The Good Hotel Guide 2018: 40th Anniversary Edition

Our Stories
Good hotel guide

British hotel guests reveal both bullish and bashful sides…

Still celebrating the finest hotels in the UK and Ireland, 40 years on, the Good Hotel Guide 2018: Great Britain and Ireland ( – the 40th anniversary edition – will be published on Monday 9 October.

Its survey of nearly 600 readers reveals the things that bother them most as guests.  Some of the more surprising (and recurrent) comments that have arisen from the survey include:

  • A guest requesting a hotel’s floor plans
  • Breakfast starting too late
  • Beds covered in cushions
  • Complex shower systems
  • Either no parking or tight parking spaces

Here are some further insights into British guests’ gripes when staying in hotels, and what hoteliers could improve.

The hotel industry is all about its people so it is important to hire the right staff.  Hence surly staff (52%), poorly-trained staff (28%) and a dislike of staff using Americanisms such as “you guys” and “enjoy” (27%) do not go down well with guests.  However, only 8% of guests are bothered when staff don’t carry their bags.

We Brits are a bashful bunch. Privacy is a concern – even though most guests are probably sharing with their spouse or partner. The trend for placing a freestanding bath in the bedroom is unpopular with 34% of respondents; half of guests (49%) dislike a ‘lack of privacy in the bathroom’ and 10% of guests prefer to sleep in a twin bed.

Bedroom gripes include an uncomfortable or saggy bed (59%), poor-quality bedding (48%), windows that don’t open (38%) and poor lighting by the bed (30%).  Captive coat hangers and UHT/ long-life milk continue to frustrate guests in equal measure (15%).  There is also disdain for synthetic bed linen and poor quality, flat or lumpy pillows.

In the bathroom, the main complaints centre on a lack of cleanliness, with unclean loos (86%), hair in the plughole (74%) and dirty shower curtains (61%) being the main gripes.  Other complaints include wet rooms which flood the floor (27%), poor sink mirror lighting (20%) and refillable soap/shampoo dispensers (13%) – perhaps because guests like to take their hotel toiletries home.

When it comes to hotel dining – an area which has come a long way since the Guide launched in 1977 – poor-quality tea, coffee and juice top the list (33%), followed by a dislike of over-packaged condiments (21%).  Almost a fifth of guests (17%) find menus unchanged for several days frustrating; 9% of guests have a dislike of paper napkins and 8% of guests do not think hotels cater enough for restrictive diets.

Other grumbles include discretionary service charges being added to a bill (46%), confusing bills (31%), irritating background music (29%), poor Wi-Fi (26%) and lengthy Wi-Fi codes (10%).

According to Good Hotel Guide co-editors Adam Raphael and M. Astella Saw: “British guests, quite rightly, now expect certain standards when staying in a hotel. Successful hoteliers, such as those commended in this year’s Guide, work tirelessly to keep their guests happy by providing excellent service, a comfortable bed and delicious cuisine, with many welcoming their guests back year after year.”

The Good Hotel Guide 2018 has 424 main entries, featuring hotels that provide some of the best hospitality in Great Britain and Ireland.  Each year ten César awards are presented to the Guide’s most celebrated hoteliers. Named after César Ritz, the famed hotelier whose name has come to symbolise exemplary hospitality, these are known as the Oscars of the hotel industry; results are strictly embargoed until 9 October 2017, the date of publication.

The highly-esteemed 2018 Editor’s Choice section highlights the top 10 hotels in 16 categories – This Year’s Discoveries, Romantic, Spas, Seaside, Restaurants-with-Rooms, Dog-friendly, Country House, Gardens, Rooms with a View, B&Bs, Value, Pubs-with-Rooms, Family, Walking, Boutique and Weddings. All hotels are listed alphabetically by village or town, with a photograph, and all of the Guide’s main entries include a full review with accompanying contact details.

Just four hotels have been featured in the Guide each consecutive year since it was launched in 1977.  They are Ballymaloe House in County Cork; Currarevagh House in County Galway; Lastingham Grange in Yorkshire and Rothay Manor in Cumbria.  Says Adam Raphael: “These four hotels are to be highly-commended for maintaining their excellent standards over a considerable long period of time.”

A Shortlist section features an additional 416 establishments.  These include new entries of a notable standard and other properties that remain ever-popular.

The Good Hotel Guide 2018 is also available online at There are a further four online-only Editor’s Choice hotel categories as follows: Fishing, Golf, Eco-friendly and Historic.

The Good Hotel Guide 2018: Great Britain & Ireland will be published on 9 October 2017, priced £16 (including p&p within the UK) from The Good Hotel Guide, 50 Addison Avenue, London W11 4QP (Tel: 020 7602 4182; or priced £20 from all good bookshops.  The Guide’s latest informative monthly newsletters can be viewed online at:

Discount vouchers worth a total of £150 are included in each copy of the Guide. They enable a 25% saving off one night’s normal B&B price at participating hotels. Good Hotel Guide gift vouchers are also available in denominations from £100 to £500.


The Good Hotel Guide 2020 announces its Editor’s Choice Winners

The Good Hotel Guide 2020 announces its Editor’s Choice Winners

Learn more
The Good Hotel Guide reveals its 10 César award winners
Good Hotel Guide 2020

The Good Hotel Guide reveals its 10 César award winners

Learn more
The Good Hotel Guide 2020 picks the best hotels and B&Bs
The Good Hotel Guide

The Good Hotel Guide 2020 picks the best hotels and B&Bs

Learn more

We’ve had the pleasure of working with Travel PR for over a decade and cannot recommend them highly enough. They genuinely care about their clients and have been extremely professional, personable, and passionate in supporting the Artisan Travel Company’s goals.

The Artisan Travel Company

Contact us

Travel PR, established 27 years ago, is a leading specialist PR and communications agency specialising in the travel, hotel and lifestyle markets. Want to create a PR strategy for your brand?