Royal Harbour Hotel Reports Post Brexit Surge

Call to lower VAT
Perry Awards short-list for Ramsgate hotelier

The owner of Ramsgate's award-winning Royal Harbour Hotel and Empire room restaurant, James Thomas, has reported a surge in new booking enquiries following the result of the referendum to leave the EU.

Within days of the outcome the 27-room boutique hotel, which overlooks the town's pretty harbour, has been inundated with enquiries from overseas visitors, attracted by the fall in the value of sterling.

“We've always enjoy a good number guests from abroad, but have experienced nothing like this before,” said Thomas, “Although we are almost full for the summer, were also talking bookings for later in the year from Brits who will enjoy a 'staycation' rather than travel abroad for a European city-break.

“If repeated across Kent and around the country, this tendency is very good news indeed for local business and the UK economy as a whole,” said Thomas, who is critical of the “doom and gloom mongers” who have painted a distorted negative view of the referendum decision.

The boost shows how price sensitive the tourist market is, says Thomas, and justifies the industry's call to lower the UK's 20% VAT rate on hospitality – double that of France.

Craig Mather, the new head chef of the hotel's Empire Room restaurant, says the local fishermen from whom he buys his fish, are “ecstatic” about the decision which will see an end to the Common Fisheries Policy, that has devastated the British fishing industry.

Mather, former head chef at the town's popular Eddie Gilbert's seafood restaurant (now closed), who recently left his post as chef-lecturer at East Kent College, for a partnership in the restaurant said, “We're focused on quality, season, local produce – but the removal of trade barriers with the rest of the world will allow British businesses to renew trading relationships with Commonwealth partners – which suits a business called 'The Empire Room'.”

Fans of the hotel will be pleased that it has been shortlisted for a prestigious 'Perrys Exceptional Award'. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at Leeds Castle on Thursday 10th November. To vote simply email with “Royal Harbour Hotel - Exceptional Service Award” in the subject line. The closing date for email votes is Sunday 31st July. Details at

Royal Harbour Hotel has just received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2016 following consistent top scores on the customer reviews websites.

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