Summer ‘has been a great showcase for Alderney’

REOPENING an Alderney hotel during a pandemic could be seen as a gamble, but staycations have proved a big success for the new La Ville Hotel.

La Ville Hotel. (Picture supplied by Brittany McGrath)
La Ville Hotel. (Picture supplied by Brittany McGrath)

The old Chez Andre Hotel closed around two years ago, and the site in the heart of Victoria Street became overrun with weeds and in need of a good lick of paint.

La Ville opened on 1 August

after the new owners were determined to give it a second run at life and renovations were completed.

Brittany McGrath, the front-of-house manager, was optimistic about the opening and the future.

‘The first month of reopening has been really, really good. This was an iconic hotel and bar and restaurant so everyone wants it to do well.

‘And people in Guernsey have realised just how beautiful Alderney is, and it’s been a perfect time for Guernsey visitors to come over here. It’s absolutely stunning weather, there’s been a very lively atmosphere, there’s so much going on here, everyone’s been saying it’s been one of the best Alderney Weeks we’ve had in a long time because everyone felt so happy and so positive.

‘So it’s gone really well because of the staycations within the Bailiwick, it’s been the perfect time for us to open, hospitality around the world is obviously struggling but in Alderney it’s pretty much like normal, people are out and about enjoying themselves.’

Ms McGrath is originally from New Zealand, but grew up in Australia, and came to Alderney for a summer job about three years ago, but ended up falling in love with the place and stayed.

Abundant wildlife, breathtaking scenery and quiet beaches have also worked their magic on Guernsey people, many of whom have come to the realisation that summer memories do not have to come with Greek tavernas

or Spanish costas.

The key word to the staycation campaign has been ‘rediscovery’, because there are affordable and safe ways to have an adventure and still do something out of the ordinary during a pandemic.

Helene Turner, the director of tourism on Alderney, hopes that more Guernsey people will find an excuse to go back.

‘This summer’s Bailiwick bubble has been a great opportunity for Alderney to showcase what we have to offer to our fellow Bailiwick residents.

‘We are so pleased to see many of our visitors either falling in love with our island for the first time or re-discovering after many years.

‘We hope to continue to welcome Bailiwick friends moving into the autumn alongside visitors from further afield when travel restrictions are lifted.’

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