June 19th 2009 seems such a long time ago now but it was on that day that we took our first steps into the B&B world here in Lytham St Annes. Just a few months earlier we had fled Kenya in the middle of the night and had spent the intervening time looking for a suitable business to run in the UK. When we first visited The Fairmile we were struck by what a nice atmosphere the building had. We had looked round quite a few B&B’s and small hotels and none of them had this warm feel about them and we knew straight away that we had found a place that we could live.
Looking back now over the past five years it is incredible to think how fast time has gone and how different The Fairmile is now to back then. We would like to feel that it has retained its warmth but that we have added many of the modern touches that guests demand in a 21st Century seaside B&B.
We started with upgrading the fabric of the building and our first two jobs were completely overhauling the electrical systems and putting on a new roof. Following this we double insulated the loft and, to assist us in making the building more energy efficient, we started a programme of replacing all of the double glazing. Alongside these big infrastructure projects we set about fitting new en-suites into the rooms. Every bathroom is now tiled, rather than carpeted. and all rooms now have thermostatically controlled showers so we don’t hear any screaming anymore when someone is having a shower that fluctuates between ice and scalding! To further assist the performance of the showers and to increase our energy efficiency we installed a new heating system and re-located the water pump so that it became more efficient. In addition to new shower rooms we have replaced almost all of the beds with new beds and mattresses. We hope to gradually phase out the pine and replace it with something a bit more modern and the new brown leather beds are a good start. Last winter saw us replace the front door and front awnings and we also began the process of re-carpeting every room. The re-carpeting will continue throughout this year and should all be complete by next Spring. Alongside these physical improvements we have also created a website and then in our third year we re-created it with what you see today. We have also, on several occasions, extended the Breakfast Menu, each time making the available options more extensive. We have also entered the world of social media and have quite a good presence on both Facebook and Twitter. The introduction of Freddy, our Facebook Bear, is as close as I hope to get to a mid-life crisis but he has been a great addition and he continues to put a smile on many guests’ faces. We have big plans for Freddy going forward and feel that he can get out a bit more and help promote the area more than he does at present.
As you can see the past five years have seen us achieve quite a bit and we are very pleased with the progress we have made. As with everything nowadays we are judged largely on our reviews and we have been very lucky to have received a lot of very nice comments on all of the review sites. This year we were awarded a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor and we were told by VisitBritain that we are very much in line to receive a Silver Award on our next inspection. To all of those who have helped us to build up those reviews we would like to say a very big thank you. Our reviews have given us quite a lot to smile about over the last five years and thankfully only a few tears have been shed at a few not so nice comments.
As with all jobs it is the people who you work with who help make the job what it is and we have been very lucky to have been able to meet such wonderful people over the past five years. We say it quite often but it really is true when we say that it doesn’t feel like we work and that is largely down to getting the chance to meet so many new and interesting people almost every day of the year that keeps a smile on our faces and keeps us motivated and engaged.
We guess that anyone reading this blog will have been part of the above journey in some way. If you have not yet liked us on Facebook or followed us on Twitter then what are you waiting for! If you have a glass in your hand then please raise it now – “Thank you for the last five years and here is to what is to come in the next…”
Jason & Melanie