Those of us brought up on Fawlty Towers might find it hard to believe that a Torquay hotel has been named as best for service in the UK and that it has also been listed in the top 25 hotels in the world. Obviously, there are no Basil’s, Manuel’s or Sybil’s at the Charterhouse Hotel which has won this accolade.
This award is for service, the most important feature of what we buy after the product itself. Even then you can cope with a product that is not perfect if the service is special. I have stayed in hotels that were not the best. The service, the attention and the fact that nothing seems too much trouble has made ordinary hotels into splendid ones. In those, I have stayed in again and again. And recommended.
The award has come from the TripAdvisor annual summing up of the reviews that have been posted on the website in the past year. This still has its problems as an award because the vast number of people who stay don’t praise or damn a hotel (or anything else for that matter) on a website. How should you factor that in? The answer is you can’t. In many ways, a hotel (or tourist authority)’s survey of guests that is selected to be representative of all of us is better. Nonetheless, people tend to criticise rather than praise so the Charterhouse has attracted some loyal customers.
The best overall hotel in the UK was in Harrogate, the Rudding Hotel and that also made it into the top 10 in the world, the same as last year.
As for London, the place with more hotels than anywhere else, not one hotel made it into the top 25 UK list. And as Alison Copus of TripAdvisor says, that’s a little worrying with the Olympics only 2 years away.
As for the best B&B in the UK? That goes to Number One in Deal in Kent which also made it into the top 10 from around the world.