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Look, listen . . . and earn

OBSERVATION... it’s such a simple word, but the creativity and benefits that flow from its good use can be prodigious.

The Words Agency has been working recently with Skene House Hotels, part of the Skene Group, one of Scotland’s best known family-run businesses with activities in widely different areas from property to continuing care.

One of their hotels, the Skene House Whitehall in Aberdeen, has just celebrated the remarkable achievement of spending two years continuously at the top of TripAdvisor and rightly proud of this feat were looking for help in getting publicity in the national and trade media.

The Skene House properties are apart-hotels, the developing concept of serviced suites rather than rooms which is changing the whole nature of the hotels market. The founder of the Skene Chairmancompany, serial entrepreneur and fascinating raconteur Charles P Skene, pictured right, was possibly the first person to bring the apart-hotel concept to Scotland and the UK way back in the early 1980’s and, as with many of the best ideas, it was born from
simple observation.

He explained: “It was at a time when the oil industry was taking off in Aberdeen and there was a severe shortage of accommodation for oilmen and their families coming to the city.
I realised while I was walking down the corridor of a city hotel one day, how much of a problem it was for a family staying in a hotel. I watched the children of one family come out of their room and traipse down the corridor to their parents’ room and I thought what a pain that must be for them all, preventing them being together and it was from that I got the idea of having suites where a whole family could stay together.”

After seeing the concept in action during a visit to the USA, Charles came back even more convinced that it was a winner. The company already had residential properties in Aberdeen, began converting these into hotel suites, and a good idea had become a good business which has now being prospering for 30 years and has made that top spot on the internet review website – among the 66 hotels in the city and surrounding area – its own.

All from staying observant and thinking creatively on the back of what is observed. We need to keep our eyes peeled... you never know where it might lead.