The multi award-winning Packhorse Inn uses Inn Style for its online booking system. It’s a relationship which has developed over several months between two young, fast growing businesses, with high aspirations, an unwavering insistence on quality and an expectation of a fabulous customer experience.
The Packhorse Inn has its roots as a traditional pub but, when it comes to the dining experience and a place to stay, it is anything but traditional or ordinary. It is part of the Chestnut Group, which has a very clear ethos of fantastic food, quality service and stylish interiors.
Online bookings are essential in todays’ digital world. Guests expect to be able to book online. They will go elsewhere unless you offer a stylish, slick, easy to use and reliable online booking system
The same insistence on style and quality pervades every other facet of the way the company operates, and that starts when customers are searching availability and wishing to book – first impressions count and that high quality experience must continue through the entire guest experience.
It is with this in mind that the Chestnut Group began discussions with Inn Style to develop a high quality, beautiful looking, technically brilliant, bespoke booking system, which would serve as the online ‘shop front’. “We wanted the best possible online ‘kerb appeal’ for our business. Nothing less than superb would do”. Nick Bridges, Head of Brand and Communications, Chestnut Group explained.
‘Online bookings are essential in todays’ digital world. Guests expect to be able to book online. They will go elsewhere unless you offer a stylish, slick, easy to use and reliable online booking system.’ He continued, “We knew what we wanted – a stylishly designed product, that reflected the Chestnut brand, which dovetailed beautifully into our website and provided a smooth booking journey that gave guests confidence in our offer.”
The Chestnut Group team knew that Inn Style was the right product for them. “We could see the potential. It had a great design, speed of operation was amazing and the whole booking experience had been well thought through.
Inn Style had clearly been built by developers who understood the accommodation industry, knew what guests wanted and had all the promise of a superb system.” He added “There was just some functionality missing that was key to the way that we needed it to present itself.”
As well as technical excellence, the customer service at Inn Style was great.
Nick continued “As an example, the original calendar view did not work for us. We needed a slick engine which showed availability by room upon request rather than a generic overview. The Inn Style team were great.
They understood our concerns and we worked together to re-design the system to create a bespoke solution that worked for us. A system that many Inn Style customers now use.”
There also needed to be a seamless link between The Packhorse Inn web pages and the Inn Style booking system. “Our brand image is very important to us. It was essential that the look and feel of the Inn Style engine reflected our own style and branding to ensure the end user’s booking experience was as seamless as possible.
Nick added. “Once again, the Inn Style developers were happy to add this functionality enabling us to customise the Inn Style engine accordingly.”
“As well as technical excellence, the customer service at Inn Style was great. All credit to the team for having the technical skills, business acumen and customer support ethos that they do. They were keen to listen, appreciated the feedback, and were very responsive to our requests – just what you want in a supplier.”
What really struck the team at the Chestnut Group was Inn Style’s willingness to be flexible and adaptable. “They listened to us and took the time to understand our needs. When you get that sort of response from a supplier, you know that you have a good relationship.” He added, “There are not many travel technology companies out there who would offer that level of customer service and be that willing to listen. It was like having a bespoke system written for us.’
The partnership between the Chestnut group and Inn Style came along at just the right time for both companies. Inn Style was establishing itself as the online booking tools system of choice for small hotels, B&Bs, self-catering and glampsites and, the Chestnut Group was forming their ambitious expansion plans for future properties to add to their portfolio.
The Packhorse Inn, Moulton, was the first site in the Chestnut Group portfolio, opened in October 2013. The rest of the group comprises The Rupert Brooke, Grantchester, which opened in October 2014 and The White Horse Inn, Easton, which has been recently refurbished and reopened for business in June 2016. The group is expanding rapidly, keen to extend its offer – fantastic food, quality service and stylish interiors – to a wider audience. The Northgate, a nine bed Boutique Hotel in Bury St Edmunds, will open in October 2016, followed by another stylish new venture, The Three Blackbirds, at Woodditton soon after.