What does Clean, Comfortable, Cosy, actually mean?
Sunday 21st July 2019
Mike - Cavendish Hotel
Well everything in the world evolves and in the world of B & Bs there are many changes going on. So I hope you will enjoy my little muse into the "new" budget chains that have started springing up all over the UK.
Well I can't really talk about them as a group because the model that they promote seems to make each hotel in a chain the same when clearly they are not. Take for example a motorway hotel. It is custom built and you can expect roughly the same kind of facilities in each one. Free Wi-Fi, nice bed, free parking and a restaurant chain probably across the way to get your breakfast. Now move that same chain to say Tunbridge Wells. It will be a period building with a nice bed, limited space for paid parking and will most likely have it's own kitchen. Every room will be different and full of character. So we expect the price to be a bit higher but we also know that we are buying into a brand. There is a minimum spec. that we could expect from that brand.
So we come to the budget chains, no not Travel Lodge or Premier Inn but the new kids on the block. These companies are global and they have a simple idea. Offer a standard room not a standard hotel. Brand them as a group and then it shouldn't matter where you stay the room you are in will be standard. The hotel is irrelevant. Only the logo on the sign will give you this guarantee.
It is quite tempting isn't it the same bed, a flat screen TV, tea and coffee - a minimum standard. At least you know what you are getting.
But the hotel isn't irrelevant. If you paid £40 for a double room in Blackpool you could get those facilities for £15 in some places or for £90 in others. You might think that is down to location but not here in Blackpool as those three prices come from three accommodation providers on the same section of the same street and the experience from each will be very different.
If you want just a standard room then you will get a standard room, but we don't really want to be standard at the Cavendish. Yes we are developing our independent business and there will always be times we wish we could just build the hotel from scratch - like Premier Inn does. But it doesn't work like that, it takes a huge investment of time to change a Victorian building. We're working on it btw :D
Just asking the owners, like the new chains do, for the money to create that standard feel whilst they drive down their profits to a minimum only means you window dress a property and that loss of profitability may see higher guest numbers but more and more wear and tear with no more investment. Yes the logo on the front looks nice but many of these global companies are making huge losses because although the model makes sense they are not investing in the people or properties that actually accommodate you whilst putting their mark up on those discounted prices to give you "value."
So I would ask our guests this: Do you stay at the clean, comfortable, cosy Cavendish that's on the up or do you get the standard room - clean and comfortable? The choice will always be for our guests but there is a word missing. The room is clean and comfortable but it is our hotel that is cosy; the welcome, the chit chat and the ability to respond to challenges too. We aim to be perfect but if not we'll do our darndest to sort it because we actually don't want to be standard; we're aiming as high as we can with what we have.
So I wonder how you think: fair price and standard, or fair price and aiming higher?
Respectfully the choice will always be yours as it always has been over the whole history of this wonderful seaside resort; Blackpool :D