Harry Cragoe is a savvy businessman. In 1994 he first found fame with the launch of his drinks brand, P&J Smoothies, carving a new niche in the beverage market and creating a success of the first fruit smoothie product in Europe. Fast forward 12 years and the sale of P&J Smoothies to PepsiCo meant hospitality came beckoning.
January 2007 saw the start of One Life Escapes, a collection of houses to rent on the East Sussex coastline, before Coastal Hotels was created in August 2009 and the launch of Cragoe’s first boutique hotel, The Gallivant.
‘Daring to be different in a cookie cutter world of mediocre mid market hotels that seem to dominate the UK’, Cragoe is fiercely passionate about The Gallivant and the imminent roll out of more properties led by Coastal Hotels Ltd. The Gallivant is home to 20 bedrooms and situated on the coast at Rye has worked to bring its ‘eat, sleep, relax’ motto to life for guests, over the last three years. Cragoe spearheaded a full refurbishment and brought in a line of local produce sourced within a 20 mile radius.
Joining the industry with ‘fresh eyes’ has helped Cragoe to see where improvements need to be made, and as a result has become a pioneer of the ‘no tipping’ policy. The Gallivant is now one of the only hotels in the UK to pay their team £9 or more per hour, an additional performance based bonus and also a share of the company’s profits at the end of the financial year. The Gallivant no longer adds a service charge onto the bill, and to balance the books, instead made some small amendments to the menu pricing, ensuring fair pay across the team.