Gatwick Hotel, Gatwick B&B or Gatwick Guest House?
During our recent rebranding we faced something of a dilemma; what exactly is Waterhall Country House and how should we define our service to our customers?
We quickly indentified three terms that people most regularly use to search for Gatwick accommodation. They are Gatwick hotel, Gatwick bed and breakfast (including Gatwick B&B) and Gatwick Guest House.
The problem we faced was deciding where within these three terms Waterhall Country House sits. This was no decision to be taken lightly. Our website is viewed by hundreds of potential guests every month, a large percentage of whom use a search engine to do so. If we made the wrong decision we would restrict our visibility and seriously impede our business.
A Gatwick Bed and Breakfast?
Definition of a bed and breakfast:
"Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with another guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen."
Traditionally the business has touted itself as a Gatwick B&B however, with the renovation to the building over the last seven years and the continued review of our service, this qualification feels somewhat unjust. The term 'bed and breakfast' can conjure up connotations of old, tired rooms in private houses that have been unleashed on the public by entrepreneurial owners in the now certain knowledge their children won't be coming back.
This is absolutely not the case at Waterhall. Originally a farm house, the main building has been purposely extended and transformed to offer all the comforts of a hotel, albeit one with only ten bedrooms. All our rooms are en suite and, as the next generation of refurbishments winds it's way through the corridors, several now boast modern wetrooms.
Our breakfast is absolutely not orchestrated around the family dining table, browsing our personal memorabilia whilst faining interest in the stranger sitting opposite you. Our dining room contains eleven individual tables and is for the sole use of our guests. Family photos are only brought out on request.
Whilst we offer a bed and breakfast tariff Waterhall Country House is so much more than just a Gatwick B&B.
A Gatwick Guest House?
Definition of a guest house:
"Guest houses may be operated either as a secondary source of income or a primary occupation. Usually the owners themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms, but you may find some bed and breakfasts where they hire staff for cleaning or cooking. A property which hires professional management is no longer a bed and breakfast, but enters the category of Small Hotel."
Ultimately the terms 'Gatwick bed and breakfast' and 'Gatwick guest house' are very similar. Whilst the latter does suggest and altogether more purpose built establishment with a dedicated work force, it still doesn't quite give Waterhall the credit it is due.
What's more, in this cyber-space age we live in a huge amount of our business comes via the internet and we cannot overlook this. The simple fact is that the term 'Gatwick guest house' gets less search requests that 'Gatwick B&B' or Gatwick Bed and Breakfast' which collectively account for roughly a tenth of the people searching for 'Gatwick Hotel'.
In a time when search engine rankings are key we cannot overlook this. In order to stay competitive we have to be listed under the most popular terms.
A Gatwick Hotel
Definition of a hotel:
"A hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging, usually on a short-term basis. The provision of basic accommodation, in times past, consisting only of a room with a bed, a cupboard, a small table and a washstand has largely been replaced by rooms with modern facilities, including en-suite bathrooms. Additional common features found in hotel rooms are an alarm clock, a television, and internet connectivity; snack foods and drinks may be supplied in a mini-bar, and facilities for making hot drinks."
Waterhall Country House is privately owned and family run, nevertheless our business is too big for one couple to run exclusively. Therefore we employ several members of staff and this in turn requires a professional management structure. We certainly meet all the criteria listed above with the exception of mini-bars. We however have a well stocked and comfortable bar area which id open to our guests. These are elements that one would certainly associate with a Gatwick hotel service.
The Gatwick area is overrun by faceless chain hotels; bland brick monstrosities that beg no forgiveness for their lack of character. They may be cheap but cheerful costs extra (as no doubt does breakfast). Whilst this is not something with which we would not care to be associated it's easy to see from the photographs on this page that our establishment seamlessly combines the old and the new and boasts authentic rural charm in abundance.
Currently we do not operate a restaurant as such although we have a sandwhich avaiable until 9pm. For guests prefering a hot meal we offer a transfer service to a local restaurant, something which has proven to be a very popular with our guests.
So what exactly are we? For visibility's sake we have chosen to qualify ourselves as a Gatwick hotel but in truth Waterhall Country House is all of the above. We are uniquely positioned to provide you with all the comforts you would expect from a hotel whilst keeping our room rates competitively priced all with the welcome you would expect from a small, family run business.
Hotel comfort, bed and breakfast value.
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