Nestled away in Dorking’s historic West Street lies a hidden gem of the town, The Mayflower Spa. Opening in October of 2019, it certainly hasn’t been an easy first year as a new face on the high street. This didn’t stop them from receiving the 2020 Phorest Client Experience Award which is testament to the exemplary service that clients have continually received and the work that owners Vicky and Andy and all the team have put in since opening. The Mayflower offers a wide variety of treatments ranging from Bespoke massages to facial treatments, all of which are delivered by their expert and caring spa therapists. Just before I sat down and had a chat with owner Andy, I was treated to a facial. Using natural products, it brought the ultimate sense of relaxation. One could not recommend it enough.

After this, I interviewed Andy about a number of things, especially about how they have been coping during these unprecedented times. *The 2nd national lockdown was announced during the interview*

As one of the last business sectors to re-open, was there any point at which you thought you’d go under?

“Yeah, it was very frustrating as none of it seemed to make sense because as an industry, we’re much safer than many others.” As a spa, stringent hygiene and cleaning measures were already in place. Because they only opened recently, there was a particular problem with expenditure. They were still paying for all the building works to take place, so when the pandemic hit and lockdown was imposed, Andy said it was “really worrying as you didn’t know how it would play out in the future”.

What sort of government support did you receive during lockdown?

“They abolished business rates for a year which saved us a good amount of money, we got a cash grant which we don’t have to pay back and they also backed loans through the banks so they were confident to lend people money.” Andy and Vicky also received furlough money for their staff. He was thankful for the government support that they received during lockdown and without it, he thinks they’d probably be in a different position now. Seemingly the government were generous to many businesses which undoubtedly kept them on their feet.

How has business been since re-opening, has it mainly been returning customers or have new customers been visiting?

“It’s been good, I think it’s better than we thought it would be”. Andy estimates that around 60% of customers have returned and we both agreed that many may not have come back due to the uncertainty that the pandemic has caused. Andy has seen an influx of male customers and pregnant women visiting since lockdown was lifted. Andy and I also agreed that people likely wanted to treat themselves after months of confinement within our homes.

Do you think you’d survive another lockdown as a business?

“We will survive it but, how we survive it is the question. Could we survive one more month? Yeah, I feel confident we could do that but if every two months we go into lockdown, I don’t know. It all depends on the support the government give us.” Andy says that there is a point of no return for businesses like his own where no money is coming in yet there is money that needs coming out. Andy is hopeful for a vaccine, and at the time of writing this the BioNTech and Pfizer vaccine has shown a 90% effectiveness rate in preliminary trials which is a glimpse of hope on the horizon.

What tips would you give to other businesses for surviving these times?

“I know it sounds stupid, but just try not to worry about it. 90% of this is out of our control and whatever is going to happen will happen. Not worrying, being positive and staying in touch with your customers. Just remind them that when the day comes, we’re still here.” We both believe that people will return to businesses soon as many have saved money during lockdown and will be desperate to get back to doing the things they loved from before lockdown (now lockdown 2) happened.

It was great to have a chat with the lovely Andy and to have had a most tranquil treatment from the wonderful Vicky. If you are from the local area, then I could not recommend the Mayflower enough. Compassionate and caring staff and a whole range of luxurious treatments to be had, what’s not to love? I wish them all the best with business and look forward to returning there again soon.

All the information about the Mayflower including treatments, pricing and updates in the current climate can be found on their website: . You can also follow them on Instagram @mayflowerspadorking.