The Good Hotel Guide is the leading independent guide to hotels in Great Britain, Ireland, Continental Europe and the Caribbean. 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.
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 thousands more in Continental Europe. We have limited space. 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. ‘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.
The Guide’s editors make a balanced judgment based on the reports from readers, backed where necessary by an anonymous inspection. Please see INSPECTORS’ BRIEFING
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, Windows, and Android smart phone apps work 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 selection of good hotels in mainland Europe and the Caribbean.
There are two categories of hotel in the print edition of 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.