When Jim Cockell took ownership of a run-down 17th century coaching inn in Stow-on-the-Wold in 2014, his vision was clear. He wanted to create a boutique hotel that offered something different – a hotel that stood out from the crowd in the highly competitive tourism market of the Cotswolds.
Three years after Cockell and his team reopened the Old Stocks Inn in 2015, following a major £2m refurbishment project, its quirky-yet-charming interiors, outstanding customer service and attention to detail has found favour with consumers.
Cockell has built the business around four key principles: generosity, curiosity, playful authenticity and individuality, which influence everything from the hotel’s design to its food and drink offering and its employees.
Old Stocks employees – affectionately nicknamed the ‘troupe’ – are employed on their personality as well as their skillset and the hotel maintains a great staff retention rate of more than 70%.
In the last 12 months revenue has grown by almost 15% and occupancy levels have increased by more than 2% to reach an average of 75% occupancy. Additionally, the hotel’s average rate has increased by more than 10%.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Cockell is now spearheading the hotel’s next venture, expanding the business into the luxury holiday cottage market. The Old Stocks Bolthole: Parson’s Barn, opened its doors in March 2018 – raising the bar yet again for holiday accommodation in the area – exactly three years to the day since the hotel opened back in 2015.