Winning majors is par for the course for one of the top guest houses in Merseyside.
The Stamford, in Southport town centre, is a dream for golfers. The venue, on Bath Street, was recently recognised as runner-up in the B&B /Guest House Of The Year category at the Liverpool City Region Tourism Awards.
The Stamford welcomes families from all over the world and, situated on England’s ‘Golf Coast’, is well placed for people who love to play a few rounds on some of the finest courses in Britain.
The guest house even has a dedicated golf room, where guests can charge their buggies and store their clubs.
Owners Sarah and Ricky Blaney, and their Manager Becky Despard, even arrange transport to local golf courses and get breakfast bought in for large groups. It’s no wonder that golfers travel across the world to Southport. The holiday resort is at the centre of ‘England’s Golf Coast, which is home to 12 of the finest golf courses in Britain. With no less than 7 courses in the ‘Top 100 Courses of the UK & Ireland’ and 8 listed in the ‘Top 100 Courses in England’, the concentration of championship golf available within England’s Golf Coast is unparalleled.
The three nearby Open Championship venues of Royal Birkdale, Royal Liverpool and Royal Lytham & St Annes have hosted The Open an impressive 33 times between them since 1897 (Royal Birkdale last hosted the event in 2017).
Being recognised as one of the top two Guest Houses in the Liverpool City Region in 2020 was a remarkable achievement considering Sarah and Ricky Blaney only took over the business in
Summer of 2019. Sarah said: “Like many guest houses and B&Bs, The Stamford is a really small team of just me, my husband Ricky and our manager Laura. It was such a privilege to be shortlisted for the Liverpool City Region Tourism Awards. Merseyside is an amazing place with such history, beauty and entertainment and to represent it as an accommodation provider was really special.
“We didn’t expect to win as we have not been operating a full year so to be a runner-up was a huge accolade.”
Sarah and Ricky, who also run a property company, opened the doors at The Stamford in August 2019 with high hopes. They enjoyed a superb start, which was recognised by the Tourism Awards accolade. Now like everyone else they are working hard to get through the Covid-19 pandemic, which no- one foresaw this time last year. “It’s definitely unfortunate, and not the situation we were hoping for,” said Sarah. “You have just got to roll with it. There are talks of vaccines now and if Covid does go it will be fantastic. Southport has so many great things going for it to attract visitors.”
When they do arrive in town, guests are always assured of a warm welcome.
Sarah said: “We operate a little bit differently at The Stamford compared to a traditional seaside guest house. We offer a really flexible check-in process, and so many of our guests love the fact that they can just self check-in, dump their bags and enjoy Southport.
“We like to think of ourselves as a mini-hotel, amazing beautiful luxury rooms, at guest house prices with all the flexibility of a hotel. It suits international guests who are arriving in the early hours in readiness to play golf at our amazing golf courses. Or the conference guests who are busy all day and need someone peaceful and beautiful to recharge.
“We also have a communal lounge and kitchen area; with a big guest fridge, microwave, toaster and crockery, you can prepare your own breaky, eat a takeaway in comfort or for our business travellers, whack a ready meal in for an easy bite. We have fab relationships with local cafes, pubs and restaurants offering discounts for all guests. We are really proud of The Stamford, our rooms are such high standard and the feedback from guests cements that they love our combination of hotel and guest house too.
“These are the strangest of times for the hospitality trade and we are super grateful for the support we get from the Southport Hoteliers Association, Sefton Council and wider hospitality
trade. We can’t wait to see the industry get back to serving Southport visitors and doing our bit for the local economy.”