Independent hotel group Best Western has announced plans to restructure its brand in the UK.
In a move aimed to give consumers more choice and clarity, the group said it had set up three tiers, Best Western, Best Western Plus and Best Western Premier.
Richard Lewis, the group’s newly appointed CEO for Great Britain, told a press briefing in central London that ten of the hotels in the portfolio had already re-branded to the Plus level, including The Best Western Plus Ullesthorpe Court Hotel and Golf Club.
He revealed that nine had re-branded to the top Premier level including Best Western Premier Moor Hall Hotel and Best Western Premier Leyland Hotel.
Lewis, who was appointed as CEO three weeks ago, said the group expected more than 20 Best Western hotels to upgrade to Best Western Plus by the end of the year. There are 257 Best Western hotels in Great Britain ranging from country manors and castles to super modern retreats.
Lewis explained that enhancements were driven by customer demand, focusing on six areas which define the tiers: the welcome, food and drink, customer service, the bathroom, the bed, and work and entertainment.
“Creating more clarity for our guests and gaining even greater customer satisfaction, is essential and key to our success.”
The group anticipates that following today’s news, there will be an increase in 4 star properties looking to join the group as Best Western Plus or Best Western Premier hotel.
Whilst Lewis acknowledged that the hotels with the Plus or Premier title could increase their rates, he told BTN that Best Western will remain focused on offering guests value for money.
“It’s not about pushing the prices up its about getting them right.” He added: “If they can, hotels might push up their rates – but the goal is to increase the quality, not the prices.”
In order to add value the hotel chain has recently introduced free WiFi across its hotels.
The new brand strategy enforces the ‘hotels with personality’ strapline, that was launched last year to celebrate the individuality of each independently owned and managed property in Best Western. The response has already been noted.
“Our business is up 20% RevPAR for the first half of the year, and we sent another 63,000 room nights to our hotels over and above last year.” Lewis explains, attributing these positive results partly to the ‘hotels with personality’ strapline but also to an increased awareness of the brand.
He explains, “Last year was the first time we were on television and more noise is being made about the brand.”
The Best Western ‘hotels with personality’ television advert will air for the first time tonight.