and other small businesses, struggling to adapt to the ‘new normal’ life.

A glass half full

I remain in the ‘glass half full’ camp and am enthusiastically endeavouring to make the most of this unprecedented time with empty buildings to get on with jobs that would be difficult, if not impossible, to undertake whilst we had guests staying with us. Of course, this involves spending money that we have not got and there are others who are not as keen on spending money as I am (no names!). Anyway, progress has been made and several improvements are visible and both hotels are beginning to look good and I think that our guests returning later this year will definitely notice and appreciate the differences. It is strange to sit in the lovely garden on a sunny day at the Luttrell Arms with not a cloud in the sky or another person within sight and contemplate the silence or to arrive at Porlock Weir with the sun shining on the water at high tide to a completely empty car park. I was chatting to a friend about this and we decided that the experience could be like accidently encountering a deserted ‘film set’ somewhere, waiting for the cast to appear and cameras roll – not that I am familiar with Pinewood studios or Hollywood myself of course!

Our family 'bubble'

There is of course both good news and sad news to report – Nigel and I and lots of our friends and family locally have now had the first Covid vaccination for which we are grateful and is reassuring and I hope that very soon many of our customers will be enjoying the feeling of relief and optimism that this brings. The last few months have seen us in the same family ‘bubble’ and we have had the joy of spending lots of prime time with Becca’s daughter Georgia who has transformed from toddler to little girl in the last year and is now very confident and extremely entertaining. Of course we would have not had all this spare time to enjoy her company without the enforced period of no day to day business routines to keep us busy. So many other grandparents have missed out on seeing their families for many months so we are both feeling very grateful about this very big bonus, which more than makes up for the other downsides of the lockdown!

The heart of the village

At the Luttrell Arms we are of course very lucky to have the advantage of being at the heart of the village and to many local residents and villagers the hotel has historically been their ‘local’ hostelry and meeting place – one of those gentlemen, who many hotel resident guests I know will remember meeting in the bar here at Dunster, being Arthur Brown – Arthur lived alone since losing his wife and loved his seat at the bar in the hotel, welcoming and chatting to our guests and visitors and over the years, made many friends amongst them, always being full of fun and knowledge but never disrespectful or over familiar. In fact Arthur has been so much a part of the place that his picture was spontaneously painted once by a visiting artist and is on the wall in the bar – Arthur very sadly passed away recently after bravely fighting a long illness and we will miss him very much. Last Friday Joe and I were privileged to attend the funeral to represent the Luttrell Arms community. The funeral which of course was subject to the Covid restrictions of only 30 people, was held at our village church St Georges and somewhere which I must confess I have only visited a couple of times. Sitting there quietly , whilst waiting for the service to begin, I was reminded of how our village church is quite spectacularly beautiful and if you have never been inside when you have been in the village, I highly recommend that you step inside next time you visit.

Looking forward to sunny days

On a happier note – we are re-opening the hair and beauty salon at the Luttrell Arms on April 12th and looking forward to welcoming back our local clients and visitors staying locally in private accommodation, who are lucky enough to ‘jump the gun’ and be able to visit rather sooner than May 17th when we  will reopen fully to welcome  resident guests and diners.  At Porlock Wier,  Michell and Miguel  are planning to  open the terrace bar and waterside outside space for drinks and food ‘al fresco’ from  week commencing April 12th on some days of the week in advance of fully reopening the hotel on May 17th.

We are looking forward now to some sunny days in the summer to enable everyone to enjoy the enviable outside garden space that both our hotels are lucky enough to enjoy – in these days of social distancing ‘al fresco’ living is going to get even better for our guests, with both gardens being extended and improved and our new pods offering an exclusive and intimate new outdoor dining experiences.    

Brighter times ahead

Although we no longer own and operate our 2 hotels in Dartmouth and Totnes we are still lucky enough to have links there and have kept our well located and popular self- catering holiday properties Dartmouth which we have been busy getting ready for visitors on 12th April and those guests who enjoyed staying with us at the Royal Castle Hotel or in that area and are planning a visit to Dartmouth in South Devon in the future, might like to take a look at the website www.waysaway.co.uk 

For our horse loving friends – I am excited to tell you that Luttrell Lad, the syndicate owned racehorse that we own  a share in and is trained nearby  by the top trainer Philip Hobbs and his team at Sandhill stables,  is running at Taunton racecourse on Thursday 4th March – this is his 3rd run and he has come 2nd and 1st in his first 2 races, so we are keeping our fingers crossed for him! Nigel tells me that horse racing is never going to solve our financial worries but ‘you never know he may win the Grand National one day’ ! See what I mean about ‘cup half full v cup half empty!

Secure your getaway with flexible cancellation today

We are busy taking bookings every day now for accommodation at both hotels from 17th May and hope to hear from you and to see you soon – don’t forget you can safely book in advance now with us with no worries and the promise that if you do need to cancel at a later date that there will be no financial risk to you. The phones will be answered personally between 11 am and 2 pm Monday to Friday and at other times there is the website or you can E mail or leave a message and we will contact you.

With very best wishes,

Anne Way and the Way family

What our guests say...

"Dog Friendly Birthday Break" - Ardel R via Tripadvisor.co.uk

Lovely hotel with wonderful views over Porlock Weir, food was great and staff lovely, friendly and dog fans too. So a perfect break all round. We stayed in October and had a room with views out over the sea. We took our golden retriever with us and the place is very dog friendly with towels to clean their muddy feet if needed....

"Hotel Top Of It's Game" - Nocky-1975 - via Tripadvisor.co.uk

Just spent 3 nights here in these difficult times we now live in. Faultless is the word I would use to describe Porlock Weir Hotel from the time you book until the time you leave they can’t do enough to accommodate you. Under the leadership of Michell and Miquel the hotel is run impeccably from front of house to housekeeping nothing less than 10/10 and that’s before you get to dine where...

"Lovely Staycation Find" - Rob A via Tripadvisor.co.uk

Just spent 3 nights here in these difficult times we now live in. Faultless is the word I would use to describe Porlock Weir Hotel from the time you book until the time you leave they can’t do enough to accommodate you. Under the leadership of Michell and Miquel the hotel is run impeccably from front of house to housekeeping nothing less than 10/10 and that’s before you get to dine where...

"Wonderfully Spoiling, Relaxing Break" - Penny V via Tripadvisor.co.uk

We have been coming to this hotel for many years and have seen it through many reincarnations. We are so happy that the current management has taken this much-loved treasure over and given it such a wonderful new lease of life. We stayed for 3 days with our dog. The staff were absolutely delightful and went out of their way to ensure that we were all safe in a way that was so unobtrusive that we almost...

"A Fantastic Find" - Lorraine via Booking.com

Stylish make-over, good staff, excellent food - breakfast was superb. We stumbled across the hotel by accident, a fantastic accident! Lovely little harbour with amazing views. The hotel was freshly made over, the staff could not have been more pleasant and helpful. Wood fired pizzas freshly made on the patio. Would highly recommend. ...

"Wonderful Two Nights Stay" - HolidaychicLondon via Tripadvisor.co.uk

We had room 4 looking out to the harbour. The room was spacious and attractively decorated. The breakfast were very nice, a very long wait the first morning though but not the second one - so all good. We had dinner there one evening which was delicious and great service and everything about the hotel is Covid friendly. The staff and guests all wear masks when moving around the hotel, there’...

"Exceptional in Every Way!" - MJM48 via Tripadvisor.co.uk

From the moment we walked in we knew we had made the right choice - such a warm, friendly welcome. The hotel was beautifully decorated for Christmas and with the lovely open fires made us feel festive. Our room overlooking the harbour was absolutely lovely, spacious and spotlessly clean. The bed was very comfortable, shower excellent. We had dinner both nights of our stay, good quality ingredients...

"Just Like Home" - Justhadtosay via Tripadvisor.co.uk

Fabulous hotel which is hard to fault. As someone there said, you feel like the first person to use the room. Beautiful rooms and bathrooms and we had a view of the sea and bay which was just what we needed.We had a long walk one day which was such a tonic after working at home for so long. In our arrival back it was like getting home with a log fire, friendly welcome and home made cream tea.The staff...

"A Peaceful Relaxing Place to Chill Out" - Joanna via Booking.com

Stunning, peaceful setting alongside a quaint little harbour and pebble beach. The secluded hamlet down country lanes offered a couple of shops and a good pub next door. The small hotel did not disappoint! Undergoing extensive refurbishment, the overall ambiance was stylish but relaxed with a modern twist on traditional. The completed bedrooms were relaxing and comfortable and our bed provided a ...
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We are spoilt with an abundance of local suppliers and take great pride in hand selecting the best that the region has to offer. Here are just a few of our local suppliers and the awards we have won...

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