In celebration of Pride of Britain Hotels’ momentous 40th year, we continue in our series of spotlights with some of the collection’s longest-standing members.
Next up, we speak to David Morgan-Hewitt, Managing Director of The Goring, in London’s Belgravia. A Pride of Britain Hotels member since 1999, The Goring is the only UK hotel with a Royal Warrant from HM The Queen.
What are your reflections on Pride of Britain Hotels’ 40th anniversary?
“The Goring has been a member of Pride of Britain since the very early days. Over that time, we have watched the wonderful evolution of the collection. It now collates the top hotels to be found around the British Isles, all of which provide magical experiences for their guests. Hospitality remains at the centre of everything Pride of Britain members do, as does innovation.”
How has Pride of Britain Hotels changed over the last 40 years and adapted to the current climate of the luxury hotels sector?
“The hotel landscape was very different 40 years ago, and the look of the hotels within the group was very different. These days, all of the geographical areas, tastes and styles are now catered for. The designer fabrics, the technology and the food have all changed, and undoubtedly for the better. What has not changed is the incredible dedication to hospitality; Pride of Britain Hotels are not about profit and empire building, they are about guests. Everything focuses on the guests, and that will never change.
“One major change is that not all our hotels are standalone, independently-owned properties. Some belong to small groups and the ownership circle has widened. This, however, merely reflects the changes in the hotel landscape over the last 40 years. This has kept the collection relevant for our clients. We have not stood still but have moved with, and in some areas, ahead of current changes in the luxury sector.”
And how has the world of luxury hotels changed over the last 40 years?
“Over the last 40 years, luxury hotels have become much more professional and focused. There are many more rules, regulations and laws than ever before, so running a luxury hotel is an extremely specialised area. Unfortunately, this change has led to many hotels becoming far less guest-focused and run by accounts and businessmen rather than hoteliers.”
“What is interesting with Pride of Britain Hotels is that those individuals running our properties are all totally guest-focused first and foremost.”
What are your forward views on the Pride of Britain Hotels brand in the years ahead, and how do you think it will continue to serve its members and guests?
“It is the evolution of the Pride of Britain Hotels brand which is its strength. Whilst members are somewhat traditional, with their focus on hospitality, service and luxury, they are in no way old-fashioned. The hotels continue to evolve and to improve their offering, ensuring that they really meet – and exceed – the demands of the modern luxury traveller.
“The most wonderful thing about this collection of independently-minded hotels is that it never stands still. The next 40 years are going to be even more fun!”