I wasn’t aware that at the time I was breaking new ground in the Lakes. Luxury had been reserved for the ‘big boys’. Most of the local B&Bs and smaller hotels were charming, but not particularly modernised and certainly not luxurious. But by now The Cranleigh boutique had become one of the most stayed in hotels in the area, I’m proud to say it still is. So I guess back then, it looked like we had a magic formula. We didn’t, but we had unwittingly set a new standard and before long other accommodation providers began to re-furbish at a rate the area hadn’t seen before. I’m sure you’ll agree that The Cranleigh now has competition and I don’t mind that. It’s better for everyone that the South Lakes can boast some of the best accommodation in the UK. It means (in normal times) that the boats, bars, restaurants and cafes are busy. It means that our local butchers, solicitors, florists and boutique shops are busy and it means local people like me have interesting places to go and things to do. I didn’t set out to ‘break new ground’ it was the magic of The Cranleigh that bewitched me. I felt like I owed it to the building. Its success as a business is its thanks.
Nearly thirteen years later I am still sometimes surprised by its success and extremely grateful that my team take as much pride and passion in it as I do. We continue to re-invest, re-invent and rejuvenate in The Cranleigh and in doing so we have been inspired to start other projects. Today I have a team of over 70 staff working across The Cranleigh, The Church suites, Bon Vivant Boutique Smart Villa. Our luxury cocktail bar The Fizzy Tarte and our more casual bar, restaurant and nightclub, Baha and the amazing Lake view Garden bar. How they each came about is another story, I’ll share them with you soon.
Im loving sharing my story with you, thank you for reading.
Stephen Hargreaves founder and CEO.