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Sanj Gidda is not your ordinary hotelier. With a history in auto-tech, he is now setting his sights on improving guest experience within the hospitality sector. As the Director for both the George Street Hotel and Bocardo Hotel, located in the heart of Oxford, Sanj is keen to maintain the same high standards that his parents, Hardeep & Sukey, established within the business and take this forward into the next digital chapter, with a particular focus on guest experience & digital transformation.
With both properties across the street from one another, travelers can choose to stay at either their 41-bedroom, 5-star George Street Hotel or opt for their cool, budget-friendly, 11-bedroom boutique Bocardo Hotel.
Inherited a host of legacy infrastructure and archaic systems
When Sanj took over the operational strategy for the family-run businesses in early 2022 after a career in the automotive industry, he inherited a host of legacy infrastructure. This included an on-premise PMS with nonexistent customer support, merchant card company challenges with payments, and a poorly integrated channel manager, making day-to-day operations “confusing, labor-intensive, archaic, and frustrating.”
From experience, he knew the first thing that the company needed to focus on was the “implementation of a digital transformation strategy across the whole operation, which would include a complete overhaul of the existing channel manager and PMS.”
An agile partner and platform
Sanj wanted to replace the properties’ legacy on-premise PMS with a modern cloud-based solution that would allow him and his team to access the system from anywhere, anytime. They began researching solutions and partners that could remain agile in an unpredictable market and provide the functionality both properties needed to thrive, while having the leadership to pivot through challenging times.
Cloudbeds ended up being a great fit and was implemented in March 2022. Sanj says, “the working culture between Cloudbeds and our team has been phenomenal, and I’ve been so pleasantly surprised with the depth of knowledge Cloudbeds brought to the table.”
Direct bookings increase by over 25%+
Backed by Cloudbeds, Sanj was able to scale his efforts to improve operational efficiency and, in just a few months, increased their direct booking rate from 6% to over 38%! This reduced reliance on online travel agencies (OTAs) has been a game-changer for the business, allowing them to increase occupancy and revenue like never before.
In reaching this milestone, Sanj says, “Cloudbeds seamlessly manages many aspects of our commercial data flows, including Google integration into key channels, without us having to invest extensive time configuring each one. This digital-first model working with Cloudbeds has helped deliver post-Covid results that have exceeded our expectations.”
Cloudbeds seamlessly manages many aspects of our commercial data flows, including Google integration into key channels, without us having to invest extensive time configuring each one.
Hotel revenue figures have met or exceeded pre-covid numbers even with lower occupancy rates since Sanj has been able to more efficiently manage average daily rate (ADR) thanks to increased visibility from Cloudbeds’ data and reports. The rooms sold and occupancy reports have helped showcase performance, and the daily financial report has been a valuable tool for Sanj to keep a pulse on the business.
Sanj has recommended Cloudbeds to other property owners and says, “Cloudbeds is highly empowering and transformational for properties that don’t have dedicated IT resources since they’re making it available right off the shelf. Working with a team of people who truly strive to understand and support your strategy has been the key to establishing success. We consider the Cloudbeds team to be an extension of our own, and are constantly working together to explore new digital opportunities that deliver results. Our post Covid success has without doubt been part of a successful Cloudbeds transition and I can’t endorse the team highly enough.”
Another little bonus? Sanj was able to keep track of his properties’ daily performance and operations while on vacation! During a recent trip to Mexico, he was able to control and update everything through his phone – rates, reports, everything. “I was literally on a beach, taking decions thanks to the real-time data on Cloudbeds, ensuring that the business was able to maximise on opportunities. Thanks to the automation, I didn’t have to do too much. Working from a beach, well that’s everybody’s dream.”
I was literally on a beach, taking decisions thanks to the real-time data on Cloudbeds, ensuring that the business was able to maximise on opportunities. Thanks to the automation, I didn’t have to do too much.