Category Archives: Brand

The top three hotels in the world

In his latest blog, Sean looks at customer service excellence in the hospitality sector.

Recently,  a discussion in the office turned to the number of hotels we have visited since Ethos public relations was founded in 1998.

Over these 17 years we must have stayed at hundreds of hotels, both for business and pleasure.

We have stayed in budget hotels to get our heads down after a long business meeting; big conference venues in Brussels, Prague, Berlin and Birmingham, to name but a few; small bed and breakfasts with friendly owners, and corporate chains with less than friendly temporary (and overworked) staff.

It didn’t take long before we started comparing the various stays and, rather than focusing on the negatives of any particular stay, we thought about the top three hotels we had stayed at.

Now, the results, which we tweeted recently, are not very scientific. There was not a tick box questionnaire, review website or analysis of value for money, but rather we thought about the best overall experience in a hotel.

Before we repeat the results, it’s true to say that we cannot recall staying in any really awful hotels. It’s true we have experienced bed bugs, bins being emptied at 6am, reservations cock-ups, loud guests and un-adjustable heating/air conditioning but, in general, hotels and their staff are very capable.

Our shortlist of our top three hotels in the world – yes we know that’s terrible PR hype – is: the Gran Melia Victoria in Palma, Mallorca, the Holiday Inn, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire and The Hadley Park Hotel in Wellington, Shropshire.

Hadley Park Hotel

Hadley Park Hotel

In many ways these hotels couldn’t be more different. One looks over the Mediterranean, another the Manchester Ship Canal and the third is surrounded by a business park.



Holiday Inn Ellesmere Port

Holiday Inn Ellesmere Port

But the similarity is in their focus on customer service, or at least as we received it. Public relations, we always tell our clients, is about the way customers and guests perceive you and the experience they receive when interacting with your business.

Gran Melia Victoria

Gran Melia Victoria

In these three hotels we have received customer service that made us feel valued, as though the employees of the hotels really enjoyed our visit. Now of course we know the hospitality industry spends a fortune on guest customer service training and the service we received might be down to that. But somehow, I think it is down to something much more basic. I think these hotels employed nice people. And that is worth so much more than corporate brand, stunning location, posh grub or free wi-fi.

Buy British, I would if I could

Latest blog by Sean

Jeans with a hole in themI try to buy British whenever possible. Not because I am excessively patriotic or xenophobic, but simply because it seems to me buying locally produced goods must be better for the economy.

Recent news that the economy might be slowly recovering on the back of a consumer boom would be so much better, surely, if it was on the back of a consumer boom in British goods.

Last week in London, I searched out a shop selling British made jeans. All well and good, except they didn’t have my size nor is there currently any stock to be had by ordering online. Can’t fault them for that, hopefully they will soon have produced new stock and I can then get hold of a pair. I am getting too old for the holes-in-jeans look!

Trying another shop that proudly refers to ‘London’ on its label, the shop assistant pointed out one pair of jeans that was ‘made in the UK’ while another pair, somewhat cheaper, was ‘made in their Chinese factory’. But once again my size wasn’t available. This turned out to be a close shave though, as when I spoke to their head office to see if my size was available online, the previous information was corrected to say that both styles were produced in China. Can’t buy British there then.

Obviously, any company is entitled to make its products wherever it likes, but I do wish that brands that proclaim their ‘Britishness’ could at least make it clear where their products are made. A bit more staff training might not go amiss. And if more people take the trouble to ask where products come from, manufacturers will hopefully provide more information.

I suppose I will have to wait to get my hands on a new pair of jeans made in Britain and, in the meantime, my money is burning a hole in my pocket – to join the other holes – rather than helping the economy.

UPDATE: Since posting this blog, I managed to get a pair of jeans when I next went to the shop. And more recently, a new brand of English menswear has hit the scene. Take a look at I’ve not tried them yet, but great to see them!