Carol-Lynn Robbins, who runs the 11-bedroom hotel in Llandudno with husband Ian, believes that being ‘extremely caring’ and engaging with guests on a regular basis were the main factors for Lauriston Court being being the only UK hotel in TripAdvisor’s top 10 for service.
“Because we’re such a small hotel, our service is very personal,” Carol-Lynn told BigHospitality. “I start engaging with people before they arrive either by email or on the phone.
“It’s very important to do that; to find out if they’ve got any particular wishes, or to point them in the right directions for things before they arrive.
“Obviously, this award is all down to customer reviews, so you’ve just got to be extremely caring and get to know your guests as much as you can, by talking to them and communicating with them before or after they’ve stayed.
“We get satisfaction from guests leaving and thinking ‘I want to book again’. We want them to go home feeling like they’ve had a real looking after. But without being over the top - you have to have a balance.”
The business also scooped sixth place in TripAdvisor’s Best Bargain hotel in the World category, with a stay at the Lauriston Court Hotel costing from just £35 per night – proof, Carol-Lynn says, that great service doesn’t have to come with a big price tag, for the customer or indeed the hotelier.
“Service can be the differentiator between you and other local businesses,” she added. “And providing better service doesn’t necessarily mean extra costs. You just have to train your staff in the right ways and set a good example yourself.
Service & price
“For the last two years we’ve ploughed every penny that we could afford back into the business and we just focus on those two core things of great service and a fair price.”
Now in their 11th year, the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards are based on millions of reviews covering 650,000 worldwide reviews. Other categories include Top Hotel, Luxury, Small Hotel and B&B.
Britain’s B&Bs have reigned supreme, laying claim to four of the world’s top 10; and the Yorkshire area has winners in several categories including being home to the top hotel in the UK, Rudding Park hotel in Harrogate, which also celebrates coming fourth place in the world.
TripAdvisor spokesperson Emma Shaw said: ““For the eleventh year running, these awards recognise the cream of the crop when it comes to hotels across the globe, according to those that really matter - travellers themselves.
“Yet again, Britain’s B&Bs continue to be celebrated as some of the very best in the world, and for a British hotel to beat over 650,000 others to be named number one in the world for service really is something to be proud of.”
Despite narrowly missing out on the honour of World’s Best B&B to a property in Italy, Athole Guest House in Bath took second place, while No1 in St Ives, Cornwall coming in third.
Edinburgh property The Chester Residence took the award for Best Small Hotel in the UK – a new category which recognises hotels with less than 30 rooms.
One point to note is that London hotels have yet again failed to shine in the Travellers’ Choice Awards. Despite the capital hosting the 2012 Olympics and Jubilee celebrations last year, no London-based properties feature in the Europe or global top 10.
The title of Best Hotel in the World went to the Four Seasons Resot Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu in Hawaii.
UK’s Top Hotels
- Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate – North Yorkshire - England
- The Milestone Hotel, London - England
- Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham – Gloucestershire - England
- Casa Hotel, Chesterfield – Derbyshire - England
- Corinthia Hotel, London - England
- 51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Suites and Residences, London - England
- Swinton Park, Masham – North Yorkshire - England
- Potters Leisure Resort, Hopton-on-Sea, Norfolk - England
- The Green Park Hotel – Pitlochry – Scotland
- Staybridge Suites London-Stratford City, London - England
UK’s Best Small Hotels
- The Chester Residence, Edinburgh – Scotland
- Boskerris Hotel, St Ives – Cornwall - England
- Ardeonaig Hotel, Ardeonaig, Scotland
- Can-y-Bae, Llandudno – North Wales
- Hotel 41, London - England
- The Old Rectory Hotel, Martinhoe – Devon - England
- The Clontarf Hotel, Llandudno – North Wales
- Apsley House Hotel, Bath – Somerset - England
- Egerton House Hotel, London - England
- Peak Edge Hotel, Stonedge – Derbyshire - England
For the complete 2012 Travellers’ Choice Hotels list, click here.