Windermere entrepreneur shares top tips on OTA control


Cumbrian entrepreneur, Stephen Hargreaves, has announced the launch of a new marketing company, aimed at providing marketing to independent hoteliers who want to reduce their reliance on OTAs.

Hargreaves, who owns the Cranleigh Boutique brand in Lake Windereme, is passionate that hoteliers can do more to market themselves independently, through email marketing and social media.

With more than 100,000 ‘likes’ on its Facebook page, the Cranleigh Boutique has achieved more than 96% of its bookings through direct channels in 2014.

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Hargreaves’ latest venture, The Church Suites is currently running at 80% occupancy, having been named the second best hotel suite in the world in July, by ‘design-et-al’.

“Our approach to marketing at the Cranleigh has always been novel and it’s a very exciting prospect being able to share that with those who wish to try a different approach.” says Hargreaves. “To my mind, OTAs have taken over, and as an industry we’ve let them, through mediocre, dated marketing methods. In the same way, many hoteliers are unaware of the power of Facebook. It has simply transformed our business. Our success has come via the consistent use of exciting email and social media content and the level of engagement with our customers; they have become loyal to our brand.”

Working alongside Hargreaves is associate director, Adam Hamadache, responsible for reducing the OTA commission at the Cranleigh Boutique.

For further information on Cranleigh Marketing, please visit, call 020 8088 2360 or email