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Mary Stringer from The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa - Summer Q&A 2021

Let's continue to celebrate the fantastic business owners we have in our region and beyond. Today we're talking to Mary Stringer who is the marketing manager of The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa, in Bath.

JUNE is the first month of Summer – what will you be doing this summer in your role? 

We decided we wanted to mark the end of the last (hopefully!) and longest lockdown in a special way, so we launched a campaign called Bright New Day to run all summer. This included an accommodation package incorporating a celebratory toast, and we commissioned an exclusive watercolour painting from local artist Richard Briggs (pictured). The painting depicts the sun rising in front of The Royal Crescent – we felt this was an apt metaphor for the relief and happiness we all felt as we emerged from lockdown into another glorious summer. 

We have several exciting new summer packages designed to appeal to the staycation market and those of us seeking “experiences over things”; these include our popular Bridgerton package in collaboration with No.1 Museum, our Watercolours in the Garden package in collaboration with local artist Catherine Beale, and our Vineyard Tour and Tasting package in collaboration with Bath Sparkling Wine. 

We love to collaborate with local partners to connect our guests with unique and exciting Bath experiences.

What are your personal plans for summer activities if you feel happy to share? 

Making up for lost time with lots of UK trips to see friends and family! My Grandma turned 90 last year and had to cancel her party, so we will be celebrating that this summer up in Yorkshire. Then I’ll be looking forward to going on a delayed honeymoon in the Lake District later this year with my new husband!

June is National Smile Month. With that in mind, what things in your role make you smile? 

1. Walking into the hotel’s acre of gardens first thing in the morning when the sun is shining, all is peaceful and the birds are singing.

2. Seeing photos of our rescue hedgehogs snapped by our night managers and a few lucky guests!

3. Witnessing the indefatigable good spirits of the whole RCH team. The last year and a half have been really tough for everyone but we keep going, keep supporting one another and keep smiling.

Are there any things in business generally which make you ‘less smiley’?

I believe that life is what you make of it, so I generally try and find something to enjoy in every task. 

Of course there are the usual things that we all dislike (admin, email ping-pong), but even then you can smile when they are over…

7June is often associated in nature with growth and abundance – what are your plans for growth in your role this year? 

We have some exciting plans in the pipeline marketing-wise; relevant brand partnerships remain a key focus for us, and so later this year we are excited to join with the luxury perfumery Penhaligons to cross-promote our Montagu Bar and their new Wimbledon-themed perfume, "Racquets". 

At the same time we are collaborating with Sipsmith to provide five exclusive new cocktails to our guests for the duration of Wimbledon. 

We have recently implemented Flow, an HR tool which gives staff more visibility and opportunity for the development of their skills and careers, so we look forward to collectively improving our skillsets with this.

As we hit this mid point in 2021 and we’re still coming out of the pandemic – which one business has really supported or helped you over the last quarter? 

The vast majority of our suppliers, partners and guests have been incredibly understanding of the challenge the pandemic put us and other hotels under, and have offered their help in the form of everything from reduced retainers to kind messages of support on social media. It has been really heartening. 

Have you got any events planned for the coming months which you’d like to mention? 

We recently introduced a new weekly wine tasting event called “Fine Wine Fridays”, at which our award-winning Sommelier Jean-Marc selects a bottle from his favourite rare wines and shares it with guests and visitors. Places cost £15 and must be booked in advance to avoid disappointment! Book here https://www.royalcrescent.co.uk/rch-whats-on-events/

We are also partaking in the National Garden Scheme for the first time this year on the 5th and 6th of July, when we will open our gardens to the public for a £5pp donation to charity. For more information visit https://www.royalcrescent.co.uk/rch-whats-on-events/

Have you got any summer services or special offers you’d like to mention? 

We are collaborating with Sipsmith Gin on an exclusive summer menu to run throughout Wimbledon, which will feature refreshing tipples such as “Strawberry Bliss” and “Lemon Quencher”. 

And finally:

Just that we are thrilled to be open again and welcoming guests and visitors back! We strongly recommend booking ahead if you would like to visit our spa, restaurant or bar – call 01225 823 333!

For more details visit https://www.royalcrescent.co.uk

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