We decided to ask one of our wonderful clients Tudor Hopkins about the ins and outs of running two successful hotels, and one or two other things…
What attracted you to the hotel business?
I worked in hospitality in Hong Kong for a year when I was 19 so when I came back to the UK I decided to do a hotel management course, encouraged by my parents.
What was your first job in the hospitality industry?
I was running a bar in Lan Kwai Fong, which is basically the Covent Garden of Hong Kong.
What do you most enjoy about running a hotel?
I enjoy people the most, both my staff and guests. A hotel is like a mini-world, as a lot of our guests come from all over the world. I like to travel and I find that by running a hotel, the world comes to you.
What is the key to running a successful hotel business?
Having a clear understanding of where your guests are coming from and having the staff to deliver accordingly to their needs.
What is the biggest challenge in running a hotel?
Making sure you have the right staff.
How does an effective property management system like Avon Data’s Hotel Executive help?
It’s a major help taking bookings from all the different sales channels which is vital for a successful hotel business.
What for you, as a guest, sets a great hotel apart from its competitors?
Great staff that genuinely care about their visitors and attention to detail.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
St Paul de Vance in the south of France.
What is the best hotel you have ever stayed in as a guest – you cannot say your own!
Hotel le St Paul in St Paul de Vance.
What is the best restaurant you have ever eaten in?
I don’t really do best ever ever, but right now it’s the Royal China in London.
What is Moonraker Hotel’s top selling point?
Great staff who can really help people relax and unwind.
Why is it called the Moonraker Hotel?
The name is based on a Wiltshire legend about 16th century smugglers who narrowly escaped the law when raking their illegal barrels out of the village pond by moonlight. The full tale can be read here on the hotel website.
If you had one piece of advice for someone thinking of setting up a hotel, what would it be?
Go and spend six months working at the reception desk/front of house of a hotel first and you’ll see the true ins and outs of what managing a hotel entails.
Why did you choose to use Avon Data’s software?
It was actually already installed when we took over the hotel, but it’s much better than the previous software I used at the last hotel I managed. A big selling point for me was the fact that Avon Data linked both our hotels – Moonraker Hotel and The White Hart in Wells – so I can cross-sell and adjust room rates both hotels from either front desk.
Has it helped with understanding your customers better?
The management information is a big help; seeing booking history and geographic information on our clients really helps us understand them better and of course helps ensure repeat bookings and cross sells.
What would you miss most about it if you did not have it?
The ability to adjust room rates with the touch of a button!
If you want to find out more about The Moonraker Hotel go to www. http://moonrakerhotel.com/.