Customer care is the ‘HPB extra’

Customer care is the ‘HPB extra’

My wife and I recently had two separate one-week holidays, the first at the Tenancy at Crunklaw Farm, Duns, and the second at Encosta Cabo Girão in Madeira. As you can imagine, these were very different, yet were unified by what we have come to regard as the ‘HPB extra’, namely the great service and customer care that we find at every HPB site we visit.

Crunklaw Farm is a delight and the owner Marge (a fellow Bondholder) really goes out of her way to make people welcome. This included having a home-made afternoon tea waiting in the studio for our arrival and providing fresh eggs from her own hens. The farm is an ideal base for touring on both sides of the Border and places like Berwick, Bamburgh Castle, Alnwick Gardens and Melrose are all within easy reach. Marge is a treasure trove of local information and gave us lots of help to make the most of our week.

Our time at Encosta Cabo Girão was equally well spent. The site is superbly situated and the amenities are excellent. We particularly appreciated the onsite courtesy bus – especially after a meal and a glass (or two!) of wine in the restaurant.

But what about that ‘HPB extra service’? Well, I seem to have arrived at the age where I am getting forgetful, for I managed to leave something behind at both sites! At Crunklaw Farm it was a library book and at Cabo Girão it was my camera.

When I telephoned Marge about the library book she was in the process of trying to contact our library in Market Harborough to tell them the book was safe and make sure that I wasn’t fined. The book was posted back immediately and Marge even refused to accept a refund of the postage.

The camera saga is also worth relating for I contrived to leave it behind, not once, but twice. On the first occasion we took a taxi tour to Porto Muniz in the northwest of the island and I left the camera behind in the taxi. By the greatest of good fortune all of the transport on the site is organised by Tony Sequiera and it turned out that our driver was his cousin. Tony went to a lot of trouble to retrieve my camera and delivered it to me personally in the restaurant.

It’s hard to believe, but I then promptly left it behind once more, this time in the courtesy bus. I was home before I realised what had happened. A short series of emails followed between Newmarket, the site and me. The camera duly arrived back in first-class condition and all for a modest postage and administration charge.

Our thanks go to Marge at Crunlaw Farm, Odilia and Tony at Cabo Girão and Hayley at Newmarket for showing us that the ‘HPB extra’ is still going strong! 

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