An award-winning hotel has reported a growing optimism after “an unbelievably busy” weekend with dining, event and wedding demand – plus staffing levels – reaching pre-pandemic levels.
Coombe Abbey, in Warwickshire, hosted 14 events including private dining, lunches, family celebrations and medieval banquets along with two weddings in the first week of September.
The events were in addition to the historic 121-room hotel – a former 12th century abbey just outside Coventry – being fully booked on both Saturday and Sunday, and 243 afternoon teas served in the Garden Room restaurant.
Ron Terry, operations director, at Coombe Abbey Park Limited, said: “We had an exceptionally busy weekend clearly showing business and staffing levels are beginning to return to some form of normality post-lockdown.
“On Friday we had a lunch for 385, a wedding for 95, three private dining events, 120 afternoon teas in the restaurant, 90 diners in the restaurant and a full hotel.
“On Saturday there was a wedding for 250, a birthday party for 80, five private dining events, a medieval banquet for 130 and another full hotel; while on Sunday we hosted a buffet lunch for 50, two diamond anniversary parties, served 123 afternoon teas and 98 bedrooms booked.
“It is unbelievable. We are a million miles from where we thought we would be. We thought it would take two to three years for business levels to reach pre-pandemic levels, but they are already comparable to pre-pandemic levels.
“This autumn we have medieval banquets, murder mystery evenings, public events and a George Michael tribute night which are already selling out, in addition to weddings booked every weekend. Business is coming back.
“That is great but still very much underpinned by Covid protection measures to keep our guests and staff safe.
“While staffing levels are not yet back to normal, they are greatly improved and we were able to cope well. We have recently launched another recruitment drive. With furlough drawing to a close this month, some employees could lose their roles. If they are looking to get into the hospitality sector, we are going to be able to help take some of these people on.”