Bill and Jackie Grindley at the Hambledon Hotel, Shanklin. Picture by Jennifer Burton.
BUSINESS A LONDON cabbie and his family, who moved to the Isle of Wight to run a hotel, have won a national award.
Bill Grindley, his wife, Jackie, and their three children, Bill, 23, Molly, 19, and Maisie, 11, who moved to Shanklin in 2001 to run The Hambledon Hotel, in Queens Road, found out they were one of the UK’s top ten best value hotels in Trip Advisor’s 2013 Travellers’ Choice Awards.
Bill said: "We were over the moon. We work really hard and it’s so nice to get this and know your hard work is recognised."
The family moved to the Island in pursuit of a better life for everyone, and have even discovered energetic new past-times.
Bill said: "We used to live in an area in London called the Isle of Dogs, so we moved from one island to another."
"We offer walking holidays at the hotel too, and I lead a lot of walks myself now," added Bill.
"When I was black cab driver I had to do something called The Knowledge. I have had to do something similar here but with countryside and gateposts, rather than road signs and lampposts."
The Grindleys have a lot of loyal guests who stay again and again and attribute their success to the atmosphere of the hotel.
Bill said: "We try to portray a family environment, nothing is too much trouble.
"We have a small bar too and being a cab driver, I am never short of conversation."
Everyone in the family has a role in the hotel.
"My wife, Jackie, does all the cooking for breakfast and evening meals, I take guests out walking and the kids all help out in the hotel, too," said Bill.
"Our guests say it is like coming home again."
l For more information on the hotel, visit www.hambledon-hotel.co.uk, or call 01983 862403.