The owners of a five star guest house in Southern Snowdonia, which welcomes “the adventurous who don't want to skip the luxury”, have added another award to their collection.
Kirsty Busfield and her husband Gareth, who purchased The Old Vicarage in the former slate village of Corris, near Machynlleth in 2021, have won the marketing and social category of the 2023 Excellence in Luxury Service Awards.
The awards are run by Luxury B&B Magazine whose judges selected The Old Vicarage, which has four guest bedrooms, for working hard to promote the business together with the local community.
This new accolade is added to five star gradings from Visit Wales and the AA who also gave the guest house an award for its three course breakfasts.
Kirsty, who runs the guest house, offers a series of packages that benefit other local businesses and give her guests extra reasons to visit and things to do and see during their stay.
“I am passionate about promoting local, small businesses for guests to support whilst they are in the area,” said Kirsty, who has swapped a globetrotting job with one of the big four consulting firms to take over the small hospitality business.
“One of the marketing initiatives I created, which took a lot of effort to co-ordinate with multiple local businesses, was my activity e-gift voucher promotion before Christmas, which included two nights B&B and an activity.
“My goal was to curate something fundamentally different to the gift vouchers that are popular at most hospitality establishments which just offer accommodation.”
Kirsty focuses on offering a quality experience to guests keen to discover beautiful Southern Snowdonia.
The e-vouchers offered by The Old Vicarage range from multi day hiking and cycling holidays, such as the Welsh three peaks, to ‘your railway for a day’ where guests are taught how to drive a steam train at Corris Railway.
There’s also an interactive donkey experience day, bushcraft or green-wood carving skills and a slate mine exploration day.
Kirsty also hopes to provide options for anglers who stay at The Old Vicarage and she’s keen to find a photographer to provide expert advice to guests interested in photographing military jets over the Mach Loop low flying zone.
Other top notch local attractions include Cader Idris mountain, extreme downhill cycling at Dyfi Bike Park, abundant wildlife and walks in the UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere and the pioneering sustainable living work at the Centre for Alternative Technology.
That’s not to mention Corris Craft Centre with its range of craft studios, King Arthur’s Labyrinth and Corris Mine Explorers, together with Machynlleth, the ancient capital of Wales where Welsh warrior Owain Glyndwr established the first Welsh Parliament.
“With our dramatic views across the Dulas valley and no end of activities on the doorstep, The Old Vicarage B&B is for the adventurous who don't want to skip the luxury,” explained Kirsty.
“We pride ourselves on being more than 'just a B&B'. We help our guests to truly experience the wonder of these valleys and make memories that will last a lifetime. We have rapidly become a destination for experience based adventure in Mid Wales and Southern Snowdonia.”
Reflecting on her change of career from being a digital banking trouble-shooter, Kirsty says she has no regrets. “It’s fantastic and I’m absolutely loving spending time with people who are on holiday and happy to be here to explore the area,” she explained.
“We think it’s an incredible place and are excited to share it with other people, as there’s so much to do on our doorstep. I have a more hectic lifestyle here than when I lived in London and Brighton.”
Great news for the local area is that advance bookings at The Old Vicarage are 80% up on the same period last year. There are also exciting investment plans in the pipeline for the guest house which will create jobs and attract even more visitors to the scenic Dulas valley in the near future.
The Old Vicarage is a member of MWT Cymru, an independent organisation that represents around 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, Ceredigion and Southern Snowdonia.
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