Cadbury House

Boss Celebrates 21 years at Helm of Popular South-West Hotel

The owner of one of the most popular four-star hotels in the South-West is celebrating the 21st anniversary of when he took over the venue.

It was on 5 May 2003 that Nick Taplin, who lives in North Somerset, took hold of the keys to Cadbury House in Congresbury, embarking on a redevelopment programme that has turned it into one of the most celebrated and sough-after destination venues for both business and leisure.

Back then it was known as Cadbury House & Country Club and, prior to Nick taking over, had built a reputation where revellers made their way up through the sycamore and horse chestnut lined driveway to enjoy fun times with hunt balls, medieval banquets and charity evenings.

The old kidney shaped swimming pool was always a place for fun events and it is rumoured that cricketer Ian Botham is among those to have been thrown in during high jinks at a party.

But with autonomy to invest, Nick set off in his typical effervescent style to push the boundaries of hospitality, entertainment, fitness and well-being.

The multi award-winning health club opened in 2006 and was followed in 2007 by the opening of the hotel and refurbished house. 2009 saw the hotel rebrand as a DoubleTree by Hilton, extending its appeal to a much wider, global audience and was extended further in 2010 taking the total number of rooms to 132.

In 2010 the on-site restaurant re-opened as a Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill, a particular highlight for Nick as it spawned his restaurant franchise business, Black and White Hospitality, which he oversees on behalf of the gastronomic great.

Viewing himself very much as the custodian of the building and grounds, Nick is now looking forward to the next 21 years which he sees as being just as exciting as the first!

He said: “It’s been quite the journey but what a journey it’s been”.

“When I first took hold of the keys to this amazing property little did I think I’d still be here 21 years later. When I reflect on what’s been achieved it always brings a smile to my face and I’d like to thank everyone who has been part of this journey from team members to suppliers. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

Being one of the largest employers in the area is not lost on Nick who understands the important role Cadbury House plays for the local economy. Not only has it provided jobs for hundreds of local people, the venue also uses many local suppliers. It’s also brought in people from outside the area, people who then spend money in the shops, bars and restaurants nearby.

Since Nick’s tenure started, Cadbury House has also provided the nurturing ground for many local apprentices, some of whom have gone on to secure managerial roles at the venue after their course had ended.

Away from its economic importance, Nick and his team have also been heavily involved with the community whether it’s sponsoring local sports clubs, helping organise events and raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity and good causes.

Nick added: “It’s quite awe inspiring when you start to look back at what we’ve achieved. There have been some amazing highs but also a few lows. Who can forget the credit crunch and more recently the covid pandemic! But we’ve remained resolute and stuck together as a team and that is why we were able to ride out those tricky times.”

“Looking ahead, I’m incredibly optimistic for the future of Cadbury House. The first quarter of 2024 has been very positive with occupancy of the hotel doing really well. There are plenty of events planned which are always well attended by local people and we’ll be hosting many weddings in the coming months.”

“Conferences are returning to pre-covid levels and the health club is also riding high having benefitted from a major refurbishment a few months ago and placing it as one of the most advanced in the country.”

“Bearing that all in mind I know that for Cadbury House, the future is going to be a bright one and is most certainly something I’m incredibly excited to be part of.”

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