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Thursday, 16 February 2012


Having just suffered from an invalid review on TripAdvisor I would like to share my experience of the site and how unreliable it is. A local resident of Brockenhurst applied for a job at the Cloud Hotel and was unsuccessful. He then sent me abusive emails, my staff had most unpleasant phone calls from him and eventually he put an 'Awful' as he put it review on TripAdvisor saying that I the Proprietor was only good enough to be on my knees cleaning the toilets. He has never stayed at the Cloud Hotel. I then discovered he had been employed at Forest Park Hotel in Brockenhurst and had been sacked and had put a 'Horrible' review on their site. Thankfully TripAdvisor have taken my complaints seriously and removed the review but it took a certain amount of effort and perseverance on my part to achieve it. TripAdvisor has experienced bad publicity recently and I think it is important for everyone to know that many of the reviews both good and bad are not genuine and they can do some businesses alot of damage.

Apart from the stress and upset this gave myself and my staff, this week has been busy and enjoyable. The Encore Restaurant was packed on Valentines day with mature couples enjoying a romantic lunch for  'The Young At Heart', proving you are never too old for romance. The Valentines candlelit dinner was also very popular and it is good to know that love is still in the air. Credit must go to my Head Chef Steve Gates and my second chef Pete Lovell who produced a delicious 4 course meal enjoyed by everyone. Champagne and canapes welcomed the guests and beautifully presented chocolates were supplied by Inspiration of New Milton.

On Monday I gave a talk to St Anne's Church Fellowship group  on my life on how a Tiller Girl became a successful Business Woman and how I discovered I didn't just have brains in my feet! I really enjoyed the evening as they were a lively group, it makes such a difference if the people you are talking to are responsive and happy.

I have been asked by Peter Czapp of The Wow Company to be on the panel and take part in Entrepreneurs' Tales at Business South at the Rose Bowl on February 23rd at 10-45-11-45pm. If you would like to book click on to  there is no charge for the event and you will hear how four entrepreneurs have built up their businesses and become successful. I am the only woman on the panel!

For details of our mid-week and special winter weekend breaks click on to our website The New Forest National Park is beautiful even in winter with wide open spaces to walk and cycle, we have a secure covered bike shed for you to store your bikes over night.

The next Wessex Women's Network meeting is on Wednesday 22nd February at 6-30pm for 7pm when Susan Symes will be giving us a talk on 'Art in Miniature'.  Susan will be bringing along hundreds of buttons she has collected over the years and telling us the history of them. There are still p[laces left, these evenings are always such fun so book now to avoid disappointment.

Spring is around the corner and the evenings are getting lighter so before we know it Spring will be here and the foals will be dancing around the New Forest, it's my favourite time of the year. I look forward to welcoming you to the Cloud Hotel.