The Good Hotel Guide is the leading independent guide to hotels in Great Britain, Ireland, Continental Europe and the Caribbean. The Guide was first published in 1978. It has been published each October since then. It is written for the reader seeking impartial advice on finding a good place to stay. Hotels cannot buy their entry into the print edition. No money changes hands, and the editors and inspectors do not accept free hospitality on their anonymous visits to hotels. A fee is charged for a web entry, but only those British and Irish hotels that have a free print entry are eligible to be on the website.
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. ‘Word of mouth in print’ is a good way of describing how the Good Hotel Guide works. When we receive a review of a hotel or B&B, the author’s name, address, and other details are carefully recorded. Nearly all the 850 hotels and B&Bs in this year’s Guide have been selected as a result of reader or inspector recommendations.
A reader writing to the Guide for the first time about a single hotel or B&B is listed as N1. If he or she continues to write and appear to be roughly on our wavelength, they will be upgraded to an R for regular. Finally, a few are promoted to T for ‘trusted’ because their opinions have proved to be reliable. It is from the ranks of the trusted that we recruit the Guide’s inspectors whose overnight stays, always anonymous, help to settle disagreements. The reports of inspectors and readers are stored in our database and cross-checked. The process is time-consuming and expensive but unlike TripAdvisor, it is hard for hotels or anyone else to manipulate.
88% of GHG readers say they trust us more than TripAdvisor. And over two-thirds say we are influential in their choice of hotel. They also say we are very independent. Read more.
We are highly trusted by hoteliers. The Good Hotel Guide is a mark that is meaningful for them. Read more
The media like to carry articles from us because we are independent and trusted. Read more
The Good Hotel Guide newsletter, written by Adam Raphael, is popular with hoteliers and readers alike. See some of the columns here. Read more.
Here’s a sample of the wide-ranging and interesting articles written by the Guide for our media partners. Read more.
Here are answers to questions not covered elsewhere. Read more.
If you are a hotelier and wish to know more about the Guide, look further here. Read more.
The Good Hotel Guide has its annual, highly coveted Cesar Awards for its 10 favourite hotels of the year. It also gives Editor’s Choice Awards in several popular categories. Read more.
If you would like to join the Guide’s mailing list and receive our newsletters and special offers, see more here. Read more.
The Guide has some notable sponsors like American Express. See more about them here. Read more.
Here are some of the Guide’s suppliers. Read more.
Here’s how to get in touch with us. Read more.
We have a very diverse team, with many years of experience. See for yourself!
Adam Raphael has been publisher of the Good Hotel Guide for the past twenty years. A former presenter of BBC’s Newsnight programme, he is currently a regular guest on BBC World’s Dateline programme. In his 50-year journalistic career, Adam has been a foreign correspondent for The Guardian (Washington, New York and Cape Town), political editor and executive editor of The Observer (1976-93), and home affairs editor of The Economist (1994-2004). The winner of two awards for his journalism. Journalist of the Year (British Press Awards 1973) and Investigative Reporter of the Year (Granada TV 1973) for a series of articles on low wages in South Africa, he believes that consumer issues are crucial. He is the author of two books, My Learned Friends, a study of the British libel laws (WH Allen 1990) and Ultimate Risk, the story of the collapse of the Lloyd’s insurance market (Bantam 1994).
Caroline Raphael has worked on the Guide since it was first published in 1978. She had previously worked for the BBC in London, New York, and Washington. She has been the Guide’s editor-in-chief for the past 20 years. It is her critical eye on hotel entries and readers’ letters that has established the Guide’s reputation for accuracy and good writing.
Richard has been Chief Executive of the Guide for 5 years. He is a seasoned publishing executive, having worked in a variety of corporate management roles, including as President of Time Home Entertainment Inc, the ancillary publishing division of Time Inc. He started his career at British Airways. He is an accredited facilitator (Association of Facilitators). He holds a Bachelors degree from Oxford, and an MBA from Columbia University in New York. He lives in East Finchley with his wife and two children.
Award-winning journalist Ian Belcher has spent the last 25 years contributing to many of the country’s leading publications. He was a Guardian columnist, a staffer at the Sunday Times and worked on the launch of several glossy magazines. As a freelancer, he has written extensively on travel and hotels across the globe.
Joanna Symons was Deputy Travel Editor and later Commissioning Editor on the Daily and Sunday Telegraph travel desk. She has also written on travel for the London Evening Standard and numerous magazines. in the course of her work she has visited hundreds of hotels around the world and has come to appreciate the importance of a warm welcome, well trained staff and attention to detail. She is married with two sons and lives in Winchester.
Nicola Davies has worked as a fiction editor and a commissioning editor for several publishers and also as a literary agent. In recent decades she has specialised in independent hotel guides, and enjoys the excitement of researching and discovering new places. Despite many years in publishing she still suffers from ‘imposter syndrome’ – a condition exacerbated by inspecting many hotels anonymously.
Alison has worked as managing editor of the Good Hotel Guide for 25 years. When not busy with the Guide, she is a freelance editor of illustrated nonfiction books, having edited authors as diverse as Carol Vorderman, Desmond Morris, Henrietta Spencer-Churchill and Imran Khan. She is also the author of half a dozen books on interior design and home furnishings.
Rose Shepherd, who previously worked for the Good Food Guide, is an experienced magazine and travel journalist writing for amongst others, the Sunday Times magazine and the Times as well the Independent. She has written several books – most recently on Henry VIII and Sherlock Holmes’s London and is a Saga Magazine’s books editor.
Emma Grundy Haigh
Emma Grundy Haigh has spent five fruitful years serving as a writer and editor of the Good Hotel Guide. Her work at the Guide, as well as her passion of travelling and finding unexplored nooks and crannies in the world, led to her joining Dorling Kindersley to edit and contribute to the DK Eyewitness Travel series, when she’s not editing crime fiction (which truly is a perfect pairing).
Maggie O’Sullivan is a journalist, writer and editor with more than 30 years’ experience of the travel industry. In 2000 she helped launch the Sunday Telegraph’s first standalone travel section and went on to edit it for 13 years. She writes about hotels for a wide selection of magazines and websites and is a contributor to the Telegraph’s hotel review pages.
Daphne Trotter is a freelance copy-editor and proofreader and has worked on the Good Hotel Guide as Text editor for over 15 years. She also works on fiction and non-fiction titles for publishers and private clients and has found that her years spent teaching in Italy and Spain and her travels on the Continent prove useful when she is dealing with travel guides and language teaching books.
Bonnie is our Online Editor, writing on behalf of the Guide and looking after our social media. Having trained as a journalist after university and worked in travel for more than 10 years, she’s travelled to some of the most beautiful hotel and spa destinations. She has also written for local and national publications as has also worked in senior management roles in content marketing and consumer publishing agencies as well as in house for leading travel companies in the UK.
Cristina Recio has been working as a researcher on the Good Hotel Guide for the past 6 years. She is in charge of searching for news about hotels and B&Bs and verifies the information about them before publication on the Guide. She also does the admin in the small office and keeps the hotel database tidy and up to date. And overall she provides support where needed to the rest of the team.
Matt Preston is the Guide’s web developer and has been part of the GHG team since 2016. His digital web and print agency, Cotswolds Online Services, produced the 2020 edition of the Guide. With 20 years’ experience in website design, Matt has worked with many companies in the travel industry.
Stuart Sutch is an award winning graphic design artist with over a decade of commercial experience since he graduated with a first class BA (hons) degree in 2009. He designed the 2020 edition of the Guide, He has worked in a variety of industries from education and travel to music and video games.
Hugh Allan is a print production professional and has worked with the Good Hotel Guide since 2005. Before establishing the production consultancy that he has run for the last 35 years he held editorial and production management roles with Haymarket Publishing and Longman Group.
Mark Hodson is responsible for online marketing strategy. He began his career as a journalist and was a travel writer for The Sunday Times for 15 years. Since 2006, he has been working with travel companies, consulting on search engine optimisation, and he runs a series of online training courses for the Association of Independent Tour Operators.
Vince Nacey has been Computer Consultant to the Good Hotel Guide for nearly ten years, working on the back-end systems that ensure invoicing, guide orders and website offers work smoothly and respond to the changing needs of the business. He has also spent the last thirty years as computer consultant to companies including JCDecaux Airport, The Central Office of Information and BBC Worldwide.