If you love travel and gaining a true experience of a city, then you’ve probably already encountered the wonderful Airbnb. Launched back in 2008 , the online hospitality website began promoting places for people to stay such as apartments, homes and hotel rooms across the world. Since then, it’s become one of the most popular travel sites. The team here at GB have visited Airbnb sites - and although not all of them come with the 5* treatment we all love, it does offer much more than that; an insight into other cultures and lifestyle. Here’s some of the reasons we believe Airbnb is on the rise...
If you’re looking for a true taste of a country, the best way to experience this is through renting an Airbnb apartment. Unlike hotels, most of the properties are situated in residential areas separating you from the other ‘tourists’. Instead of being surrounded by the usual tourist hotspots, you’ll be able to experience the country in a different light, and be able to immerse yourself into it, whether that’s dining in neighbourhood cafes or restaurants, or reading foreign magazines and books that your host may have left around the place. It’s becoming a more popular culture, and definitely one of the reasons the GB team love it.
Meeting new people
If you’re staying in a hotel, you’ll could be joined by 100 other guests. However, if you’re hiring an two-bedroomed apartment, chances are you’ll be joined in the kitchen or on the sofa by its owner allowing you to get to know them - and to find out first hand a little bit more about your chosen destination - and to find out more about their culture, food and general way of life. It’s a much more personalised visit than what a hotel stay could offer and this is what guests want.
Caters for all tastes
Whether it’s a penthouse in New York City, or a cosy one bedroom flat in a thriving city in Berlin, Airbnb has endless possibilities for guests to enjoy - no matter what their style! It provides more of a personalised experience, much more than a night’s stay in hotel sometimes can offer. And with a range of prices to suit all budgets, it’s no surprise that Airbnb will continue to rise.
Have you visited an Airbnb? Let us know your thoughts over on Twitter#GBLOVES
Earlier this year, we took a look at some of the hotel trends that guests will encounter this year including the importance of storytelling and unique decor. However, as the hospitality industry is constantly changing and adapting new ways to attract visitors, the trends are changing again. It’s an exciting process for both the hoteliers and guests who will experience these improvements. We’ve pulled together a couple of trends that we think will shape the future of the hotels within the next year or so…
Re-shaping the Guest Room
Traditionally, a guest room would often be a place for people to relax for the evening, to switch off from the outside world with the option dining and drinking in the hotels bar or restaurant. One of the biggest trends today that people are enjoying is the more casual hotel experience - think Airbnb style - open plan style rooms that offer that much more of a home from home feel. To keep on trend, hoteliers are now re-shaping their guest rooms to offer this feel to guests, and are replacing that corporate feel with sofas and stylish decor to do so. We believe that there will be a rise in the next couple of years with hotels making each guest room unique to offer guests a much more individual and personalised feel.
A focus on wellbeing
Hotels are no longer just somewhere to sleep for the evening, they are now about offering an unforgettable experience for guests outside of the bedroom. Over the last few years, there has been a significant rise on increasing well being for visitors which has included increasing the gym facilities with personal trainers on site to keep guests fit and healthy, deluxe bathrooms complete with whirlpools and rainforest showers, for example. It’s more of a lifestyle choice,and if your hotel can offer this, then guests will come. We are expecting to see more hotels adapting to this, by offering these improved health and wellbeing services in place by the end of next year.
At the moment, most hotels are ‘eco-friendly’ and do their bit to look after the environment as well as encouraging guests to do so too. However, it’s not enough and will not protect the planet in the long run. One of the biggest predictions for the hotel industry is that in time, hotels will become fully sustainable and will use energy saving equipment such as solar and geothermal energy to prevent damage.
Let us know what your predictions for the hotel future over on Twitter
One of the most impactful ways to reach out to a customer in a hotel or restaurant is by personalising their experience. It’s become one of the biggest trends to enter the hospitality industry, and we have revealed four easy ways on how you and your team can create those special moments that your guests will always remember…
Do your research on guests
At the time of booking, allow guests an opportunity to note whether their visit is for a special occasion. This will allow you an insight on where to seat them, and to get an understanding on why they’re visiting you which will allow you to celebrate with them! From this, the information can be passed to the team to ensure that they can create an unforgettable anniversary, birthday, or new job promotion.
Have a manager visit
In any job, a manager’s time is often precious so when they take the time to say hello and ask their customers how their visit is going, it’s often very appreciated. It’s also a great opportunity for them to raise any issues, if there are any, and a chance to get to know the staff.
Look after regular visitors
Using booking engines and systems, most hospitality establishments have the ability to monitor new and existing guests. The team will be able to see who has visited before, which should be noted and a great service should be provided to them because they’ve chosen to come back to visit. Engage with them to make them feel welcomed back; you could make it extra special for them and have a welcome drink or treat ready for them on arrival.
Invite customers back
One of the most important things to do when saying goodbye to your guests is to invite them to come back and visit again, it will make them feel valued and important to you. You might want to strike up a conversation to show that you care about them, and that you do want to find out more about them. If they have visited for a special offer or an event, why not take some details from them so you can contact them again in future to invite them through the doors again?
Let us know your thoughts on @GBHOSPITALITY
Over the past couple of years, Veganism has become one of the most popular lifestyle trends. It’s become so much so that cities across the U.K. are now lined with Vegan Cafes and restaurants with Manchester recently launching a vegan takeaway. There’s numerous reasons people are turning to this lifestyle but the biggest two are the health benefits it has, and also to do their bit to prevent cruelty to animals.
What are health benefits to going vegan?
As mentioned above, one of the main reasons for people becoming vegan is the impact the diet can have on your body after cutting out meat and any other product derived from animals . Despite speculation, it is possible for vegans to receive all the nutritions that they need from this diet - by simply replacing meats with plant based protein sources instead such as lentils or quinoa.
Research has also proven that the body will not only feel better, but it will look better to such as better skin, healthy and shiny hair - and a leaner physique. And there’s still plenty of ‘junk’ food for Vegans to enjoy such as pizza and cheese!
If it’s that good for you, why aren’t more people vegan?
If you love meat - and aren’t a fan of fruit and veg then this diet isn’t for you! Vouchercodespro carried out an interesting survey to find out why more people were not turning to this diet. The main reason was they like the taste of meat too much (81%), meat substitutes are too expensive (58%), I’d struggle for meal ideas (50%), my family eat meat and wouldn’t consider going vegetarian or vegan with me (41%), the attitude of certain vegetarians, vegans has put me off (26%).
Facts you probably didn’t know about veganism…
What are you thoughts on veganism? Let us know over on Twitter #GBLOVES
You can promote your hospitality establishment across all your channels - for example social media, your website and through advertising with third parties. It’s brilliant for reaching your existing audience - and perhaps a new one. In today’s world, one of the newest and most popular ways to showcase your delicious menus - or new cocktail menu - is to invite some of the biggest online influencers around; the food blogger. Many restaurants and high-street brands are now working together to create sponsored posts, or editorial features in exchange for coverage. If you’ve never worked with a food blogger already, here’s a few reasons to why you should consider it for your business…
They influence their audience
Although voice of customer channels such as TripAdvisor and Facebook reviews are a deciding factor on where you should eat and drink, many people are now taking to food bloggers to see what they’re eating, and how they are rating it. BlogHer carried out research which found out that an impressive 81% of people online trust the bloggers opinions and will visit the restaurant, based on a recommendation given from a blogger.
Building a long term relationship
One of the most valuable aspects of working with a blogger is building up a relationship with them. By doing so, they’ll continue to promote your brand - giving their followers and fans exposure to you and encouraging them to visit. It’s also just as important to recognise these bloggers - and showcase them to your followers to on your website or on social media as blogger relationships should be mutually beneficial.
Although a brand can produce content, a food blogger can add authority and value to it by producing fresh content across their blogs, their Instagram stories and on their newsletters. It’s a new voice of a brand that fans trust and will continue to engage with which will be able to tell a brand's story.
Have you worked with food bloggers? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter #GBLOVES
Stop the press. In more unusual news today it’s been announced that pineapples have been banned from the upcoming Leeds and Reading festivals. We are not entirely sure why the organisers are not permitting one of the finest fruits around. But word is, it’s been banned due to a authorities worrying that an excessive amout of pineapples will be brought by festival goers in response to one of their favourite artists playing this year.
You literally couldn’t make it up.
Some of the things you can’t make up are the glorious drinks and dishes you can make using pineapples and after today’s shock announcement, we got thinking about many, many things you can do with this highly versatile fruit…
If you like Pina Coladas, and gettin caught in the rain (like literally everyone at Leeds and Reading festival) then this treat is obviously for you. It’s a classic cocktail made up of pineapple juice, white rum and coconut cream; we would recommend serving up in the fruit itself for that true taste of the tropics.
Okay, this one's a bit of a cheat because it doesn’t always include pineapple and when it does, there’s only a few slices - but, is there anything more perfect in this world than a succulent piece of Gammon steak chopped with two pieces of pineapple and a fried egg? We prefer ours fruit grilled with the meat itself for that extra kick of meaty goodness.
For the veggies and vegans among us, a fruit salad combines a festival of mouthwatering juices and flavours (we have everyone covered here at team GB)!
Share with us your thoughts on the pineapple ban over on Twitter! #GBLOVES
Working all week can have a massive impact on your body and your mind - leaving you tired, stressed and in need of some ‘me time’. With National Relaxation Day approaching, we thought we’d share out hot spots that are perfect for taking some time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, where you can switch off that mobile phone and unwind...ahhh bliss!
Spa at The Mere Golf Resort & Spa
If you’re looking for a countryside retreat, then discover the luxurious Health Club & Spa at The Golf Resort & Spa. Surrounded by beautiful countryside, and overlooking the Mere lake, the Spa is the perfect choice to escape the real world. You can lounge by the heated pool, enjoy a range of massages and an afternoon tea (with a glass of champagne, of course)... They have a selection of exclusive offers available including the Summer Spa Getaway for two; perfect for switching off.
You might not of heard of it, but it’s becoming an increasingly popular way for people to break free from their phones - and just appreciate the real world! ‘It’s time to log off’ is an exciting brand that offers a variety of digital detox days - and weekends away - for those who require that time away from the qualms of everyday life. Instead, you’ll focus on building new friendships, eating healthy and talking about new things - as conversations such as work is banned. The perfect solution? We think so!
Peace & Quiet
Embrace some quiet time to one of the most peaceful places in the UK, such as Lundy in Devon - where only 28 people live - or Horning in Norfolk that’s so beautiful and complete with cottages and tea rooms. Sometimes it’s nice to explore new environments - especially when they’re in the stunning English countryside. Why not make the most of it and book a cosy B&B for the evening, put your feet up and enjoy a glass of wine.
National Relaxation Day is taking place on 15th August and is all about winding down and taking some time out. Will you be doing anything special to relax? Let us know! #GBLOVES
At some point in life, we’ve all experienced poor customer service. Perhaps the person serving us was having ‘one of those days’, or there was an unexpected rush of people demanding attention. Sometimes as a result of this, it can leave us feeling a bit unloved - and a bit disappointed. Today, one of the quickest and easiest ways of informing a brand or company that you feel this way is by reaching out on social media - whether that’s reviewing them on Facebook, leaving a comment their latest post or sending them a direct message. Although some brands can get away with their somewhat tongue in cheek replies, it’s important that brands do take some responsibility for these comments - and act on them in a professional and empathetic manner. If you’re company or business has found itself with negative comments, here are three ways that you can handle it like a pro!
Reply to all negative comments
Regardless of whether you feel the comments or fair or not, it’s important that from a brand perspective, you are apologetic that your customer feels like this way. Be sincere and offer a real response to them and that you are saddened to hear that they feel like way. Offer a full apology, and if there’s a way to amend it such as asking them to come back to visit you for a complimentary drink - or discount next time they shop with you. It might be able to soften the experience and show that their custom is still highly valued. Also explain that all of the comments they’ve provided will be listened to, and acted on in future.
Do not delete
In some cases some people might go the whole hog on your social channels - and let loose on how bad an experience they’ve had with the aim to let everyone else see it too. Ensure that no matter what, you do not delete any of these negative comments (unless it harassment or there’s foul language used) as doing so will give the customer more ammunition to kick off at you. Instead, respond to it informing them their feedback has been noted and investigated - and if they want to discuss further, they can contact you direct. By not deleting comments, and responding publicly, you are showing your other customers and followers you care about each and every one of them, and their custom.
No matter whether you’re a small independent company, or a worldwide business, it’s important that there is at least one person who is responsible for running your social media channels - and being aware of negative comments or messages coming in. If there’s only one person handling it, you can put an automated message on to inform customers you’ll get back to them, so if day or so passes by , the’re aware there will be a time delay in getting to them. Ensure that all contact is responded to and feedback sent to the relevant departments, or colleagues to make them aware too.
What’s your top tip on handling negative social media posts? Let us know on Twitter #GBLOVES
Hotels are featured within millions of films across a range of Genres - including romance, horrors and comedies. And there’s nothing more exciting than exploring a new city and recognising one (if you’ve ever been to Berlin and stood by the Brandenburg Gate, you’ll spot Hotel Adlon which has been used in a few films). If you’ve ever wanted to reenact your favourite movie, or just follow where your favourite celebrity has filmed, we’ve pulled together a list of amazing hotels from around the world that you can book into for a cosy night away…
Fontainebleau Suites, Miami Beach
If you love a classic Gangster film, then you’ll enjoy visiting the Fontainebleau Suites at Miami Beach where scenes from Scarface were filmed with Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer who are relaxing around the pool, with fantastic views surrounding them. You might also notice the hotel from one of James Bond’s classic films, Goldfinger.
A Four Seasons Hotel
Pretty Woman is one of the most beautiful - and romantic - films of all times. It’s set in the stunning Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills where Julia Roberts and Richard Gere fall for each other. You’ll recognise both the outside of the hotel, and also the interiors from the bedroom - although this is a set, the film crew wanted to have the same style within the film. Today, the hotel has the film available for guests to watch.
Taj Lake Palace Udaipur
One of the most spectacular hotels in the world was featured as part of James Bond film, Octopussy. It’s an 18th century hotel based in India, also known as the floating palace which is complete with white marble walls throughout. It’s complete with 83 bedrooms, perfect for those wanting to experience Bonds lifestyle…
The Stanley Hotel
If you’ve watched The Shining, this hotel might not be top of your list but we would love to go and explore this - as long as our room number wasn’t 237! It’s located in Colorado, a couple of miles away from the Rocky Mountain National Park with views of Lake Estes, the perfect peaceful escape.
What’s film hotel would you like to visit? If it were not fictional, the top of our list would be the Grand Budapest Hotel! Let us know over on Twitter #GBLOVES
The Summer Holidays have officially arrived! It’s time to whip out the sun cream, pack the car up and head somewhere exciting for the day (with all the family in tow). If you’re looking for something a bit different this Summer, we’ve pulled together three of our favourite activities that you can participate in that will keep everyone fully entertained!
Princesses at The Castle, Leasowe Castles
Every little girl dreams of being a princess, so why not join Leasowe Castle this Summer and let their dreams come true? They’ll be able to spend time meeting the princesses who live in the castle, along with joining in with a sing-along to some of the most magical princess songs. It’s perfect for all the family, and there’s a two course lunch to enjoy - along with some wonderful entertainment. Tickets are £19.95 per adult and £12.95 per child, book now so you don’t miss out…
Take some time out at The Stanneylands
There’ no better feeling than just enjoying some family time together, and where better to do so than at the new, gloriously re-imagined Stanneylands? Book in for the night and enjoy gorgeous food in either of its two restaurants, Tap & Pantry or The Grill Room. There’s plenty to do around the area that the kids will love - from exploring Quarry Bank Mill or jumping in the car to head to Chester Zoo. And with a selection of classic boards games available to play with at The Stanneylands, you’ll probably never want to leave!
Head to New Brighton for the Mermaid Trail
Many years ago, a beautiful young Mermaid was said to have appeared to a sailor in New Brighton. This Summer, guests both young and old are invited to join in the mysterious Mermaid Trail to find her again. There’s around six mermaids that are spread around. Keep your eyes peeled!
Let us know how you’ll be spending the Summer Holidays this year! #GBLOVES