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When the law is an ass

By Adam Raphael For an example of bureaucracy gone beserk, resulting in one of the Guide’s hotels being fined £17,000 for breaching a law it didn’t know existed, this story takes some beating. The Minister for Commerce should be ashamed. The saga begins a couple of years ago when a French college in Limoges asked… Read more

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The winning formula for Independent Hotel Show success

The latest Independent Hotel show awards, in association with Sky, acknowledged the outstanding innovation and creativity displayed by the 2017 winner for Outstanding New Hotel, No.15 Great Pulteney in creating and maintaining a first-class guest experience. These awards, which were first introduced in 2012, are voted for by hotel guests, championing those who set the… Read more

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Boom Time for Hotels

By Adam Raphael GHG Newsletter January 2018 Visit Britain is forecasting 42 million overseas visits this year, representing an increase in spending of nearly 7 percent. Hospitality is a growth business thanks to a world-wide increase in tourism. But the boom in hotel investment in this country appears to be running ahead of reality. A… Read more

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Fawlty Towers – February 2018

‘Only five tables were occupied in the barn of a restaurant. On a cold night, it was totally lacking in atmosphere. The food was underwhelming. The next morning, when we arrived for breakfast, the only greeting was: “Do you know your table number?” The hotel has a fantastic location and beautiful gardens, but too much… Read more

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Brexit cock-ups and lies

By Adam Raphael If you view life as a series of cockups, you will rarely be disappointed. Brexit, however, is in a class of its own. Last week’s deal on the Irish border is a diplomatic fudge which avoids hard answers. The reality of how we leave the EU has still to be played out…. Read more

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Dodgy Deals

By Adam Raphael What is the best way to book a hotel room? You need to be innocent or gullible, to believe that you will get the best deal through an online travel agent (OTA). Yet millions of us do just that, persuaded by advertising campaigns promising a bargain. The cost–billions of pounds in commission… Read more

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Forty Years from Soufflés to Kippers

By Adam Raphael The Guide marks its 40th anniversary on Monday with the launch of its 2018 edition. There is much to celebrate. The print edition sold out last year, the first time that this has happened in living memory. The new edition has 840 entries ranging from great-value B&Bs to luxurious country house hotels…. Read more

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Competing with Amazon

By Adam Raphael Recently I was given a wigging by a Professor of Strategic Management for failing to promise to deliver his copy of the Guide as quickly as he would like. His irate email was provoked by a message saying his ordered copy of the 2017 edition would be dispatched within five working days…. Read more

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A night on a bean bag

By Adam Raphael Earlier this year The Guide decided to inspect a luxury boutique hotel with prices to match. Bed and breakfast cost more than £200 per room. When our anonymous inspector telephoned, saying she was bringing a friend and requesting twin beds, she was told that the only option was an extra bed at… Read more

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