Catching the 2022 Breeze
Welcome to Catch the Breeze Retreats’ first of many blogs, filled to the brim with all our news, updates, and projects that Clive, Lynne, and the rest of the team cannot wait to share with you all.
Although 2021 continued to present itself with much uncertainty, it was a year where Catch the Breeze Retreats grasped the opportunity to capture the hearts, minds, and imaginations of the increasing number of Brits opting for beautiful staycations.
Following an awfully long season of lockdowns, our pleasant holiday retreats provided a slice of escapism for those looking to get away from their worries at the coast or in the country.
Like many businesses during a rather unprecedented time, we had to navigate and adapt to the turbulence that ensued, and this would not have been such a smooth transition period if it were not for the dedicated team working for Catch the Breeze Retreats.
People; the heart of the business
We are all about people, from our valued guests to our devoted team members, every aspect of Catch the Breeze Retreats is bespoke and personal; from the managers to the housekeepers, everyone cares for our properties as if they were their own homes. With our team so central to creating a truly unique and personal experience, it is more than fitting we introduce you to the people that make holidaying with Catch the Breeze Retreats truly unforgettable.
Starting with the very people who brought the business to fruition, Clive and Lynne Sykes. As the founders of Catch the Breeze Retreats, they oversee every aspect and acute detail of their properties with passion and care. When they are not working with the team to translate their vision throughout every retreat, you will find Clive and Lynne scoping properties to add to the ever-growing Catch the Breeze portfolio.
Undoubtedly, every luxurious self-catering business requires a manager that can organise and plan tasks to perfection, and that role comes in the form of Sally, our PA and estate manager. As no stranger to the tourism industry, Sally oversees the daily running of Catch the Breeze Retreats from repairs and maintenance to full refurbishments. And like any great manager, she is always looking to the next big thing, so when she is not busy with existing properties Sally can be found supporting Clive and Lynne with their property search. We truly believe that at the heart of any successful business, you will find excellent customer service, so when you call Catch the breeze Retreats you will speak to cheerful Tara, our guest relations manager. Tara joined the team in September 2021, and with over 30 years’ experience is here to help plan your bespoke holiday experience. Tara self-proclaims that she “revels in talking with guests” and makes it her duty to ensure guests have the best experience possible.
Maintaining high calibre properties is not for the fainthearted, from fixing squeaky hinges and dripping taps to painting walls and watering the gardens during the summer months. Our largest property, Oughtershaw Hall, is maintained by Ben, who also manages to remain the friendly face that welcomes guests, provides tours, and answers any of the questions or queries guests may have whilst staying at the property. Over at our Tan Llan property our dedicated housekeeper, Karen, who ensures the property is always immaculately cleaned and presented for our guests. Similar to Ben at Oughtershaw Hall, Karen is also the resident eyes and ears of Tan Llan and is on hand for any assistance our guests may need, such as recommending restaurants and activities to visit while on your stay with us.
Finally, where would we be without the designs of the properties? Behind every great build is a creative interior designer and diligent architect, both of which are integral roles for property development, and the two that aid in these projects is Gillian Doxford and James Murdie. Gillian and James have collaborated with Clive and Lynne for over 20 years and have worked on all five of the existing Catch the Breeze Retreats properties. Creative and design conscious Gillian has exquisitely furnished and decorated our properties to expertly create a synergy between them all using integrity and sympathetic materials to ensure a modern yet cosy home environment. With a mind well-adjusted to property development, James has also been a vital part in the planning, designing, and construction that goes into each property, ensuring that the layout and overall presence of the property is up to par with the rest of our Catch the Breeze Retreats portfolio. Together, Gillian and James are both part of the process that goes into giving all our properties their character and personality that can guarantee that our guests feel at home.
There is no ‘I’ in teamwork; all work carried out on and for our properties is a collaborative effort, with all our team members playing an equally important role in how Catch the Breeze Retreats is run. We are a close-knit network of organised, dedicated, and creative individuals who ensure the success of Catch the Breeze Retreats. But most importantly, we ensure that our esteemed guests have the best experience possible, in a home that is in a picturesque setting, beautifully designed, and run by staff who genuinely care about guest experience.
We manage every aspect of our properties and place incredibly high value on our customer service. We own all the properties and can therefore control the whole customer experience journey, ensuring a positive stay is always had.
Growth with unique properties
Clive has been known to say that property development is “in his blood”, and they say once you get a taste of property development you never turn back. After the success we had in 2021, we are happy to announce that 2022 will see even more properties being added to our portfolio. Clive and Lynne’s current portfolio of properties includes their Snowdonia National Park based property, Tan Llan; their Yorkshire Dales property, Oughtershaw Hall; and three Northumberland coastal properties, Rock Lobster, Middlerigg, and Craster Reach.
As we enter 2022, Clive, Lynne, and the team have set their minds to property scouting more than ever, with aspirations to find unique properties in beautiful locations. We have already acquired a former mill in Beadnell, Northumberland, by the name of Tughall Mill. This historical mill is enveloped by National Trust land and is located a mere 400 metres off the Northumberland coastline at Beadnell Bay Beach, making it the perfect investment for the Catch the Breeze Retreats’ ethos and portfolio. With much development required on the property, it is full steam ahead for the team who recently visited the property to start making plans, mocking up design ideas, and taking in the marvel of this ancient site that holds a great deal of British history with it being the final resting place of St. Cuthbert. Tughall Mill is due for completion in 2023, and guests will soon be able to start booking a stay in this tranquil home, ready to lose themselves in centuries-worth of history and enjoy the sublime views of the Northumberland coast to the west of Tughall Mill.
Green: our future focus
All our properties are accompanied by spectacular views thanks to their national park locations; Snowdonia and the Yorkshire Dales to Northumberland National Park. Environmental issues are a major concern to everyone at Catch the Breeze Retreats who want to do everything they can to preserve these beautiful landscapes. The team adores the outdoors and has a deep-rooted appreciation for nature, wildlife, and finding new ways to make the business green. As we move forward in 2022 will be placing even more of a focus on making our properties as green as possible, and it is our pleasure to be able to share that our property, Oughtershaw Hall, in the Yorkshire Dales has already been fitted with a ground source heat pump that uses the earth’s natural resources. This works by using natural heat that is produced underground to increase the temperature within the property. They do use electricity, however you get more energy back than you put in, and electricity is of course a low carbon/zero carbon fuel. We have also fitted an air source heat pump into our Northumberland based properties Middlerigg and Craster Reach, another type of heat pump that has replaced the oil central heating that the properties were previously using. The pump works by taking the heat from the air and boosting it at a higher temperature using a compressor and then transferring it throughout the home in the same way a conventional boiler would.
We will also be continually looking into other ways that we can make our properties, as well as our business methods, more eco-friendly and sustainable.
2021 was an invigorating time for Clive, Lynne, and the rest of the team; it was full of changes and developments, all of which the team is proud to have been a part of. They are even more overjoyed at having been able to provide our esteemed guests, both new and existing, with an unforgettable holiday that allowed them to escape the hustle and bustle for some relaxation.
Everyone at Catch the Breeze Retreats is looking forward to the year ahead of us, it is an extremely exciting time for the business, with new property developments and making our properties greener, 2022 is set to be our best year yet.Back to archive
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