B&B sets the standard for five years in a row
THE operators of a Barnard Castle B&B are celebrating one of the highest online ratings for the fifth year in a row.
James and Christine Dykes, who run the Baliol House B&B, in Galgate, achieved a rating of 9.6 out of a possible ten from digital travel agent Booking.com.
The mark is based on customer feedback to the online site.
Mrs Dykes said: “After guests have stayed, they are asked for any comments – good or bad – and anything about the owners. 9.6 is a decent effort, we are pleased with it. Our one downfall is the stairs, but there is nothing we can do about them – they are steep.”
Mr Dykes added: “It is an accolade. It is one thing getting to a standard, but maintaining that standard is the big thing.”
The couple have run Baliol House for the past 19 years. They offer two letting rooms to a maximum of seven guests.
Previously, they ran the Three Tuns, in Eggleston, for more than 20 years, and also the Royal Star, in Startforth.
Mrs Dykes added: “When we got this house, it was two-up, two-down with a cellar. We got the chance to buy next door and we knocked through.”
Mr and Mrs Dykes said the advent of the internet had dramatically changed the way the B&B operates.
“When we started this, we would sit up half the night waiting for someone to knock on the door. Now it’s all online,” said Mrs Dykes.
They estimate that between 70 per cent and 80 per cent of visitors make a reservation via Booking.com, with guests coming for a variety of reasons. Many guests also return to Baliol House for future stays.
“We get a lot of hikers and cyclists,” said Mr Dykes.
“We get people coming to The Bowes Museum and others who go to Kynren. Others are visiting relatives, attending birthdays, funerals and weddings.
“It tends to be busier in the summer, but having said that, December was manic,” he added.
Booking.com was founded in Amsterdam, where it continues to be based, in 1996 and is now available in 43 languages.