A BOUTIQUE hotel business has landed five AA stars and a Rosette for its restaurant less than two years after opening its doors in Southwell.
The Old Vicarage scooped the landmark awards after owner Suzanne Edgington left a sales job to plough thousands of pounds and a 24-hours-a-day work ethic into the historic building.
Today the former retirement home is one of the area’s success stories having been founded during one of the worst UK downturns in decades.
“The way I looked at it if I could keep my head above water in a recession then I could do it any time,” said Suzanne (41).
“You have to be passionate about what you do; I live and breathe the hotel and if you want to achieve something you can do it.”
A vicarage built in 1847 and a home for the elderly from 1945 until 1999 the building stood empty until the crash of an auctioneer’s hammer brought it into Suzanne’s hands in 2006.
Paying £800,000 and investing another six figure sum in renovations, Suzanne set about creating nine bespoke guest rooms and a brasserie-style restaurant which has the critics chattering.
“It was daunting at first,” she added. “I worked 24 hours a day on it and it was tiring but challenging and rewarding.
“I think people appreciate detail and I think there’s a lot of complacency in a lot of hotels in the businesses which obviously we avoid and it’s paid off.”
The hotel has also created 16 jobs and is rapidly expanding its business, hosting events and generating a reputation as a beautiful wedding venue.
Recently it also became a hot spot for glossy magazine shoots.
“Originally I bought it to renovate as a home but realised it was too big and made the decision to turn it into a hotel,” added Suzanne
“It did just sort of happened. Now people come from all over to stay and eat here.”
l Go to www.vicarageboutiquehotel.co.uk