A COUPLE who transformed a jaded B&B into a boutique guest house are the first in Southend to be given a fivestar rating by the Quality in Tourism board.

Teresa and Neil Jones, both 42, bought the former Arosa guest house almost a year ago and have just finished renovating it for the “top end of the market”.

After a sneak visit by a mystery guest, they learned they have been given the highest award by the organisation run on behalf of Visit England.

But any parents wanting to stay in the newly-named Suenos guest house will have to leave their children at home however, as the couple operate a strictly “no kids” policy.

Mrs Jones said: “Guest houses can choose to be graded by the AA or the Quality Tourism Board. They send a mystery guest, who only reveals who they are when they leave. We were given a five-star grade where you have to achieve a 91 per cent score in many areas, including service and breakfast quality.”

She added: “We refurbished the guest house because we wanted to bring something new to the area. It is geared to the top end of the market as a luxury, adults-only experience. It is for people who want to come to Southend without their kids for a break. Southend is undergoing regeneration and we wanted to be part of that. It was great to get the rating.”

The Quality in Tourism board is the regulatory body for the accommodation and tourism industry. It makes potential guests aware of what they can expect and awards one to five stars.

Inspectors assess the maintenance and appearance of the property, comfort, service, hospitality and attention to detail.

Cleanliness and food quality are also assessed.