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Highlea House works with Worldpay to process payments

Look up Highlea House on TripAdvisor and you’ll see a string of five-star ratings and rave reviews – ‘tasteful, comfortable and welcoming’ and ‘amazing hosts, comfiest beds’ are typical comments.

Accolades such as these come only after years spent learning the Bed & Breakfast trade, you would think. But Scott and Judith opened their doors to visitors for the first time as recently as June 2018. 

And this is their debut in the world of B&B.

For Scott, this new venture is an escape from what he now sees as the rat race. He built a career in corporate hospitality selling boxes at sporting events. Now, instead of charming business people over champagne, he’s looking after holiday-makers on their seaside break to Somerset.

“Apart from the focus on people, it’s a completely different ball game,” he admits. “It’s incredibly long hours. We only serve breakfast for an hour but with the preparation and the clear-up that’s four hours of the day gone already.” Then there are the 12 rooms to be serviced. On the other hand, Scott has got his journey to work down from an hour-and-a-quarter commute to a one-minute amble down the stairs. And the beach is just a 90-second walk away.

So what is Scott and Judith’s secret? How do they earn such rave reviews? First time lucky?

Not at all. For a start, they also had a clear vision of what their B&B would be like – and what it wouldn’t be like. “We didn’t want the depressing white plastic kettle aesthetic that so many places have,” he says. “We wanted everything to be a step up from the norm – big French coffee cups, bottled water, nice biscuits, thoughtfully chosen décor. And all the beds have a memory foam mattress. “A good night’s sleep is important. After all, the bed is literally half of the ‘bed and breakfast’ promise,” Scott points out.

“We just try and be genuine. We have very few barriers and if we’re out, our guests can always get hold of us on our mobiles. People say it really does feel like a home from home,” he says.

Scott and Judith try to look at every aspect of Highlea House from the point of view of their guests – and that includes payments. “People work hard for their money and if they’re booking accommodation, they’d rather their money wasn’t tied up in something which is still months away,” says Scott. Worldpay’s virtual terminal allows him to take card-not-present transactions. He uses it to take deposits over the phone so that guests can reserve a room without paying the entire amount up-front.

For face-to-face transactions, Scott uses one of Worldpay’s portable card machine which connects over WiFi. This means he can take the machine to the customer rather than make the customer come to the machine.

So, what does he like about Worldpay?

You make it easy,” he says.” I get one invoice for the virtual terminal, one for the card reader and that’s it. I rarely have to call about anything.

The support we get from Worldpay on the rare occasions we do need it is incredibly good. The app on my phone gets me through the security process and my call is answered quickly – and usually by someone with a friendly accent, which is nice.

Scott says he’s more than happy with Worldpay as his payments partner. “I sometimes get approached by your competitors,” he says. “But I always tell them that unless they can save me a LOT of money, there’s no point in us talking. That’s why I’ve just signed up with Worldpay for another 18 months…

Our thanks to Scott and Judith Turnball