Film crew returns to St Albans hotel for television series
PUBLISHED: 15:15 15 July 2014
Do the owners of a 500-year-old former coaching inn in St Albans stand a ghost of a chance of boosting turnover or have they been spooked by a second visit from eagle-eyed hotelier, television presenter Alex Polizzi?
All will be revealed on Channel 5 tomorrow (Wednesday) night when, in the final episode of The Hotel Inspector Returns series, Alex revisits the 15th century White Hart Hotel on Holywell Hill.
When she last visited the hotel in 2012 the owners, husband and wife team Ross and Jayne McBeath, failed to see eye-to-eye.
Back then, Alex tried to encourage the proprietors to lay some ghosts to rest as their novelty plastic skeletons and horror-themed menu had left her cold.
To boost profit, she told the couple to instead concentrate on the rich history of the hotel and the surrounding area.
But was her advice followed?
When the Herts Ad visited the hotel during filming Alex said, “there are some positives in that they are busier. All the rooms have been improved, and they have done a brilliant job.
“But the restaurant was very quiet at lunchtime, and that is an issue as there is a great opportunity there.”
Alex advised the couple to aim at drawing in more businesspeople who work or live in St Albans.
Asked about the impact of recently increased car parking charges, championed recently by the district council’s portfolio holder for community engagement Cllr Beric Read, Alex called upon the local authority to show more support for independently run, and small local businesses.
She said that the council should encourage a vibrant business community, and “raising parking charges shouldn’t be any part of that”.
Alex praised Ross and Jayne for following her advice and investing in the hotel, including giving the historic rooms a revamp.
But, Alex said, unfortunately their efforts suffered a setback.
She added: “A month after I left a guest left an iron on the new carpet, which is heartbreaking. They have really invested so much in this.”
Alex said she had enjoyed returning to the White Hart and several other hotels for the series, explaining, “it is good to see, after a few years have passed, whether the time I spent with them has had any impact.
“I always try to give valuable advice, and it’s one of my favourite things to do, to revisit hotels.
“Jayne and Ross are still as enthusiastic today as they were two years ago.”
The Hotel Inspector Returns to the White Hart Hotel is being shown on July 16 at 9pm.