The Royal

01 May 2014

Lisa and Mark have lifted the fortunes of the traditional village hotel.

Having spent their entire careers in tourism and hospitality, a combined 50 years, partners Lisa Davis and Mark Miller moved up from London in December 2012 to run The Royal Hotel in Hayfield. Having previously worked for VisitBritain, the national tourist board, and a number of restaurants, the couple headed north in search of a new and exciting challenge.

In terms of location they had an open mind, as Lisa explains: “We started looking for an inn with rooms in Cornwall, and then at many other locations as far north as the North York Moors.” Mark saw The Royal up for sale through a commercial agent and Lisa knew Hayfield well, having grown up in Bramhall, spending many a weekend as a child walking up on Kinder Scout. “The location is perfect,” she says, “a picturesque village offering lots for the outdoor enthusiast, with the beauty of the Peak District on our doorstep and great access to Manchester and Sheffield.”  

The Royal is a traditional 18th century inn with a strong reputation for serving great ales and wines and home cooked food in the bar and bistro. It also hosts a large space for weddings, parties, private dinners and meetings and five newly upgraded en suite bedrooms. In the last 15 months, Lisa and Mark have transformed the hotel from a men's drinking pub into a multi-stranded business. Lisa says: “It is vital to invest time and money to create the right surroundings and atmosphere for your customers. The profile of our customers has grown and we now attract couples, families, young people and ladies who lunch as well as all the regular chaps who like a good pint!

“It’s a busy life with a vertical learning curve in the early days, but we're getting to grips with all the challenges of running the business. There are some enjoyable aspects to the job we didn't anticipate such as sourcing antiques for the hotel or designing the new guest bedrooms.”

And Lisa advises those considering a foray into the hospitality and tourism sector to research their targets carefully: “Understandably, a previous owner may not have invested for some time so you can expect everything to break or go bang in the first year. But location is paramount. Look for a business that in addition to visitor traffic has a core local community which offers year round custom.”


Posted  01 May 2014


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