What is The Hotel Guru?
An independent, unbiased selection of great places to stay: in the UK, Europe, and further afield, with a uniquely fast search. In each destination, be it Cornwall or Cape Town, we list our ten favourite hotels - the inside track, from experts you can trust.
Places to stay that are charming, secret, romantic, fun, eclectic, hip, hideaway, historic, heavenly. These are our personal favourites: the pick of the crop - hotels that are tried, tested and inspected.
Who we are
Fiona Duncan and Leonie Glass have created this website. We have been investigating, evaluating and reviewing hotels for 20 years and our research has been published in numerous hotel guides, travel guides and travel articles. We met when working in a publishing house, and we went on to become joint series editors of the Charming Small Hotel Guides, researching and writing about hotels of character across Europe and in the US. To compile our Charming Small Hotel Guide to Venice, for example, we each spent 27 consecutive nights in 27 different Venetian hotels – still our record! In 1998 Fiona began contributing regular travel features to the Sunday Telegraph and is now the paper’s chief hotel critic, writing in the Travel section about hotels all over the world. Her weekly column about British hotels is called The Hotel Guru.
The Hotel Guru was launched in 2006 with hotel recommendations in cities and regions that we already know, backed by a small team of trusted travel writers and locals to check out our selections. As it expands, we will investigate further afield, and increase the destinations we cover.
In 2007 we teamed up with James Dunford Wood, founder of Travel Intelligence, and in 2009 we secured the backing of his company, James Media, to grow and expand the site.
Why we want to help
We know the qualities that make a good hotel; and all the signs of a poor hotel as well. Over the years we have received hundreds of requests, from friends, acquaintances and total strangers, for hotel recommendations. We realised that there was very little truly independent, impartial advice about hotels on the web and we decided to do something about it.
Our hotels are selected with the following principles in mind:
1. Value for money
5. Noteworthy location
Our Top Ten Hotels
For each city or region, we simply list Our Top Ten Hotels. You will not find standardised chain hotels on our lists. We prefer hotels that have charm and character, that are operated with professionalism and commitment, and that represent value for money, however much or little they offer in terms of amenities. We believe that a hotel’s location is at least as important as its comfort. Above all we love travelling, and prefer hotels that reflect and enhance the places we are visiting, rather than act as bubbles, cut off from reality. Hence you will find windmills, lighthouses and thatched cottages in Britain, farmhouses in Tuscany, riads in Marrakesh, palazzos in Venice.
How we are independent
Hotels DO NOT PAY to be on the website; in this way we can select exactly who is featured. Once included in a Top Ten list, each hotel is asked to contribute an annual service charge in return, not for a place on the list, but simply for a direct link to their own website, and to promote their special offers. That’s it.
However, we would appreciate it if you mentioned The Hotel Guru when you book a hotel you have found through our site.
We don’t sell, we recommend
We just recommend the hotels we like. We can’t guarantee that you will like them too, but we will always welcome your comments. Hotels reviewed on the site who would like to take advantage of having their weblinks published, as well as the chance to promote their offers widely across the web through our partners Adnet Media, please contact us.