Case Study

Crest Hotels Group

Crest Hotels love everything about Rezcontrol – the guest engagement, the simplicity and the customer service, as well as being able to standardise PMS functions across the Group.

Background

The Crest Hotels Group, which now stands at eight hotels and growing, buys, develops and manages uniquely positioned hotels in the UK. Privately owned and operated, their core values focus around true hospitality, engaged teams, and serving the community each hotel is located in. Their hotels vary from the highly commercial 86-room Knowsley Inn and Lounge in Liverpool to the Grade 1 listed The Feathers Hotel in Ludlow. Combined, the group owns 630 bedrooms and employs over 400 staff.

Crest first discovered Avondata’s systems when they purchased the Almondsbury Interchange Hotel in Bristol a decade ago. They liked our server-based system, Hotel Executive, so much that a decision was made to roll out our PMS across every hotel acquisition as a matter of policy, choosing us against a global PMS provider.

As Rezcontrol started to replace Hotel Executive, each new acquisition now migrates to it as a default.

The problem

“We wanted to standardise functions across our fast-growing group”

Crest wanted to standardise their operation and PMS processes and functions as they knew they were going to be expanding the group further. They needed to bring everything from pre-arrival marketing to post-departure reporting and analysis into one place. 

Now standing at eight hotels, every new hotel has migrated to Avondata systems, with their newer additions starting with Rezcontrol and the older ones upgrading to Rezcontrol from Hotel Executive when it was introduced in 2020.

They had a few criteria which their PMS provider of choice needed to be able to ensure – ease of use, ease of rollout across each new hotel, standardised offerings and reporting across the group, fair pricing and real customer service and support.

As Michelle Dean, Group Commercial Director, explained: “When we looked into it, we could see that Rezcontrol was not only a great system, with all the functionality of the global firms on the market, but also that the pricing and service levels were right for our portfolio of medium sized hotels, which most of our group comprises.”

The solution

“Being able to copy over templates and see all our hotels at a glance is amazing”

As Rezcontrol has rolled out across the group, its value to Crest Hotels has become increasingly apparent.

Michelle, who has worked in hospitality throughout her career, is thrilled.

“I’ve used a lot of systems, and can say that Rezcontrol’s guest engagement is the best! We have total control to create our own templates, with our own branding, and it is so easy. I’ve found we can extrapolate from one hotel to the next and this way they are all on the same page, all look so professional, and it saves hours of staff time reinventing the wheel.”

The same goes for terms and conditions, as every item embedded in one hotel can be transposed to the others, generating efficiencies for every venue in the group.

The benefits of Rezcontrol

“The group dashboard is so easy to use, on all devices”

Similarly, Crest find the group dashboard extremely user-friendly, on all devices, and very well streamlined.

“I travel a lot, as a Commercial Group director, and find it as easy to operate from my mobile as on a laptop on a train – I can just log in and find any update or report from any of our hotels in seconds,” explained Michelle.

Group and individual requirements are met with equal attention to detail

Moreover, the system works just as well for the individual requirements of each hotel, as for the group as a whole.

For example, Avisford Park in Arundel – a Georgian Manor set in 89 acres, with 140 rooms of different types and styles, and function rooms for weddings, parties and corporate events, as well as a health club, spa and golf course – is very different from the listed Feathers Hotel and Restaurant in Ludlow, which is more traditional, with 42 rooms and a focus on fine dining and weddings. These both have different needs from Knowsley Inn and Lounge in Liverpool, which sees a lot of commercial traffic, or the Metropole and Spa in mid-Wales, which serves a mix of business and leisure visitors.

“We can generate standardised transaction codes across the group – but we can also create individual ones for, say, spa and leisure bookings at Avisford, or conferencing at Knowsley, or a wedding at The Feathers,” says Michelle. “We can also apply individual room type listings and even room names according to the hotel, so their individuality does not get lost in the application of a group-wide system.”

“The fantastic range of integrations, including Newbridge and SiteMinder, work with the system itself to add real value and your guest engagement generates huge amounts of upsells and extras”

The templated guest engagement email automation function works especially well for the Crest Hotels Group. “Not only is it user-friendly, efficient and professional-looking – we make a great deal on upsells and extras by adding in offers to the pre-arrival email,” says Michelle. “By that point, the booking has already been paid for, and guests have the opportunity to treat themselves.”

The Crest Group also appreciates the range and depth of integrations within Rezcontrol. Each partner is carefully chosen to reflect the needs of the customer, and especially valuable to the group is the Newbridge EPOS integration, enabling seamless reconciliation between restaurant and room, while SiteMinder ensures visibility to hundreds of OTAs.

“It’s also the way they integrate with the system itself,” explained Michelle. “When you use the system to its fullest potential, the extra revenue driven by the direct booking engine alongside SiteMinder, and the extra sales enabled by up-to-the-minute rate changes on Rate Matrix, are invaluable. The way each hotel can add to or tweak its offering so easily drives business, saves time, and gives the individual hotels the independence to implement what they need to.”

Outstanding onboarding and tech support

“I have never experienced this level of customer service from a PMS provider”

One of the biggest advantages of Rezcontrol for the Crest Group has been the support. “I have never experienced this level of support from any PMS,” says Michelle.

“We really rate having an individual account manager, who really knows our business in depth. We also know that any query or issue will be sorted out – there is a human being on the end of the phone. The out of hours service, of course, is invaluable if a problem happens at night. We couldn’t be happier.”