Red Carnation hotel group sweeps TripAdvisor’s London rankings

In London, a single hotel group – Red Carnation Hotel Collection – swept TripAdvisor’s Top 5 best-reviewed rankings last week. I couldn’t agree more with Jonathan Raggett, Managing Director of Red Carnation Hotel Collection, that “it’s a fantastic achievement to dominate the top five TripAdvisor rankings for London hotels.”

ReviewPro is really proud to have Red Carnation as a client and I found their July 2 accomplishment worth sharing with you here for a few reasons, beyond the fact that it’s rare. First off, we’re talking about winning rave reviews from guests during the height of London’s tourist season, when both room rates and consumers’ expectations tend to be higher than normal. That can make it tougher to convince guests that they’re getting their money’s worth, acknowledged Michelle Devlin, general manager of the company’s No. 1-ranked Egerton House Hotel in Knightsbridge.

Furthermore, Red Carnation’s victory highlights what can be achieved when a hotel company emphasizes top-notch service that’s often based on listening and communicating with its guests through emails, online reviews and comments, and social media channels.

The Egerton House Hotel is one of three, five-star hotels that belong to Red Carnation group of luxury boutique hotels and that have consistently vied for the No. 1 slot since 2010. On July 2, two additional Red Carnation properties – both four stars – joined the three to give the group its unusual sweep.

To get a feel for what the company is doing differently than its competitors, I spoke to Devlin last week. “We’re hugely proud,” she said, adding that the hotel’s Global Review Index™, ReviewPro’s industry standard online reputation score, stands at an impressive 96.7%. “It’s a wonderful acknowledgement of the hard work that we do. For our guests to feel that way about us makes us feel amazing.”

Asked about her secret to claiming the No. 1 spot, Devlin told ReviewPro that she primarily credits the hotel’s popularity with consumers to service.

“It’s about the service – right from the beginning,” she said.

“Even before our guests arrive, we try to find out as much information as we can about them so when they do arrive, we have an idea as to what they want to do so we can tailor things for them.”

The hotel’s communication with guests continues once they’ve packed, checked out and returned home, Devlin said. An Australian family who recently stayed with them frequently communicated their needs during their stay, she said.

“We’re really on board with that,” Devlin said.

To help spur social media buzz even after a guest’s stay, the hotel often photographs guests while at the hotel. Once they get home, “we send them the photos to keep a dialogue going,” she said. “They arrive as guests, and leave as friends of Egerton.”

Devlin said ReviewPro’s online reputation management tools are also key to the hotel’s success in tracking and responding customer comments.

“For me, it’s a one-stop shop,” she said. “It’s the place where I can see everything all in one picture and see month-to-month fluctuations.”

In terms of its guest mix, the hotel welcomes primarily leisure travelers, with about 55% visiting from the U.S. and another 35% coming from the U.K., she said.

Here are the names of the top five hotels – all Red Carnation properties – on July 2 on TripAdvisor:

  1. The Egerton House Hotel, Knightsbridge
  2. The Milestone Hotel, Kensington
  3. Hotel 41, Belgravia
  4. The Montague on the Gardens, Bloomsbury
  5. The Chesterfield Mayfair

Hoteliers: How do you keep your hotel’s Global Review Index™ and TripAdvisor ranking as high as possible during peak periods?