Barony Castle is an imposing 16th century castle which has evolved into a welcoming hotel, conference and wedding venue, located south of Edinburgh on the edge of the Scottish Borders and near the picturesque town of Peebles on the River Tweed.
With 82 rooms, each with unique views, and a renowned bar, restaurant and leisure spa, the hotel needed a PMS which would help it in its mission to drive ever better guest experience.
“We had worked with various hotel management systems and none of them did what we needed”
The current owners took over Barony Castle in 2012, inheriting a PMS which was both expensive and unwieldy. They migrated to Hotel Executive, which worked well for them, and so it was a natural next step to move into the cloud with Rezcontrol when it was introduced.
“A natural progression”
“Rezcontrol was a natural progression for us,” explained Nigel Davis, IT consultant to Barony Castle. “Being in the cloud is so much easier – users can access it from any device, keep different windows and tabs open, and it is so intuitive and simple to use. Then when Barony Castle acquired the Tontine Hotel nearby in 2020, it also made sense to share the same system.”
Richard Spanner, Partner at Barony Castle, explained: “We chose Rezcontrol for many reasons – its ease of use, functionality and the partners it integrates with. Our reception team enjoy using the system, as well as the time savings which allow them to take on other duties with our guests.”
“We love the ease of use, functionality and the integrations”
At the core of the decision was a requirement that the PMS served the hotel’s overriding goal of driving better guest experience.
“Guest experience is the most important factor for us,” said Nigel. “Therefore, every system we use has this at its core, to drive both our reputation and repeat business.”
Rezcontrol meets this need in a number of ways. Barony Castle finds the guest engagement emails especially useful, both in terms of providing accurate information in stylish hotel-branded emails, and also as a valuable source of upsells and extras.
The time saved by the many automations also makes a big difference to the hotel’s efficiency, which in turn contributes to enhanced guest experience and overall satisfaction.
“We have saved countless hours of staff time with the automations,” says Nigel. “This frees up staff to work with our guests and make sure their stay with us exceeds their expectations.”
The benefits of Rezcontrol
“From events and reporting to pricing and visibility, Rezcontrol has definitely increased our revenue”
The clear rate setup helped establish where additional income could be made, while the reports are both flexible and really help to identify trends on the booking window, explained Richard.
Meanwhile, Nigel also especially rates the planner. “We host a lot of events, and it is so useful to be able to see exactly what is scheduled for a given day, alongside our regular bookings,” he said. “So, for example, if there is a Christmas party booking and a room guest is looking for a dinner reservation, we are able at a glance to advise on availability, without hopping between diary tabs.”
The housekeeping module is also very effective, looping back into reservations and managing resources.
Great integrations – supported by Rezcontrol
Barony Castle rates the choice and combination of integrations, especially valuing the possibilities created by SiteMinder and RoomPriceGenie – and the fact that they are supported through Rezcontrol.
“It’s fantastic to know that we are being seen everywhere we need to be, and that we are automatically offering optimized rates,” says Nigel. “But just as important is the fact that Rezcontrol is the intermediary when it comes to integrations. Some PMS systems offer a ‘pick and mix’ approach to integrations, leaving their customers to manage those relationships. With Rezcontrol, if there is an issue, we know you will sort it out so we don’t have to spend hours in a customer service vacuum dealing with third parties!”
Excellent onboarding and support
Barony Castle has enjoyed a wholly positive experience of Rezcontrol’s onboarding and support, and Nigel has nothing but praise for both teams.
The migration itself was very straightforward, with account management continuity from Hotel Executive as well as all the assistance they needed to migrate reservations. Training, too, has gone smoothly and the on-demand training videos have proved very effective.
“Having in house expertise obviously helps,” says Nigel, “but notwithstanding, the times we actually need to call support are few and far between, as the system works so well.”
For both Richard and Nigel, the relationship and the functionality of the platform itself are intertwined, and combine to make Rezcontrol the PMS of choice for the hotel.
“Overall the system has helped streamline our reporting and save administration time, which has then been used to create additional incentives and marketing offers,” said Richard.
“Best of all, it is always a two-way conversation – Rezcontrol actively listens, evolves and improves, which drives the integrations, automations and functions needed to create the conditions for ever-better guest experience,” concluded Nigel.