Hotels across the West Country prepare to re-open

Richard Ball prepares to open the doors at The Calcot Hotel Credit: ITV West Country

Richard Ball is excited to finally be able to open his Gloucestershire hotel after lockdown but he says guests will find an entirely different experience.

"The whole guest journey has had to be reviewed, even from before they check in."

Richard Ball, Executive Chairman

Guests will now use an app to check in to The Calcot Hotel in Tetbury and there is a whole new reception area.

"We've got to set the right tone. It's also got to be safe. We have to welcome people but we have to get them in."

Richard Ball, Executive Chairman

Every area of the hotel has had to be rethought.

In the restaurants shields have been put up, the tables are further apart and customers will use tick menus.

Staff have been making restaurants as safe as possible Credit: ITV West Country

"We are really limiting the amount of contact time at the table, which is a really sad thing to do because we like to get up there and entertain and host. But we are absolutely sure our customers will understand."

Richard Ball, Executive Chairman
Richard and his family bought it when it was an abandoned barn Credit: Richard Ball

Richard Ball has been involved with the hotel for more than 35 years. He and his parents bought it as an old farmhouse and turned it into a hotel.

They sold it to a local family, but Richard stayed working with them. They now have four hotels, one pub and a staff of more than 500. He believes the resilience they have all built over the years will help them now.

"It will be hard, there is no doubt about it. It is not about how much money we can make, it is about getting through and getting to a position where we can rebuild and keep the teams together. That is our priority."

Richard Ball, Executive Chairman
Questions still remain about their play area Credit: ITV West Country
There are still questions about spas in hotels Credit: ITV West Country

Staff here say they will keep working and adapting as new guidance arrives.

They say they will work together to keep the hotel a part of the landscape for many more decades to come.