When a B&B wins Best B&B in the World (Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Awards) not just once, but two years running, it’s difficult not to take notice. Couple this with a Gold award for B&B of the Year in the national Visit England Awards for Excellence, Unique B&B of the Year for Great Britain at The AA B&B Awards, and a slew of other accolades, and the record gets all the more impressive.
Such are the achievements of The 25 Boutique B&B which is owned and run by Andy and Julian Banner-Price who are no strangers to the tourism industry having previously turned around the fortunes of Plas Dinas country house hotel in North Wales. Their latest venture, an Edwardian villa in Torquay, is a much smaller affair but one that is incredibly successful. We visited to see why.
Having parked in The 25’s free car park and walked up the handful of steps to the entrance, we were warmly greeted by both Andy and Julian and given the key to our room, the Torre Suite, one floor up.
The Torre Suite covers 30 square metres and was newly re-furbished in 2022 in a funky Art Deco style. An entrance lobby leads into a large bedroom with an exceptionally comfortable super king sized bed, with all bedding sourced from the UK Fine Bedding Company. Despite the renovation, the room is still famously home to Frank the Zebra whose yellow sunglasses have been replaced with golden wings and a halo. Decadent midnight green feature walls contrast with a burnt orange bedspread and headboard (which can be backlit with mood lighting).
Also in the room is an eye-catching central light fitting, smart TV with Netflix, air conditioning and free WiFi, whilst a large, sun-filled bay window is occupied by two chairs and a coffee table. There’s an iPad with the Kindle app that can be used to read a selection of books and magazines, as well as an Amazon Alexa Voice Assistant which allows you to listen to music or control the room’s smart features.
What looked at first to be the door to a small cupboard was, in fact, a separate dressing room with a dressing table (or work area if, like me, your work travels with you) with feature lighting, another TV, chest of drawers, hanging space, gowns and slippers, ironing board and iron, a safe and one of the most comprhensive and well laid-out guest information folders I’ve ever come across.
The bathroom has a large walk-in shower with a powerful rain head, bathroom TV, floor-to-ceiling heated towel rail and mood lighting.
A supply of luxury Elemis Spa toiletries can be found in the bathroom, as well as Elemis pillow mist and lip balm in the bedroom.
There’s a lounge area where you can help yourself to drinks on an honesty basis.
At an award-winning B&B, you’d expect breakfast to be special and you won’t be disappointed. There are continental options such as Andy’s homemade granola and yogurts, fresh fruits and a smoothie shot of the day.
A full English is among the cooked choices, of course, but there’s also scrambled egg and smoked salmon (made from Julian’s family recipe), kippers, the Banner-Price beans on toast and smashed avocado served on toasted sourdough, topped with poached eggs, with or without crispy bacon. Pictured are the full English and Eggs Royale options.
Meats are sourced from Prentice Butchers nearby whilst free range eggs come from Eggs on Legs, a local farm in Starcross just 30 minutes along the coast.
The 25 is located just a stone’s throw from Torre Abbey and within easy walking distance of Torquay seafront where numerous restaurants, bars and shops can be found. Extend your walk for 20 minutes or so and you’ll reach Torquay harbour.
Other nice touches
There are a number of thoughtful extras which you wouldn’t expect from mainstream bed and breakfasts. Guests are offered a free welcome drink on arrival which is a lovely way to commence your stay. In your room, you’ll find “Andy’s daily treat” which changes daily, but happened to be a homemade ginger biscuit on the day of our arrival. We were also given a goodie bag on our departure, containing snacks and water.
The Torre Suite costs £275 per night, including breakfast, usually with a minimum 3 night stay.
The best bit
The best thing about The 25 Boutique B&B is the truly meticulous attention to detail. It’s easy to overlook and take it for granted. Absolutely everything has been thought of, whether’s it’s how items are arranged when a tray is brought to guests, something as simple as having a receptacle for used teabags in your room, or how the labels on the jams all face forwards at breakfast. These might sound like tiny – dare I say, silly – things, but collectively they somehow make a difference and set The 25 apart from the competition.
The final verdict
In less than a decade, Julian and Andy have achieved a huge amount at The 25 Boutique B&B, and seemingly with incredible standards and consistency. To top it all, they recently passed their 1,000 Tripadvisor review, with all reviews – without exception – achieving 5 stars. To the best of our knowledge, no other B&B has ever achieved this and this is testament to their hard work and dedication.
Disclosure: Our stay was sponsored by The 25 Boutique B&B.