HOTELS in Salisbury have been enjoying an influx of guests, both for leisure and business, as staycations and small breaks around England become the new holiday theme for the 2021 summer.
While there are still concerns around international travel and the UK’s traffic light travel list, hotels closer to home have been fully booked since reopening to all guest types in May.
Although some hotels were operating throughout the lockdown, supporting NHS staff and many other key workers, hoteliers were eagerly anticipating the arrival of leisure guests once again from last month.
Front office manager at the Mercure White Hart Hotel in Salisbury, Hannelore Sanchez, said it has been “great to see this step back to normality”, adding there has been a clear rise in staycations and using the hotel as a stepping stone in between day trips.
She said: “Even during the week it has been a full house with lots of movement, and the great weather has helped.
“People are booking events with us, events that they haven’t been able to celebrate for all this time.”
Visiting Stonehenge and day trips to Bournemouth and other tourist hotspots are just some of the things White Hart guests have been up to during their stays, according to Hannelore.
She added: “People are doing this because there are no issues and it is just so nice to get away at last.
“There’s no worry about Covid tests, quarantine or waiting for Euros.
“We were only open for business [up until May 17] but now we’re open again for leisure guests you can really see the difference.
“It’s a great feeling to have so many bookings again.”
Stuart Earp, manager of the Milford Hall Hotel, had similar feedback, describing the hotel on Castle Street as “busy with lots of people”.
He said: “People are staying for longer visits now, around three or four days, which is great.
“We’re starting to get both more leisure customers and corporate customers that keep coming back.
“This makes it easier for the team, as a main concern for me was they haven’t been working properly for around 15 months.
“With these longer stays there’s a better flow as we know the people better, plus it can be scary meeting lots of new people with Covid-19 still out there.”
Sixteen out of 45 bedrooms had been refurbished during lockdown.
The hotel’s reception and corridors had also been repainted to ensure the venue looked spick and span in time for reopening.
Stuart added: “A lot of people are staying here for day trips and to explore the area.”
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