Cornwall LivingIssue #86

Break out the bubbles

Introducing the Duchy’s first champagne arrivals lounge, at Merchants Manor.

Merchants Manor Hotel & Spa has already put itself firmly on the foodie map, having earned 3 AA Rosettes for its nature inspired menu. Now, the team have set their sights on making it the place to be for outstanding hospitality too, with the introduction of the county’s first champagne arrivals lounge!

“Sit back with a glass of Moët’s finest amber bubbles while the host team focuses on you…”

Partnering with Moët & Chandon, owners Sioned and Nick Rudlin, and the Merchants Manor team, have done away with the traditional reception desk. Instead, you can relax in the comfort of the lobby lounge, where oak panelled walls, original artwork and soft velvets evoke an immediate sense of calm. Sit back with a glass of Moët’s finest amber bubbles while the host team focuses on you, ensuring the best possible start to your Cornish break.

The aim is simple: to remove the barrier of the reception desk and replace it with a cosy space where you can sit back and talk with the team, helping them to understand exactly what you want from your time in Cornwall. Sioned tells us: “It’s been great to see people’s reactions. Some guests arrive and are a bit sceptical, but after a few minutes’ sipping on champagne or a glass of manor-made pink lemonade, accompanied by a little surprise from the chef, they soon realise that the traditional ‘behind the desk’ reception just doesn’t compare!

“There are a handful of hotels claiming to offer a ‘reception free’ check-in experience,” Sioned continues, “but very few have truly followed it through to this level. Even fewer have ensured food and drink is part of their experience. We have spent months refining the processes behind the scenes to create something unique and truly customer-centred.”

Merchants Manor has ensured that the process is not dominated by technology. Sioned and Nick have invested tech that’s robust enough to work constantly, but that’s simply used to enable better contact with the guest. Sioned explains: “While some may see this as a cost-saving exercise, we here at the manor have in fact increased the front of house headcount, ensuring the highest possible levels of service.”

Nick finishes: “The only real saving lies in the fact that we’ve now gone paperless. We estimate that this has cut down on around 30,000 sheets of paper per year, plus all the associated print costs, helping us further in our efforts to reduce our environment footprint.”

"Sit back with a glass of Moët’s finest amber bubbles while the host team focuses on you..."