Highlight your uniqueness and get more reviews

Telling your story and offering something quirky is vital in gaining good reviews, said a panel of experts at the Independent Hotel Show 2014. The ‘secret of a good write up’ debate took place at the Independent Hotel Show on 21 October with a panel of experts, including chief executive of Pride of Britain Hotels Peter Hancock, editor at Alastair Sawday’s Tom Bell, and head of AA Services, Peter Numphud. Peter Numphud said that a number of hotels struggle to find their niche within a market which is vital to create a positive hotel experience and get good reviews. He explained, “it’s important to have a story and an angle; this will keep the hotel relevant to journalists and consumers alike.” Tom Bell agreed, “decide on your unique selling point; whether it’s the hotel’s food offering or its coastal location, anything like that. But do it authentically and let it come from the heart, as that makes a difference.” The panel also debated the approach some hotels have to providing numerous deals and trying to combat empty rooms. Peter Hancock said, “Hoteliers are under pressure to get on the price-driven bandwagon, but if you’re confident in what you’re offering then accept the odd empty room from time to time. This will ensure you’re getting the kind of guests that the hotel is marketed at.” Peter continued, “Journalists need to write something interesting and controversial, so offer something that makes you stand out from the crowd.” The panel also suggested that smaller hotels with little marketing budget could attract attention to themselves by getting involved with community events. Peter Numphud said, “I recommend championing your locality and improving relationships within the community. Perhaps you could host a drinks reception for a local event. That gets the press in and lets them know about the hotel.” The panel completed the debate by offering some top tips for getting good reviews. These were;
  • Show your hotel in its best light online. Lots of good pictures are essential to encourage people to visit.
  • Ensure every member of staff knows all about the hotel and the local area, as you never know who will ask your staff about it - it could be a journalist or a guest.
  • Be consistent with all guests and don’t compromise on your own standards
  • Don’t overlook breakfast it’s the last impression a reviewer will get of the hotel.
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