Category: Cornish Cottage

Sep
09
2018

Press Release

Awards help growth and learning, says Old Barn owner

Stephen Chidgey, the owner of a self-catering holiday property in Tregonetha, says entering and subsequently winning awards has increased bookings and improved the service he provides.

For a third consecutive year, The Old Barn has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Cornwall Tourism Awards. Recent accolades have included winning gold in the self-catering category in both 2016 and 2017 and following that success up with gold in the South West regional awards.

“I’ve learnt so much since I first started entering and the business has really benefited,” said Stephen. “It’s made me really think about every aspect of customer service and what was needed to set ourselves apart. I’ve also met other people in the industry through the workshops and other events that Robin Barker and his Services for Tourism team organise and that’s proved inspiring too.

“Tourism is vital for the Cornish economy and it’s in all our best interests to make our visitors feel valued and special. This year’s summer has been spectacular, but we can’t just rely on the weather to give people a good time.”

Every Cornwall Tourism Awards’ applicant gets feedback on their entry and there are three phases in the judging process. Winners will be announced on 1 November in a glittering ceremony being held for the first time in Truro Cathedral. There are 77 selected finalists and 26 award categories.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Stephen, who is up for a Responsible, Ethical and Sustainable award. “There aren’t many opportunities to get together with so many people working in the tourism business – and that’s why it’s a calendar highlight.”

Ends

September 2018

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Jul
07
2018

Press Release

Turning tourism trauma to triumph

It’s the height of the summer tourism season and hospitality providers throughout Cornwall are busy catering for guests. Ensuring a high-quality visitor experience is a priority for most but how can that be achieved when something goes badly wrong?

That was the awful dilemma facing Stephen Chidgey when he suddenly realised that an online mix-up meant that his award-winning holiday property, The Old Barn at Tregonetha, had been double-booked. With one set of guests already arrived, Stephen got a phone message to say another couple would be there within the hour.

“I can’t even begin to describe the horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach,” said Stephen, who has won gold at both the South West and Cornwall Tourism Awards for the last two years. “It was a genuine mistake that happened when there was a changeover in booking systems but the last thing I wanted was for someone’s holiday to be ruined.”

With little time to sort things out, Stephen quickly identified another, more expensive, self-catering property nearby that was still available and booked it. He then prepared himself for the horrible task of meeting the couple, Wayne and Dawn Neale, who thought they were staying at the Old Barn and explaining what had happened.

“Stephen couldn’t have handled the situation better,” said Wayne, from Shropshire. “My wife Dawn and I were initially very upset, but he took us into his house, gave us a cup of tea and told us that he had arranged alternative accommodation and would be paying the extra himself. He also gave us money so that the two of us could enjoy a nice meal out at his expense that evening and promised that we could come back whenever we liked and have a free week’s stay in Tregonetha.”

The couple have just taken up that offer.

“Thanks to Stephen, we’ve had two of the nicest holidays we’ve ever had in Cornwall and can’t thank him enough,” said Wayne. “I work in sales and know how important customer service is. What Stephen did for us to remedy a difficult predicament is remarkable.”

Like Wayne and many others, Kim Williams, from Essex, can’t rate Stephen highly enough.

“We visit Cornwall twice a year and will always stay in Stephen’s property,” said Kim. “I’m extremely fussy about accommodation and want it to be top quality. I liked what I saw on the website, but the reality is even better. The cottage has everything you could possibly want and Stephen is a lovely, caring host who is there if you need him.

“I’m a big believer in giving honest feedback but genuinely can’t fault the Old Barn experience.”

Ends

July 2018

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Feb
02
2018

Press Release

South West Tourism Gold Award for second consecutive year

It’s no mean feat for the owner of a self-catering property in a small Cornish hamlet to take on the best of the best across the seven counties of the South West and win but that’s exactly what Stephen Chidgey has achieved. Not only that, he’s done it for the second consecutive year.

Stephen owns The Old Barn in Tregonetha near Padstow. Comprising three bedrooms and two bathrooms, it is the Cornish holiday destination of choice for many visitors from across the UK each year. Nothing is too much trouble for Stephen and his team when ensuring guests have the most comfortable, welcoming stay possible and that attention to detail has resulted in exceptionally high bookings and a string of industry accolades. In addition to again winning gold in the Self Catering Property of the Year category of this year’s South West Tourism Awards, they include gold in the 2017/18 Cornwall Tourism Awards and, thanks to the Old Barn’s impeccable eco credentials, silver and bronze awards in each event’s Sustainable Tourism categories.

“To win gold at the South West awards for two years running is fantastic,” said Stephen. “We work really hard to act on the feedback we get and to go on improving because it’s never enough to think ‘that’s it, we’re the best, there’s nothing more to be done’ because there always is. As a small business in a rural hamlet, we’re hugely proud to have been judged better than all the competition across the whole South West region and to fly the flag for Cornwall once again.”

The 2017/18 South West Tourism Awards were held at The Riviera Centre in Torquay. There was a 7 per cent increase in entries and more than 450 people attended the evening which was hosted by BBC Spotlight’s presenter Victoria Graham.

The Old Barn has been nominated through for the Visit England Awards. Announcement of finalists is expected in March.

For more information, visit http://www.southwesttourismawards.org.uk/

Ends

February 2018

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Nov
11
2017

Press Release

An eighties’ charity night in Newquay has raised £800 for Cornwall air Ambulance and the St Francis Home 4 Animals – with half that sum coming from an auctioned four-night stay at the award-winning Old Barn, Tregonetha, donated by Stephen Chidgey.

The event at The Esplanade Hotel was organised by Charmian Licsauer, Property Manager at Cornish Traditional Cottages. About ninety people turned up for the party – most of them in outfits fashionable in the 1980s. The Mayor of Newquay, Councillor Margaret North, and The Esplanade’s Jason Coffey judged the fancy dress.

“Everyone really got into the spirit of things and there were some really good costumes,” said Charmian. “I was delighted with the number of people who came and their generosity. Raffle prizes included two nights at Fistral Beach Hotel and Spa, dinner for two at five-star Boringdon Hall near Plymouth and Rick Stein and Sharp’s Brewery vouchers.

“We decided to auction Stephen’s amazing donation because it was so special. The Old Barn won a 2016 Visit England gold award and has just scooped gold again in the self-catering category of the 2017 Cornwall Tourism Awards for the second year running. The successful bid was £400 – half the amount raised.”

Stephen Chidgey found out about the fundraising event through Cornish Traditional Cottages which markets his property.

“As soon as Charmian told me what she was doing, I was very keen to get involved,” he said. “Both the charities do an incredible job and I was keen to support them.”

Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust is based at Trevithick Downs, Newquay, and the St Francis Home 4 Animals, which provides temporary shelter and care for abandoned, homeless and unwanted dogs, is in Porth.

“We are so very grateful to Charmian and everyone who helped raise this money,” said Leanne Thomas, duty manager at St Francis. “Two of our volunteers went along and had a really good time. Every dog who comes to us has a full veterinary check and is vaccinated, neutered, wormed and micro-chipped so we are always desperate for funds. We’ve been around for more than sixty years and have helped thousands of dogs in that time.”

Jackie Southon, Head of Income Generation (maternity cover) at Cornwall Air Ambulance represented the charity at the event.

She said: “It was a fabulous night and we are grateful to everyone who came to support the event, especially Stephen Chidgey who donated such a fabulous auction prize. With over 700 missions a year, we rely on the support of the public to continue our life-saving work, so I’d like to say a huge thank you for helping to keep the helicopter flying and saving lives throughout Cornwall.’’

Ends

24 November 2017

Media enquiries: Sue Bradbury, SBPR Ltd, 01326 567184

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Feb
02
2017

Community Fundrasing Event – July 2016 (Old Barn, Tregonetha was previously marketed by Unique Home Stays as ‘The Stud’)

Stephen Chidgey kindly donated a weekend break at The Stud in Cornwall to commemorate 1000 years of continual habitation in Great Tangley Manor

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Jan
01
2017

iDNES.cz (Czech Blog) – March 2015 (Old Barn, Tregonetha was previously marketed by Unique Home Stays as ‘The Stud’)

Cornishman Stephen Chidgey began his bold renovation of a neglected stable block nearly a quarter of a century ago. After years of hard work and determination he now has The Stud; a luxury self catering property in Cornwall.

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