Kathryn Haskins grew up living in The Alexandra Hotel and Restaurant in Lyme Regis, Dorset, before embarking on a career working for some of the world’s leading hotels, including the opening of Firmdale Hotels’ Covent Garden Hotel and a stint at &beyond’s luxury safari lodges in Africa.
It was during these roles that Kathryn learnt the importance of cutting-edge hospitality and design in lifting a hotel to the sought-after heights of success.
In 2006, Kathryn returned to Dorset to acquire the family business and apply these key elements to the Alexandra. A hospitality entrepreneur who thrives on the 24/7 challenges of running her hotel, Kathryn is constantly striving for perfection and views every day as a chance to improve the guest experience by making stays more memorable.
Paying close attention to and drawing inspiration from the hotel’s coastal location – while working in harmony with it from a design perspective – is of paramount importance to Kathryn.
The hotel has grown, now with 24-individually-designed bedrooms and two cottage apartments in the courtyard. Kathryn is currently overseeing the refurbishment of a historic 18th century chapel in the hotel’s grounds, which will be used for weddings and events.
Kathryn plans to expand the Alexandra further by adding a spa and is considering the acquisition of an additional hotel. She is constantly looking at how the Alexandra can be improved, whether via technology, decoration or personal extras for guests.
The staff work as a team to make sure guests have an amazing stay; there is a strong feeling of family at the Alexandra. The small – but happy and committed – team shares a common goal which is encouraged, guided and influenced by Kathryn’s mantra of always ‘seeing through the eyes of the guest’.
In 2014, the Alexandra won Small Hotel of the Year at the Dorset Tourism Awards and in both 2014 and 2015 a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence was awarded. 2015 also saw the hotel’s restaurant win Gold in the prestigious Taste of the West Awards.
The Alexandra Hotel and Restaurant has been independently owned by the Haskins family for 32 years, with Kathryn at the helm for the last nine years.