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Reservations and General Enquiries: 01539 734000
  • 02 July 2014

    Direct is Best

    Caption: Our Reception Teams love it when you book direct!

    I am old enough to remember telex machines, rack rates and even paper booking sheets to record rooms booked and length of stay, but love it or loath it the internet is definitely here to stay and like many other areas it has revolutionised the hotel industry.

    In many ways the internet has given hotels the opportunity to become more efficient and customer focused but it has also brought with it significant challenges.  One of the challenges is the rise of the OTA (Online Travel Agent) and the cost to hotels of doing business through these booking channels.

    Many guests now choose to book through an OTA - Booking.com, Laterooms or Expedia for instance. I can understand why…they have state of art websites which are very easy to use, meta search facilities so that you can compare prices for different hotels and the advertising and marketing spend that they have at their disposal means that their brand is well known and they are high up on any search that you make on the internet.

    However, as a business we limit the Online Travel Agents that we work with and we would always encourage our customers to book direct where we think that you will get the best experience, after all it is our hotel. Booking direct means we can allocate the most suitable room, talk with confidence about our dining options and explain about all the exciting things there are to do in the area.

    We have two fantastic websites which are suitable for any device from desk top to tablet and mobile. They are packed with lots of information on the hotel and if you prefer to book on-line we have a quick and easy booking experience that takes the reservation straight into our system.

    Whether it is calling the hotel direct or booking on our website we know our product better than anyone and we have a team that want to ensure you receive the best Castle Green or Pinewood experience.

    What guests generally also do not know is how much OTA’s charge hotels in commission. It may surprise you that the commission costs on each booking start at 15% and go as high as 30% depending upon the OTA. This means that for a £100 accommodation booking via Booking.com we will pay £18 before the VAT is taken off.
    But why should the guest care about that? The rate will be no higher than booking direct (that is one of the conditions of the contract) and the terms and conditions are comparable.

    Well, I think it matters because those costs need to be absorbed by the business which means less money to spend on other things – refurbishment or payroll for instance. We still make sure in our hotels that we provide value for money and always aim to exceed the customer’s expectation but costs of this significance have an impact.

    We also encourage customers to book through Best Western where the costs are lower and the profits of the organisation go back into marketing and services for the benefit of the Member hotels and customers.

    Of course, anyway that you choose to book we would like to welcome you to the BEST WESTERN PLUS Castle Green and Pinewood Hotels but we believe that direct is best because we can tailor the booking to your requirements and use the money we save in commission to invest back into the business.

    Why don’t you give it a go?


  • 18 June 2014

    Winners Again!

    Caption: Cumbria Tourism Large Hotel of the Year

    Last night we were host to the prestigious Cumbria Tourism Awards, an annual event which recognises the fantastic hotels, attractions and events in the county.

    We were treated to an arrival drink of local whisky 'The One' which was served on the Kendal Suite terrace overlooking the town before moving down to the Function House which was decorated with black tablecloths and chair covers, exquisite candleabras and twinkly backdrop behind the stage - very Oscars!

    There were 14 awards in total and we were second to last so it was a tense evening, but finally our category was announced by Richard Andrew from local accountants, Armstrong Watson and we won!  So myself, Finance Director Julie Chapman & MD Tim Rumney set off for the stage only to find Executive Head Chef Justin, Banqueting Manager Christine, Bar Supervisor Adam and GM Ben Mayou already there! 

    We then sat down to dinner, where Justin had created a fabulous meal of asparagus and Cumbrian crab, Slow cooked blade of beef and Elderflower sponge with raspberry sorbet complete with Elderflowers from the Castle Green garden!

    All in all it was an excellent evening - fantastic to pick up this coveted award again ( we last won in 2009) made even better by the fact that we won it 'on our own turf'!


  • Head Chef Justin is busy making more of his fantastic Hot chocolate fondants after one of our guests posted a fantastic review of The Greenhouse Restaurant on Trip Advisor.  Andrea said 'it was a must for any chocolate lover' so chef is keen to ensure he keeps up with demand!

    Her comment and rating for The Greenhouse takes us into the top 10 of Kendal Restaurants on the Trip Advisor site, so that's another milestone reached, but we won't be happy until we've climbed the rankings a bit more!

    Read Andrea's full comments on the site

  • 21 May 2014

    Only Yesterday

    It is not every day that you get to sing Karaoke to the Carpenters but when you are launching a new restaurant anything goes…

    So it was at the launch of ONE EIGHTY – our new restaurant concept at our sister hotel the BEST WESTERN PLUS Pinewood on Wilmslow last Thursday night.

    We had a great turnout of over 100 guests and the weather was kind to us so that we could spill outside into the beautiful and mature gardens.

    General Manager, John, and his Team did a great job of providing a fabulous atmosphere and fantastic food and the new restaurant environment is simply stunning. We took a break from the music for John and me to deliver our speeches and then enjoyed the rest of the evening along with tours of the new state of the art kitchen and luxurious new bedrooms.

    So where do the Carpenters come into it. Well, whilst Sisters in Song were tuning up I happened to mention how good it was to hear, Only Yesterday, after all these years. They didn’t let me get away with it. A couple of hours later there I was on the microphone…and I’d only had two glasses of wine.

    What a night…

  • 28 April 2014

    Easter Fun

    Caption: World of Beatrix Potter Easter Egg Hunt
    Caption: Justin's Easter Egg Competition

    Easter is quite a crucial time here at CGH - it's the first big holiday of the year so we aim to be full and it's the date that we set ourselves for our Festive Brochure to be here!  Thankfully we managed both!

    The break started on 16th April with us hiding our Porcelain Easter Egg given to us by The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction in Bowness.  This is the second time we have been chosen to hide an egg as part of their Great Easter Egg Hunt which fundraises for Water Aid each year.  It had to be hidden by 10am as that's when the hunt opens so I popped out early, made sure no one was watching and hid it in a tree opposite Alexanders.  I can't have done a brilliant job as it was gone by 11am!!

    Exec Chef Justin was keen to do his own Easter Egg Competition too so he ordered some different bird eggs and we placed them on the front desk over the weekend so everyone could try and guess which bird laid which - see if you can work it out?

    Now, that the chocolate mountain is starting to subside and the diets started, we are in the process of sending out our Festive Brochures to all our past bookers.  So yours should be coming in the post soon, but as you know the Christmas Party dates our New Year rooms go fast so don't leave it too long. . . . 




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