Our First Six Months

Monday 31 October 2016

New owners of Aquila Heights

We moved down from Winchester to take over Aquila Heights in April, and now is a good opportunity to reflect back on our first six months, and first summer season. We are left with four main thoughts:

Dorchester is a Great Place to Live and Work

We have already begun to fall in love with our new home town. It is obviously a very attractive place, with its mix of historic and modern buildings and, of course, the abundance of trees. It is a relatively small place and easy to get around, but packed with history and all the facilities and amenities which come with its County Town status, which make it a very convenient place to be. It is always busy enough to create an ambience but rarely crowded, which makes moving around and shopping a real pleasure. Longer term residents complain about the traffic but, coming from the South East, we can assure you that there is relatively no traffic at all and parking is generally a breeze even in peak season.

The people here also make it special. Everyone has just a little bit more time than where we came from, and so the pace of life is just more relaxed and much less stressful. We have found that the residents of Dorchester, and West Dorset in general, are unusually proud of where they live - and with good reason.

High Street Dorchester

Aquila Heights Guests are Lovely

We have so far welcomed around a thousand people to our guest house, and about 99.9% of them have been wonderful people, and a real pleasure to look after. This sounds cheesy, but we really do miss many of you when you leave, and we do look forward to the return of our regular guests when we see upcoming visits in the diary.

Aquila guests are generally very friendly, considerate, and appreciative. We love looking after you, and have been surprised by how many of you look after us too - not only do guests give us their personal recommendations for places to visit and eat, which we can pass onto others, but they also introduce us to other local businesses, collect business cards for us, and even help us to find someone to fix a leaking roof!

The saying is a cliche but really is true - people arrive at Aquila as guests but leave as friends.

West Dorset is Stunningly Beautiful

East Cliff, West Bay

We knew this before we arrived of course, but we have vowed never to take the Dorset landscape for granted. When you leave Dorchester in virtually any direction, within moments you are surrounded by vast, sweeping panoramic views of rolling countryside which take the breath away, and of course the coast is only a few minutes away. The Jurassic Coast is surely as beautiful as any 95-mile stretch of shoreline anywhere in the world, and with the added attraction of all the priceless  prehistoric treasure buried within.

One well-travelled family of guests, from California of all places, claimed that West Dorset was the most beautiful landscape they had ever seen in the World. This might be pushing it, but Dorset is certainly in the conversation.

Running Aquila Heights is Hard Work but Worth it

We took over an already-successful business back in April, and we are pleased to have been so busy in our first Summer - virtually full from early May until at least early November. As we are still new to the business, this has made us work very hard, but we have loved it so far. It has been a real pleasure to look after so many genuinely lovely guests, and the appreciative feedback we have received in person, in our visitors' book and online has made it all so worthwhile.

As we approach our first winter, we have a chance to pause and to plan some improvements to the guest house. We are currently collecting tradesmen's quotes for improvements to some of the bedrooms and bathrooms, a possible new guest room, a refit of the breakfast room, and many, many smaller improvements.

Watch this space!

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Guest Reviews

Visited Dorchester last weekend for a Christening and booked in to Aquila Heights without looking at reviews just on webpage description. The welcome, service, room and food were simply the best we have experienced. Thankyou Derek and Wendy - wonderful hosts. 

Steviebarley - via TripAdvisor
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