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Independent Minds: Toby Ashworth, The Nare

Whilst it’s true that great minds think alike, we believe that independent minds think the best. Our community of hoteliers is brimming with bold trailblazers, rule-breakers, and creative visionaries who bring their own sense of style and unique personalities to each and every property. Here, we get to know Toby Ashworth, the man behind the Cornish charm of The Nare, a country house haven on the Roseland Peninsula.

What does being ‘Independently Minded’ as an hotel owner mean to you?

I aim to meet every one of my guests when they come to stay, and they are at least invited to a drinks party every week. By being completely independent we can do exactly what we want and what we know our guests like. By instilling this characteristic into the hotel one can then choose which rules to obey and which ones are just silly, and a complete inconvenience for the comfort of our guests. We aim for our daily decisions not to be governed by rules or policies, but to allow staff freedom to make a guest’s stay completely personal to them. Guests enjoy private, individual and unique experiences. Guests enjoy feeling they have a private, personal connection to a family-owned hotel. We don’t have a ‘mission statement’ but an aim – which is quite simply to please our guests by being driven to improve the comfort of their stay.

What was the inspiration behind the hotel, and where do you continue to find sources of inspiration?

To be considered the most comfortable country house hotel in Britain. This was my grandmother’s original aim 30 years ago (aged 70-plus as she downsized and moved from a 90 room hotel to the 40 room Nare whilst tripling the tariff). It is still true today – others in Cornwall have tried to follow and we continue to lead.

A genuinely comfortable country house hotel by the sea with a tremendously loyal guest following that absolutely appreciates the style and the traditional character, and a clear optimistic future is my inspiration to pass on to the next generation.

Pictured: The Nare Hotel alongside Toby Ashworth with a painting of his grandmother

How do you think your hotel stands apart from other boutique hotels?

Quite simply as the most comfortable country house hotel with the best sea view location in Britain.

Do you have a vision for the future of the hotel?

Oh, yes! With planning permission to continue to improve the estate and a family tradition with the opportunity to strengthen, I am very lucky to have a ten year plus vision to maintain continuity and make The Nare yet even better.

How would you describe your own perfect luxury experience?

My perfect luxury experience is where the service is above material superficial glamour and is oblivious to rules, regulations and policy decisions. There should be a genuine personable experience that is not a contrived, over exerted service but one that is as natural as a home experience. I am frustrated in hotels by technology that is too complicated, that is not first time intuitive or has an annoying neon light. Unsightly obtrusive signage and information overloads are common irritations. The experience must have a natural silken flow, like a delicious glass of wine.

What is your main motivation for being part of the SLH community?

To be part of a worldwide community, and to avoid only having a provincial perspective, thus allowing The Nare to better understand an international guest’s wishes, comforts and enjoyment.