- Cerys John - Sales & Marketing Manager - Bryn Meadows Hotel
Integrated Hotel Management
Bryn Meadows Hotel
Bryn Meadows is an independent family owned luxurious 4 star resort set in over 100 acres of meadowland in south east Wales, near Caerphilly.
One of the leading destinations for events, spa breaks and golf breaks in Wales, comprising of 42 bedrooms, extensive leisure and spa facilities, a 18 hole championship golf course, sports bar, restaurant plus conference, event and wedding function rooms.
- They had too many disparate systems – they needed one fully integrated solution that could provide one overview of the multiple applications and systems.
- The business had outgrown its previous system which could not provide them with the functionality they now required.
- Overseas support – the hotel had to call the US for support calls, which was impractical and long-winded.
- The accounts team were using multiple platforms and it was difficult to generate reports.
- Rezlynx PMS
- Advanced Conference and Banqueting Manager
- Online Booking Manager
- Online Ticket Sales
- Channel Manager
- Integrations to Blue Runner (loyalty and vouchers) and Prem Core (spa and leisure)
13% increase in average room rate:
It is now easy to amend rates and manipulate them according to availability and the event calendar to drive ARR. It is a simple and quick job and any changes are filtered through to all rate categories (you don’t have to do each one individually) which has resulted in a 13% uplift in ARR.
Restrictions on rate plans:
The hotel can set pre-paid rates, restrictions on offers and promotions and automatic closure of channels when they reach a certain % occupancy to ensure they’re getting the highest rates during high occupancy.
Effective event management:
The Advanced Conference and Banqueting module has helped the hotel effectively manage event bookings and drive revenue. Over Christmas 2017, they did 7,500 covers and had xero errors. This was due to the parties being managed via the delegate checklist feature, which ensured all bookings received confirmations and reminders were sent for contracts, final payments, meal choices and post event feedback. Confirmed bookings are easier to manage due to the automatic checklist dates to allow the co-ordinators to contact the guests as and when required.
Previously the hotel used a spreadsheet to list all the delegates and their food choices which they had to manually populate and upload to the system. They would also have to manually process payments and post onto spreadsheets which not only took hours to undertake, they often failed to balance!
The system now provides a paper trail of details and payments to ensure stress-free events.
Tickets for hotel events (shows, dinners, balls etc.) can now be sold online, freeing up the reception team from handling sales out of hours.
During 2017, revenue has increased by 21% through a combination of higher occupancy, increased rates, non-residential sales and increased spend per guest through setting up special offers and packages.
30% reduction in OTA commissions:
The hotel has implemented multiple strategies since installing Guestline’s online booking module (on the hotel website) which, along with the Price Assure module (which assures bookers of the best rate when booking direct), has resulted in their OTA commissions bill being reduced by 30% over the last year. During high occupancy, they can also set higher rates on OTAs and flex the base rate to ensure their own website offers the most competitive price.
As the system is cloud based, the hotel staff can access the system off-site. This enables them to react instantly and increase rates and limit availability on channels when large events are announced at a weekend (in Cardiff) and the hotel know they are likely to sell out.
It also enables the team to work from home during adverse weather conditions which resulted in sales still coming into the resort.
The UK support team at Guestline quickly respond and resolve any issues the hotel have – the hotel send screen shots to explain the query and have never had to chase the Guestline team for a resolution.
Increased positive reviews:
They hotel use the post stay templates to send automated emails to guests to encourage them to leave reviews on TripAdvisor. This has increased their % of positive reviews and reduced negative feedback. All information is attached to the guest profile so the hotel can be aware of the information next time the guest stays and they can make any necessary improvements.
The hotel can now take advance purchase payments online – it is an automated process and provides the hotel with a guaranteed payment. Previously they were manually inputting payments from online bookings into their pdq machine after the reservation had been made. This caused issues if the card was subsequently declined especially with OTA bookings.
EPOS provides an average spend of all covers (previously a manual calculation) so they can set targets for guest spend. The reports provide a clear indication of product sales to help influence purchasing and promotional decisions.
The restaurant manager can use this data to set upsell targets and staff initiatives to drive spend which has resulted in a revenue uplift.
All food and beverage spend is transferred to the guest’s hotel bill to eliminate lost revenue.
The loyalty card initiative (through the Blue Runner interface) rewards members with exclusive discounts and promotions. This drives cross–property spend and provides the hotel with an analysis of resort sales.
Sales of resort vouchers now sit on a ledger so they can be easily balanced and accounted for once they are redeemed (this was previously a manual process). The online sales module automatically processes the sale and payment.
Direct booking conversions:
For OTA bookings, the hotel staff are encouraged to capture the guest’s email address during their stay. The hotel then send a post stay email to guests with a 10% discount code or promotional package (or similar) when they re-book. They also send them a reminder email a year later to promote the wide range of spa/golf breaks and facilities on offer at the hotel.
Higher event conversions:
People enquiring about events can input their details online to request a brochure, which is then uploaded to the system. The team are then prompted to follow up all open enquiries within a specific time frame and the system is kept up to date with notes which has resulted in a higher conversion rate.
The system migration was undertaken efficiently and the liveload of hundreds of bookings all balanced.
"We moved across to Guestline’s Rezlynx PMS in April 2017 and all the team immediately fell in love with the conference and banqueting module, especially the delegate booking procedure. This enabled us to co-ordinate over 7,500 covers successfully and have the most successful month to date with regards to bookings and sales revenue.
Rate management is now a simple and automated process, which has accounted for higher rates and occupancy. This in turn has driven guest spend across the resort which has attributed to an increase in yield of 21%.
The systems gives us more transparency of sales performance to indicate where we need to direct our resources and make improvements, which again helps to influence targets and revenue."