Advice From Our Community

Avril Owton MBE, Founder of Cloud Hotel: Networking must be ongoing

Avril Owton MBE, Founder of Cloud Hotel: Networking must be ongoing

Tuesday, 05 March 2019

Avril Owton owned and ran the award-winning Cloud Hotel in Brockenhurst for 42 years - 26 of these years on her own after her husband died from a heart attack at the age of 45. She sold the hotel in November 2017.


During her time at the hotel she overcame adversity and developed a highly successful business and rescued it from the brink of recession as well as bringing up 4 children. She was voted Hampshire Business Woman of the Year 1995 and Shine Woman of the the Year 2006.


Avril was appointed an MBE in 2008 for her services to hospitality and in recognition of her charity work and in 2011 was voted one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and being passionate about customer service her book ‘Delighting Your Customers’ was published in 2011.


“By telling my story I hope to inspire and encourage young girls and women of all ages to have confidence, fulfil their dreams and to realise they can achieve far more than they ever thought possible. It takes a long time to become an overnight success but you must never give up, if you do you will never know what you could have achieved.”


Avril’s Top Tips


  • Networking must be ongoing and don’t expect to get an opportunity every time you attend an event but if you don’t go you will never know what you might have missed.
  • One of the best pieces of advice I was given was by a successful American entrepreneur. ‘Tell the World about Yourself’ if you don’t you will be forgotten very quickly. if you don’t take every opportunity to promote yourself and your business there is every chance you will fail.
  • My advice to any woman needing finance is to just persevere and don’t give up. Present a good business plan, be confident and believe in yourself.


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