Solar power rules OK?

At Greetham Valley we are very proud of our ‘green’ credentials (please see our Green Policy page for more details).

The latest project that we are researching is the provision of electricity by solar panels to be fitted onto our rather large expanse of south facing roofs. The electricity bill of any hotel or leisure complex would always cause a sharp intake of breath and we run around turning off all excess lights etc (WHY are they being left on anyway?)

Now we are being approached by several companies looking at supplying solar panels and dangling the government’s feed-in tariff carrot in front of us – but how long these tariffs can be sustained is another matter – they are reducing anyway in April 2012, as the subject becomes more contentious. Read more..

However, the appeal of Greetham Valley producing up to 50% of our daytime electricity (yes, even in the depths of a very overcast winter apparantly) is still mighty tempting. The cost of the panels has greatly reduced in recent months and this is therefore now a much more viable proposition and as ever we are very keen to make Greetham Valley as eco-friendly as possible. Watch this space…or roof!

Putting on a flowery front

Autumn hues at Greetham valleyAlthough we love the ever changing hues of autumn leaves on the trees all over Greetham Valley’s golf courses, this time of year is hit and miss with the colours in our tubs and hanging baskets. Some summer plants at the front of the hotel are still going strong – geraniums and petunias are still particularly spectacular – whilst others are past their best – pansies and marigolds. And whatever happened to the Busy Lizzies this year? We just thought the slugs and snails had got at ‘em but the knowledgeable Jayne Manby at Rutland Water Garden Centre says there has been a nationwide outbreak of downy mildew affecting impatiens this year so that seems to be the culprit. Until we put them out of their misery, our Busy Lizzies looked exactly like the ones shown on this Royal Horticultural Society advice page.

With the change of season, we have now put our orders in for winter pansies ready for when the geraniums finally give in. With a very cold winter forecast, these hardy little plants will give a much needed splash of colour throughout our hotel frontage. One of our staff has also been nurturing some box ‘balls’ in pots at home and they are nearly ready for siting here to complement our bay trees.

Behind the scenes look at Hotel life

All Hotels strive to portray the image of a swan – with all aspects of their customer facing operations serenely and smoothly gliding along. Sometimes, what goes on behind the scenes can be worthy of Fawlty Towers but as long as the guests are well looked after, staff can cope with anything!

Greetham Valley welcomes coach parties –  large car parks and our venue being close to the A1 seem to be invaluable to them. But last month we had a coach party of 50 arrive for high tea – unexpectedly! They were on their way back through Rutland from a garden centre tour and had booked a cream tea at another venue – but had mistakenly booked it for the following day and the original venue couldn’t accommodate them. A quick phone call – could Greetham Valley help? We were extremely busy but yes, of course we could. Chef whipped up a batch of scones and cakes, waiters rapidly dressed extra tables and front of house put the kettle on. An hour later, 50 happy ladies and gents were settled in and munching their way through freshly baked goodies and quaffing a gallon of tea and coffee. A feel good factor all round and we waved the very happy coach party off on their way home. We think they’ll be back!

Hotel reviews – Tripadvisor and co

Nowadays not many people book hotels or travel to unfamiliar locations without googling venues or checking other travellers’ feedback for their opinions and experiences. Broadly speaking, hoteliers welcome reviews with open arms – constructive criticism is always valuable as the majority of good hotels constantly strive to improve their service to guests and thereby increase their appeal to more customers. Greetham Valley is no exception – we actively encourage guests to provide us with their opinions and suggestions via our in-house questionnaires and also ask them to leave a review on TripAdvisor on their return home.

But sometimes, encouraging guests to provide public reviews can backfire – review websites are by their very nature open to abuse. What happens when a guest has ulterior motives eg threatening bad publicity unless they receive ‘compensation’ for non-existent problems? Many hotels may well ‘pay off’ the guest, reasoning that refunding the price of a room is preferable to receiving a bad review and a potential decrease in ratings.

TripAdvisor encourages hoteliers to utilise the option of posting a management response to any review; this gives them the opportunity to show appreciation for the good and provide their perspective on the bad. As reviewers are unable to reply publicly to management responses, hoteliers do get to have the last word and, in the case of genuine serious issues, would invite the opportunity to have private dialogue with the disgruntled guest.

It is important for potential guests to bear in mind possible abuse of the review websites – please do look at the majority of the reviews for whatever hotel, attraction or restaurant you are considering and bear in mind possible motives behind any that seem the ‘odd ones out’.

A Truly Superb Hotel near Rutland Water

Rutland is renowned for being the smallest county in Britain, and also one of the most picturesque. With the famous Rutland Water reservoir, gorgeous villages and rolling countryside, what more could you ask for? A hotel near Rutland Water of course, and that is exactly what you get from Greetham Valley.

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