As Pride of Britain Hotels celebrates its 40th year as the leading collection of the UK’s very finest hotels, we take a look at some of its longest-standing members.
A member since 1982 (40 years), Talbooth House & Spa, Essex, is the founding member hotel and is the longest-standing member of Pride of Britain Hotels.
We speak to Paul Milsom, Chairman & Managing Director at Talbooth House & Spa:
What are your reflections on Pride of Britain Hotels’ 40th anniversary?
“On a personal level, it is wonderful that 40 years later Pride of Britain Hotels is still as relevant as it was when my father founded it in 1982. He was a keen advocate of the need for independent hotels to work together to promote themselves. However, he felt there should be a UK based consortium of luxury hotels that would come together to market their unique brand of hospitality to the vast number of domestic tourists as well as the hugely important US traveller.
“All these years later, this is still true, and Pride of Britain Hotels gives our hotels a strong collective marketing voice across the UK and throughout the rest of the world. Modern technology may have changed the way we do that, but the values remain the same and we are better together that we are apart.”
How has Pride of Britain Hotels changed over the last 40 years and adapted to the current climate of the luxury hotels sector?
“Individual hotels have come and gone, with some of the smaller ones returning back to private houses, whilst others have changed their ownership structure or their style of operation. Those that have remained or who have joined us, have very often developed their leisure offering by adding fabulous new accommodation, additional food and beverage areas or enhanced facilities in particular spas. Back in 1982, spas hardly existed but are now found in the vast majority of our hotels.
“These additional facilities may have added to the guest experience, but the true heart of a Pride of Britain Hotel has always been the same, and will be for the next 40 years: namely wonderful accommodation in a stunning setting, delicious award-winning food and warm, friendly hospitality.
“Looking after people and making the guest stay a fun experience shouldn’t be difficult, but it is only achieved by passionate and driven professionals going the extra mile. This has always been the hallmark of a Pride of Britain Hotel, and long may that be the case.”
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?
“Now seems the perfect point to look back at the triumphs of the past 40 years and at the same time, to look forward to the future with our new CEO, Kalindi Juneja, who is charged with refreshing the POB Hotels’ Brand in this digital age.
“Whatever happens in the wider economy, I know that the fundamentals of great hospitality will remain the core value of all Pride of Britain Hotels, and the need for these individual and very special hotels to be part of something bigger will continue to resonate amongst our members.”