Interview: Jonathan Kaye, co-owner of Cedar Manor Hotel

Last year Cedar Manor Hotel won the BoHo for best overall UK hotel. BHN caught up with co-owner Jonathan Kaye to find out what impact the award has had.

What has the win meant for Cedar Manor Hotel?

The win was a fantastic accolade from our guests.  We received some brilliant feedback and to then pick up the awards was amazing.  It has helped us learn a little more about our guests experience within the hotel and to see that our team is trying their best at all times.

What did the win mean for your staff?

The staff were delighted.  In this day and age with the constant pressure of being reviewed we have taught the staff to “relax” but be professional.  They have adapted our approach and with their help the Hotel won the BoHo’s. They were all very excited and pleased that their hard work has paid off.  It has helped them to understand more about the guests and guest expectations and that every job is vital within the organisation.  We think this has developed a real sense of teamwork and pride  in the Hotel.

How do you see the role of the BoHos and in the boutique hotel sector?

As the Bohos were new to all of us this time last year, we didn’t appreciate how important they would be.  At the time it was worth a punt.  We signed up to the scheme a bit late but managed to upload all the bookings we had had since the awards started.  What is most important is the mechanism behind it, GuestRevu, it’s a fantastic way of gaining information in a professional way from your guests that may then lead on to get a Trip Advisor review too.  Quite often a guest will leave and tell you everything is fine and then give you the real feedback afterwards – this is invaluable, we may be able to solve problems that we didn’t know we had.  In terms of the importance of the awards – we think they are very important as they are the only awards that we are aware of that are totally guest driven – we can’t nominate ourselves and fill in forms or get votes, it’s all down to the Hotel’s performance over a measured period of time.  If nothing else you can learn about your business from the guest perspective, and that’s invaluable.

What are your plans for the hotel going forwards?

We have just completed the refurbishment of a Suite and modernised a bathroom.  We plan to redevelop our food offering as our market is changing slightly in the Lake District and with our positioning we are attracting a hugely international clientele.  We need to adapt to their requirements and ensure they all have a fantastic experience in the Hotel but just as importantly, in the Lake District. Our staff are all booked on to courses, some refreshers, some are going through some personal development. Make sure we keep 100% focused on our guests!

What advice would you give to hotels considering entering?

Just do it! You get to experience the GuestRevu system and you may just come away with a fantastic award!

Click here to enter the awards and here to buy tickets for the Summit and the BoHos ceremony.

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