Friday, 2 December 2011

Slashing Vat will generate growth!

Support the Caterer & Hotelkeeper campaign to slash VAT for the hospitality industry to 5%!

Cutting our levels of VAT will encourage growth, create jobs and help to get the economy moving again.

Sign the E petition here

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

New investment at the Plough & Harrow Hotel, Birmingham.

The Plough & Harrow Hotel in Edgbaston, Birmingham is undergoing a £500 000 facelift. Work has already commenced on the refurbishment of this landmark hotel on the Hagley Rd, in the centre of Birmingham. Acquired at the end of February 2010 by TTM Partnership the program is being lead by Robert Smith a former Director of privately owned group Paten Hotels and now managing director of Complete Hotels Services.

The initial work has seen investment in the main bedroom block of 36 rooms, including the addition of free internet, LCD TV’s, beds and soft furnishings, and the public areas while the second stage will concentrate on the 6 conference rooms, restaurant and the 8 bedroom in the main building

Robert Smith commented “The intention is to return this lovely, individual and historic hotel to the prominent position it previously held in Birmingham. The upgrading of the bedrooms, public areas & conference rooms will result in a good quality mid market hotel delivering excellent levels of service and quality of food in the city. The country house style, excellent location & plenty of car parking coupled with first class facilities and standards will help us to attract new customers”

It is expected that the will create a number of new employment opportunities for the local community.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Are you using Google local business centre to promote your hotel?

I've been been doing some work on Google Local Business Centre (LBC) in the last week or two and it amazes me that so many hotels still do not manage and update their details on a regular basis on what is a FREE service and is a sure fire way to get your website into the top section of Google search result pages.

LBC returns search engine results for most geographical based search phrases as part of Google maps which usually appear just below the Pay per click sponsored search links.

To edit and maintain your entry your either need to create it or if there is one already online then claim it. The system is easy to use and there is a multitude of information that can be completed, not least images, business categories, description and video.

And then theres more as it also allows you to enter Coupons for promotions. These are not being widely used in the UK - yet - but are sure to catch on soon. Read more about it here or view this online video
and I think they could prove really effective in terms of local F&B marketing promotions.

Google also appear to be planning on using Google Maps (and LBC data) more in the future by providing hotel information and online bookings. Read this article.

Hotels not working with these free Google tools and services are definitely missing a trick - are you one of them?

Robert Smith

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Best Western Premier Blunsdon House wins awards

I was delighted to hear a client of Complete Hotels Services, the Best Western Premier Blunsdon House Hotel in Swindon has won not one but two accolades.

Firstly, the hotel has joined the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) was recently assessed by the GTBS on over 200 individual “Green” criteria and awarded a prestigious GOLD award, the highest standard available. They are the first hotel in Wiltshire to achieve this exceptional award and one of only a handful of larger four star properties in the country to attain it.

Secondly, at the annual Best Western GB conference they were awarded the Best Venue in the country. That's some accolade when you consider there are 290 odd members in Best Western GB!

Well done to all the management and staff at the BW Premier Blunsdon House Hotel.

Monday, 8 March 2010

What facilities & services do business travellers most value in a hotel room?

We have now been managing the Plough and Harrow hotel in Birmingham for 10 days and are starting to consider what services and facilities we should be aiming to provide in the bedrooms when we start our refurbishment. The hotel will be operating in the mid 3 to 4 star market in close to the centre of Birmingham.

As a person who stays in hotels in this market on a regualr basis I have formed my own opion about what I expect to find but would like to know what other people think.

So what tell me what, in your opinion, you want to see in new bedrooms. To help here are my top 10:

1) Larger beds - 5 or 6 foot minimum with quality duvets, pillows and bedding.
2) TV with freeview
3) Ipod docking station
4) Free internet access
5) Good levels of lighting
6) Plenty of power sockets - at desk level
7) A good quality desk chair
8) 24 hour room service
9) Laptop Safe
10) Interesting biscuits on the tea and coffee tray

Post your views using the comments link below.

Robert Smith

Saturday, 27 February 2010

My Twitter account was compromised - could yours be next?

I try to use my Twitter account for communicating to friends and business associates so imagine my horror when I woke up yesterday morning to find my account had been compromised and a direct message, the content being distinctly adult in nature, had been sent to a number of people following me. Why do some idiots have nothing better to do with their time than cause problems and create mayhem?

My apologies to everyone who received the message and my thanks to those people who replied saying they new it was not from me and advising me that my account was compromised. I immediately changed my account settings and scanned my computer and hopefully there will be no repeat.

So how did my account become compromised?

I believe it was as a result of a direct message I received from someone I was following which stated "LOL is that you?" and without thinking I opened it up to see who it was from as I did not immediately recognise the sender. A foolish thing to do, especially for someone who takes great care when it comes to virus and identity protection. So a kind word of warning to everyone out there - be careful it can happen to anyone!

Now, I can go back to concentrating on the Plough and Harrow Hotel - which we succesfully completed the purchase of last Monday. So far it is proving to be an exciting time and we look forward to developing the hotel over the coming months and years.

Best Wishes

Robert Smith


Sunday, 21 February 2010

Completing on the Plough and Harrow Hotel - Birmingham

Its been a hectic few days since last Tuesday when we exchanged contracts on the Plough and Harrow Hotel  in Birmingham. The deal is set to complete tommorrow morning Monday 22nd February and it has been a real challenge to try to get supplier deals in place within 5 days!
Thank goodness for some old supplier contacts from my days at Paten Hotels who have managed to fast track account applications and with one or two exceptions, Fruit and Veg and diary, I am confident we are almost there and ready to go.

Now as to the choice of GDS and PMS supplier for the Plough and Harrow I have finally settled on a combination  of Clarity Hotel Systems for the PMS and Synxis for the GDS and WBE services.

The choice was extremely difficult and I was surprised by how competitive the proposals were, not to mention the excellent products put forward by Clarity, Guestline and Protel for the PMS and Travelclick, Evolution, Synxis and XN Hotels for the GDS.

I am sure that Clarity and Synxis will develop and excellent working relationship with us over the coming years and together we will develop and effective and rewarding distribution and operational framework for the hotel.

With this important decision now made I will be focussing my attention on turning the Plough and Harrow Hotel back into a first class individual hotel like it used to be before it went through 15 to 20 years of being owned by corporate groups who failed to invest in the product.

Exciting times and you can follow what we do on our website which will be ( a temporary page will go up in the next few days) and if you are ever in Birmingham then come and see us.

Best Wishes

Robert Smith