New Owner Of Tregarthen’s Says Families Are The Key To Success

Nigel and Jackie Wolstenholme

Nigel and Jackie Wolstenholme

The new owner of St Mary’s iconic Tregarthen’s Hotel says he wants the property to remain high-end and focus on the family market, which is currently underserved in Scilly.

Nigel Wolstenholme has a background in property development and investment but the purchase of Tregarthen’s, his first hotel, is a personal project for himself and his wife Jackie.

He’s been holidaying on the islands for over 25 years, coming here first with his parents and then bringing his own children.

And he says he has been “hankering for years” to purchase a hotel here.

Nigel says he won’t be a hands-on hotelier, visiting every four to six weeks.

He says from his own experience, Scilly is “a marvellous place to come for a family holiday” and that’s the market he wants to target.

Nigel feels there aren’t many hotels here currently offer those facilities, like larger rooms or ones with interconnecting doors.

And he’s realistic about the age range that Scilly will appeal to. Nigel says that’s from the very youngest, who want a ‘bucket and spade’ beach holiday up to early teens.

The experience with his own children is that by their mid teens they “get restless for things that Scilly doesn’t offer – and probably shouldn’t.”

Nigel is going against the trend, saying he has no intention to add self-catering accommodation to the hotel. He doesn’t think structure of Tregathen’s suits that.

And he says he’ll “unashamedly” keep to the mid to upper price range.

“Tregarthen’s isn’t cheap and won’t be in the future,” says Nigel, but he promises to also provide very good service and accommodation.

He also wants to look at the food offering once they “have their feet under the table” and says both the bar and restaurant probably need to specialise in order to stand out.

And we could be seeing more English wine at the hotel. Nigel own two vineyards and says he is a big advocate of the brand.

But he won’t be making any quick changes. Nigel wants to take a couple of years to get a feel for the property and the customers first.

He feels that the tourism offer in Scilly is “slowly but surely improving” adding that it’s unfair to compare us with the mainland because we will always be “slightly held back” by transport issues.

He says we should look again at ABTA bonding, which went with the helicopter service.

But he also feels improving transport capacity runs the risk of bringing in too many people and ruining Scilly’s special character.

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