By Adam Raphael
The Good Hotel Guide’s 2020 edition, published on Monday, has 830 entries from great-value B&Bs and gastro pubs to country houses and gourmet city hotels. Tomorrow, a Guide article in the Daily Mail will exclusively reveal the winners of this year’s César awards. The Oscars of the hotel industry include a yachtie heaven, a Derbyshire longhouse, a 200 year-old former harbourmaster’s house and a Michelin-star foodies delight.
The Guide, now in its 43rd year, continues to increase its audience and reputation. A survey of readers found that 88% trusted its reviews more than those on TripAdvisor, and two thirds said the Guide was ‘influential’ in their choice of where to stay. The Guide’s website (www.goodhotelguide.com) which has been redesigned with bigger photos of its selected hotels generates over a million views annually, an increase of more than 100% over the past 18 months. The new print edition features 36 new main entries and an extended shortlist section with 50 new entries illustrated by coloured photos.
The Guide’s mission, as it has been over the past four decades, is to promote hotels, inns, restaurants-with-room, and B&Bs where the guest comes first. The process of selection, which involves tracking every review sent to it, is time-consuming and costly. But that, and the fact that a print entry is based on merit alone with no money passing hands, is why it is trusted. A reader writing to the Guide for the first time is listed in our database as ‘New’. If he or she continues to write to us, they will be upgraded to ‘Regular’. Finally, a few readers are promoted to ‘Trusted’ because their opinions have proved to be reliable. It is from their ranks that we recruit the Guide’s inspectors whose overnight visits to hotels are always anonymous.
The Guide continues to do what it does best. Over the past three years we have published more than 250 articles about our selected hotels in leading media publications such as the Observer, the Sun, HuffPost, the Evening Standard, the Daily Mail and the Yorkshire Post. Recent articles have featured ‘Best Hotels for Walking’ (Britain Magazine), ‘7 of the Best Beach Hotels’ (Country Life) and ‘Heartwarming Hospitality in the Isle of Skye’ (Sunday Post). Publicity such as this cannot be bought. It is a result of the Guide’s reputation for independence established over more than four decades.
Twice a month, the Guide emails its readers with great-value special offers to stay at its selected hotels, inns and B&Bs. These are proving popular, with the leading hotels in our Special Offers programme attracting nearly 5,000 views annually. Come the Autumn the urge to get away for a few days is irresistible. If you are tempted, please have a look at our latest SPECIAL OFFERS.
Another initiative which is proving popular are GIFT VOUCHERS which enables the recipient to stay at any of the Guide’s 830 selected hotels at the time of their choosing. The Guide takes no commission so both the guest and the hotel get the full monetary value (£100 to £1,000) of the voucher. And a complimentary copy of the Guide is included. Not very commercial but we are less interested in quick profits than in building a brand that is trusted. To buy a gift voucher, CLICK HERE.