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COVID-19 - LATEST UPDATE 11th MAY
Statement from Martin Barlow, Owner and Managing Director of Budock Vean Hotel
Date: 15th May 2020
I do hope you are all keeping well and staying safe as we make our way through the 8th week of lockdown. This has been a better week in many respects, with the Prime Minister announcing, last Sunday evening, the government’s plans for the gradual loosening of restrictions.
I am delighted to inform you that today, we reopened the golf course and tennis courts to our members and I was out first thing this morning to welcome the first players. Our Reception Manager, Stuart, has been very busy these past few days responding to the rush of members wanting to rejoin and book slots. It is quite wonderful to see this burst of activity. Tony, our golf manager, who has been kept fully occupied maintaining the course, is delighted that everyone can now get out and enjoy it. Let us hope this fine weather continues.
Of course, the other big news item for us was that the hospitality sector will not be allowed to reopen until July 4th at the earliest. There were the usual caveats around this, but this information is helpful to us; at least now we have something to plan towards.
As a consequence of this announcement, I am required to further extend the temporary closure of Budock Vean. On the assumption that it will be safe and sensible to do so, I now plan to reopen the hotel on Saturday 4th July 2020.
What this means is that we now have to postpone all bookings for anyone who was still hoping to visit us up to 4th July 2020. The mechanics of this are the same as before - click here for details.
Please do follow our social media channels to keep up to date with our latest news.
Planning for Re-opening
Even before Sunday, I had started the process of planning and preparing for reopening Budock Vean. I am in the process of creating detailed guidelines for the operation of the hotel, which in time we will share with all of you. I want to ensure that everyone planning to visit us in future has a very clear picture, before they confirm their booking, about what their stay with us will be like under social distancing rules. These guidelines will also form the basis of all the staff training that will be required. What informs me in creating these new procedures is, first and foremost, the safety and well-being of all our guests and our employees, as well as all the relevant government guidance and regulations. We also have a lot of good ideas of our own.
The very good news is that I believe we can adapt well and can continue to provide the special experience that we have always provided; albeit there will be differences in the way we have to provide services. We are fortunate at Budock Vean to have spacious public areas and even more space to enjoy outdoors in our 65 acres of gardens and grounds, from where you can connect very readily with the coastal footpath, the Helford River with its stunning views and beaches, as well as other local attractions, including Trebah and Glendurgan Gardens.
During the outbreak, many charities have found it tough going, just like everyone else, and one of those charities that is close to my heart is the Helford River Children’s Sailing Trust, of which I am Co-Chair of Trustees. On the 26th April, in place of the postponed London Marathon, an event took place called the 2.6 Challenge and our fund raiser challenged the trustees to do something a bit daft to raise much needed funds for the trust whilst staying at home. I felt it had to be nautical and, of course, all the items I needed had to be on-site. I came up with my Bath Tub Challenge and I rowed an old bath tub, formerly in one of our bedrooms prior to refurbishment, up and down 26 lengths of the hotel pool and hit my target of raising over £1,000 for the trust.
Thank you for continuing to send your many heartwarming messages and stories about life in lockdown. Please do keep them coming to email@example.com
On behalf of all the team, I can tell you that we miss all of you and look forward to welcoming you back to Budock Vean. Please keep well and stay safe everyone.
Date: 11th May 2020
Closure Extension: This will now be until 4th July, with a full statement coming soon from Martin Barlow following the latest advice from Government.
Date: 17th April 2020
Closure Extension - A message to all our customers from Martin and everyone at Budock Vean Hotel
I do hope you are all keeping well and staying safe as we approach the end of our fourth week in lockdown. I remain here at the hotel with my family, keeping an eye on the place and continuing to manage through this situation. I am very ably supported by the small team working either at home or onsite, all of whom are doing a great job of carrying on with the upkeep and maintenance of BV, with the sole focus of ensuring that, when the time comes, we are ready to welcome you all back with open arms. I am monitoring the daily government advice and, as always, what is upper most in my mind is the welfare of everyone who frequents the Budock Vean Hotel.
As a consequence of the government’s announcement to extend the lockdown for a further three weeks, I have decided to further lengthen the temporary closure of Budock Vean until May 31st 2020. On the assumption that it will be safe and sensible to do so, I now plan to reopen on 1st June 2020.
I will, of course, continue to monitor the situation closely and take advice from the appropriate authorities and we will only reopen when it is confirmed that we have the “all-clear” to do so. If this means that we have to extend the temporary closure further, we will ensure we update you in plenty of time. Please follow our social media channels to keep up to date with our latest news. The details of these are provided at the foot of this message.
What this means is that we now have to postpone all bookings for anyone who was still hoping to visit us during May.
Our team at Budock Vean are, as we speak, calling all the bookings we still have for this extended closure period. This is being addressed in chronological order starting with arrivals due on May 1st and they will work through all the bookings day by day up until May 31st. I would kindly ask for your patience as the Reception team work through this process.
Please also note that we have changed our hotel Reception hours. There will be a member of our team in Reception ready to take your calls and emails from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and from 9am to 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Outside of these hours, you may call and leave a message or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond to you the following day.
Rebook for a future date:
We very much look forward to the day when all of this is over and we can welcome you back to Budock Vean. With this in mind, we continue to look upon this as a postponement, not a cancellation. We very much hope you will want to postpone your holiday and rearrange it for a later date. You can therefore move your booking to any available date up until 31st May 2021 and we will retain your deposit to be used against this amended booking. If you elect to move your booking to a date with a different seasonal rate, we will need to charge you the new rate, which may be higher or lower, depending on which season you choose.
If, whilst you are waiting for our call, you would like to inform us of what you would like to do, please do not hesitate to contact us via email at email@example.com
What remains essential right now is that we all continue to follow government advice, stay at home and support all our dedicated and committed front line services personnel. I would like to thank them all for the incredible work they are doing to keep this country going.
I would like to thank all of you for your patience, understanding and support in these extraordinary circumstances. Thank you too for the very many heartwarming messages that you have sent in response to my previous communications; so many lovely reflections and reminiscences of past experiences at Budock Vean. Please do keep them coming to firstname.lastname@example.org
On behalf of all the team here at Budock Vean, whether those having to stay at home on furlough leave or those few remaining at work, I wish you all well and look forward greatly to the day when we can welcome you all back again.
In the meantime, as we all collectively prepare and strengthen ourselves for the further weeks ahead in lockdown, I would like to leave you with a thought, aptly expressed, I feel, by the words of Martin Luther King Jr:
“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”
Date: 10th April 2020
Happy Easter - a message to all our customers
I walked down through our wooded valley garden this Good Friday lunchtime, reflecting on the many happy Easter weekends we have spent with our guests at Budock Vean. Right about now, we would be welcoming guests and some would be heading down to Bar Beach at low tide to go cockling, or “trigging”, a longstanding Easter tradition on the Helford. Others might be setting off on a leisurely walk along the banks of the river, planning a boat trip on the Hannah Molly or a kayaking adventure over in Frenchman’s Creek with Tom and Hetty; all topped-off with a cream tea back at the hotel.
All of us at Budock Vean are sorry that you are unable to join us this time around, but we are thinking of you and sending you all our very best wishes for a Happy Easter and hoping that you can enjoy this weekend as much as possible, despite the very challenging circumstances that we all find ourselves in.
Thank you very much for sending all your wonderful, heart-warming reflections and reminiscences of your past experiences at Budock Vean. Please keep them coming. You can email them to us at email@example.com
I hope you enjoy the photographs of Budock Vean sent with this message. For more, please do not hesitate to connect with us via the usual social media channels, the links for which are detailed at the foot of this email.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Budock Vean just as soon as we are able to do so. In the meantime, please keep well and stay safe.
Date: 3rd April 2020
First and foremost, I do hope that you are all keeping well and staying safe. We are all now 10 days in and I wanted to write and let you know how we are approaching life in lockdown here at Budock Vean.
I would also love to hear from you about how you are coping and what you are doing at home to keep yourselves amused. Please do not hesitate to share your stories with us via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the 33 years that my family and I have looked after this wonderful place, we never thought we would be in the scenario we find ourselves in today. Hotels are not supposed to be empty; it does not feel right. It’s way too quiet; a complete contrast to ‘normal’ life.
And as we move into Spring, the hotel grounds are looking absolutely beautiful, with wonderful spring flowers everywhere, the gunneras shooting up skywards from the floor of the woodland valley garden and wild garlic in abundance, lining the edges of the path to the foreshore. It is a great sadness that you are not able to come and enjoy it too, as you normally do in great numbers.
There is a small group of us living and working at the hotel, all following the government’s social distancing guidelines and safe working practices.
At the beginning of last week, I moved on site along with my two daughters, so that we could keep a close eye on my father, who is also living here, as well as looking after the place.
With us we have four members of our staff also living here, as they really had no other place to go, and they have moved into one of the self-catering cottages.
A small number of staff continue to work, under our new solo shift pattern; a bit lonely but safer. Stuart and Anda are sharing the day shifts in Reception dealing with all your “postponements”.
Thank you to all our customers who have been so supportive in moving their bookings to either later this year or to the same time next year. And thank you too to all of you who have been making new bookings. It is greatly heartening to us to receive calls from guests wanting to move or make bookings. Our bookings are looking good for later this year and into next.
Tony, our Golf Manager, is taking advantage of this lovely dry spell of weather to keep the golf course in top shape and Phil, our Head Gardener, is doing the same in the gardens and grounds. Terry, our Maintenance person, is finding some positives in the hotel being unoccupied, as he tells me that he can finally catch up with all those myriads of jobs on his list. And to make sure that the place is kept safe and secure, we have our night porters, Chris and Matt, still coming in at night to keep a watchful eye.
The purpose of all this useful endeavour is to ensure that we prepare for the time when this unprecedented situation comes to an end and make sure we are in a position to be up and running and fully operational immediately after the restrictions are lifted.
My thanks to all our team, to those working here and at home and to those going onto the government’s new furlough arrangements and who are keeping us entertained with their lockdown stories! They are a great team who have reacted calmly and professionally to this extraordinary situation. I am very proud of every single one of them.
The announcement of the furlough scheme was very good news indeed, in allowing us to ensure that all of our team remain employed by the hotel and are ready to be called upon to return to work just as soon as the hotel reopens.
Life under lockdown has made us pretty reminiscent, particularly as I approach the 20th anniversary of taking over the reins from my father. We’ve seen so much joy and happiness at the hotel over the years and, like everyone, we are longing for the day that that returns.
It has given us all a great lift to read your kind and supportive emails as well as your positive comments and feedback via our social media page and to understand that this place is as special to you as it is to us. Please do keep your stories and memories of BV coming; it’s a real joy to read them. You can also email them to us at email@example.com.
Our enormous thanks go out to all the frontline and key workers; the people keeping the supermarkets open, the delivery drivers, cleaners, teachers, everyone in the NHS and more for keeping us as safe as possible during this challenging time.
On that note, I have been working with local authority co-ordinators to see whether Budock Vean can be of any use in supporting local health and social care initiatives, potentially as a recovery unit; more on that another time, if things progress.
Please stay safe, stay home and, if you fancy, pop us over some of your Budock Vean memories; we would really love to read them. I will be keeping in touch with you with periodic updates from all of us at the hotel.
Thank you so much again for your continued support and we really cannot wait to see you again, once this is all over and we can all re-emerge and get back to living life to the full once more.
Date: 21st March 2020
In considering my response to yesterday’s government announcement, what is upper most in my mind is the welfare of everyone who frequents the Budock Vean Hotel.
In line with government advice about avoiding non-essential travel, and the increased risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus, it is with great sadness that I must announce that Budock Vean Hotel will temporarily close, along with our self-catering accommodation and the Natural Health Spa.
The closure will initially be from today, Saturday 21st March 2020 until Thursday 30th April 2020 inclusive. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and take advice from the appropriate authorities, and we will only reopen when it is clear that it is safe to do so. If this means that we have to extend the closure beyond 30th April, we will ensure we update you in plenty of time. Please follow our social media channels to keep up to date with our latest news (links at the foot of this page).
What this means is that we will now have to cancel all bookings for anyone who was planning to visit us during this closure period.
Our team at Budock Vean are, as we speak, calling all the bookings we still have for this closure period to help you complete the cancellation. This is being addressed in chronological order starting with arrivals due tomorrow Sunday 22nd and they will work through all the bookings day by day up until April 30th. I would kindly ask for your patience as the Reception team work through this process.
Rebook for a future date: We very much look forward to the day when all of this is over and we can welcome you back to Budock Vean. With this in mind, we are looking upon this as a postponement, not a cancellation. We very much hope you will want to postpone your holiday and rearrange it for a later date. You can therefore move your booking to any available date up until 30th April 2021 and we will retain your deposit to be used against this amended booking. If you elect to move your booking to a date with a different seasonal rate, we will need to charge you the new rate, which may be higher or lower, depending on which season you choose.
If, whilst you are waiting for our call, you would like to inform us of what you would like to do, please do not hesitate to contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I appreciate that this will be disappointing news for all those who enjoy staying with us and for those who frequent Budock Vean as day visitors. I would like to thank you for your patience, understanding and support in these exceptional circumstances. I, along with my team, look forward to welcoming you back to Budock Vean once this has all passed.
In the meantime, I can assure you that on your behalf we will continue to look after this very special place that we all love and during our temporary closure we will be sharing sights, sounds and memories of life at BV and the Helford River. We want to let you know how we are getting on and we would be delighted to hear from you too. Please, let’s keep in touch.
In the meantime, we have initiated discussions with local health care organisations and local charities to see whether Budock Vean can provide any assistance and support to those in our local community who need it most. We have a valuable asset that we might be able to put to productive use during the next few weeks.
Please stay safe everyone and we are looking forward very much to the day, when we can throw open our doors to you all and welcome you back into the warmth and comfort of Budock Vean. And when we do, we can assure you that it will be a time to remember!