Decades of success, first as a bed and breakfast and then a guesthouse followed, and as Jenny’s naturally hospitable mother attracted more guests, Jenny’s father built more rooms for them to stay in. In 1996 daughter Jenny swapped a successful accountancy career to join her parents running Sysonby Knoll and a year later her scientist husband Gavin followed. Today it is James and Zoë who are starting to play supporting roles with Zoë easily befriending guests and James happily helping Dad inside and out.
The home that became a 30-bedroomed hotel has lost none of the charm and appeal that made it so successful. A warmth that flows through the staff and the building, from bar to restaurant to bedrooms. Nothing it seems is too much trouble. They have even installed the world’s first beecam so even when you check out, Sysonby keeps you checking in.
Ever evolving to the changing needs of old, new and four-legged guests (Sysonby is a genuine pet friendly hotel with 4.5 acres to explore) the extended family team of staff are constantly on hand to provide a personal service to all who visit or stay.
Yet as we stand at the water’s edge Gavin tells me that guests rarely find themselves in the same position. My suspicion is that the welcome is so warm that guests are not inclined to find their inner mole. And as much as I could stand for days enjoying the river scene, having met the Howlings and witnessed the welcome, I’m not sure I can blame guests either.