Fishermen’s tales and wedding hats at Greetham Valley


How big???

I always thought fishermen were telling tall tales about the one that got away, but judging by the whoppers I have been asked by our Hotel and Lodge guests to put in the Hotel fridge over night I’m now not so sure.

It has been really great to see our trout fishermen returning for another year of pleasure and competition fishing on Rutland Water,  many of whom have booked accommodation for the rest of 2012 season, as we are only a few minutes’ drive away from this fabulous fishing venue. It would also appear that Palm Springs Salmon Fishing are landing some giants this year.  Our resident salmon fishermen are also helping with the Receptionists’ weight lifting program as we are asked to store their catch in the fridge. 

 

Spring has finally sprung and the wedding season is now upon us.  Oh the dresses, the hats!!! (slightly different to those of our fishing friends!!). Even on a grey day the smiling faces of the wedding party are enough to cheer us all up.

I was asked the other day by a bride’s father how we all keep up the enthusiasm on a 2, 3 or 4 wedding weekend, well – how can you not? A hotel full of happy smiling wedding party faces, it really is contagious.  As the Reception shift goes on, if the enthusiasm starts to wane we just open the door at the back of Reception and enjoy the entertainment that is the bride’s dad dancing the funky chicken after too much champagne….

And then there’s the bright and breezy breakfast parade……enough said!  The morning after can be just as entertaining as the night before….

 Well, that’s a small slice of the variety of customer that brightens up our day on Reception – when are you coming to visit? We look forward to welcoming you!


Luxury Accommodation at a Countryside Hotel in Rutland

Countryside hotels are the choice of most Brits looking for a quiet getaway for a few days or to celebrate a special occasion. Spending all week in an office and driving through towns and cities having to put up with the hustle and bustle isn’t most people’s idea of fun, but at Greetham Valley hotel in Rutland you don’t have to deal with any of that. Bliss!

Just a few minutes’ drive from Rutland Water and located close to the A1, Greetham Valley couldn’t be more appealing or accessible. The rolling East Midlands countryside provides the backdrop for luxury accommodation and two championship standard golf courses that have visitors flocking from miles around to experience. The AA three-star hotel features king-size and twin bedrooms with full en-suite facilities and many enjoy glorious views of one of the loveliest counties in the country.

All 35 of our elegant, contemporary bedrooms accommodate a travel cot or small bed for children and we have rooms specially designed to make any disabled visitors’ stay as comfortable as possible.

If you’re visiting to celebrate a special occasion such as a wedding anniversary or birthday then we can arrange for luxuries to be delivered to the room just by asking our friendly reception staff, helping to make your day that little bit more special.

With lunchtime and evening meals available in our restaurants or lounge bar, and a gym on site you have everything you need to make your stay as simple but memorable as possible. Should you want to venture off into Rutland – and why wouldn’t you – the county town of Oakham is just eight miles away and nearby Rutland Water will keep you coming back time and time again.

Oakham and Stamford feature a number of bars and restaurants and Rutland Water has a cycle hire shop, bird watching centre and a number of great areas to walk. But if golf or relaxing are your idea of a quiet break, staying at Greetham Valley gives you everything you need under one big blue-skied roof.

To find out more information about Greetham Valley hotel including room rates and special offers, contact us on 01780 460444 and we’ll be happy to help.


A warm, welcoming reception at Greetham Valley

Greetham Valley's wonderful team of ReceptionistsThe old adage ‘first impressions count’ could not be more true than within the hospitality industry and the Greetham Valley Receptionists are very often the first members of staff whom visitors to the Hotel meet. We are fortunate in having such a genuinely warm and welcoming team of ladies on our Reception desk, each of whom appreciates and promotes the friendly ethos of our family run venue. Maybe it is a ‘Rutland’ thing? Rutlanders are by and large a friendly crowd – we are delighted that visitors have swerved off the A1 or A47 to find Rutland Water and the smallest county in England!

Our Head Receptionist is Helen, who has been at Greetham Valley since 2005 in varying roles before proving that her forte is managing a dynamic team of front of house ‘meeters and greeters’. She is ably assisted by Receptionists Ann, Annice and Sandra, whose mature, calm outlooks on life are reflected in the fact that very little fazes or surprises them in their day to day duties!

Mind you, they could all relate some stories of bizarre requests or queries encountered whilst behind the Reception desk – but, professional to the core, they won’t tell…. Discretion meets common sense and a genuine liking for people in general – the perfect combination!

We are delighted to introduce you to our Reception ladies - and hope you look forward to meeting them face to face at Greetham Valley one day soon!


Hotel life – plans, paintpots and projects for Winter

The speed of hotel life at Greetham Valley can be quite a rollercoaster! Like most Hotels, we can be frantically busy one week, bursting to capacity with guests, and then the following week occupancy slows down and we take a few deep breaths while we catch up with ourselves!

December at Greetham Valley is usually brilliant, especially with rooms full of guests staying over after Christmas party nights. At breakfast time, guests tend to wander in a little later than normal and copious amounts of orange juice seem to be quaffed before the Full English can be faced….

Rutland is beautiful in winter but nevertheless, in the New Year, we head into the ‘low season’ for UK hotels -  January and February are notoriously slow in terms of hotel room bookings. So these two months are the perfect time for winter maintenance programmes to be put into practice.

Greetham Valley Hotel bedroom original colour schemeSince the Hotel opened 6 years ago, we have continually refreshed the delicate shade of ‘Sundust Yellow’ with which we originally emulsioned the majority of the internal walls. But for the past month we have been trying to decide on new colour schemes for the hotel bedooms to give them all a fresh look. And those lovely people at Dulux have just delivered some beautiful colourpots for us to try. 

We have chosen the delicious sounding ‘Raspberry Bellini’ and the very aptly named ‘Putting Green’ for feature walls within the bedrooms, all teamed with a warm shade of cream. Dulux describe ‘Raspberry Bellini’ as ‘rich, modernist and striking’, whilst ‘Putting Green’ appears to be ‘calm and nurturing’. We just like ‘em! We have seen some lovely complementary shades of cushions and throws to go with the new colour schemes so are looking forward to getting on with this project during our quieter season.

Watch this space for the first photos!


Jean-Christophe Novelli at Greetham Valley!

Jean-Christophe NovelliCelebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli was the superb host of the 2011 East Midlands Food and Drink Awards at Greetham Valley last night (Sunday 13th November). With a well aimed light hearted introductory speech, he set a fantastic tone for the evening’s excellent dinner and awards presentation.

Sponsors of the Awards were: Long Clawson Dairy, Greetham Valley, The Boston Coffee Company, KFE, MacIntyre Hudson and South Lincs Food Services. Regional competition sponsors were: ABC Meats of Peterborough, Acorn Taxis of Boston, QKS Kitchens of Stamford, Scalford Hall and Stoneacre Grantham.

Finalists from all over the East Midlands region were in attendance and the winners of the 10 categories were:

  • Best Gastro Pub/Bar Restaurant of the Year The Fox/La Table d’Yves, Thorpe Satchville
  • Best Tea Room/Cafe    Green’s, Mancetter Sq Peterborough
  • Best Fish and Chips      The Boundary, Market Deeping
  • Best Fast Food/Takeaway   Scrummies, Horncastle
  • Best Chinese or Thai Restaurant   Oriental Palace, Boston
  • Best Indian Restaurant    The Bombay Brasserie, Grantham
  • Best European Restaurant     The Fox/La Table d’Yves, Thorpe Satchville
  • Best Hotel Restaurant     Stoke Rochford Hall, Grantham
  • Best Customer Care for Service/Front of House      Elior Cafe, Tescos Skegness
  • Best Venue Award     Mama Liz, Stamford

This was a very successful inaugural event, organised by East Midland Newspapers Ltd.

Jean-Christophe Novelli congratulated all the nominees, finalists and winners but saved his highest accolade for the Greetham Valley chefs who had produced an excellent gala dinner for well over 200 guests. Being a thoroughly charismatic chap, he  willingly posed for photographs with almost every single guest and our chefs!  He was the last to go home and provided a lasting memory for everyone at the event of a very humourous, down to earth, and amiable celebrity. What a star!
 


Rutland panther sighted at Greetham Valley?

Rutland Panther myth?Great excitement for two guests from Australia this week! This lovely couple are staying at Greetham Valley while touring the area and for the past two mornings have spotted what they described as ‘a very large black feline’ strolling across the valley below their hotel room. With glee, they told Gail, their breakfast waitress this morning, about their sighting of the ‘Rutland Puma’ (known locally as the Rutland Panther). Sadly, they haven’t been quick enough to get any photos, but have promised to keep an eye out now every morning for the rest of their stay, with camera to hand.

They were beginning to suspect that it was in reality a very large domestic pussy cat so were also mischievously told by a member of staff (me) about recent possible sightings at Rutland Water of the Loch Ness monster…. They were delighted to be informed of Nessie’s possible migration south and promised to look out for her too… 

 We look forward to receiving any photos and they will be posted here first!

Some years ago, we had a member of staff who had occasion to stay onsite overnight due to a very early start the following morning. He is adamant to this day that he heard ‘a sort of coughing’ outside in the wee small hours, looked out of the window and saw ‘a huge cat slinking across the car park’. He described it as not black, possibly tawny but was unable to pinpoint the colour accurately as it was, after all, 3am! And no, he hadn’t been imbibing that evening! And follow this link for more potential local sightings of these elusive felines.

Hotel life at Greetham Valley can be really quite exciting!  Is the evidence out there ….? We need photos – genuine ones only please!!!


Hotel life – an inspector calls….

AA 3 star logoOne of our guests had a surprise for us on checkout this morning – her AA inspector calling card! She needed to speak with a Director to go through her verbal report, so armed with a cuppa we settled down in the Lounge Bar. She was incredibly helpful and enthusiastic, comparing our previous report with her current  findings – and we are delighted  to say our ratings have increased across the board! In summary, we are a very good AA3* Hotel with a WOW factor!

She thoroughly enjoyed her food and the attentive, friendly staff; her room was very comfortable and spacious and the overall ambience of the venue was warm and welcoming. Big sigh of relief all round!

We know, as a family run Hotel, how important it is to our guests to feel welcome, whether they are here for a conference, playing golf, visiting family and friends, enjoying a celebration or are touring Rutland and surrounding area. Our inspector obviously sees a tremendous number of hotels during her work and she had some very succinct and useful advice on a few aspects which we have taken to heart and are already acting upon just a few hours after her departure.

A regular, unannounced, anonymous-until-checkout AA inspection is an important integral part of being an AA rated Hotel. It’s always a bit heart in mouth as we are – premises, staff and services – quite literally and quite rightly, being judged. However, like our previous inspections, a very good experience all round and we look forward to further rating increases at the next inspection!


Solar power rules OK?

At Greetham Valley we are very proud of our ‘green’ credentials (please see our Green Policy page for more details).

The latest project that we are researching is the provision of electricity by solar panels to be fitted onto our rather large expanse of south facing roofs. The electricity bill of any hotel or leisure complex would always cause a sharp intake of breath and we run around turning off all excess lights etc (WHY are they being left on anyway?)

Now we are being approached by several companies looking at supplying solar panels and dangling the government’s feed-in tariff carrot in front of us – but how long these tariffs can be sustained is another matter – they are reducing anyway in April 2012, as the subject becomes more contentious. Read more..

However, the appeal of Greetham Valley producing up to 50% of our daytime electricity (yes, even in the depths of a very overcast winter apparantly) is still mighty tempting. The cost of the panels has greatly reduced in recent months and this is therefore now a much more viable proposition and as ever we are very keen to make Greetham Valley as eco-friendly as possible. Watch this space…or roof!


Putting on a flowery front

Autumn hues at Greetham valleyAlthough we love the ever changing hues of autumn leaves on the trees all over Greetham Valley’s golf courses, this time of year is hit and miss with the colours in our tubs and hanging baskets. Some summer plants at the front of the hotel are still going strong – geraniums and petunias are still particularly spectacular – whilst others are past their best – pansies and marigolds. And whatever happened to the Busy Lizzies this year? We just thought the slugs and snails had got at ‘em but the knowledgeable Jayne Manby at Rutland Water Garden Centre says there has been a nationwide outbreak of downy mildew affecting impatiens this year so that seems to be the culprit. Until we put them out of their misery, our Busy Lizzies looked exactly like the ones shown on this Royal Horticultural Society advice page.

With the change of season, we have now put our orders in for winter pansies ready for when the geraniums finally give in. With a very cold winter forecast, these hardy little plants will give a much needed splash of colour throughout our hotel frontage. One of our staff has also been nurturing some box ‘balls’ in pots at home and they are nearly ready for siting here to complement our bay trees.


Behind the scenes look at Hotel life

All Hotels strive to portray the image of a swan – with all aspects of their customer facing operations serenely and smoothly gliding along. Sometimes, what goes on behind the scenes can be worthy of Fawlty Towers but as long as the guests are well looked after, staff can cope with anything!

Greetham Valley welcomes coach parties -  large car parks and our venue being close to the A1 seem to be invaluable to them. But last month we had a coach party of 50 arrive for high tea – unexpectedly! They were on their way back through Rutland from a garden centre tour and had booked a cream tea at another venue – but had mistakenly booked it for the following day and the original venue couldn’t accommodate them. A quick phone call – could Greetham Valley help? We were extremely busy but yes, of course we could. Chef whipped up a batch of scones and cakes, waiters rapidly dressed extra tables and front of house put the kettle on. An hour later, 50 happy ladies and gents were settled in and munching their way through freshly baked goodies and quaffing a gallon of tea and coffee. A feel good factor all round and we waved the very happy coach party off on their way home. We think they’ll be back!