Search
The Caterer

Hotel chiefs blast corporate giants

25 January 2007 by
Hotel chiefs blast corporate giants

Hotel industry leaders locked horns last week to debate the merits of branded chain hotels against individual and boutique properties.

Robert Cook, chief executive of Malmaison and Hotel du Vin, and Gordon Campbell Gray, founder of GCG Hotels, took on Jürgen Giesbert, international vice-president of Marriott Hotels.

Speaking at the Master Innholders General Managers' Conference at the Dorchester hotel in London, Campbell Gray argued that today's hotel customer wants originality and is "fed up of being pigeonholed".

"Small is beautiful and size is rarely great," he said. "As much as we have masses of branded experiences, there's another type of traveller that likes individuality, a more intelligent guest who sometimes wants less but better thought out - a rain shower not a power shower, for instance."

Malmaison and Hotel du Vin were originally formed to create a point of difference from the "tired blancmange mould of big corporate giants", according to Cook. This, he explained, had been "squeezed out of the Malmaison brand when it was corporately owned", but had now returned to being a core value.

"The industry has hidden behind a veneer of design for too long," Cook added. "Hospitality and good service are the key and need to be brought back to the forefront."

But Giesbert hit back, defending the multinational corporation. While there's room for individual hotels, the hotel sector has come of age and brands are here to stay, he said. "People need to know they will be able to do their work and get a good night's sleep, and will pay a 20% premium for that."

Campbell Gray hotels scoops hat trick of awards >>

Malmaison launches ‘home-grown' menus >>

By Emily Manson

E-mail your comments to Emily Manson here.

Get your copy of Caterer and Hotelkeeper every week -

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

close

Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.