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01 Sep 2022

What does it take to be a Pride of Britain hotel?

What does it take to be a Pride of Britain hotel?

In summer 2021, Kalindi Juneja took over from Peter Hancock as CEO of Pride of Britain Hotels, a collection of luxury hotel properties across the UK. We catch up with her to hear about her first year in the role, the trends and tech that are defining the 2022 hotel landscape and what it takes to be a Pride of Britain hotel. 


Hi Kalindi, you’ve just passed the one-year of anniversary of joining Pride of Britain as CEO, congratulations! How has the first year been and what changes have you implemented in the business?   

It has been a fantastic and eventful year! We are rejuvenating our brand to ensure it is future-proof and centered around our guests (audience) and their needs. In the new year, we will launch our new brand identity, a new website and also a new direction for all our digital marketing. We are making the shift to a consumer lifestyle brand that will resonate with a wider audience and be the “go-to destination” for a guest wanting a luxury British hotel experience.  

How strong do you feel the UK hotel market is at the moment, and what are some of the challenges in the sector?   

Demand for the UK hotel market is certainly still strong. We are however navigating a market that remains unpredictable and the booking window is often short. The staffing crisis persists and now operators are being stung by huge increases in energy bills.  

What does it take to be a Pride of Britain hotel?   

Our collection of inspiring, independent hotels are all beautifully appointed, operated by some of the finest hoteliers and most caring families, and achieve the highest standards of hospitality. Each PoB member is inspected to our exacting standards every year.  

How do you think the idea of a ‘luxury’ hotel is evolving?   

Guests’ requirements and expectations have changed significantly in recent years. This has necessitated an evolution of how we define ‘luxury’ – comfort and service is obviously key but a key factor of luxury now is- time. There is an expectation that we value our guests’ time to ensure a seamless experience at every touch point. This begins with the online experience at the booking stage, pre and post-stay interaction to anticipate their arrival and also plan a future trip, and various on-property moments to demonstrate we value their time.  

How important is the ‘experiences’ and ‘meetings’ side of what you offer to your member hotels and customers?   

The strength of our brand and the opportunity to amplify an independent hotel’s reach through our marketing services is our core value proposition. However, beyond that, we are a community of the most remarkable hoteliers in the UK who draw from the expertise and knowledge of fellow members. Our forum and events are essential to stimulating these discussions and targeting any challenge head. 

One of the biggest trends/topics in recent years have been sustainability for hotels, are you seeing these in your member hotels?   

I do not see sustainability as a trend. It is the reality of our planet and for business owners, leaders, and administrators, sustainable business practices are becoming imperatives. Business leaders have the savoir-faire to make strategic sustainability decisions that can benefit the hotel, its employees, its customers, and the planet.  

We have signed up for a preferred partnership with Earth Check; the world’s leading environmental accreditation organisation, a move that signifies our ongoing efforts to encourage sustainability across our hotel collection. This partnership will allow our member hotels to take the next steps on their journey to becoming eco-certified hotels by the leading environmental organisation in this field. It can be a daunting process for smaller, independent hotels to become more sustainable; having the expertise and guidance of EarthCheck will be invaluable. All our hotels are at a varied stage of this journey; one that will not bring overnight change but will require slow steps towards this mission.  

At the Independent Hotel Show, we’re passionate about enabling hoteliers to network and learn from their peers – why do you think it’s important for the industry to be a community?   

We can all learn so much from each other – while every property is unique, we have shared challenges and can benefit from the knowledge and experiences of others. The show has always tackled topical concerns and the panels are brilliant. 

Are there any products or industry trends that are really exciting you this year?   

The hotel technological landscape is exciting. Artificial Intelligence to make better-informed decisions about price and demand, virtual reality as a marketing tool to help increase conversion, chatbots, the rise of metasearch, occupancy-based sensors that can reduce energy costs- there is so much happening in hotel tech. We can improve the guest experience throughout the whole customer journey, both online and in person.  

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