On May 24th I was joined on stage at the Boutique & Lifestyle Hotel Summit by four leading hotel general managers: Eva Mount (The Arch London), Oliver Williams (Ellenborough Park), Susanne Traudt (South Place) and Melissa Stoman (The Draycott Hotel). The first two of these are members of Pride of Britain so I was especially interested in hearing what they regard as the biggest challenges they currently face. These include finding and keeping decent staff, coping with the daily flexing of rates by competitors and the threat from AirBnB. Despite these, however, business remains strong at the luxury end of the market and all agreed that outstanding service is our USP.
Running any business can be a lonely job but hoteliers are unusual in being very willing to discuss issues with their counterparts – who would be treated as rivals in most other industries – and to share solutions to common problems. In fact, they go beyond this and actually pool resources as fellow members of consortia and other groupings.