Crerar Hotels Group says personalisation key as booking requests double

A Scottish hotel group is predicting that personalisation will form the cornerstone of hotel bookings as restrictions begin to ease and staycationers wait to find out exactly when travel restrictions will be lifted.

Crerar Hotels Group, which boasts a portfolio of seven properties in some of Scotland’s most breath-taking locations, is committing to offer the highest level of personalisation to its guests, allowing them the ultimate luxury that’s been missing from their lives since the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year – choice.

The commitment comes as the group launches its ‘I Choose’ campaign in preparation for opening its doors as and when hospitality businesses are given the go-ahead by the Scottish Government.

Chris Wayne-Wills, CEO of Crerar Hotels, (pictured), firmly believes that the breadth of choice and freedom to travel again will entice staycationers away from home, breathing life back into the tourism industry.

Wayne-Wills said, “We’ve always been exceptionally reactive to our guests, and pride ourselves on being able to give our residents whatever they want to ensure a special stay at any of our hotels and inns – but when lockdown lifts, we’re taking that to the next level.

“We have all spent close to a year doing our bit to keep each other safe and stop the pandemic spreading as much as possible by following a number of rules and regulations, which have, for the most part, kept us at home and unable to do the things we most enjoy and value.

“As restrictions lift and people are able to travel and connect with their loved ones once again, they’ll get to experience the luxury of choice – something we all took for granted just 12 months ago – and we want to help guests make the most of that freedom.”

Wayne-Wills says that, even though there is no indication yet on potential opening dates for Scottish hospitality businesses, Crerar Hotels saw a 106 per cent increase in bookings in February, with enquiries for longer stays of five and seven nights, multiple bookings for families and plenty of personalised requests.

He continued, “We received an influx of bookings in February and we’re trending above that for March already. The conversations our teams have been having with potential guests are around taking the chance to celebrate special occasions and moments missed over the course of the pandemic, so they want to be able to book in larger groups for a little longer to spend quality time together.

'And personalisation is top of the agenda as people are desperate to start making treasured memories again with the special people in their lives, so we’re focusing on the highest levels of personal service as a priority to ensure that when guests do decide to travel, their first trip is a memorable one for all the right reasons.'

Wayne-Wills went on, “The ‘I Choose’ campaign that we’ve launched in preparation for coming out of lockdown really homes in on those messages – we want to make it clear to guests that, whatever they want, we can make it happen at any of our locations.

“Whether it’s exclusive use of The Glencoe Inn for some belated family celebrations, private wine tastings at Thainstone House, or boat trips from Oban Bay Hotel & Spa or The Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa, to view seals or dolphins on the west coast – or even to catch the freshest Scottish seafood to enjoy back at one of the hotels – nothing is beyond the realms of possibility and our hotels will be geared up to make it happen.'

Wayne-Wills added, “Last year when hotels were looking to reopen after the first UK-wide lockdown, safety was the new luxury for guests, but keeping our guests safe goes without saying and that’s why we believe the new luxury for travellers in 2021 is choice.”

Crerar Hotels Group is already investing heavily with the aim of delivering a boost to Scottish tourism. A £3m refurbishment is under way at the Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa, bringing an upgraded four-star hotel to the idyllic island, whilst The Glencoe Inn is benefitting from a half a million pound programme of works to create the ultimate stay experience in the heart of the world-famous glen.

Wayne-Wills finsihed, “Our ongoing investment in our hotels in the midst of a pandemic is testament to not only wanting to give our guests the best possible experience as and when they can stay with us; but also, to our appetite to breathe life back into the Scottish tourism industry.

“Once we’re given the word, we will be ready to open our doors and give guests a quintessentially Scottish experience with low-key luxury at its heart – as well as the freedom to enjoy their stay exactly as they want to.”