The cottages that got the ‘clotted’ cream

PUBLISHED: 15:31 14 May 2014

Archant

At their worst they are cluttered with leftover and unwanted furniture and in need of TLC, but at their best holiday homes are luxury retreats from a increasingly complex and fast paced world. CAROL BURNS discovers what’s behind The Green Door near Port Isaac

Cornwall is not short of stunning holiday homes and beautiful retreats, but The Green Door Holiday Cottages have the award to prove it: a Gold from Visit England ‘in recognition of exceptional quality within a property’s star rating’ (Quality In Tourism). Sitting on the North Cornish coast, half a mile from picturesque Port Isaac these cottages have been cleverly and carefully revamped over the last few years by owner Pip Oldrieve who took over the running of the family business in 2002.

“The cottages were in need of some TLC and someone to drag them into the 21st century and my aim was to bring them back to their full glory, re-establishing the holiday haven loved by so many when my parents were at the helm,” she explains.

The transformation has seen the major refurbishment of the cottages, as well as the installation of all mod cons,

This progress has been echoed by the steady rise of the properties ratings from a low 3* to today’s 4* Gold. Pip has nurtured a dedicated team in charge of maintenance, and the housekeeping team – all local ladies who have a long history of working in Port Gaverne with the family. Their exceptional standards led to the rating of 100 per cent for cleanliness in the recent inspection.

For Pip, this has been a personal journey too. When she took on the business she was also raising three young children, had no personal experience of running a business and had a huge task ahead of her. However, with her Dad’s mantra ‘the customer is always right’ ringing in her ears she began to implement the changes that would ultimately turn the business around. She also spent two years at Exeter College studying for an HND in Business Management, which was a huge help and she approaches every area of the business with the views and comfort of customers in mind.

However, this is not the end of the story. There are many exciting plans for the future, and far from resting on her laurels, Pip is tackling ever more ambitious projects as well as maintaining the high quality of accommodation the cottages currently provide. One of the most exciting is the installation of a biomass boiler, which will provide heating and hot water throughout all of the properties making them environmentally sustainable and reducing their carbon footprint - a remarkable achievement for the business.

The beauty and uniqueness of this corner of the Cornish coast is undeniable and the location - a stone’s throw from the National Trust owned beach, directly on the Cornish Coastal Path and opposite an old traditional pub, means the Green Door Cottages once again offers superb accommodation in one of the best locations on this coastline. Visit England describe their Gold Award as a way for ‘customers to find those special places where the property goes the extra mile’ and this is certainly true for Pip and her team at the Green Door Cottages.

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