Islands’ Hotels Achieve Coveted 4-star status

Hell Bay Hotel, Bryher

Both the Star Castle Hotel on St Mary’s and the Hell Bay Hotel on Bryher have been upgraded to 4-star status.

And managers of both hotels say the recognition of quality and service is good for their respective businesses and Scilly.

James Francis of the Star Castle says the assessors have relaxed some of the requirements, which are impossible to meet or irrelevant here.

To get 4 stars it is usually necessary to have car parking and operate a 24-hour night porter service. James says that’s fine in London when people come back late after a night out, but there’s no demand for it here.

He says the assessors felt there should be a reward for good service and good food that is higher than three stars and says he feels the quality of the holiday and service is more important than whether the room has a mini bar.

Philip Callan of Hell Bay says his hotel will have to make some small changes for the grading. Wifi will go into every room – it’s just in public areas currently.

And their breakfast service will be extended from one and a half to two hours.

Philip says it’s a perfect end to a stunning year for the hotel. Business has been challenging in 2009 and 2010 but it’s turned around this year.

So will the higher grading mean higher prices? Philip says rates haven’t changed in 3 years and it’s something they will review as a matter of course.

He only received confirmation of his upgrade two days ago following the inspector’s visit earlier this month.

Both hotels will be able to advertise their new grading as soon as they wish.