Resources from the web site of Well House Consultants on the subject of Seeing how others do it. We provide
We read into the hotel and customer service business
in preparation for the opening of Well House Manor, and
continue to do so as we fine tune and upgrade our service
all the time. In this section
you'll find links to much of our research and experiences.
|Articles and tips on this subject||updated|
|4443||Seventh stay away this year - and it's still only February!|
"Location, location, location". I've just stayed in a hotel in Cambridge for 3 nights - classified as "3 star" but in my view more 2 star, and I've paid significantly more per night than I would have paid at our place. But then this is Cambridge and things don't come cheap in this city. My sixth hotel ...
|4373||A long and disappointing evening|
Somewhere between walking in and being pointed (not shown to) a tiny table along the wall, and walking out through a haze between the smokers, Lisa and I tried the food in a nearby new eatery last night, and decided that it wouldn't be high up our list to recommend to our guests.
Is it just because ...
|4348||Taking my life in my hands in Swansea|
I have been staying this week in just about the most pedestrian-unfriendly and public-transport-unfriendly hotel I can recall, and the suprise is that it's not in the USA - its in the suburbs of Swansea.
Here's what I'm faced with as I walk out of the hotel
and when I turn left at the roundabout, ...
|4321||Are administration / review charges on hotel guests acceptable?|
I see from the press that a hotel in Blackpool charges £100 to guests who post poor reviews of them online, and that the hotel is rated as number 858 of 894 hotels in the town. My cynic's view is that they might be finding it a goor way to raise extra money, especially as they're quite a cheap ...
|4255||Making a personal gain from a more expensive business hotel stay|
Here's a new one on me ... I've booked my (chain) hotel for tonight in Stevenage as I'm woring up there tomorrow and I was offered two room rates - £71 for justthe room, or £76 for the room plus a thousand loyalty poinst. Accumulate a certain number of loyalty points, and you get a free night.
|4245||It always happens to me when I'm in Borehamwood!|
There's something about my stays in Borehamwood - earlier this week - something always seems to go wrong. Three nights in my hotel there, and on the first night I was awoken by the file alarm at 23:30 and staff noisily starting work in the next room to mine soon after 05:00. The first picture shows ...
|4177||Setting and publishing your hours to suit your customer base|
If we say "breakfast from about 7 a.m.", we mean that breakfast's available by a.m. at the latest. Very occasionally, it may be that the freshly cooked breads don't make an appearance until five past if we've got held up on the newspaper run.
This morning, I had a hand delivery to make in Trowbridge ...
|4109||What might you find at a tiny bed and breakfast?|
• Landlady's son doing chemistry Homework on the breakfast table
• The tinkling of piano keys as scales are practised, and trumpet practise
• Hot water that turn cold halfway through filling a bath
• The lace curtain that pops off its rail in the middle of the night
• Deciding ...
|4093||More things to make sure that we do NOT do ...|
An addition to my note on my "Oxford" Hotel ... and confirmation of why we provide Well House Manor for our guests...
One loo, one showerroom between three rooms (the 4th in en Suite). And when I took a shower, I noted:
* No loo in the bathroom.
* Going to the separate loo on the way to the bathroom... ...
|4091||A reminder of why we opened Well House Manor for our customers|
Twenty years ago, I would have been happy with the B&B I'm writing from. The room's clean and recently decorated, the bed's comfortable and the traffic noise from outside is bearable. But, alas, times have moved on and these days people want more - indeed that's exactly why we opened Well House Manor ...
|4081||Pushing down the advertised price, pushing up the total price charged.|
The sign in lights outside this hotel says "Rooms from 55 pounds". I've prebooked and prepaid 69 per night (but then this *is* a London suburb), but I asked about the 55 pounds when I check in. Apparently, the rates vary and if you book fairly well ahead for a day that's not booking well, and not expected ...
|4058||The highs and lows of customer service - Cheltenham|
I spent Monday evening in Cheltenham - staying at an Edwardian themed B&B that's halfway between the station (where I arrived) and the town centre (where I was training on Tuesday). It's one of those rare places where they do everything right (right for the quality leisure guest, mind you - a bit ...
|3975||Being an amateur hotel inspector helps me run a professional hotel|
In September of last year, Lisa and I slept in 9 different beds in 2 weeks - in 8 different hotels and other accommodations (we visited one twice, and had different rooms). Prices, facilities and quality varied greatly - four were highly enough regarded by their owners to be put up for the "Four in ...
|3970||Comparing four VERY different places to stay|
On Monday through Thursday this week, the "Four in a Bed" TV show on Channel 4 has visited Knock Castle in Crieff, Perthshire, Barton House in Blackpool, Well House Manor in Melksham, Wiltshire and Applewood Glamping in the Worcestershire Countryside.
We're the third of those - Well House Manor - and ...
|3963||National TV - Melksham - 9th January 2013, Pre-alert.|
In the early Autumn, Lisa and I were recorded for "Four in a Bed" ... the TV show where four different sets of B&B owners throw open their doors and take turns to stay with one another - and pay what they consider fair for their stay. The shows will be aired on Channel 4, from Monday 7th January ...
|3368||Well House Manor hotel, Melksham - recommended to you by our customers|
We offer overnight (hotel) accommodation at Well House Manor - and we take pride in providing high quality rooms for business and leisure guests who are visiting Melksham. Many of our visitors "vote with their feet" and come back to stay the next time they're in the area. And many become our ambassadors, ...
|3794||Should hotel staff sit on the toilet in the customer bedrooms?|
Yes, they should - for by doing so, they can see the rooms and the facilities as the customer sees them. It will help them check the good points, and identify places where things need attention that perhaps wouldn't be noticed in a day to day clean.
Actually, I'll go further. Staff should stay occasionally, ...
Greetings from a small town in the Midlands. The hotel is in Victorian style and I'm so GLAD that we have an older Georgian place and not this - err - words don't describe. It's a single room, and as you would expect that means that there wouldn't have been room for a double bed in here. A pine sideboard ...
|3900||The Xxxxx Guest House in Xxxxxxxxxxx - my stay reviewed|
We run a hotel. And because I teach training courses away, I stay at lots of other hotels too. That gives me an excellent opportunity to learn about how others do it ... to come back with ideas to adopt, and things which we should take care to avoid. Such feedback is valuable for us and for our team ...
|3776||Some traps it's so easy to fall into in designing your web site|
"Vegetarians' can obviously be catered for" ... obviously. Don't know why they bother to tell us ...
"I hope they haven't paid a lot of money for this" says Lisa, pointing me at the web site of a hotel that's not in Melksham, but is "near" according to their definition. I hope they haven't - or that ...
|3754||Eyes Wide Open|
I came here with eyes wide open. Reviews of the Britannia Adephi Hotel in Liverpool on TripAdvisor range from "Superb" to "Terrible" in equal measure, and I have stayed here with Lisa before.
The Adelphi is a Grand Hotel - as Grand Hotels used to be some 50 years ago. But very little has changed over ...
|3333||Honesty and a friendly welcome goes a long way|
I really enjoy having people come and stay at Well House Manor - our mugs have said "Come as a Student, leave as a friend" for many years and that still holds for delegates. For hotel visitors, it's more "Come as a guest and leave as a friend" - we wish to welcome them, make them feel welcome, and provide ...
There's something experimental about this post. You'll wonder why I'm talking about hotel and accommodation facilities in a village in the Forest of Dean, in Gloucestershire, or in the Orkneys, and providing you with links to Longhope in the Orkneys and to The Farmer's Boy. And at the same time why ...
|2911||Feeding the Grockles|
Notes from our recent trip away, as learned from the breakfast at our hotel in Grocklefest land.
Feed them ...
• yesterday's croissants from the fridge
• one butter pat per couple, and make them ask for more if they want it.
• cheap marmalade and jams. Forget the £120.00 per ...
Twenty questions for our hotel team to ask themselves ...
1. Is our Internet access easy and obvious to find rather than having to search through a load of hubs called things like "netgear" that are around the place?
2. Are our power points easy to find and near the desk space, and is there enough ...
|2502||Monday night, Tuesday night|
Where did I stay earlier this week? Read my review!
"""An overpriced airport hotel (even at the LaterRooms price which was less than half the rack rate), overdue for refurbishment, and with staff who rightly knew they didn't need to be more than routinely polite to guests coming through the door, ...
|2441||Not your cup of tea?|
When I travel, I'll usually grab a sandwich or fish and chips of an evening, and eat in my room; there's no great thrill in sitting alone in a hotel restaurant and there's often something on the TV (more than five channels is nice, but still surprisingly uncommon), or work to be done online. But on ...
|2413||Sanity checking the price, and selling up to increase income|
"Does that LOOK right?" It's a question I always ask myself before I present a critical piece of information - such as a bill - to someone. The sanity checking in this was is something which was taught to me (and taught well, because it has stuck and is useful) many years ago when learning to use ...
|2311||Floor to ceiling|
From floor to ceiling, this is a new training room this week. And from floor to ceiling, it is eventful. Heavy overnight Mexican rain had seeped into the building, leaving a centimetre of standing water at the slightly lower end of the room where my tutor's area / projection wall is located (I thought ...
|2308||A new place in pictures|
Perhaps this is the "picture postcard" that you'll expect to see from a trip far from the UK - and indeed, it's a picture taken in Guadalajara yesterday, as I took an easier day that usual to recover from the jetlag, catch up on some sleep, and also went across to the place I'll be training to meet the ...
|2127||Call in the professionals!|
You would think anyone could put a door handle on right, wouldn't you? Ah - but you might be surprised! It's so easy to make a mistake like this one - where the hand can get caught between the handle and frame as you pull the door closed.
This picture was taken of a shopfront in Salisbury on Friday. ...
|2105||Hire Car, from Atlanta Airport|
It's only 3 days since we landed back in the UK ... yet it seems an age ago. I have written an incredible number of emails, created a new forum, and dealt with more than one major issue that's of the nature that I can't blog about it. This morning, I was up at 04:30 and prepared breakfast for over ...
|2007||Launch of Melksham Food and Drink Festival|
"We've risen from 3 employees to 44 in 2 years". I was attending the launch of the Melksham Food & Drink Festival on Thursday morning, held in the Dining Room at Beechfield House, a country house hotel on the road between Melksham and Lacock. We had actually looked at Beechfield, very briefly, as ...
|1301||Plastic or China|
"Do you use Plastic or China?" A question asked by Lisa's brother who manages a major, lotta-stars, hotel in Roanoke, VA - the Hotel Roanoke. It's a good question, relating to the cups and glasses in the hotel's bedrooms.
We've stayed there, "Chez Phil" on a previous trip and, yes, it is a spectacular ...
|1011||Well House Manor and Beechfield House, Hotels, Melksham|
"We've gone from a flood to a famine of good accommodation in Melksham" - so we've been saying for the last year or two ... to the extent that we opened Well House Manor as our training centre and business hotel accommodation in October. We're already getting returning / regular Hotel guests, usually ...
|1026||The Wheatsheaf 2, The Bell 0|
Twenty past seven on Sunday evening, and Dad and I were travelling up to London. And a bleak old January night it was too! The wind blew the car about, and the rain pelted across the screen as we crossed Salisbury Plain. The roads were quiet ... I wonder why!
Neither of us had eaten before we left ...
|1915||Quietly putting prices up|
At 7 a.m. yesterday morning, I stopped at Welcome Break's South Mimms Service area on my way to Cambridge; I'm particularly watching for price changes with the VAT drop - to see if we can continue to pass on savings, or if our various suppliers have quietly put their prices up, forcing us to do so once ...
|1374||Maidenhead Coffee Challenge|
What do you get for a 70 pound hotel room? I'm in the fair town of Maidenhead tonight and I'm going to share with you the game of "Coffee Challenge" which is played to get a cup of hot coffee at the end of a long day.
Firstly, fill the kettle ...
... and I'll give you a clue. There's a cup you ...
|1758||Lindors Hotel, near St. Briavels, Wye Valley|
A last minute decision - we spend a night away this weekend. Now - where will you find a room for just a Saturday night, in the busiest part of the holiday season? Web sites were coming up with no availability, and when we phoned one place, they said they would look and just cut the phone off.
|1672||The Composting Cone Challenge|
How fortunate - the odd remaining space at the Garden centre appeared to be one right outside the main door - as we had come to collect a bulky item. But as we pulled into it, we noticed it said "reserved for director". Hmm - a sign points towards the overflow car park and we head off down that tarmaced ...
|1597||Comparing hotels - as a guest and from the proprietors view|
I'm in Cambridge and trying another hotel ...
If you're making a room into a bedroom, it should be a double if you can possibly get a double in! Hospitality tray can go above the bed head, and you don't need to provide any power point for the customer except the same one as the kettle uses.If your car ...
|1547||New bathing idea for hotels from Hotelympia|
I've been known to comment on training courses that we'll have true internet integration with everyone when we can contact our bath as we travel home and have it filled and ready for when we arrive.
Well - gulp - we're getting there. Here's a hotel system that controls all the baths from a single ...
|1525||Just one thing let the service down - but that is my memory|
A good, lively bustling breakfast room at the Premier Inn in Nottingham this morning. I admire Duncan's introduction and interaction with customers - noting that he took special care to go back and look after a gentleman who was on his known, clearly new to the culture, and could (and did) benefit from ...
|1454||From Sunday to Monday, from Melksham to the Balkans|
Subject Drift ... an email entitled "Brakes Requirements" received turns out to be all about virus scans, and a "Twonky Apple" subject line is confirming receipt of our arrival in a former Yugoslavian republic that's now a part of the EU. Other emails in my box this Sunday night / Monday morning urge ...
|1458||The wrong way to put up prices|
I wouldn't mind 8 pounds for each piece of hold baggage - really I wouldn't - when the base price of the flight is so cheap. EasyJet have come up with a sensible formula there ... except ...
I mightily resent being sent a booking confirmation, specially printed for my flight on 2nd December about a ...
|1413||The little gestures that can really count|
I admired the responsiveness of the canteen in the Cambridge office I was in this week just gone. I was running two courses thought the week, and the second group seems to be heavier drinkers (of coffee!) than the first - indeed, I popped into the canteen on Thursday morning and asked for a topup of ...
|1406||Away or home - which do I prefer?|
The hotel is spartan and the staff unfriendly. The Wifi didn't work and the support company was informative about the problems, but passing the buck on to others and not able to actually fix the issues for many hours. The restaurant had unset / unwiped tables all over, with food smeared on the menus. ...
|1356||Crystal Ball - How long do I need to be online?|
There are times I feel that I need a crystal ball ... such as when I'm faced with that decision as to whether to buy 120 minutes of internet access at €14.95, or all day access as €19.95. Problem is ... until I check my email, I don't know how long I'm going to be online ... but I can't check ...
|1354||Match the Bedroom to the Hotel|
Can you match these pairs of pictures - one in the left hand column to the one of the same hotel in the right hand column?
Picture 1Picture APicture 2Picture BPicture 3Picture CPicture 4Picture DPicture 5Picture E ...
|1347||Wireless Internet Access at hotels - an update and some pitfalls|
If your hotel has wireless access, then there's not much to choose between modern wifi cards / built in facilities these days. But its much more questionable as to how your hotel will be set up for their wifi to operate. I travel - a lot - as part of my job; away last week and I stayed at three hotels ...
|1333||Kasteel Elsloo - Michelin rated hotel.|
Monday and Tuesday nights, I stayed at that Kasteel Elsloo, near Maastricht in the Netherlands where I'm working this week (Tcl/Tk. A beautiful place, with a superb restaurant; couldn't fault the food, service exquisite, pricing ridiculously reasonable.
So I would stay there again if I was here ...
|1287||Work and play at Well House Manor - Football and Shell Shortcuts|
We're running a Linux and LAMP course this week - great group and I'm going to be sorry when it's the end of the course.
Yesterday we had a cold buffet lunch for a change, and made the best of the lovely weather and spacious garden to relax for a while - we do a long day, and so a good break at lunch ...
|1205||Arrival and Departure experiences - another hotel|
Running a hotel for our trainees (and other business customers) on one hand, and staying in hotels regularly while away on business on the other hand gives me a rare chance to see closely what goes on from both sides, in depth. And it's a great chance to learn for our own hotel - to take the best ideas ...
|966||CSL, KISS and RTFM|
Mary was engrossed in her conversation with her workmates last night. Lisa and I nipped into a near-empty (apart from 8 staff) McDonalds and walked up to the counter and stood there for what felt like an age. I'm guessing that they've got some form of inspection today as the frenetic activity going ...
|1091||The Psyche is all wrong.|
I accept that I should pay - somehow - for my internet connection when I'm staying away in a hotel, but having to make a decision between 3 pounds for 30 minutes, 5 pounds for 2 hours and 17 pounds for 24 hours or 69 pounds for a week at Premier Travel Inn (Via Swisscom) is always one of those issues ...
|699||Extremes costs of getting on line|
Where I'm working, they have a setup for visitors to use their wireless network; just put in the network name, browse and you get a login screen. Logged in, gave password, and on line. And a clear statement of the terms and conditions and security issues. And it's part of what they provide for all ...
|714||Room for Octopuses|
Have you ever tried to manoeuvre your luggage in and out of a hotel room, through firedoors at inconvenient locations directly at the top of the stairs and up narrow flights that seem designed for smaller people? Yes, I have too.
This room in Scotland was a "classic" .... and we're watching and learning ...
|736||New Tape Librarian|
Even before I started University way back in the 1970s, I was working as a tape librarian - a library of some 60,000 tapes of data recorded by boats and land crews undertaking seismic oil exploration - setting off explosives or using a strong vibrator to shake the earth and record echos from which the ...