Anchor’s Rest Guest House was recently listed on TripAdvisor as the number one of 43 B&Bs in the Umhlanga area. Cilla Rose, owner of Anchor’s Rest, attributed the rating to several factors. These included customer service, consistency, flexibility and enjoyment of people.
“You can’t be in this business if you don’t like people,” said Cilla, “from your guests, to staff, to suppliers.” Satisfying customers included providing a home-away-from-home touch at Anchor’s Rest (Cilla and her husband Peter live on the premises), gauging how much interaction guests wanted, and going the extra mile for visitors. Special requests, enquiries about tours, and honeymoon couple treats were all entertained. These elements were further enhanced by maintaining consistently high standards. Cilla’s perfectionism and eagle eye for detail has helped in this regard.
Cilla and Peter and front office stalwart Sandy Roseblade’s people skills have seen them welcome back Sandy Roseblade and Cilla Rose repeat visitors from different parts of the world, including Scotland, England, Gauteng, Paris, Germany and Zimbabwe. Some guests booked their next trip as they left, and even requested the same room each time!
Keeping up with the times was an important success factor, too, said Cilla. For Anchor’s Rest this meant social media monitoring, responding quickly to online comments and reviews, and enabling a mobisite (for bookings via mobile phones). Cilla has kept her own skills up-to-date by frequently “rattling her cage”. The latest “rattle” saw her signing up with Action Coach to do a 12-month business coaching course. The course has brought Cilla almost full circle in her working career. She started off many years ago as a secretary in the hospitality industry and, after attending business school, went from secretary to company director in just a few short years.
Eighteen years of hard work at the guest house, being blessed with generous mentors, and having an enquiring mind have all led to Cilla – and Anchor’s Rest – being where they are today. Number one on TripAdvisor!
An article by Brenda Daniels for Umhlanga Tourism.