Hotel Recruitment Advisory and hoteldoctor™ program for The Oaksmere Hotel

The Oaksmere Hotel

Project Type

Operations Advisory


United Kingdom

Case Study Title

The Oaksmere hoteldoctor & Recruitment of a GM   

The Client 

The Owner of a country house boutique hotel in Suffolk, UK, requested the Hotel Solutions Partnership’s assistance in identifying the appropriate leadership and operating solution for the property and documenting their vision for the business going forward.  


The Client acquired the hotel as an operating, albeit loss-making, business; recognising the potential for the development of the property and grounds into a stylish country house boutique hotel. HSP’s initial engagement was to conduct a hoteldoctor™ assignment this was led by Neville Ablitt. Planning was already advanced in terms of the additional facilities with a local Architect and requisite planning consultants. HSP was also invited to offer guidance with the planned closure (for renovations) of the hotel in preparation for the properties relaunch under the new leadership.  

Client Needs 

The client approached HSP to recruit a General Manager and produce a customer and employee journey to assist the new Manager of the property in understanding the direction of the business, the Owner’s desired goals and objectives to maximise the business potential.  

The client desires 

  • To see a successful hotel, reinforcing his position in the local community 
  • To eschew daily involvement rather wishing to be kept informed of performance via regular reporting against, agreed KPIs and remain distant from the operation 
  • To develop a sustainable business model that could be applied to or replicated in other similar locations; potentially building up a small collection of such properties. 

Scope of Work 

HSP’s Duncan MacArthur and Mark Norris of the Mark Norris Partnership visited the property, to experience the guest journey and evaluate the property and destination. They engaged with the client to understand and discuss all details of the search including job requirements, compensation and benefits to be offered, etc.  

To inform the selection of the General Manager and provide the foundation for planning the renovation and relaunch of the business, it was important to accurately record the Client’s long term vision and medium term goals for the business.  

Accordingly, HSP prepared the customer and employee journey together with contributing to a closure plan for the hotel that outlined the steps to be followed to close the hotel and prepare it for the renovation work and subsequent reopening.  

The plan also listed alternate solutions should a suitable General Manager not be identified or should it be felt that a professional management entity will be needed to fulfill the Client’s vision. 

What did Hotel Solutions Partnership achieve for the client?  

A report was delivered, detailing the customer and employee journey, a closure plan, what the business KPIs might look like and an approach toward a standards based business. 

HSP successfully identified a suitable General Manager who was engaged by the client. 

HSP also detailed recommended next steps 

  • Sales and Marketing plan  
  • Action plan to address the ongoing operational requirements 
  • Human resource strategy including organisation and structure; training and development 
  • Finance, systems and IT issues – a complete review of finance policies and procedures as well as SOPs being required 

The client accepted our recommendations, and is currently, through the newly employed General Manager, implementing the business planning we prepared.