Publish and be damned

By Adam Raphael

The darkest hour is just before dawn. We are confident about the Guide’s future, and our outstanding hotels, B&Bs, and inns that make this country a great holiday destination. Our selection of the best will be published as usual this October, our 45th edition. Meanwhile, our 750 selected places, chosen solely on merit, not because they pay, are preparing to welcome a flood of guests in what looks likely to be a Spring staycation spree.

The Guide’s hotels are up for the challenge. Edmund Inkin, the co-owner of three inns, The Old Coastguard, Mousehole, Gurnard’s Head, Zennor, and Felin Fach Griffin, Brecon, says: “Hotels that somehow found a way to get through 2020, will definitely do that and more in 2021. Hoteliers are resilient and innovative and will find that this awful year has polished and refined how they run their hotels. Guest experiences will be better than ever.”

What can the Guide do to help the hospitality industry? The Guide is trusted by its loyal readership. Just how loyal can be seen by clicking HERE. The print edition is read by upwards of 20,000 each year and the WEBSITE has more than 1.2 million views a year. Half of our readers stay at more than three or more hotels in the UK every year. The Guide is often decisive in where they choose to stay. Nine out of ten of our readers say they trust us more than TripAdvisor. And more than two-thirds say we are influential in their choice of hotel. Not surprisingly our selected hotels value what we do to promote them. Click HERE.

To build on this foundation based on trust, we plan to launch later this year a club which will give members exclusive benefits including a complimentary copy of the Guide, discount vouchers for hotel stays, and other added value benefits such as a free bottle of wine and a room upgrade from participating hotels. There will be a fee for this because the Guide needs, if it is to thrive, a new revenue stream. We welcome views about this, so please email me at [email protected]

Another important initiative is to improve the Guide’s WEBSITE. Though our internet traffic has increased by more than 100% over the past two years, there are many more hotel guests who would benefit from our advice on where to stay. We have now joined forces with a digital agency, Umi Digital, to manage the Guide’s website and help us with our web strategy as we continue to grow traffic and to send more of our readers to our selected hotels.

There are more than 50,000 hotels and B&Bs in the UK and Ireland. We have space for only a fraction which is why we refine our selections year on year. Last year, the Guide included 70 new hotels, B&Bs and inns, and nearly 100 were omitted. The ultimate judge of which properties get an entry are you, our readers. So please keep writing to me at [email protected] Even a few words in a hastily cobbled together email are welcome. There is also a monthly prize to be won of dinner and a night’s stay for two at one of our selected hotels for the best review that month. Superb hotels giving such a prize in recent months include Cliveden House, Soar Mill Cove, Burgh Island, Ballymaloe, Hambleton Hall, and the Pig at Bridge Place. If you would like to buy a copy of the 2021 Guide, please click HERE.