Reasons to book a North Yorkshire staycation for your next holiday
- Credit: Pheasant Hotel
With the turbulent times, we have all been through this past year, it is no surprise that many of us feel the need to get away from it all for a few days.
And, if rest, relaxation, good food and stunning scenery are all on offer, a staycation might be the answer, according to Jacquie Pern, owner of the boutique 16-bedroom Pheasant Hotel in North Yorkshire - arguably one of the most beautiful country hotel settings to explore picturesque rolling hills and shimmering coastline.
Q: Why are staycations popular?
Because fewer people are currently travelling abroad, they are looking further afield in this country and trying new places. At the Pheasant Hotel, we are certainly getting more first-time visitors. Some people still have holiday time booked and money to spend and are enjoying being in the countryside. Here, we are in a low risk area and that will certainly be appealing.
Q: How do you plan a staycation at the moment?
Firstly, look at the area to see what travel restrictions and government guidelines apply. You obviously have to pre-book places to visit now, so if you want to go to a tourist attraction, stately home or National Trust property, look at their website too. You also need to consider the safety element of the establishment itself and what provisions are in place to cope with any restrictions.
Q: Why do guests choose the Pheasant Hotel for a staycation?
It ticks all the boxes. The food is always excellent, and the ambience is always perfect. We have an award-winning restaurant, a bar, a lounge and an indoor swimming pool, as well as a garden and kitchen gardens. We are in a lovely location - one of the most beautiful Country Hotel settings in North Yorkshire - overlooking the millpond in the small village of Harome, just two miles from Helmsley, 45 minutes from the coast and York, and right on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors.
My business partner Peter Neville is the chef and we are both very involved in the business on a day-to-day basis, so there is always attention to detail and consistency, and our passion rubs off on our staff. It is also very cosy here, with an open fire so you can sit around all day if you want to – or go off to explore as there is plenty to do in the surroundings.
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Q: Can your guests be reassured about Covid safety?
Yes, we follow all the guidance. We have been lucky in the fact we have a lot of space here and have not had to take any tables out. We have always had a strict cleaning regime anyway, but now we ensure all the rooms are completely sanitised between stays.
We take all temperatures on arrival, operate track and trace, and everyone wears face coverings where required. All staff temperatures are also taken regularly, and we are strict with the cleaning of the kitchen and our own handwashing.
Q: How important is the dining experience to staycationers?
Very important. We are lucky here because we have an extensive pantry on our doorstep: we also grow a lot of our own herbs and vegetables. I think the standard of food and hospitality in general is phenomenal now in this country.
We are also lucky in our area because there are so many great places to dine out, so if people want to stay for a few nights, they have the option of trying other good restaurants too. What we have found recently, however, is that guests like knowing they can have the whole experience – breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner or a private table for drinks – with us if they choose.
Q: Is the staycation here to stay?
I do think there will be longevity in the staycation trend because people have discovered places they would never have visited before and have rediscovered how much easier it is to holiday in their own country. I think they also like the idea of supporting our economy and local business.