Coaches welcome at Paignton hotel

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Coach Driver of the year 2010, Phil Thomas, of Jay & Kay Coach Tours of Crayford parks up at the Marine Hotel, Paignton
Coach Driver of the year 2010, Phil Thomas, of Jay & Kay Coach Tours of Crayford parks up at the Marine Hotel, Paignton

Hotelier offers free daytime parking to visiting coaches

A Paignton hotelier has come up with an imaginative way to help out coach operators when they are visiting Paignton in South Devon for the day. He is offering a drop off / pick up facility and free coach parking at the Marine Hotel, situated on Paignton’s seafront.

Derek Smith is the owner of the Marine Hotel which has been a popular coaching hotel for the last 25 years. As a result, the hotel often has empty coach bays when his visiting coaches are out during the day. Because of his involvement in the coach trade, Derek is aware of how drivers feel about coach parking fees – which is not a lot. He wants to make the visitor experience in Paignton as enjoyable and convenient as possible.

“We are offering the free coach parking because there is at present no legal facility to load and pick up passengers on our beautiful seafront,” said Derek.

Coach passengers visiting Paignton for the day will also be able to wait to get back on their coach in much more comfortable surroundings. Instead of potentially having to wait out in the cold, they are welcome to take advantage of the hotel’s facilities.

Derek continued: “Passengers are allowed into the hotel for departure time to wait if required. They may use the toilets and the bar and snack service if desired. In the Summer it is not such a problem waiting outside to get back on a coach, but in the winter time, traipsing around a resort just waiting for the time to go back to their hotel on their coach can be a cold wet, nasty and a most unsatisfactory experience.”

He said drivers will also be made welcome when they have parked up. “We would extend hospitality to all visiting drivers and would always be happy to offer a sandwich and a cup of tea or coffee.”

The free coach parking facility being offered by Derek is subject to availability. Being a busy coaching hotel, the two on site coach parking bays, while easily accessible, are often in use. As a result, this offer is strictly for daytime parking only. Drivers and operators wanting to use this facility during the day will have to book at least a day in advance to see if spaces are going to be available. However, free parking could be available seven days a week, year round.

One facility this offer does not include is the use of a hosepipe at the Marine Hotel to wash down a coach. This is because South West Water levies the highest charges for water in the UK, Derek claims.

Turning to the future, Derek enthused: “I hope by doing this we start a ball rolling whereby other hotels in other resorts will do likewise and make the experience of my guests’ visits to other resorts more special by allowing them to use the facilities of their hotels. Indeed we may end up with a network.”

Bookings can be made by ringing 01803 559778 or by emailing [email protected].