The past twelve months have been busy for Daniel Thompson MIH, GM at Mullion Cove. Daniel shares his thoughts on the recent spa development at the hotel in the South West of England.
Attracting guests to Mullion Cove during the winter months has always been a challenge and historically we have always been a very seasonal business, relying on the traditional summer holidays to then get us through the winter months. We have the most amazing location with inspiring views, we strive to make our visitors stay as memorable as possible, have first class staff who have remained with us for a number of years and boast a number of awards for our food and service. So as an overall package for the summer holiday trade we are a perfect destination.
However, our stunning location is a double-edged sword. It is a long way down to the Lizard Peninsular, with a number of other competing hotels on the way, the Great British winter weather puts people off during the colder months and we have until now had nothing to entice people to make that extra effort to visit us over competitor hotels with more to offer.
At the very heart of our recent development was the determination to raise winter occupancy and transform us into a year-round resort, so most decisions were made based on this aspiration. The location of the spa on our site, the angle it faced out to sea to get the best sunset and of course the needs of our guests, treatments lists, product partnerships and much much more were all thoroughly thought through to ensure the spa was as attractive in the winter as it would be in the spring and summer.
The interiors and exteriors were designed to create the feeling of relaxation, calm and luxury. The ideal Cornish retreat for guests to escape to whilst still taking in all that our wonderful coastal location has to offer. They can pamper themselves with seaweed treatments and products or take in the views without leaving the hydrotherapy pool, laconium, steam room or sauna.
The last 12 months have been extremely busy as we did more than just build a spa. We also doubled our self-catering offering with the purchase and refurbishment of four self-catering sea-view properties. We had already been operating self-catering properties on Mullion Harbour for five years and it was due to the success of these to our self-catering market which prompted us to take on the Mullion Cove Harbour View Apartments. All of our eight properties are rated 5 gold stars from the AA and offer a unique self-catering experience.
Not one to do things by half, during two of the biggest projects I have done during my career to date, my wife and I made the decision to lay down roots here in Cornwall and buy our first Cornish home and welcome our third child – all this whilst running the hotel, maintaining standards, keeping our guests happy and keeping my team motivated whilst diggers, cranes and construction teams disrupted the day to day operation. I would have found the whole process incredibly more difficult if it wasn’t for the amazing team I have around me, but I must admit I am very much looking forward to running a hotel again following this period of expansion, however, I now have my sights on four star status.
When I first took over the reins at Mullion Cove Hotel it was my first ever General Manager role and I never dreamt that within 4 years I would be project managing a multi-million-pound expansion project. It has been an experience which I have professionally and personally taken from. I was able put my own stamp on these projects and become part of the rich history Mullion Cove Hotel has, whilst tying to not let down the Grose family who put so much trust in me.
A year later and I’m delighted to say that the hard work has paid off. The spa has been well received by our guests and reviewers alike. The Times listed us within the top 100 Great British Hotels and listed the Spa in their top 20 spas in UK. As for business, we have seen a 24% increase in revenue compared to this time last year and currently forward occupancy is up by 17%. It is early days; however, I am positive that we will achieve our goal of increasing our winter occupancy.