Good hotels

07 September 2004
Good hotels

Hands-on ownership is the key to a successful hotel, according to the editors of the Good Hotel Guide 2005, out this week.

In the introduction to the guide, editors Desmond Balmer, Caroline and Adam Raphael point out: "Independent ownership, particularly by a family, is a common thread among the majority of hotels listed."

They quote two regular correspondents who summed up this year by saying: "In all the best places, the consistent hand of the owner could be felt at all times: while serving breakfast, welcoming new guests, being a presence in the restaurant in the evening, always making it look effortless and enjoyable."

Among the 115 new entries to the guide, the editors say they have detected "encouraging signs of a revival of independent hotels."

The editors add that the importance of the bond between hotel owners and their guests "is why we view hotel chains with caution".

They comment: "Good management is not enough in itself; a hotel takes its character from the personality of the owner."

The guide this year includes all six hotels in the Hotel Du Vin & Bistro chain, praising the "strong leadership of co-founder Robin Hutson."

But it claims the Malmaison boutique hotel chain "has lost its way since it was sold by its founder, Ken McCulloch."

The guide also fails to list any of several "long-standing favourites" bought by Von Essen over the past couple of years, saying: "Most of them, including the famous Sharrow Bay, at Ullswater, have been omitted because we lack positive reports of the new management."

It recommends hoteliers sleep in their own bedrooms: "If they did, they might hear those noises that keep their guests awake: banging fire doors, noisy plumbing, overactive bathroom fans, badly positioned kitchen extractors, nocturnal activities of next-door neighbours."

  • The Good Hotel Guide has also announced the winners of its César Awards, named after legendary hotelier César Ritz. Click here for the full list.

Buy this week's Caterer magazine for more industry news and analysis

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking