The Good Hotel Guide is the leading independent guide to hotels in Great Britain and Ireland. It is written for the reader seeking impartial advice on finding a good place to stay. Hotels cannot buy their entry as they do in most rival guides. No money changes hands, and the editors and inspectors do not accept free hospitality on their anonymous visits to hotels.
If you would like your hotel or B&B to be considered for an entry in the Good Hotel Guide, write to us and tell us about your hotel/B&B and its ethos, and why it would belong in the Guide. It is not easy to get into the Guide. There are roughly 50,000 hotels and B&Bs in the UK, and many more in Continental Europe. We have space for less than 1,000. But we are always looking for new discoveries.
We might send inspectors, but we won’t tell you they are coming. Each year, we send out questionnaires to selected hotels/B&Bs which we ask them to complete and return to us with sample menus, brochures and pictures. No charge is made for an entry in the guide which is solely by reader recommendation backed up by independent inspection.
Readers play a crucial role by reporting on existing entries as well as recommending new discoveries. Unlike reader-review websites, which are open to abuse from unscrupulous hoteliers and guests with a grudge, these reports are carefully filtered. The Guide’s editors make a balanced judgment based on the reports, backed where necessary by an anonymous inspection.
The selected hotels are as independent as we are. Most are small, family owned and family run. They are places of character, where the owners and their staff spend time looking after their guests rather than reporting to an area manager. We look for a warm welcome, with flexible service. Diversity is the key to the selection: simple B&Bs are listed alongside grand country houses and city hotels.
The website and the GHG iPhone app works in tandem with the printed Guide. They contain the entries for many, but not all, of our selected hotels. Unlike the printed Guide, hotels pay a small fee for inclusion on the website. The website also has a small selection of good hotels in mainland Europe.
There are two categories of hotel in the Guide: 450 main entries which we believe to be the best of their type in Great Britain and Ireland; in addition, we list 400 hotels on a Shortlist, which identifies possible new main entries (as yet untested) alongside suggested accommodation in towns and cities where we have a limited number of main entries.
A full page is devoted to each main entry, giving our considered judgment based on anonymous inspections and reader reports. There are full colour photographs and an easy-to-read information panel. The Shortlist, at the back of the book, carries an abbreviated description of each hotel, with the essential information. There are no photographs in the Shortlist: many of these hotels have chosen to be included on our website where pictures are carried.