Luxury Hotel Site Celebrates 400 per cent Growth In Second Year Of Business

Thursday, 18 July 2013

The owner of a luxury hotels website, who travels the country handpicking the UK’s most unusual boutique breaks, is celebrating after increasing her portfolio by 400%.

Entrepreneur Zoe Oakley from Chorley, Lancashire set up in September 2011, after writing numerous luxury hotel reviews in a previous role. She soon found herself drawn into the world of luxury hotels and hasn’t looked back.

Zoe hatched an idea during her hotel review stays, which soon became a listings website featuring only accommodation that has been visited and approved by Zoe herself, including the full spectrum of unique stays available in the UK, many of which can be described as ‘hidden gems’.

From seaside escapes to quirky holes in the wall, and state-of-the-art, ultra-modern hotels to ancient Scottish castles, everything on comes with Zoe’s stamp of approval and offers something a little bit different.

Hotels pay a fee to be listed on, meaning that their business is recommended to the site’s thousands of users. The success of the site comes from Zoe’s discerning taste, and only those hotels which meet her strict criteria are invited to join. As a result, hotels are queuing up to be listed.

Now in its second year, has just welcomed its seventieth property to its portfolio, marking 400% growth in the last 12 months. Zoe’s team is also set to grow in size as a result, as she is currently recruiting two more hotel enthusiasts, who share her passion for the industry, to inspect hotels and list detailed information on the site.

Beginning purely as a referral website, generating traffic to the hotels’ websites, has evolved in response to users’ demands now offers a concierge service to customers looking for advice on particular and specific hotel requirements, generating quality leads and bookings for hotels. One of the most recent hotels to join the collection took over £4,000 of sales in the first three weeks, and the largest booking to date is £14,500, for exclusive use of a small hotel.

Zoe says: “The business was formed out of my own experience. I wanted to stay in hotels that offered something out of the ordinary, but tracking down anywhere to stay would take hours, and even then there was no guarantee I’d made the right choice.

“In my previous job I stayed in plenty of hotels, so I know a good one from a bad one. I wanted to pass this knowledge on by building the ultimate list of must-visit hotels in the UK on an easy to use, eye-catching web interface.”

The site also boasts a handful of exclusive options, including the historic Fonab Castle in Perthshire and the atmospheric Hampton Manor, just outside of Solihull.

Zoe says: “The site has really taken off. People are tired of staying in soulless, one-size-fits-all hotels and are actively seeking more interesting options. The business has developed into something better than I imagined. Hotel-owners are approaching us more and more to ask us to help launch brand new hotels, and in the next year we’ll be listing properties in France, too – our first foray overseas.”

Visit the site at