New year holds promise for UK's largest golf resort operator
December 19, 2018
The UK's largest golf resort operator, RBH - also the country's leading independent hotel management company - has experienced a successful year despite the market pressures brought about by political and economic uncertainty.
Andrew Robb, the company's chief business development officer, believes the business is in a strong position to top this in 2019 as it heads into the new year with more new-build hotel openings than ever before - and a keen eye on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
He said: "This year, RBH has fought against a host of external factors impacting on the hotel industry, welcoming substantial growth. And, while this has made for an exceptionally busy year that has not been without its pressures, it is a year we can look back on with immense pride.
"Our team of experts has effectively integrated the extensive, 26-property QHotels portfolio, has overseen the opening of two brand new hotels and has also completed five rebrands to DoubleTree by Hilton within a six-month period.
"The latter really has been the stand-out success story of the year, and it has without a doubt set the tone as we head into the new year. We are focused on building on this success across 2019, with even more growth and a push against some of the more negative forecasts that have been laid out with regards to the industry for the year."
However, Robb is not denying the challenges the industry has faced throughout 2018 and accepts that caution must be exercised alongside such optimism, adding: "Cost pressures are apparent, with rising property rates and salaries putting pressure on profit margins.
"However, this is where the demand for hotel management companies begins to increase, as owners look for experts in maximising cost efficiencies and generating strong returns whilst offering guests a first class experience, and that's what we do best. We're helping owners navigate challenging times and will continue to do so."
As UK's largest golf resort operator, RBH manages eight venues: Aldwark Manor Golf & Spa Hotel, York; Belton Woods, Grantham, in Lincolnshire; Dunston Hall, Norwich, DoubleTree by Hilton Forest Pines Spa & Golf Resort, Broughton, Lincolnshire; Oulton Hall, Leeds; Slaley Hall, Hexham, Northumberland; Telford Hotel & Golf Resort, Shropshire; and Doubletree by Hilton Glasgow Westerwood Spa & Golf Resort.
RBH will be ready to meet any challenges it faces head-on, as the company focuses on what lies at its heart.
Robb added: "Investors come to us for advice, and we pride ourselves on providing consistent, good quality counsel - and on being transparent at all times. So, while growth is firmly on the agenda for 2019, we would never risk our reputation as trusted advisors in order to engineer any ill-advised expansion that could put investors at risk.
"These poor investments - whether through lack of robust due diligence or projects that have suffered from too much financial engineering - put the whole industry at risk. So, although we believe our investor partners will continue to acquire hotels, RBH is a business that is confident enough in its own expertise to also advise when deals shouldn't be done if the returns are not sufficient - even if that means a slower rate of growth for ourselves."
RBH is the UK's leading independent hotel management company, managing a diverse collection of more than 70 branded and private-label hotel properties.