Hospitality remains resilient as storms hit power and water supplies

21 February 2022 by
Hospitality remains resilient as storms hit power and water supplies

Hospitality businesses remained resilient despite the trio of storms – Dudley, Eunice and Franklin – that hit the UK over the last week, leaving some without power and water.

Some operators were forced to close while others saw guests cancel bookings in the face of wet and windy conditions.

Exclusive Collection's Lainston House hotel in Winchester, Hampshire, and Pennyhill Park in Surrey both lost power from Friday to Sunday but managed to host weddings over the weekend.

One reception at Lainston House was held by candlelight with a barbecue dinner, and the next morning the team (pictured above) cooked breakfast on the barbecue for 60 guests.

Danny Pecorelli, managing director at Exclusive Collection, praised the quick-thinking of his team.

"All the fridges and freezers went down, we had to be slightly creative, and the local supermarkets did very well out of us," he said.

"We had a huge amount of tree damage. It was a rough weekend, but the team coped amazingly. The last couple of years have thrown enough at us that we're pretty good at crisis management now."

Lainston House executive chef Phil Yeomans mans the barbecue.jpeg
Lainston House executive chef Phil Yeomans mans the barbecue.jpeg

Lainston House general manager Steve Lewis said: "It was unbelievable, but somehow we managed to pull it off.

"We also [hosted] a lunch for a family with three generations. [It] came together at the last moment. Let's just say it was out of the ordinary, but completely amazing and reaffirms what is so great about hospitality – to deliver under pressure and see smiles and [get great] feedback like we had."

Ashdown Park hotel in East Sussex lost its mains water supply on Friday night due to storm damage to nearby reservoir pumps, and it was still not restored on Monday afternoon.

General manager Ben Booker said the hotel had closed but he was "hopeful for the best" despite high winds forecast this week. He added: "It's a constant task of managing guests' expectations. We've had to compensate some people and cancel afternoon tea bookings and arrivals.

"We take it in our stride. We're well experienced in shutting the business down so we have to keep doing that until water is restored."

In Cornwall, the St Enodoc hotel, which overlooks the Camel Estuary in Rock, saw its entrance sign destroyed and a fence collapse due to the weather on Friday 18 February. However, the property stayed open despite some guests cancelling bookings.

In London a hole was ripped in the roof of the O2 arena and Borough Market closed due to the high winds but reopened over the weekend.

The Met Office has warned of more wet and windy weather this week and the Environment Agency has put flood warnings in place for parts of the north of England.

Images: Lainston House

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