In 2003 and again in 2004 we were awarded a 4 Diamond Guest Accommodation rating by the English Tourism Council. Now it seems the English Tourism Council no longer exists and we must join the VisitBritain scheme.
The problem we have with this is that they moved the goal posts. There is no longer, it seems, any "Guest Accommodation" rating. Because we call our business a hotel (as do most accommodation providers in Blackpool) we must join their STAR scheme. We prefer not to cater for an evening meal - we have had our Residential Premises Licence amended so we no longer have to provide this (in actual fact we provide menus for three local takeaways which will provide over 300 different meals but that's another story). Because of this it seems if we joined VisitBritain our rating would reduce from 4 Diamond Guest Accommodation to 1 Star. We object to this - our standards have not decreased since we were awarded the 4 Diamond Status and thus to reduce to 1 Star would undoubtedly have an impact on potential guests to our "hotel".
Trading Standards asked us to remove the 4 Diamond logo from the front of our hotel and from the website. We initially complied with this by changing the signs to reflect that we were FORMERLY 4 Diamond status but then received a letter from VisitBritain informing us that they own copyright to the sign and we must cease from displaying any "adulterated" version of it.
Hmm...OK...we're no longer part of their scheme. So from now on we'll just display the award they gave us in 2004.
We're glad to be out of it really. Every two or three years they seem to move the goal posts and it does confuse us so I am sure it confuses potential guests also. To be part of their scheme costs in region of £500 per year. We know our standards remain high.
So....this is the award we were given in 2003 and 2004. Our standards have not decreased. Please read below the standards we were required to meet in order to acquire the award.
Guest Accommodation: Diamond Ratings Summary
[This is the standards we had to comply with to
attain 4 Diamond Guest Accommodation status]
ONE DIAMOND guest accommodation will have:
TWO DIAMOND guest accommodation will have (in addition to what is provided at One Diamond guest accommodation):
an acceptable overall level of quality, offering, as a minimum, a full cooked or continental breakfast. Other meals, where provided, will be freshly prepared.
THREE DIAMOND guest accommodation will have (in addition to what is provided at Two Diamond guest accommodation):
a good, overall level of quality and comfort, with greater emphasis on guest care in all areas.
FOUR DIAMOND guest accommodation will have (in addition to what is provided at Three Diamond guest accommodation):
a very good overall level of quality
comfortable and well maintained bedrooms
a good choice of quality items available for breakfast
customer care and all-round comfort.
an excellent overall level of quality in all areas
customer care and attention to detail evident in all areas.