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Why we visit every space in our collection

We look for a unique set of characteristics in a space, which make up what we call a “meaningful experience”. You can read more about those characteristics here, but they’re the sort of things that you can’t get in writing or from photos. We want to know how it feels to stay somewhere and the only way to do that is to go and spend some time there ourselves.

First hand knowledge helps us be sure the place is right for our collection, build a relationship with our owners and give our Guest Experience Team all the knowledge they need to find you a perfect stay. When we say something has amazing views, is really romantic or is “a minute’s walk away”, we know because we saw it, felt it or walked it. We’ve also spoken to the owners and asked them all the questions you might have about a stay, like whether you can check in late, have food waiting for you on arrival or bring three dogs.

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How it works

When a place has applied or been invited to join, we send one of the team down to stay. It means time out of the office, which is a good thing, and it keeps all that knowledge in-house where we need it. We prefer to group places together to limit our travel, so sometimes a lucky team member goes on a weekend or even a week away, touring several potential spaces in one trip. While we’re there, we check out the space itself but also the local shops, producers and, wherever we can, the nearest pubs.