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Steeped in British history, this grand Georgian mansion has been home to Her Majesty’s War Department in 1882 through to Her Majesty's Customs & Excise in 1984 when it was closed. Extensive restoration and refurbishment have transformed it into the stunning 32 bedroom luxury hotel it is today.
Located on the main Roman approach to the city of York, the house is of circa 1827 and appears on Robert Cooper's plan of York (1832). It is described as a ‘mansion and pleasure grounds' in the first rate assessment in 1837.
Initially The Churchill opened as a fourteen bedroom hotel but in 2006 a new chapter in the mansion's history began with the complete refurbishment of the original building and the addition of an extension, resulting in a 32 bedroom luxury hotel with a fine dining restaurant and function rooms.
At this time, the owners looked into replacing their existing Property Management/Epos System as they needed to cope with the impending extension of the hotel and the creation of extra offices. John Wallace, GM at The Churchill Hotel explains:
"In addition to the extension of the hotel, we realised that updating our software so it could truly embrace the Internet was going to be crucial to the hotel's future success. We were going to be faced with filling double the number of bedrooms at a point when the effectiveness of traditional advertising media was in decline, plus we were refurbishing in a much more contemporary style, thus moving away from our existing client base to pursue a more Internet savvy generation.
Having looked at systems from a variety of suppliers we settled upon Guestline. Many PMS and Epos systems offered the functionality that we required to assist us in smoothly running the extended hotel, but it was actually the new technologies that Guestline had in the pipeline that really excited us and convinced us that we would be wise to choose them. It was rumours of the development of their integrated channel management system and Online Booking Module in particular that clinched the deal. This software would give us both a real-time booking engine for our own website and a live two-way connectivion to the online travel agents. Guestline looked promising in terms of helping us maximise our sales and minimise both labour costs and human errors.”
“The Property Management System is simple to learn and is very intuitive, making it easy to train new staff. It offers all the functionality that we require for a hotel of our size. It has proved very reliable and is always being further developed and updated by Guestline.
Guestline’s Distribution Channel Manager is an absolute godsend! It simplifies the management of our online room rates and availability. The bookings just drop seamlessly into the PMS, lessening the workload for our reservations team. Overbookings and parity issues are now a thing of the past and with live availability being pushed out to all of our chosen channels we can offer each agent ‘last room availability’, secure in the knowledge that once sold, that room type will be automatically removed from sale. We’ve seen Guestline's Distribution Channel Manager steadily evolve and we now come to rely on its intelligent features for threshold closures and price variances. It now automatically reacts to circumstances and fluctuates our predetermined rates and availability in order to maximise our revenue and occupancy.”
"We believe that Facebook offers great potential to forge and maintain relationships with both our prospective and existing clientele, therefore we jumped at the chance to have a Facebook Booking Module as soon as we heard that Guestline was introducing it.
Offering this booking engine simplifies the booking process for the Facebook fans that we have tried so hard to cultivate and ensures that they then proceed to book through a commission-free channel. Facebook now generates 15% of all online bookings and this will surely increase as our fan base grows.”
“We have always been thoroughly satisfied in all of our dealings with Guestline, from installation and training through to support. All contact has been professional and personable. We are an extremely happy customer of Guestline and, to date, their products have always exceeded our expectations. We have every confidence that Guestline will continue to provide us with software solutions to ensure that, technologically, we remain one step ahead of our competitors yet at a price that we, a relatively small independent hotel, can afford."
Since installing Guestline’s Web-Based PMS with integrated Distribution Channel Manager and Online Booking Module, we have benefited from a very healthy, steady incline in occupancy of approximately 10%, currently averaging at 87.29% with a 5% increase in ARR. The Channel Manager has enabled us to have just one receptionist on duty at all times; beforehand we needed a second employee overlapping the morning and evening shifts when we first opened with 32 bedrooms. The saving works out at over £22,000 per annum.
John Wallace, General Manager, The Churchill Hotel