Introducing: Kimberley Wilson (Owner)
Company name: The Camberley Hotel
Company website: www.camberleyguestaccommodation.com/
Social Media: @TheCamberley

Launched in 2015, Kim and her husband Simon have been running The Camberley for the last 5 years. As part of our Business Focus, we paid them a visit to find out all there is to know about their hotel, including how The Camberley started and what makes the owners tick…

When was the company founded and how has it grown?
Having both had careers in the hospitality sector for over 20 years, we bought my parents out of The Camberley 5 years ago.
Only a year later we were able to take over The Lodge next door and now own and run a 27-bedroom bed and breakfast service right in the centre of Harrogate.

Why do you stand out from your competition?
As an independent hotel, we not only have a central location with free parking but are also the only hotel in the centre of Harrogate with facilities onsite for charging electric cars. I am also the Chair of ‘Accommodation Harrogate’, so am at the forefront of all the latest local information and advice.

How has Covid affected your business and how did you cope?
Our doors closed at 3pm the day after lockdown as our last guest left. I am not someone who can just sit around so I became aware of a local group called the ‘Harrogate Scrubbers’ who needed help. We had both empty premises and a huge basement, so I became one of the core team running one of the biggest hubs for them. It was a surreal but unforgettable time.

Who would you most like to have a drink with and why?
Mark Simpson who is a Marketing Training Coach. He is an invaluable source for accommodation providers, but also has an amazing house in Spain!

What advice would you give the next generation starting their careers?
Look into the hospitality industry. Despite the current challenges it provides the most diverse range of careers from hotels to events or being a chef. It is a very under-appreciated industry that has been around for generations and despite Covid will be here for many more.

Why do you like doing business in Yorkshire?
We have a perfect position in the heart of Yorkshire, with the coast, the Dales and much more within a couple of hours drive. There are theme parks, local estates and so much culture and history that it makes a perfect holiday location.

What kind of challenges do you face?
So many people don’t understand the hospitality industry and see it as pocket-money not a career. They don’t realise that the vast majority of independent hotels are run by highly experienced professional people. I built my career from being on reception to owning a 27-bedroom hotel in the heart of a town. It enables you to build your own career and be your own person.

Name your favourite local business and explain what makes them special.
Oregano Pizza in Harrogate. They are such nice people with amazing food. They gave ten free pizzas away a week to key workers during lockdown and are unsung superstars.

Would you like to feature your business in the Your Harrogate Business Focus? Email Claire Strachan (claire@clairestrachan.co.uk) for your chance to get involved.

Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.