Banbury children's soft play centre earns TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice award

Rugrats & Halfpints staff member, Elliot Hobbs, takes the temperature of a customer.Rugrats & Halfpints staff member, Elliot Hobbs, takes the temperature of a customer.
Rugrats & Halfpints staff member, Elliot Hobbs, takes the temperature of a customer.
Despite a tough economy a Banbury children's activity centre has earned a TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice award.

Rugrats & Halfpints, a children's sensory and soft play centre, received notification of the award from TripAdvisor shorty after the Covid-19 lockdown rules were relaxed.

The business received the award based on a full year of Tripadvisor reviews, prior to any changes caused by the pandemic. Award winners are known for consistently receiving great traveller/diner feedback, placing them in the top 10 per cent of hospitality businesses around the globe.

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Kanika Soni, chief commercial officer at Tripadvisor, said: “Winners of the 2020 Travellers’ Choice Awards should be proud of this distinguished recognition.

"Although it’s been a challenging year for travel and hospitality, we want to celebrate our partners' achievements. Award winners are beloved for their exceptional service and quality.

"Not only are these winners well deserving, they are also a great source of inspiration for travellers/diners as the world begins to venture out again.”

The Rugrats & Halfpints business reopened on September 1 after the lockdown forced closure on March 21.

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Caroline Bevan, the owner of the business, said: "Winning the Travellors' Choice Award is an awesome achievement for me.

"Rather than just being a mum who runs a business, it makes me feel like a real professional person.

"It gives me the confidence to know that the decisions I make are meeting my customers needs. It validates everything about me, and gives me the assurance that I can grow a business and reach a standard that sets me above the rest."

Caroline opened the Rugrats and Halfpints business in Banbury in 2007, and at the time it was the first sensory soft play centre in the UK.

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She added: "The business has been very successful and we achieved a certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor for five years in a row. So, we are now in their Hall of Fame."

She later expanded and opened another similar business in Cirencester. Now both units have achieved the Travellers' Choice award.

The children's activity centre is open seven days a week, and in response to Covid-19 they have increased their safety and hygiene measures. They have implemented new procedures, and purchased new equipment for the centre.

They have reduced visitor capacity to 40 per cent of normal capacity. All visitors must also book online timed slots. Customers may also be asked to have their temperature taken on arrival using a non-contact infrared thermometer. If the customer displays signs of a high fever (37.8 or greater) they will can their money refunded or arrange for an alternate visit on a future date.

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New hand sanitiser stations have been installed throughout the centre. In line with government guidance adults will need to wear a face covering in all areas apart from when seated at a table.

For more information on the children's activity see their website: added: "My family background has always made me want to support and care for people. I had a dream to set up a company which would help support brand new mums. And I feel humbled every time a parent comes to me and thanks me for setting up my business.

"I was particularly moved when one couple, who were struggling with having new twins, came to me and told me that Rugrats was the first place that they felt like they were a family. I have always wanted to give back to the community and feel that I have made a difference to peoples lives."

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