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Meet the Boss: Bill Haslam, Gwel an Mor

Here at 101 Holidays, we like to get to know the people behind the world’s finest travel companies. This week we talk to Bill Haslam, Managing Director of the award-winning Gwel an Mor, a five-star resort in Cornwall. Something of a serial entrepreneur, Bill was behind the introduction of Quaser game centres and, in 1996, he bought the intellectual property rights to Basil Brush – spearheading Basil’s return to our TV screens. Since taking it over, Bill has transformed what was a shabby chalet park on Cornwall’s north coast into a vibrant luxury holiday centre.

Bill lives near Winchester with his wife and three daughters.

* Where did you go on holiday in 2011, and why? Any plans for 2012?

“Portugal is the most recent destination and one I visit often as we have a home there. We also recently took a Seabourn cruise around the Med so plans for this year are to complete another cruise, this time in the Fjords.”

* What is your favourite bolthole in the UK and why?

“Genuinely, it’s my own holiday resort in Cornwall –  Gwel an Mor. I fell in love with the area many years ago and I find the people are so friendly.”

* If you could spend a long weekend in any city abroad, which would you pick, and why?

New York, for its excitement and sheer vibrancy. There is so much to do there and it really is a 24/7 city.”

* Please tell us three items that are always found in your luggage.

“That’s easy – Ralph Lauren Safari after-shave, dental floss and my iPad.”

* What one thing would most improve people’s overall holiday experience?

“Choose a company that offers honest and dedicated costumer service.”

* What has been your worst holiday experience?

“It was a Kuoni holiday in Antigua. Our hotel was still being re-built and, after a week of JCBs up and down the beach, we were then delayed for two nights as someone reversed into one of the engines on our Virgin Atlantic 747!”

* Tell us your favourite hotel in the UK.

UK:  “In the UK, my favourite hotel is The Lanesborough in London as I always receive such great service.”

Europe:  “The Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris takes some beating.”

Rest of the world:  “It would have to be Jumeirah Dar al Masyaf in Dubai – simply beautiful suites and a wonderful spa. Getting about on the waterways makes you feel so chilled and relaxed all the time.”

* What is the most exciting project your company is working on right now?

“The resort is constantly evolving and we have some really exciting plans in the pipeline. Our latest development, which we are just about to launch, is our new accommodation at Gwel an Mor – The Residence. These contemporary, super luxurious and eco-friendly new holiday homes are really stunning.”

* Thanks, Bill.

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