Family-owned country hotel and spa excels in today’s digital-first world.

Forging a meaningful relationship with guests is something The Coniston Hotel Country Estate & Spa in Skipton, North Yorkshire has always excelled at. A family-run business for more than 50 years, the hotel recently partnered with Journey to revitalise its commercial strategy and grow its revenue from direct business.

From its early beginnings as a farm shop to today’s reputation as one of Yorkshire’s premium destination hotels, The Coniston holds a special place in the hearts of locals and fans of Yorkshire’s stunning countryside. With 70 bedrooms complimented by a 1,400 acre estate featuring private lake, woodland and gardens, The Coniston also provides guests with three F&B outlets, the

award-winning Nmdarra Spa, and a range of outdoor pursuits including fishing, guided bike rides, shooting, hiking, and off-road driving experiences.

Louise Bolton, Director at The Coniston and 25-year veteran of the hotel, said: “We didn’t have digital expertise within our business, but knew that we needed to grow that side of our business, especially as we were struggling to attract new customers from a wide age range. Journey has helped us not only devise a strong commercial strategy thanks to its performance team, but activate that plan by working with their digital marketing team and utilising their technology solutions.”

The Coniston transformed their direct business with a range of technology products and services from Journey, with results including:

  • Journey ecommerce platform: selling rooms (including upgrades and ancillary items), tables (restaurant bookings), spa, and gift Direct room bookings were up 70% YOY, with website conversion up 125%. Additionally, 68% more gift vouchers were sold and 27% of room bookings included a table reservation
  • Experience management system: extensive reporting provided insights to spa clientele, including the split of members vs residents vs spa day visitors, and enhanced data capture
  • Strategic services: devising a commercial strategy with clear timelines and actions for the in-house team has helped drive increased commercial performance
  • Digital marketing services: using Google and Meta campaigns to promote tactical room rates and A 92% increase in return on ad spend (ROAS) and 127% increase in conversion.

Said Bolton: “We’ve seen a major positive impact on our sales growth. Journey’s helped us become more shoppable, with live availability 24/7, offering upgrades and extras for guests to add to their shopping baskets. We’ve reduced ‘out of hours’ work for our reservations team as we can rely on the ecommerce platform to pull real-time availability and pricing not only for rooms, but for our spa, restaurants and activities.”

In addition to the commercial results, the Coniston team noticed growth in mobile usage with 66% of orders now completed on mobile devices (a 10% increase YOY).

Said Bolton: “Shortly after starting using Journey’s ecommerce platform, we realised just how much money we’d been leaving on the table. The busiest time for our bookings is 7pm to 9pm – when our reservations department would be closed. We also established Wednesday is our most popular day for bookings, which allows us to be more strategic about how we tweak our rates.

“There’s a direct correlation between the increase in sales and staff morale. We are seeing great occupancy rates; the staff are embracing the guests and delivering on guest experience. There’s a fantastic atmosphere across the hotel and wider estate; the hotel feels alive.”