What's it really like running a small hotel in Torquay?
Every so often, during breakfast or a check-out, a guest will ask us:
“It looks like such hard work, how do you run a small hotel without any staff?”
I often reply with a huge smile on my face, as I can honestly say it's the best decision we have ever made as a family and that it's easy! Ok, it isn't easy in the sense that it's 7 days a week and that we have a toddler to throw in the mix. Easy because the life we have is together.
We both work extremely hard in the mornings, setting up the tables, cooking and serving breakfast, checking guests out, then servicing the rooms and turning rooms around ready for the next guests. But once the hard graft is all done, we look at the clock and it's only midday! This means time for lunch, as a family. Whilst one of us is working in the morning on the hotel, the other is spending valuable time with our son, then in the afternoons once all guests have checked-in, we get off to spend enjoying the local beaches and beauty spots that Devon has to offer together as a family! Now that we are in full swing of things, it's all working like clockwork.
We only use local food. The eggs are delivered direct from Glenside Farm, the handmade sausages and high quality bacon we collect from our local butchers, Prentice Butchers. All the diary, like milk, butter and yoghurt is delivered by the local dairy company Dartmouth Dairy plus all our fresh fruit, mushrooms and tomatoes are delivered by Devon Fresh. We also have all the linen washed, pressed and delivered by Tor Laundry Our beverages for the 24 hour Honesty Bar are delivered by local companies such as Bays Brewery and Hunts Cider - saving us that oh so precious time to be together!
'Are you from Torquay?'
In one word, no! William and I, are both from Oxfordshire, in a town which is probably one of the furthest places in the UK away from the sea. We both shared the dream of running a guest house and living by the sea. We were going to wait until our son reaches 5, however, we thought 'there's no better time than the present!'. Choosing a guest house wasn't easy. First it was the location - we looked all over Devon & Cornwall and decided Torquay was by far the best place in the South Coast. It's multiple beaches, it's micro-climate, the endless activities for both family and as a couple. Torquay has many very good restaurants, a buzzing night life, numerous shops both high street and independent shops - It has everything we could wish for! Also, The Montana is within walking distance to all of this!
Torquay is also easy to get to (now the new Devon Link road has been built.) Especially, If you're travelling from Birmingham, Oxfordshire or anywhere from mainland England or Wales, it's quite simple to get here as we are at the end of the M5!
“Torquay is such a wonderful place, where do you go on holiday now that you live in the best South Coastal town in the UK?”
Well, everyday feels like a holiday J We can take a short walk to Torquay Harbour and pop on the ferry for £3 return to Brixham. In the Middle Ages, Brixham was the largest fishing port in the South West of England and still regains it's fishing culture. If you like seafood, then Brixham is the capital of seafood in the UK!
Not only that, we have Paignton next door. Only takes 12 mins in the car/bus or you could take the train which only takes 10 mins by rail! Paignton is a great place to bring children. Often with it's ever changing scenes on the beachfront - Funfairs, festivals, donkey rides and circus’s. Paignton has that 'seaside town feeling'. And not forgetting Paignton Zoo. Or if you just fancy a walk, there are many stunning coastal walks around the Bay - We are certainly spoilt for choice in Torbay! Plus, if you want to take a road trip you can hop to Cornwall!
“Have you done this sort of thing before?”
Will has run his own Tree Surgery Company, so he couldn't have a more different lifestyle! However, he is an amazing cook and cooks the breakfasts to perfection. So running a business is natural to him. As for me, I’ve worked on yachts in hospitality for multi-billionaires in silver service as a Yacht Stewardess.
We both love working with people and love having guests in our home, and thrive on making this hotel the best it can be and making sure our guests have a relaxed enjoyable stay.
“How long do you think you'll do this for?”
We have made this beautiful guest house into a home for both us and our guests. Recently, in the winter of 2016/17, we undergone a refurbishment and we are constantly updating it. We would like to think that this is our family home to bring up our children. The area has so much to offer and we are proud to call Torquay and The Montana our home. Home sweet Home x
We both would like say a big thank you to all our guests who loved staying with us at The Montana.