The Tavistock House Hotel has been named the second best small hotel in the world in the TripAdvisor 2018 Traveller’s Choice Awards. By finishing second overall, that makes it the best small hotel in Europe. It was also voted the best hotel for romance in the UK, finishing fifth in the world in that category.
The six room townhouse hotel is run by husband and wife Bradley and Gill Walker, who live in the property with eight-year-old daughter Lauren. Bradley has grown up in the hospitality trade and harboured ambitions of running a townhouse hotel since turning 18 and doing his degree.
The couple moved down from Cheshire to Tavistock four years ago to lovingly restore the Grade II listed townhouse, which was built by the Duke of Bedford circa 1820 and had previously been a student house leased by Mount Kelly and used to house foreign students attending the college.
After 12 months of hard work restoring the property, the couple opened the boutique hotel and have been getting rave reviews ever since going operational three years ago.
Bradley said: ‘It is fantastic. We are overwhelmed — it is a very difficult award to get. It has taken a lot of hard work and discipline to get to this stage. Over the three years we’ve been here we have had to get consistent reviews to get this award. It is a massive shock, we didn’t expect it at all. It’s a particularly poignant award for us to get as it is based entirely on reviews. You are so exposed by such reviews but now we have got this recognition.
‘The award raises the game for us and certainly raises the profile of the hotel. To be number one in the UK and whole of Europe, it goes out globally to anyone using TripAdvisor.
‘It is fantastic for us but we don’t see it as just for us; we see it as a reflection on Tavistock, which is such a fantastic market town with fantastic independent businesses and a wonderful feel about the place.
‘The building is fantastic. My brother lives here and we love the place. We wanted to bring up our daughter somewhere nice, in a place like Tavistock. It took us 12 months and a lot of work to bring the building back to life. It’s been worth all the hard work.‘
The awards celebrate the very best of travel including hotels, landmarks, attractions and destinations around the world in a number of different categories. Other categories for hotels include family hotels, best service, bed and breakfasts and luxury accommodation.
The awards are decided by an algorithm that looks at the millions of reviews and opinions collected in a single year from TripAdvisor travellers worldwide.
To be listed, a property must get consistently high marks from reviewers; the algorithm can also weed out fake reviews and looks at the frequency of certain words used in reviews to make a decision.