Our owners, Shirley and Derek, recently had the pleasure of chatting to the team at Mr Hudson about bringing a breath of fresh Orkney air into our beautiful capital city.
Mr Hudson: What experience can guests expect at The Dunstane Houses?
Shirley & Derek: At the Dunstane Houses we like to provide a home away from home for our guests, we take away the formality of the hotel away and make it a relaxing and restful atmosphere. We have removed our reception desk in order to facilitate this and all our front of house staff are trained to put the guests’ needs first at all times. We have removed our computers and phones from the front-of-house so that the administrative side is not disruptive to the guests experience also.
Mr Hudson: What makes The Dunstane Houses special?
Shirley & Derek: I like to think that our approach to traditional hospitality with a welcoming friendly touch makes us stand out from the crowd. At the Dunstane Houses you can experience Scotland and Edinburgh as you can nowhere else. We partner with other small independent companies with the same guest ethos as us so we can be sure that the experience we recommend to our guests matches the level of hospitality they get with us at the hotel. For example we partner with Mini Mack Tours who do tours of edinburgh in Mini Coopers so you can see through the eyes of the local. Also Andy the Highlander who takes guests on highland tours dressed as a 17th Century Jacobite Warrior. You can see all of our bespoke packages on our website.
Mr Hudson: How do you keep up with changing customer expectations?
Shirley & Derek: We are very passionate about hospitality and invest heavily in having the best hotel in Edinburgh. This helps with keeping up with customer expectations as we are constantly improving our product and our procedures. Also listening to feedback from our guests is very important to make sure we are taking both positive and negative comments on board and using them to shape our product.
Mr Hudson: What makes a great hotel?
Shirley & Derek: A great hotel is one that truly cares about our guests as well as the business. Our reputation is paramount in importance to us and we like to make sure that all our guests leave and tell all their friends that we are a great hotel!
Mr Hudson: How has hospitality evolved over the last decade or so?
Shirley & Derek: Hospitality, in Edinburgh especially has become increasingly more difficult over the last ten years – it is increasingly more competitive and guests are increasingly money-conscious which means value for money needs to be apparent in every part of our business. We have to make sure that our offering is special, unique and worth every penny we charge for it. Which of course we believe we have achieved! Competition is fierce and marketing is paramount to get the word out as independent hotels just don’t have the same power as the larger chains and so online reputation and word of mouth is crucial.
Mr Hudson: What makes Edinburgh such a great destination?
Shirley & Derek: Edinburgh is a fantastic all-year-round destination with plenty to do and plenty to keep coming back for. We see this is our high level of repeat guests. There is so much to do from coastline and scenery of our own Volcano in the centre! To shopping, food and history.
Mr Hudson: What are some of your favourite places in Edinburgh that people need to know about?
Shirley & Derek: The Royal Yacht Britannia is one of our favourite touristy things to do, along with Mary King’s Close which is an underground street preserved from the Middle Ages, under the Royal Mile. There are some lovely walks around Arthur’s Seat and also down the Water of Leith (which is a walk that you can join from the back of the hotel).
You can read the full interview with Mr Hudson over on their website.