An Interview With Time Away Travel Edit

An Interview with… Dan Visser, The Langdale Estate

As part of our series of getting to know the people behind the venues, we discuss what inspired the luxury rejuvenating getaway, The Langdale Estate, Lake District.

Tell us about your role at Brimstone Hotel & Spa? I am the Director of Sales and Marketing and part of the Management Team for the Langdale Estate. We work to maintain and develop Brimstone’s high standards and guest offerings as well as oversee the running of the whole Langdale Estate. Outside of this, I am also a Non-Executive Director of Cumbria Tourism and also on the Visitor Economy Sector Panel for Local Enterprise Partnership. Both of these roles give me a holistic view of the Lake District tourism industry and helps to inform my work at Brimstone. 

What is the size of the team at Brimstone Hotel & Spa? At Brimstone we have 16 full and part-time hosts who look after our guests during their stay – they do everything from lighting the fires in the bedroom to station pick-ups and are on hand to provide guests with whatever they need. 

Who is the type of traveller that comes to Brimstone Hotel & Spa? – Brimstone guests are predominantly leisure travellers who are wanting a short, luxurious break. We find that many guests often stay to celebrate special occasions – birthdays, anniversaries and the like.  We also host a very small number of high-end corporate meetings and events.  

What does Brimstone Hotel & Spa offer visitors and what sets it apart from other hotels? We offer guests a personal yet luxurious stay in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK. We have guests that want to have a luxury stay whilst enjoying the outdoors and guests who want a luxury stay without wanting to go outdoors – we provide both offerings to an extremely high standard.

How has Brimstone Hotel & Spa dealt with the rise of visitors looking to escape the pressures of modern life? – Brimstone has always been about providing our guests with luxury, relaxation and enjoyment. However, as I touched on above, the ways in which our guests work to improve their wellbeing is very individual – for some, it is going out on a mountain bike on the fells whilst they are here, for others it is pottering over to the spa to spend their day. We have worked to ensure that our guests have a way of relaxing that suits them which is why we have our spa, our Arcteryx Bootroom, our reading room and our hosts who can help guests organise and advise on whatever it is guest’s fancy doing whilst they are staying with us. We are always looking at ways we can develop our offerings further, for example, we have recently introduced a Mindfulness Map which is a free map with suggestions of mindful activities in the area for guests; everything from open water swimming to having a drink at the pub. We never want to be prescriptive – our aim is that our guests leave us feeling more relaxed and recharged than when they arrived and ensure that there are ways that cater to everyone. 

For those looking for a more active break, what does Brimstone Hotel & Spa provide or recommend locally? – We have lots of ways to make a visit to Brimstone more active. As I mentioned with relaxation, being active means different things to different people but however guests choose to be active, we can help, be that walking to and from the pub for dinner to organising a trip around more extreme adventures such as the Fred Whitton cycle race.

For those that want to go out and walk on the fells, we have our very own Arcteryx Boot Room which provides guests with complimentary, top of the range Arcteryx walking kit (everything from walking boots to coats to Ordnance Survey Maps) to ensure they are ready to take on the rather variable Lake District elements! 

All of our hosts are local and very knowledgeable about the local area, so guests are encouraged to ask the hosts about any adventure advice or recommendations. We have lots of links with local partners so our hosts can organise everything from paddleboarding to ghyll scrambling. 

We also have a partnership with BikeTreks and can organise guided mountain bike trips which is great for the more adventurous type. We offer special BikeTreks weekends during the summer at our sister hotel, Langdale Hotel, which have been popular.

How important is interior design when creating the right atmosphere at Brimstone Hotel & Spa? – The interior design has been fundamental in creating the right atmosphere across the suites, the more communal spaces and the spa and continues to be very important. We have worked hard to create an experience that is enjoyable and relaxing whilst also being that little bit more luxurious than what you’d have at home.  

We never stand still when it comes to any part of the hotel, but particularly the interior design. Although the hotel is only five years old, we are doing full soft refurb this year which will update and refresh our rooms to bring in more elements of relaxation and luxury – watch this space!

Who designed the suites and what were the key elements you wanted to include to give them their identity? – We have a collection of 16 luxury suites and rooms which were designed by Greyline Design. We wanted the rooms to be tranquil, relaxing yet opulent. To deliver on this, the design of the suites are cool and stylish with cues taken from the Lakeland landscape – all without compromising on quality or comfort.

What’s your favourite part of the hotel, and why? – My favourite part of the hotel is the service – it is second to none. The people here make the stay for our guests. They are friendly, helpful and will always go the extra mile. Sounds simple but it does make every stay that bit more personal.

In terms of the actual facilities, I love our Mezzanine Suites due to the scale of them. These suites have a large seating and bathroom area downstairs with a log burning stove and a folding glass wall onto the balcony whilst upstairs there is the mezzanine, gallery bedroom. They are quite amazing. 

Our Reading Room is also a favourite and is the first place I go after I’ve been out on my mountain bike for a beer, a few nibbles, and to put my feet up!

Have you got any tips on how visitors can make the most of their stay and the local area? – I would always encourage guests to get active and breathe in some of the wonderful fresh air during their stay with us, in whatever format that might be. Being active and exploring allows you to have experiences you wouldn’t normally have on a day to day basis. You’ll discover things like beautiful views, paths off the beaten track and even great pubs that you otherwise wouldn’t have known about. 

As the pressures of modern life continue to grow, do you think staycations will grow in popularity? – Yes, I do think staycations will grow in popularity. Mental health, mindfulness and self-care are all areas of wellbeing that are becoming increasingly popular, and people are becoming much more aware of the importance of taking some time out. I don’t think that is going to change any time soon – people seem to be more inclined to spend money on experiences to help with their wellbeing than ever before. 

I also think staycations are likely to grow because people are becoming more conscious about their impact on the environment. Staycations are a good way of reducing the carbon output produced from a holiday as it (usually) doesn’t involve air travel.

Please note that this interview took part prior to Covid-19 and therefore please check with the hotel prior to booking to make sure that all services and activities are available

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