FROM CASTLE TO B&B: The planning and practical challenges of transforming a 500-year-old manor house
SAVE OUR PUBS: We catch up with the CAMRA-backed campaign to stem the alarming rate of UK pub closures
COMBINING FARM AND INN: The Golden Lion Hotel in Allendale is serving premium meats from rare breeds on his neighbouring farm
BEATLES MEMORABILIA: We visit Epstein* House, Beatles manager Brian Epstein’s childhood home in Liverpool *not that Epstein
Welcome to the latest issue of Luxury Bed & Breakfast magazine, the first edition to be published by new owner Miramedia, which acquired the title this summer following its merger with Innkeeper magazine.
Our editorial team and aim remain unchanged: in each edition we will bring you relevant news, analysis and useful ideas to help you run your hospitality business as well and as profitably as you can. We will continue to share with you detailed insight into the experiences of owners of businesses similar to yours across the UK, in order to give you some perspective on your own challenges as well as to let you pick and choose you some great ideas.
There will be some changes in tone. Increasingly for example we will be focusing on the digital marketing opportunities that B&Bs, innkeepers and boutique hotel owners can take to offset any downgrade of the traditional market.
For instance, it is an accepted fact now that the booking services of online travel agents such as expedia and booking.com are not free, and that you must bite the bullet write off the commission rates against the marketing spend you would otherwise have to make and which their channel achieves. The deeper you look into the digital channel the more opportunities tyou may find.
However, the Competition & Markets Authority its continuing is investigation into anti-competitive practices by such participants in the gig ecomnomy. An update on challenges both to the likes of booking.com and Airbnb comes in this issue from B&B Association chairman David Weston (page 10).
We will continue to cover investigation into alleged malpractice, but we will also provide examples of the way in which, if you are prepared to embrace the digital channel and relax your approach to traditional booking and marketing techniques, there are vast opportunities for you to join the new wave.
In this issue we profile a Northumberland village inn, the Golden Lion Hotel in Allendale, whose owner is planning to amalgamate the inn with his neighbouring farm into an integrated tourism and hospitality business. We visit Ty Creoso on the edge of the Brecon Beacons an explore the experiences of the owners who brought years of corporate hospitality experience with them from outside the B&B world to take over the business afresh, and threw themselves into making their luxury accommodation business a success. And we look at work in progress on a massive project by a couple who have left the big smoke to transform a 16th century manor house into a luxury B&B – with all the local planning issues this entails.
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