The owners took over the hotel just ‘days’ before the start of the pandemic
If there’s one thing that can separate a good Blackpool hotel from a not-so-good one it is Tripadvisor.
As tourists head to the resort to enjoy the seaside or the impressive list of tourist attractions, they are often keen to hear from previous travellers reviews online before booking somewhere to stay.
So what happens when you’re a hotelier that’s taken over a hotel that’s closer to the bottom of TripAdvisor’s Top B&B’s in Blackpool list?
DeLovely Hotel on Lord Street in Blackpool was faced with that exact issue. After taking over the Four In A Bed hotel in 2020, Charlie Norden and his partner found their hotel at #71 of all hotels in Blackpool. Now, they’re in the top 25.
Mr Norden told LancsLive that the pair took over the hotel just ‘days’ before the first lockdown in 2020.
The owners, Charlie and Mark, met six years ago in Sussex and moved to Liverpool in 2019, before heading to Blackpool.
Mr Norden worked in retail and his partner, Mark, was a nurse. They both decided they had ‘had enough’ and asked ‘what can we do?’ before deciding to move to Blackpool and run their own hotel.
“It feels quite whimsical, it feels like it didn’t really happen but it has,” Mr Norden said.
The DeLovely Hotel had been out of use for two years before the pair took it over, with no recent reviews for prospective guests to see before visiting the resort.
“We were worried about whether we could bring it back up to standards, obviously with it being closed. We figured the challenge would be to get people in with it having been closed and we thought that the no-recent review history would put people off,” Mr Norden said.
They ‘pushed’ the advertising on Facebook and did ‘a few mini PR campaigns’ to attract new customers, as well as replacing all the beds, mattresses and TVs. They’ve re-decorated three of the guest rooms and installed a load of new features that are sure to excite tourists.
The DeLovely Hotel hosts a coffee machine, evening meals, a pizza oven and cocktails. It was featured on Four In A Bed in 2012 and was formerly known as the York House Hotel.
Mr Norden explained that they simply made the hotel ‘more luxury’ to attract guests to return to the hotel.
The summer season was ‘great’ for the hotel, Mr Norden explained: “Summer has been great, we’ve been full almost all the time and had really nice guests which we’re really grateful for. Its been great.”
He added that the winter season was also ‘really busy’ and welcomed the ‘quiet’ January for a ‘nice welcome break’.
Mr Norden said: “It’s harder than we thought, we didn’t listen to people when they said it was hard work but we have found out ourselves now.”
Under the couple’s ownership, the DeLovely hotel raced from #71 of 900 Blackpool B&Bs to #22.
One guest, who visited for a new years break, rated the hotel as ‘excellent’.
Kerry M wrote: “Just got home from a one night stay, booked to attend show at Funny Girls which is a 5min walk away. We were made welcome from the minute we stepped inside. There is a lovely, comfortable bar area, selling wide range of drinks inc cocktails.
“Our room was very comfortable and warm, with pristine white bed linen. Met Sammy the housekeeper on arrival too, who was also very friendly. We also met the owners dogs, Scampi and Chips!! The owners themselves were very interested in what we were going to be doing whilst there which was lovely, and told us a little about themselves too.
“The breakfast was cooked to perfection and very enjoyable. We will definitely stay again next time we visit Blackpool and definitely recommend to others. Thankyou to the owners for a nice break. Kerry and Bruce from west midlands.”
A second guest, who visited in May, said it is a ‘beautiful hotel’ with a ‘comfortable room’ and ‘fantastic breakfast’.
Shaz76 wrote: “Charlie and Mark at the Delovely Hotel are the perfect hosts, they are welcoming, friendly and attentive. The bedrooms are beautifully decorated, have pristine white bed linen and everything you could need for your stay including iron and hairdryer.
“Tea and coffee is restocked daily and towels replaced if required. The downstairs room has a dining space and a cosy bar area. Breakfast includes tea and coffee, cereals and fruit and a plentiful full English which is cooked to perfection.
“We have stayed in quite a few hotels in Blackpool, this is one of the best and great value for money. Well done Charlie and Mark keep up the good work!”
The DeLovely Hotel is Stayblackpool accredited and their room prices vary depending on which type you require.
It is £45 for a single room, £60 for a double, £70 for a king and £90 for a triple room for three people.
Mr Norden said guests can ‘expect to be treated like family and have a comfortable stay’.