The brief story of how the Strand Palace Hotel in the heart of the vibrant West End increased its room bookings using HRS
Text: Vicki Sussens // FOTOS: Strand Palace London
London’s Strand Palace is a grand old hotel in a glorious building in an unbeatable location. In the heart of the vibrant West End, it’s a walk away from major tourist attractions, shops, theatres, a host of prestigious companies and the City, London’s financial district.
Surrounded by iconic cultural and architectural landmarks, the 785-room hotel is itself iconic. Built in 1909 as a grand hotel, it was given an art deco makeover in the 1920s. Now, vintage artefacts from the hotel’s past can be found in the Victoria & Albert Museum. In keeping with this grand tradition, the Strand Palace offers a carvery & grill restaurant, a cocktail bar, a lounge for traditional afternoon teas, a street café and a New York style brasserie. Right on trend, it also has a gym. A multi-million pound refurbishment will soon add even more comfort. And yet, for all its charms, the hotel had one major challenge…
The Strand Palace is an independent brand without the global marketing muscle of a big hotel chain. As well located as it is – it remained below the radar of potentially lucrative clients. For example, most corporate travel managers focus on the big hotel chains because it is too time-consuming to locate and negotiate with individual hotels.
This is where HRS Marketplace came in. Kelly O’Neill, Director of Sales for the Strand Palace says they learned about HRS because many of their preferred clients were distributed through HRS. “Therefore, it made strategic sense to gain further exposure for the hotel, and to try and increase market share and hotel occupancy,” she says. The motivation was clear: “Strand Palace is an independent brand” and joining forces with a company such as HRS“meant added exposure for the hotel on an international distribution platform”.
The result has been an increase in room nights within preferred supplier agreements, along with increases in revenue. Interestingly, the platform has also provided Strand Palace with a way to market its newly refurbished rooms to a wider clientele base. Furthermore, adds O’Neill: “As an independent brand, we do not have global account managers maintaining global relationships, [so] HRS is able to assist in providing this global exposure.”
O’Neill describes the tie-up with HRS as working “efficiently”, notably in the way the hotel now has a method of better reaching customers. “I would say as a business it has lived up to expectation,” she says.