With dramatic views over Laxey Bay and an Instagram-worthy luxury décor, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re in the heart of St Tropez when you first step through the door of Seascape.

Since opening her Five-star boutique B&B in November 2015, Michelle Garrod has learnt all there is to know about the luxury market and the additional expectations that comes with it. Last year she expanded her offering, opening a high end self-catering cottage, The Chapel, in the north of the Island.

We spoke to Michelle about her journey into luxury tourism, the power of domestic tourism and how her own travelling experiences have helped hone her trademark approach to customer service.

What brought you to the tourism industry?
I always felt drawn to the idea of setting up a luxury bed & breakfast on the Island, especially to share the beauty of the Seascape building, its architecture and stunning views.  I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and finally took the plunge in setting up the business. To tell the truth, I haven’t looked back since!

I saw that there was a gap in the accommodation market, as there are not many 5 star places to stay. We opened Seascape in November 2015 and gained a 5* grading. Following its success our confidence in the luxury market grew and we decided to open a self-catering cottage called The Chapel at the end of last year.

Why did you choose the luxury market for your accommodation offering?
The luxury market is what I know best from my travel experience and what I relish – everyone loves to feel pampered! I believe if you chase your passion, not your pension, your business will succeed because you put your heart into everything you do.  

Who are your key customers and how do you reach them?
Our key customers are residents in the Isle of Man, the UK and Europe. The domestic tourism market has been a surprise, but it’s lovely to be able to provide a break to local couples looking for a little indulgence. We use various marketing channels such as affiliate sites like VisitIOM.co.uk, Booking.com, social media and direct email marketing to previous customers.

How does a 5 star gold award affect customer expectation?
Guests deserve to have those little personal touches which show you care about their stay. The rooms have to be dressed immaculately with fine quality furniture and opulent decor. Attention to detail is so important—my motto is 'everything in its place and a place for everything'.

When they book five star, guests are looking for the ‘wow’ factor in their room, its surroundings and the view. It means taking all of the senses into consideration - they also wish to dine on great food, freshly prepared and sourced locally. Some guests like to engage in conversation over a glass of wine, others prefer to retreat to switch off from the world.  Expectation is subjective so we have to be in tune with our guests.

What does luxury mean to you and how do you embody it in your business model?
Impeccable service and unsurpassed luxury are bywords of Seascape and The Chapel. We are meticulous in our attention to detail at every customer touchpoint, from the opulence of the furnishings and surroundings down to the choice of floral arrangements, softness of the Spa towels and sourcing delicious local ingredients for our breakfasts – it’s ingrained in every part of our service. 

Understanding that our guests do not all dream the same dreams of luxury is important too; everyone is different and it’s important we are in tune with our guests from the moment they arrive.

What brands or hospitality businesses do you feel embody excellent customer service?
I think that ESPA embodies quintessential luxury and the finest customer service. Everything from the beautiful packaging and indulgent oils– this has inspired me to create my own brand of Seascape luxury toiletries produced locally on the island.  


What is your favourite part of your job? 
I love seeing our guests’ initial reaction to the stunning views at Seascape, which really take people aback. I also love seeing people genuinely relax while they’re with us. Life can be very hectic so at Seascape we encourage a more laidback way of life.

What is your favourite thing about the Isle of Man?
The landscape in the Isle of Man is breath-taking, especially the majestic mountains and hills juxtaposed against the sea. We love the contrast of colours through the seasons too, and how no one single view ever looks the same on a day to day basis.  We see the power and majesty of the sea from the balcony at Seascape and realise how beautiful the island really is.


To find out more about Michelle's luxury tourist accommodation follow these links: Seascape and The Chapel.

If you work in the Tourism industry and would like to be featured in our Industry Insight series, please contact Laura Gill.

Related

Seascape
Bed & Breakfast
Seascape

Stunning, Five Star Gold boutique retreat with it's own Spa suite (SeaSpa) including outdoor hot tub, glass fronted sauna and beautiful relaxation room. Seascape is carved into the hillside between the scenic bays of Laxey and Garwick.

0 Comments

Comments

Nobody has commented on this post yet, why not send us your thoughts and be the first?