It was whilst working in The City of London in banking and marketing jobs that Clive and Sophie Fallon had their dream of opening a stylish and expensive guest house / boutique hotel in a typical English seaside location. They settled on Herne Bay in Kent and opened Eclectic Boutique (hotel) in 2011.
Their vision was that Eclectic Boutique (hotel) should be a stylish, yet comfortable home-from-home, so that all guests feel relaxed through to the end of their retreat, and are thus unlikely to consider the significant cost of their quality bohemian experience.
Every room has a unique and eclectic style. It is this loosely-defined theme, which has enabled Clive and Sophie to source random and cheap second hand furniture giving each room a different look (rather than buying new furniture for a consistent look in all rooms).
Sophie explains the ethos of Eclectic Boutique (hotel):
“We expect all of our guests to have high standards. We don’t want any old Joe and Joanna Bloggs staying in our hotel so before you check in, you will be tested on your knowledge of any of the following:
- Prominent contemporary cushion designers
- Suffolk artists of the 20th Century
- French theatrical directors
… and if you prove your awareness of these subjects then you’re welcomed warmly.
Clive continues… “If you cannot answer those questions, do not worry. As long as you earn more than £100k and can afford our extreme room rates, we are happy to accommodate.
“We count everyone who stays with us as our ‘friends’ and our friends are always welcome to return again (and pay again).
Sophie also chips in:
“Rich and famous people are also naturally drawn to our unique style and so you could meet anyone here. We do of course like to be discrete about our clientele.” [Editor’s note – nice line. This creates an air of mystery and class, which cannot be substantiated].
Eclectic Boutique (hotel) is an unusual name and so I asked Clive and Sophie what inspired their choice to which they responded:
“We used to be called Eclectic Boutique, but as our hotel is situated at the end of a row of shops, too many people entered our Reception area looking for vintage clothing and so we decided to re-brand as Eclectic Boutique (hotel).
Their attention to detail is everything.
Sophie is friends with Wanda Scooch, an original member of cushion designer clique: Artistic British Cushionados (‘ABCs’) and every room has a precise three cushions per bed.
The breakfasts are varied with continental and ‘Full English’ options available. For evening meals, sumptuous fish are caught locally, brought ashore at 6am then sent to London, packed by a ‘premium fishmonger’ and couriered back to Herne Bay by 4pm, just in time for the guests to see their ‘Premium London’ fish arrive and is then prepared for consumption later.
My stay at Eclectic Boutique (hotel) was refreshing from start to finish and I cannot wait for my Editor to send me back for another free stay.
Review by Polenta Chelwick