The last few weeks have been a testing time for all as we have attempted to come to terms with Covid-19, lockdown and what commentators refer to as the ‘new normal’. While everybody has an opinion regarding the best route out of lockdown, the government has set a road map for the process and it is widely expected that UK hotels will open again sometime in July.
With this in mind, The Carlton is busy preparing for post-lockdown breaks, so that we can open up to receive guests again once the government advises it is safe to do so. As part of this process, our plans involve doing all we can to look after our guests, our team and the local population. As such we are now taking reservations for post-lockdown breaks in July and beyond*.
Our view is that these are extraordinary times and we must not let down our guard but we as a community and a nation, need to adapt to the new reality which could be with us for some time to come. From our, this means doing everything we can to mitigate the risk, while still delivering high standards of service for our guests.
Why Choose The Carlton?
The Carlton, is a big roomy Victorian building, is better placed than many establishments to make changes in how we operate in order to maintain safe and social distancing for post-lockdown breaks. From our spacious welcoming reception lounge and associated public areas, including bar & brasserie space to the features and design of our rooms; tiled bathroom spaces which are easily cleaned and sanitised, along with big windows in every room which allow for the free circulation of deliciously fresh coastal air.
Other measures we have introduced include a custom app allowing for essential information and services such as paperless menus and remote check in. You can read more about our Covid preparedness measures here. In addition, we have our wonderful Carlton team, trained to the highest standards, and with updated Covid training in line with the very latest government guidelines, to ensure the upmost attention to sanitary detail – from thoroughly cleaning rooms and facilities to serving food.
Why Choose North Devon?
If part of your lockdown exit strategy was to get away – when opportunity allowed – and enjoy some quality relaxation time by the coast then North Devon will tick many boxes. With limits on foreign travel there are few places in the UK that offer a ‘not in the UK’ feel like this part of England.
It is a destination that is somewhat off the beaten track so while summer brings crowds, this is one place with enough wide open spaces to be able to escape them. As well as the smaller beaches in the town of Ilfracombe, the nearby beaches of Saunton and Woolacombe offer miles of golden sands for safely social distancing. Then there’s the nearby wide open spaces and quiet footpaths of Exmoor.
Escaping the city for the health benefits of fresh air and taking a dip is what turned Ilfracombe from a fishing village to a seaside resort during Victorian times. Even at the height of summer, this is a town that never feels overly busy, unlike the more commercial coastal resort towns of South Devon for example. So with social distancing in our minds, this is an unspoilt area where crowds can easily be avoided, providing the perfect destination for post-lockdown breaks.
Some regular guests have been in touch regarding media reports highlighting beach issues in the immediate aftermath of lockdown travel measures easing. In true media fashion, the negatives were accentuated and the reality was that it was a couple of days in May that resembled an August Bank Holiday (inevitably). This has improved as the local council has opened up beachside toilet facilities and naturally more seasonal businesses begin to open up again.
Enquiries have also focused on the reaction of locals to visitors coming into the area. While there have understandably been fears that local hospital services would be stretched by an influx of holiday makers, the vast majority of local people appreciate the importance of the tourism industry and are keen to offer a warm welcome to visitors when the coronavirus alert levels lower sufficiently to allow hospitality businesses to open.
As an owner operated hotel, it has been in our interests to upgrade our facilities wherever is necessary to create an optimum environment to fully relax and enjoy North Devon’s wide open spaces and big skies. All that’s missing is you! So come down and see us this summer or autumn and finally get away from it all! Click here to book your stay or contact us for more information. * The Carlton offers real flexibility to cancel your room up to 48 hours prior to arriving, giving you comfort in booking in these unusual times. We’ve always had this policy. T&Cs apply, please check our website. Please refer to our Staying Safe At The Carlton page for updates.