Bringing the world of Country Living to life
Specialist Leisure Group's (SLG) Coast & Country Hotels wanted to create a unique hotel brand that would attract new customers and offer a different experience to the group's existing customers. Their ambition was to attract a slightly younger and more premium customer to the brand.
Country Living has a loyal and engaged audience who enjoy the unique, country-themed content and jump at the chance to experience the brand beyond the magazine, website, TV shows and country fairs they already know and love.
We understand how leveraging the power of a powerful and positive brand drives customer loyalty and it was this deep audience connection that we could bring to SLG’s hotels to help them deliver a truly memorable guest experience.
The Big Idea
We created a unique and ground-breaking partnership, with Specialist Leisure Group (SLG), to launch a collection of hotels inspired by the lifestyle magazine Country Living. This is the first time a publisher has put its stamp on a hotel.
The Country Living brand has already expanded extensively beyond its print publication with ranges including furniture at the home store DFS, floor-coverings at Carpetright and events such as the Country Living Fairs. However, entry into the hotel and hospitality market was a very different proposition, and the magazine team rose to the challenge of translating the Country Living look into stylish designs that reflected the brand but were also fit for purpose within busy hotel spaces.?
From SLG’s portfolio of properties, the hotels in Bath and Harrogate were the perfect choices for the first Country Living hotels – both beautiful buildings in need of refurbishment they are located in two of Britain’s most popular destinations, also relevant to the brand’s readership. The south-west is a ‘heartland’ area for the magazine’s readers, while one of the Country Living Fairs takes place in Harrogate.
The Lansdown Grove in Bath and the St George in Harrogate were operating as Coast & Country hotels, and SLG worked together with Country Living to re-invent them as Country Living Hotels. The transformation took in every detail with creative design touches and inspiring interiors to create two properties forming a new hotel brand whose quality is synonymous with Country Living.
Country Living’s Editor and interiors team worked closely alongside SLG choosing and approving every detail to ensure that the hotels' transformation is a true reflection of CL style and quality. The Country Living team were involved in every step of the way - from choosing the teaspoons and the staff uniforms to advising on the menus and approving the fluffiness of the duvets. We also introduced clients into the project – paint throughout is by Dulux, wall-coverings and fabrics by Style Library and the Harrogate hotel has DFS sofas from the Country Living Collection.
The overall priority for the hotels was to ensure that the properties reflected the brand and that guests would feel like they were walking through the pages of the magazine. ?
From the initial concept to the opening day of the first hotel – the complete refurbishment and rebranding was turned around in 9 months and has seen the successful creation of a new hotel experience which surprises and delights loyal Country Living fans, as well as introducing many more to the brand.
This partnership has been a fantastic addition to the ever-growing Country Living portfolio of brand partnerships and endorsements and is evidence of the power of the Country Living brand to change perceptions and create new business.
- Country Living
Richard Calvert, CEO Specialist Leisure Group (SLG)
I'm delighted to have agreed a ground-breaking partnership with such a prestigious brand as Country Living. The creation of Country Living Hotels is an exciting venture for us, which will not only bring new customers into our Group but will also offer a differentiated and engaging hotel experience to our loyal customers. Our significant investment in both hotels underlines our commitment to our partnership with Hearst UK and Country Living and augers well for future innovative partnerships between both our companies.
Since opening in 2018, both hotels have been awarded 4-star status (previously 3-star) by Visit England and have attracted a more affluent and younger customer. Country Living Hotels was the winner of the 'Inspired Innovation Brand Licensed Product or Range' in the Brand Licencing Awards 2019 and shortlisted for the 'Innovation of the Year' and 'Show Me the Money' awards in the PPA Awards 2019.
of customers are new
- Country Living