Brand Led Success At Dormy House

Creating a strong brand and owning the direct business channel


The Brief

Curate, brand and deliver Dormy House's new brand following a refurbishment as a new laid-back, luxury hotel and spa experience for the Cotswolds.

Our Approach

  • Using proven customer geo-demographic tools, we looked at the Cotswolds, what hotels were there, how they were positioned, who they appealed to and searched for our niche.
  • We wanted to create a home not a hotel – we came up with ‘farmhouse chic’ to reflect the Scandinavian owners and informal positioning… the aim was to be ‘like home, but better’.
  • Humour – hotels need to be fun. We developed signage saying ‘beware the chef’ instead of ‘staff only’ and put remote control helicopters and cars in the gents toilets… you get the drift.
  • Don’t be predictable – we named the best suites as the smallest rooms you find in a home… 'The Loft' and 'The Attic'. No ‘superior’ and ‘deluxe’ room names insight.
  • Drawing the customer – we chose our demographic ‘tribe’ (30-44 years old, HNW individuals, creative industries, typically living in London and the home counties) and we solely focused marketing and sales efforts to them.
  • PR Led – we developed a detailed PR and influencer strategy based around lifestyle, not travel, as this is where our chosen tribe hang out.
  • We concentrated our recruitment strategy on ‘will not skill’, taking a local workforce as our core. An aptitude and understanding that the guest is the heart of the experience was key, and a can-do attitude far outweighed an impressive hotel background CV in our selection process.
  • Digital, digital… A huge focus on building an online experience. Visually, tone of voice, creative execution. Marketing-led, not sales-led.

The Results

Over 90% annual occupancy with an ADR well in excess of £250

89% direct business

AA Hotel of the Year 2015

Small Luxury Hotels – Global Hotel of The Year 2017

5 Bubble Luxury Rating from the Good Spa Guide

4 AA Red Stars and 3 AA Rosettes

The Caterer – ‘Hoteliers Hotel top 100’ 2016/2017/2018

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If any of this hits the spot, we'd love to hear about your own Hotel(s) and have a no obligation chat.

Make some noise

Contact us today for a chat

Chris Ward

Chief Maker

The Old School Way

Tel: +44 7553 010956

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