Guest-house owners have the key to success after award win

Award winners Leo Watson and Charlotte Hurley at the Bondgate Boutique.
Picture by Jane Coltman
Award winners Leo Watson and Charlotte Hurley at the Bondgate Boutique. Picture by Jane Coltman

Hard graft and creativity has paid off for an Alnwick couple, after their guest house won a prestigious award in a national competition.

Leo Watson and Charlotte Hurley toasted a job well done as The Bondgate Boutique claimed the Hidden Gems title for the North East, as part of the 2016 eviivo awards.

The category honoured properties which excel in all areas, with a great overall business and leaving their guests with great stories to tell.

The couple found out they had won during a ceremony in London last week, beating off competition from four other North East finalists, including The Northumberland Arms, Felton.

Leo said: “It is fantastic and we’re so happy to have been named the best property in the North East, especially considering the level of our fellow finalists. We work hard to ensure our guests have the best possible experience.”

Leo and Charlotte took over the Grade II-listed Bondgate Boutique in 2014. The 4 Star Gold Award accommodation has seven quality en-suite bedrooms, with luxury fixtures and fittings throughout.

The couple also run Tate House B&B across the road on Bondgate Without.

The eviivo awards celebrate the best, prettiest and quirkiest of the UK hospitality industry.

Ian Hardwick, from eviivo, said: “The Bondgate Boutique is a shining example of how dedication to customer satisfaction and a knack for originality can go a long way. The competition was ferocious in the North East, but the Bondgate had something extra.”

Craster Tower Penthouse Apartment, and PoSHHuts, at Falstone, were finalists for the Quirkiest Place to Stay award.