A BOUTIQUE hotel is celebrating after being named one of the best in the business.
Sue Howarth’s Howarth House Hotel, on Clifton Drive South, St Annes, only opened its doors five years ago after she revamped the period property.
But now it’s winning acclaim on the national stage after being ranked the county’s third best boutique hotel in popular website LateRooms.com Simply The Guest awards.
The award is based on the number of glowing customer reviews the hotel has received, and Sue could not be more pleased.
She said: “It means a lot to be named the third best because Laterooms.com is one of the biggest booking companies in the world.
“The award is not just for the area it is for the whole country which is fantastic.
“My son always says its like my injection of happiness in the morning if I read a good review, but I was still absolutely gobsmacked when the certificate arrived.
“I couldn’t believe it.”
Sue runs the four star hotel herself alongside son Dan Yates and a dedicated team, and has also branched out to an aparthotel on Clifton Drive.
But it has not all been plain-sailing with customer review websites, and the hotel was deliberately targeted with flase reviews before appearing on Channel Four’s Three in a Bed programme.
Sue said: “We did have a bit of trouble with Trip Advisor and got some really nasty reviews which were false.
“But they came off within about 24 hours of them going on and since then we’ve done extremely well on Trip Advisor.
“We’re number two at the moment but we’re often number one, and we will be back.
“Customer reviews really are invaluable and I always recommend to customers to read the reviews before they book anywhere.”
LateRooms.com said its award recognised the best properties out of the 70,000 it deals with, based on reviews which can only be left by customers who have booked their stay through the website.
Jessica Reading, director of marketing and user experience for LateRooms.com, said: “With the Simply the Guest Awards we hope we will inspire some amazing short breaks for 2013, recognise the valuable feedback which our customers provide our properties, and at the same time, showcase our top rated hotels.”
The reviews that were used to identify the award winners score hotels on their service, cleanliness, location and general guest experience.
The Hampshire Hog, in Portsmouth, beat Howarth House to top the boutique hotel category.