While the city of Portsmouth has enjoyed increased tourist footfall with Covid-19 travel restrictions prompting many British holidaymakers to opt for a UK staycation over travelling abroad, one of the city’s recently reopened hospitality businesses, Becketts Southsea, is drawing much attention.
Located on Bellevue Terrace in the heart of Southsea and surrounded by the heritage of Portsmouth as a city, Becketts is a unique venue, based inside two Grade II listed buildings, combining tradition with contemporary style.
The Covid-19 outbreak in the UK forced the business to close its doors back in March, but it was finally able to reopen its six-bedroom hotel in mid-August, receiving the added boost of a fully booked first weekend back in business.
At the time, Becketts assistant manager Kealan Blenkinsop told Portsmouth’s The News that there had already been a significant uptake in bookings since the reopening.
Blenkinsop said: “We’ve found that people are booking to stay with us for a few days and using Portsmouth and Southsea as a holiday destination as it has so much to offer.”
Yet, the positive news did not end there. Since that busy opening weekend, the Becketts has received 15 consecutive five-star reviews from guests and customers on comparison and review site, Tripadvisor.
The significant number of bookings and consistent rave reviews since reopening have made Becketts Southsea the toast of the city, and the business’ thrilled general manager, Terence Carvalho, said that the feat would not have been possible without the hard work of the dedicated Becketts team, from the front of house waiting team and Bar staff, to the Kitchen team and housekeepers, who have all had to adjust to working under new Covid-19 safety procedures.
Some of the measures that the housekeeping team has had to become accustomed to include a revamped cleaning system with one cleaner taking charge of all six rooms. All staff have also been required to wear personal protective equipment to minimise contact with guests.
The reviews themselves were extremely complimentary to the efforts of the Becketts staff. One of the reviews read: “Despite the new restrictions, staff went out of their way to be welcoming and attentive to our needs, and the atmosphere is relaxed and calm. Both the drinks and food menu have a wide range of original choices, and my food was cooked perfectly. I had such a lovely evening and can’t wait to go back!”
Another of the reviews said: “The service was so professional and friendly with all safety precautions in place. The staff were so welcoming.”
Paying tribute to all of the Becketts staff for their efforts, Carvalho said: “The team has coped so well, and we couldn’t have got this far without them.
“We've had lots of new returning customers due to the safety measures we've put in place.”