Harbour Hotels spans 13 coastal, country and city locations and is quickly becoming one of the UK’s most memorable luxury hotel groups. From exclusive use country estates in accessible Farnham, to premium hotels in vibrant city locations, Harbour Hotels offers a diverse range of stunning venues across the South of the UK.
Group Corporate Sales Manager Michelle Henry spoke to venuedirectory.com about how the hotel group is establishing itself within the M.I.C.E. Industry, having recently joined venuedirectory.com as a group member. Michelle was interviewed as a sequel to Harbour Hotels becoming a member of venuedirectory.com
Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself and Harbour Hotels
Michelle: “I have been with Harbour Hotels for 4 months and my experience so far has been fantastic. As the Group Corporate Sales Manager, my role looks at new business development from both local and national meetings planners within the M.I.C.E. sector and I also create and implement the group-wide sales plans.
I have worked within the corporate market for 7 years and have previously worked as part of the Hotel du Vin and Malmaison group, delivering agency business into multiple locations. It’s an exciting time for Harbour Hotels this year, with our expansion into a number of prime corporate locations, introducing the brand into some of the UK’s most exciting cities. I’m pleased to be a part of the groups’ exciting period of expansion, we will have 13 hotels by the end of 2016, with new openings in Brighton, Bristol and Chichester and a £25 million yacht inspired new build in Southampton in 2017.
Recently we have also rebranded the Guildford Radisson Blu Edwardian to become the Guildford Harbour Hotel. Set in the heart of Guildford, the new Guildford Harbour Hotel features 183 bedrooms, a stylish restaurant, multiple meetings facilities, bar, alfresco dining terrace, and a rejuvenating spa. We’ll be introducing a number of new dining concepts too, to include the group’s award-winning Jetty restaurant headed up by Group Chef Patron Alex Aitken, who successfully champions sustainable, local food. The Jetty has received a series of accolades; most recently as runner-up for the Caterer’s ‘2015 Seafood Restaurant of the Year. Our vision is to create unique experiences available to the corporate meeting and events market, in sensational locations. We are fully committed to invest, grow and develop our portfolio to become an established brand within the industry.”
What made you consider a membership with venuedirectory.com?
Michelle: “Our objective is to raise brand awareness to conference organisers within the corporate market and we believe venuedirectory.com offer a perfect platform to do this. We understand corporate bookers are in the digital space and there are a large amount who utilise your directory. Also as your venue data powers many industry venue finding websites and UK Convention Bureaux, it will definitely aid us to extend the reach of our venues by becoming a member of venuedirectory.com. Having the opportunity to build key relationships with the booking agents is also brilliant. Your exclusive partnerships with large agencies will provide an invaluable source of business to our venues and we’re excited to introduce something new to the market place. venuedirectory.com has a strong reporting element and justifying return-on-investment and understanding the performance of each venue in detail is an key asset which assists with the overall group strategy.“
How has your relationship with Kirsty Gallagher, your Account Manager been so far?
Michelle: “I have known Kirsty from before I worked with Harbour Hotels and she has been a great help from day one. Kirsty has travelled to a couple of our hotels and will visit the rest shortly to provide one-to-one training with our teams on how to use the venue portal and access different aspects of the reporting module. Providing webinar training has also been convenient in helping us build optimum venue profiles. Kirsty understands our requirements with listing the hotels as a new group and I trust her to be transparent in our partnership.”
What do you think of our additional promotional opportunities?
Michelle: “We are booked in to appear on your GRATIS login page, the fact that we can exclusively promote our group to booking agents to raise the exposure of our brand is amazing. I’m looking forward to seeing our photos live.”
venuedirectory.com would like to wish Michelle and Harbour Hotels a successful 2016. We’re proud to be able to assist Harbour Hotels’ marketing strategy, raising their profile to becoming a strong M.I.C.E brand within the industry.