Hotel owner's delight as his historic family home scoops accolade
- Credit: Rectory Manor Hotel
A Suffolk hotel with a butler is celebrating after scooping an accolade from VisitEngland for excellent service.
Frank Lawrenson decided to launch Rectory Manor Hotel at Great Waldingfield near Lavenham after inheriting the ancient and celebrated property 10 years ago.
It has now been awarded a coveted VisitEngland Rose Award in recognition of Service Excellence - becoming one of only 100 accommodation providers across England to receive it annually.
Candidates considered to have gone the extra mile for guests are nominated by VisitEngland quality scheme assessors and chosen from the assessor comments along with online feedback from domestic and overseas visitors.
“It’s a real honour to receive this prestigious award," said Mr Lawrenson.
"When I inherited my family home 10 years ago, I was working in finance and technology but in order to keep the house I decided to welcome others to share it with us and opened the hotel. It’s certainly been a challenge and yet so rewarding.
"Winning this award is fantastic too for my small team and testament to their dedication and hard work ensuring everyone has an enjoyable time. Thank you too to our guests - it’s their feedback which means so much.”
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Rectory Manor - considered one of the finest rectories in the county - was a home to the clergy for more than 1000 years.
One of its most celebrated occupants was Reverend John Hopkins who compiled the Book of Psalms, which is said to be the third best-selling book of all time.
Mr Lawrenson has turned it into a luxury bed and breakfast hotel with a five-star country house experience which includes a butler.
It has seven rooms, and guests can immerse themselves in the family's rich history of war heroes, adventurers, spies - and social reformer Elizabeth Fry - through its artefacts, antiques and portraits. Mr Lawrenson is also known as an excellent raconteur who can bring the stories to life.
As well as being able to enjoy the gardens with a good book, guests can also enjoy a workout on the tennis court, croquet lawn and heated pool from April through to October.