Stephen Joynes bought a humble mobile fish and chip van 50 years ago. He then created a café, moved on to a guesthouse, turned it into a larger hotel, then bought an empty school and converted it into a hotel. He also created yet another larger hotel and then another even larger hotel with a health hydro and now he owns and works at Hoar Cross Hall Spa Resort in the English Midlands. The 100 acre, the Grade II-listed stately home is now a 100 room resort, which Joynes has spent £30 million over the last 18 years restoring. It boasts celebrity guests such as Catherine Zeta Jones, Julie Goodyear and Jordan
The adjoining Eden Day Spa, which alone cost a cool £12 million has 100 treatment rooms and attracts 1,800 guests a week.
Hoar Cross Hall Spa Resort also won England’s Leading Resort award at the World Travel Awards in 2006. BTN caught up with owner and CEO Stephen Joynes:
BTN: What did your background teach you about starting and managing hotels?
Joynes: I think you need to be hands on in all areas, ensuring you are always aware and agree with all policy decisions.
BTN: You bought Hoar Cross Hall Spa Resort as a disused stately home, why did you think it would make a good hotel at the time back in 1989?
Joynes: It was another almost unbelievable opportunity, it was a beautiful, but semi derelict stately Home in a wonderful countryside setting, with a good guest catchment area, a quick escape from normal life to life in a stately home when combined with the largest selection of spa facilities in the country, it would be a perfect venue and setting for a top Spa Resort.
BTN: You’ve turned rundown businesses into profitable concerns, where the hotel business is concerned what are the key elements to your success?
Joynes: Keep listening and learning, always create what your guests require, always provide the services that the majority of your guests desire, ensuring customer satisfaction and good value.
BTN: What do you think sets Hoar Cross Hall aside from other hotel and spa properties in England?
Joynes: It has beautiful buildings, ambience and surroundings, the only Spa Resort in a stately home in England, plus always a warm welcome and goodbye by wonderful, friendly, happy, willing staff.
BTN: What has the Eden Day Spa done for the property? Why is the spa at the cutting edge of the market?
Joynes: To cope with the high demand, it is essential that we separate arrival check in and departure check out receptions, dining restaurants and public changing areas for residents and day guests giving adequate space for both, also supply more state of the art amenities which now blend perfectly together—a total Spa Resort and Day Spa facility in a Beautiful Stately Home setting.
BTN: What does it mean to you winning England’s Leading Resort award in the 2006 World Travel Awards? Do you expect to win the 2007 award?
Joynes: It was wonderful to be recognised for the superb facilities we now offer, we intend to keep updating them. We would indeed sincerely appreciate winning the 2007 award.
BTN: Why do you think you won the England’s Leading Resort award?
Joynes: This is because we really are exceptional with the best service, amenities and elegance available. It is also backed by conscientious, willing management and staff.
BTN: What are you planning for Hoar Cross Hall in the future?
Joynes: To always provide whatever we need to keep it at the top.
BTN: You received your MBE from the Queen last year - what did this mean to you in respect to what you have done in the hotel industry?
Joynes: A wonderful surprise, I always make my business my favourite hobby, to be rewarded by my Queen for doing it was certainly the icing on the cake.