Ten of 2017’s Best Hotel & Venue Blogs

Blogging is Brilliant!

It’s not easy, and certainly takes a great deal of time management, careful planning and content organisation to get right. However, when successfully crafted, blogs can inspire customer engagement and loyalty, they can provide insights into your hotel or venue for prospective guests, and are fantastic for inbound marketing.


On WordPress alone 87.6 million new blog posts are produced each month [1]. With so much new content being shared in 2017, hospitality businesses need to be relevant, niche and overall interesting to keep the attention of blog subscribers. The following overviews 10 of our favourite blogs, from hotels and venues across the UK.

The Grove


The Grove is a luxury 5 star country estate hotel, located in Watford, Hertfordshire. Their blog makes our list for two reasons: 1. they don’t shy away from longer articles, and 2. they have a clear sense of brand personality (particularly suitable for golf lovers). When writing blog articles it’s important to think about word count, as longer content tends to perform better in search engines.

Andrew Brownsword Hotels


“A renowned collection of privately owned properties situated in some of Great Britain’s most memorable locations.” – This hospitality blog strikes a chord with us because of its use of very high quality photography. In 2017 photos and videos dominate content marketing [2], so it’s important to be optimizing these wherever possible.

Ace Hotel


The Shoreditch London Ace Hotel is home to creatives, artists and theatrics. Their blog highlights this wonderfully, talking about the resident artists that stay with them and the creations they produce, whilst continuing to promote the location. This develops an impression and sense of expectation about the hotel to potential guests, before they even book a room.

Eden Hotel Collection


Each hotel we review approaches blogging differently, and in the case of Eden Hotel Collection their blog titled ‘Eden Life’ looks to engage readers with an honest insight into hotel life. A stand out for us was their use of guest bloggers, as this not only promotes the Eden Hotel Collection, but also opens the door for guests to equally promote new articles in their social circles, leading to additional influencer associated marketing.

The Admirable Crichton


Also known as ‘The AC’ this events company is known for producing some of the world’s most stunning and creative events – from intimate occasions to huge parties! When it comes to their blog, for one we enjoy their use of tiled photos on the top page. Another business not afraid to use photography, their blog articles are visually rich but also have engaging written content that you don’t just want to skim read.

Beds on Board


Ever wanted to sleep aboard a Sunseeker yacht? Meet Beds on Board, the boat hotel company. The written content within their blog is very good, but we were impressed more by their approach to readers – with two separate blog options, one for guests, the other for boat owners. It’s vital to understand the different demographics within your audience and produce content that appeals to them uniquely!

Watergate Bay Hotel


“An inspiring group of foodies, surfers, cyclists, music-lovers, beach dwellers, equestrians, creators & friends.” – If this sounds like you, then you’ll love Watergate Bay Hotel in Cornwall. Their blog is all about telling the hotels story, whether thats by highlighting their stunning beach location, talking BBQ’s or showing off their fantastic cocktail range!

The Idle Rocks


Consistency can be the life and death of a good blog. Post too little or too much and you’ll lose your readers interest pretty quick. The Idle Rocks have this down to an art, with regular, consistant posts that are wonderfully relevant to the hotel. They also score points for separating out their blog articles into specific groups e.g. ‘Cocktail of the Month’.

Bourne & Hollingsworth

Bourne & Hollingsworth take a unique approach to their core blog, treating it more like a social media platform, with polaroid-style images and text snippets that give you the reader, a brief glance into their venues and events. Whilst we generally recommend more written content, this approach may be better suited to 2017’s visually driven subscriber / event goer.

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Castle Howard

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Finally, Castle Howard in York. We love a castle at LeadDigital, and being set within 1,000 acres of country landscape, it’s understandable they’d have a lot to talk about! Their blog is promoted across the Castle Howard website, and covers everything from horticulture, to bird watching and gift guides. We rate them highly based on how they personalise each writer on the team, so a clear range of personalities can be enjoyed.

Do you need support improving how readers engage with your hotel or venues current blog?

Looking to start blogging but not sure where to start, or how to get a subscriber list in the first place?

Speak to LeadDigital today. We can help guide and structure your digital marketing, ensuring you reach the right people, at the right time, with the best content marketing designed around increasing bookings & event sales.


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[1] https://wordpress.com/activity/
[2] https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/visual-content-marketing-strategy#sm.000010dglkdknbd6tvkb1ahqiboih

Unique British Hotels to Follow on Twitter

Unique and unusual British hotels spark our imagination – offering fabulous luxury in locations that are simply astounding! However these hotels also need to fill rooms, grab attention and gain repeat custom, so are now turning to digital marketing & social media to increase sales.

Below are five of our favourite surprising, eccentric and quintessentially British hotels, that you need to be following on Twitter;

Burgh Island Hotel
1,460 Tweets | 1,985 Followers



“The beauty and intrigue of an island visit has always drawn guests who are looking for something different” – With its celebration of Art Deco and iconic location, Burgh Island Hotel offers a true luxury escape on the Devonshire coast. Their Twitter account sings of seaside romance, taking advantage of the beautiful scenery.

Glazebrook House
2,286 Tweets | 1,692 Followers



“A luxurious boutique hotel and restaurant with nine unique rooms and a surprise around every corner” – Staying at Glazebrook House is truly an experience in itself! From its sophisticated twist on an Alice In Wonderland theme, to the hidden away location and creative seasonal menus, this is a hotel that will blow you away. On Twitter they mainly promote upcoming events, the beautiful food available and booking special offers.

Amberley Castle
1,756 Tweets | 2,856 Followers



“This magnificent 900-year-old castle is enclosed by a 60 foot high curtain wall and portcullis that remains open, behind which you will discover an enchanting hotel offering the highest standards of food and service” – Located in the picturesque village of Amberley, this luxurious castle hotel is steeped in history, perfect for those looking to escape the 9-to-5 and feel like royalty. Part of the Andrew Brownsword Hotels Collection, this uniquely British property mainly tweets about ‘real life’ goings-on around the castle using romanticised photography.

Penny Lane Hotel
191 Tweets | 1,850 Followers



“The Penny lane Hotel gives guests a front row view of some of the most historic landmarks relating to the band” – It doesn’t get much more British than The Beatles and Liverpool’s Penny Lane Hotel is a Beatles fan’s dream come true! Each room is designed around the band with original memorabilia, and the hotel even offers Beatles themed weekends. This hotel often retweets reviews from happy guests or uses Twitter to promote exclusive special rates.

Solent Forts
2,450 Tweets | 2,516 Followers



“Drop anchor in the Solent and experience our genuinely unique award winning venues” – Solent Forts own three luxury island hotels off the coast of Portsmouth; Spitbank FortNo Man’s Fort and Horse Sand Fort. Each of these incredibly exclusive locations offers a remarkable getaway for guests, with a vast range of leisure facilities aboard these historic fortresses. Twitter for Solent Forts has a nautical approach, speaking about the forts, history and facilites provided.

For more insights into UK Hotels & Hospitality Digital Marketing Subscribe to the LeadDigital Blog (form at the top), or find us on Twitter @DELUXEVENUES


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Best Luxury UK Hotels On Instagram 2017

With over 600 million people now using Instagram [1], it’s clear why hoteliers are flocking to the social platform. Its photo sharing focus allows hotels to ‘paint a picture’ of their brand, exposing unique aspects of their hotel with stunning, never before seen photography.


Here is @Deluxevenues collection of the best Luxury UK Hotels taking advantage of Instagram in 2017!

Rosewood London
302 Posts | 34,500+ Followers


“An ultra-luxury High Holborn hotel that combines English heritage & contemporary sophistication in a central location, near Covent Garden & the City” – We were impressed by the quality of photos being presented, as they simply scream luxurious!

The Dorchester
1,248 Posts | 41,900+ Followers


“One of London’s most iconic hotels, overlooking Hyde Park in Mayfair” – The Dorchester cleverly balance art with real life, celebrating goings-on around them as much as the hotel, creating a sense of place.

The Savoy
813 Posts | 37,400+ Followers


“Perfectly placed on the north bank of the River Thames, The Savoy is the most celebrated and glamorous 5* luxury hotel in Central London” – Glamour is certainly the right word for The Savoy’s Instagram account, with a clear focus on promoting the finer things in life. Perfect branding for this renowned hotel.

The Pig
844 Posts | 41,200+ Followers


“A restaurant with rooms; the focus is very much on the food, uncomplicated and simple British garden food” – The epitome of countryside luxury. The Pig’s niche of freshly grown produce is evident throughout their Instagram, whilst photo’s of the hotel show why Londoner’s often escape to the country!

1,843 Posts | 122,000+ Followers


“Daily adventures from the art deco hotel in the heart of Mayfair, London” – Claridge’s approach is much more ‘behind the scenes’, granting Instagram followers a peek into this exclusive hotel with smart use of targeted hashtags for maximum exposure. No wonder they have over 100k followers!

The Ritz London
399 Posts | 31,500+ Followers


“Five star luxury hotel in the heart of London. Share your Ritz memories with us using #ritzreveals and we will choose our favourites” – Here we see a hotel thinking ahead, creating a custom hashtag for their brand. A fantastic method to gain insights on guests and their experiences.

The Connaught
1,352 Posts | 38,400+ Followers


“The Connaught, is a luxury five star hotel on Mount Street in the heart of fashionable Mayfair” – A very British affair. Instagram for The Connaught tells the story of an exclusive hotel, proud of it’s London location.

Chewton Glen
799 Posts | 10,100+ Followers


“An English Original… A five star luxury country house hotel and spa on the edge of the New Forest” – Another hotel proud of it’s location is Chewton Glen, based in the New Forest. Like The Pig this is a luxury country hotel, but their approach to Instagram also presents real customers and their experiences.

The Goring
705 Posts | 31,000+ Followers


“London’s impeccably English luxury hotel has entered a new era” – In this case The Goring twins beautiful photography with artistic illustrations, a brand also keen to present its classic British aesthetic.

Belmond Le Manoir
347 Posts | 10,600+ Followers


“Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons is renowned as one of Britain’s finest gastronomic and hotel experiences” – For this hotel food is king. Their fine dining posts are mouth-wateringly delicious, matched by it’s subtle European inspiration.

For more insights into UK Hospitality and Digital Marketing Subscribe to the DeluxeVenues Blog above!


[1] 600 Million and Counting. Instagram. Dec 2016.

Should Instagram be part of your Hospitality Marketing Strategy?

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social networks today. But, should this social platform be part of your hotel, restaurant, bar or event venue’s marketing strategy?

Instagram was released in 2010 and bought by Facebook in April 2012 for $1bn, with just over 30 million users. The platform now has over 600 million users – 100 million of which came in the second half of 2016 alone! This is largely linked to the fact that the platform has put a huge emphasis on product development in the last six months.

As with the other social platforms, Instagram is growing and evolving constantly. In the last six months alone we have seen the introduction of Stories, Live Video Broadcasting and Shopping Tools integrated within sponsored posts.

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What Instagram offers and how it benefits you

Promote your brand with an active, young audience

We’re talking Millennials. The Millennial generation is larger than its predecessors (Generation X and even the Baby Boomers) and is starting to move into its prime spending years. They are the tech generation that has grown up with the internet and the technologies it has conceived.

Being the first native digital generation, they are the most active demographic on Instagram and as such, make up the majority of the audience. Social media is the way Millennials are choosing to interact with the brands that they use and hashtags are the method of connecting through Instagram.

Hashtags and what they can do for you

Hashtags are terms that you link to your posts in Instagram, much like Twitter. These terms can then be searched for by anyone, who will be looking to see posts related to those terms.

We know that people are increasingly doing their research online before spending their hard earned cash. You need to recognise that the generation that has developed the hashtag is going to use it to help make their buying choices. They will search for terms like #LondonBar and #NewquayHotel on Instagram to get visual inspiration for places they may like to visit.

If they already know of your brand, they may search your company name directly and they will be looking for images and videos that will influence their buying decision. This is where previous posts will appear (if hashtagged correctly). With enticing visual content you can influence your potential customers that are considering booking a stay at your hotel or a table at your restaurant.

Hashtagging your images about the latest services your hotel, spa and resort offers can reach a new audience on Instagram too and create brand awareness. But, be aware that you need to post regularly as results are shown chronologically. Depending on the popularity of the term and competition, a post can shoot down the results pages beyond the point where the attention span of the user may find it.

FREE promotion from guests

If you provide a great service, your guests will want to share their experience at your hospitality venue with their followers. Social media platforms have become tools of vanity for many users, wanting to show they are making the most of their lives. They will share their highlights with all their friends and followers, adding hashtags and location information to their posts as appropriate.

In the world of the consumer, when better to do that than during your experience at a luxurious event, restaurant or hotel? This will generate free publicity for your hospitality business and give an authentic representation of your services that you can’t create operating as the brand yourselves.

Social Monitoring

As with all social networks, you will need to monitor Instagram for mentions of your brand, to ensure that posts are positive and to act on any negative feedback. Even if you receive negative posts, your quick response and the manner in which you deal with the complaint can turn it into a positive experience for your business.

Social monitoring is also another opportunity to interact with your potential customer base. Following the posts of existing customers and qualified leads can give you an insight into what matters to them.

Sponsored Posts (advertising in Instagram)

Instagram have been developing their advertising options since sponsored posts were launched at the tail end of 2013. The original launch was with retail brands, but it is a great platform for driving awareness of your hospitality services. With the recent development of Instagram’s shopping tools, it is now also capable of driving sales through your website.

Instagram provides a range of sponsored post options that appear in your target audience’s feed. From these sponsored posts they can then click through to “learn more” revealing the comments and a link to your website landing page, where you can convert them into a customer. Here are the options with some simple case examples for the hospitality industry;

  • Photo – A clean and simple professional still image showing your restaurant’s signature dish.
  • Video – Share a video up to 60 seconds promoting the experience of attending one of your luxury events.
  • Carousel – Create a group of images each representing the variety of rooms available at your hotel.
  • Stories – Similar to the video option that appears on the main feed, these videos appear within the Stories feed on instagram, showing seamlessly between the videos of the people and brands that the user already follows.

You can target the audience that your sponsored posts appear to based on;

  • Location
  • Demographics
  • Interests
  • Behaviours
  • Custom Audiences (Existing customers based on your linked database of emails)
  • Lookalike Audience (Potential Customers with identifiers similar to your database of existing customers)

With these targeting options you can be sure you are displaying your visual content to the right audience to achieve your hospitality marketing goals.


To answer the question should Instagram form part of your hospitality marketing strategy moving forward? Simply put, yes it should.

The platform is based on visual content, which play a huge part in the selling of hospitality services and venues online. Instagram is a social platform that is growing in terms of users and uses as a tool for promoting and selling your hospitality products and services.

If for no other reason, your potential customers are already using it to share their experiences with their friends and followers. These are some of the most qualified potential customers you can find for your business, so it is essential you have an active presence that also monitors and connects with these people in order to develop your overall marketing strategy and ultimately develop more sales. However, as with other social platforms, you need to approach it strategically and have the resources and tools dedicated to it in order to successfully use it.


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5 Ways to Improve your Customer Experience

Customer experience is everything. The way your customers feel, the interactions they have and their entire end-to-end journey with your brand define this experience.

This can refer to physical interactions (such as the cleanliness of your venue) and the non-physical (digital) interactions with your brand. We will be focussing on the latter of the two, looking at the Martech (Marketing Technology), which can support you in improving your customer’s experience.

How to improve hospitality customer experience

Customers demand a high level of personalisation, in every interaction with your brand. Employing a personal touch is what will place you above the competition. With the tools available today, there’s no reason you cannot also provide this level of personalisation on the digital front. Some platforms will even help your on-site staff, by personalising your customer’s experience even at your venues!

1. Website

Your website is likely to be the first real impression a customer has of your brand. It is therefore, essential to make a good first impression. Here are a few points to stick to with your website, to ensure an incredible customer experience;


Often referred to as UX or User Experience, it is critical that your website is well designed and easy to follow, for anyone visiting for the first time. It is essential to have clear and concise navigation that guides visitors through your site, to anything your potential customer could find valuable. This varies from information about your product/services, to pricing, or simply the booking process. It is also critical that your website is quick loading! In this world of immediacy, nobody stays on a website that slows them down.

Conversion Tool

A great website guides a visitor through a refined, thought-out conversion path. This may include making a booking, requesting more information, posting a recommendation or just finding out your location/opening times. While this sounds like the top requirement for you and your business goals, it’s also a requirement of your customer. Your website needs to make it easy for the visitor to do all of these things. Any friction, and they’ll leave your site and go to a competitor.


Your website needs to make an impact visually, but also deliver an authentic representation of your venue and services. Hero images have become a great way to present beautiful imagery throughout your website and are likely to be the very first impression you make on your visitors. Make sure they are high-quality (not pixelated) and alluring. Photography is an art, be sure to use a professional.

Cross-platform friendliness

Today, people are visiting your website from a variety of platforms. According to StatCounter in a report towards the tail end of 2016, global mobile web browsing actually overtook desktop for the first time. Given this fact, It’s never been more important than now, to make sure your website is optimised for mobile devices. In-fact, you may even wish to consider a separate design that specifically caters to mobile visitors – rather than trying to make desktop content work on mobile.

Alluring visuals, backed up by a smooth user experience – quick, easy to use, with clear and concise navigation, are all critical elements for your website and the experience of your visitors, alongside the information you provide. Additional content based around visiting your venue will also solidify your expertise within the customer’s mind – for example; Hotels might offer local sightseeing information, or restaurants may provide information on local entertainment venues. It all shows that you care about your customer having the greatest experience possible.

2. CRM

CRM platforms are all about leveraging data made available to you, given by customers as they progress along their customer journey; from strangers to brand authorities & promoters of your services.

A Customer Relationship Management system can benefit your Hospitality company, both in terms of the physical and digital experiences of your customers. On the digital side of things, CRM’s can log every visitor interaction with your company, adding their details to a centralised database. This makes it easy for your team to then personalise communications with potential customers!

However, a great CRM can also take it one step further, providing all this information to staff at your hotel or restaurant, for example, ahead of your customer’s visit. This enables a unique & personalised service that takes into account any requests and requirements, well ahead of time. Think about it this way, if you were to return to a hotel you had previously stayed at, wouldn’t you prefer to to be greeted with “welcome back” rather than the question “have you stayed with us before?”. It is this level of detail that can make a huge difference in your customer’s experience, by making them feel special in this way you also promote a sense of luxury.

Find out if Salesforce CRM is right for you here!

3. Email Marketing Automation

Email Marketing is an effective tool for reconnecting with your existing customers and extending their lifetime value. It is also a great tool for creating a personalised customer experience using automation. So how can something automated be personalised?

Automation is all about utilising the data that is available to you. Data such as name, date of birth, bookings and details such as reason for booking are all accessible if you have a centralised database CRM system. You can use this information as follows;


You can use name tags to address your customer personally in your automated emails.

Date Of Birth

If acquired during booking process can be used to send Happy Birthday emails with special offers

Booking Details

If your guest booked a room or a table as part of an anniversary celebration, you can have an automated email scheduled to ping them the month before this date in the following years to prompt booking the same again or making a special offer.

If your guest booked a standard room in your hotel, you could have an automated email offer the opportunity to upgrade to a superior room or to book additional services that you may offer.

The opportunities to provide a personalised service to your customers via automated emails are pretty much limitless. You just need a strategy for acquiring these details and a system set up to make the most of the data.

For more information on Email Marketing, see our top 5 recommendations to enhance your email marketing campaigns.

4. Social Media Monitoring

Social channels like Twitter and Facebook are great for proactively promoting your brand and the services you offer, meeting your customers where they are. But, they have also become a great tool for customer service.

You can use tools such as Buffer or ‘Social Inbox’ within Hubspot, to monitor social media channels for mentions of your brand, or keywords relevant to your service. With social monitoring, you can get the inside track on what your potential customers are talking about and identify opportunities for engagement through social media channels. It can also be used to flag any mentions of your brand or products, allowing you to respond directly and with speed. With social monitoring you can turn negative experiences into positive ones.

Answering your customers, on the platforms they reside in, gives a personalised feel based on the direct response via their personal profile. It is important for the respondee to be sympathetic with the customers concerns (if negative) and try to resolve any issue quickly and to a satisfactory level.

5. Customer Survey

If you’re really struggling to find ways you can improve your service, you probably aren’t utilising social monitoring or a CRM system as described above. The best thing you can do is ask your customers directly via a customer survey.

Customer surveys work in two ways for improving the customer experience. Firstly, you will get actionable responses from your customers. They will tell you what you need to do to improve their experience! But, secondly and quite subtly, you will also show that you CARE about their satisfaction and are looking to improve based on their recommendations. Again, this feeds back to providing a personalised experience of your brand.


Today’s economy is starting to be driven by millennials who want experiences more than anything, as suggested by the Harris Research study commissioned by Eventbrite back in 2014. Advances in technology and the leveraging of data can support you in creating these experiences in both the digital and physical interactions you make as a brand.

Customers want to feel special and unique and this is what they are willing to pay for. A CEI survey revealed that:

“86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience” – Forbes.com

The points raised in this article are the foundations of creating first-rate customer experience. If you get these right you will be well on your way to improving your customer experience, retaining your customers and extending their lifetime value.


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