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Somerston News

March 2014

Somerston Annual Awards 2013

On the 28th of February, Hampton by Hilton Liverpool City Centre played host to over 180 specially-invited guests who attended the Somerston Hotels Annual Awards 2013 at a nearby venue. The awards celebrated outstanding achievements in all areas of our business, from Training to Food & Beverage and Sales. Each hotels' Employee of the Year was recognised on stage and the overall company Employee of the Year was announced as Tom Clarke, Holiday Inn Express Leeds City Centre

The greatest reward of the evening was presenting our awards to the individuals and teams whose invaluable contribution throughout the year makes Somerston such a success. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners.

Central Support Employee of the Year – Andrew Thombs, Group Systems and IT Manager

Health & Safety Hotel of the Year Award – Holiday Inn Express Exeter  

Health & Safety Hotel of the Year Award Runner Up - Holiday Inn Express Inverness

Contract Housekeeping Team of the Year Award – Holiday Inn Express Newport

Sales Hotel of the Year - Holiday Inn Express Leeds City Centre

Training & Development Hotel of the Year - Holiday Inn Express Exeter

Food & Beverage Hotel of the Year - Holiday Inn Express London Greenwich

Guest Experience Hotel of the Year - Holiday Inn Express Newport

Managing Director’s Special Recognition Awards –

Shahid Qayyam, Holiday Inn Express London Greenwich

Holiday Inn Express Glasgow Riverside

Deputy General Manager of the Year – David Drummond, Holiday Inn Express Milton Keynes (now General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Manchester Salford Quays)

Wellbeing Award - Holiday Inn Express Bristol

Hotel of the Year - Holiday Inn Express Newport

General Manager of the Year – Charlene Kennedy, Holiday Inn Express Glasgow City Centre Riverside

Employee of the Year First Runner Up – Natalie Maun, Holiday Inn Express Exeter

Employee of the Year Second Runner Up – Laura Prah, Holiday Inn Express London Chingford

Employee of the Year – Tom Clarke, Holiday Inn Express Leeds City Centre



December 2013

Somerston celebrates award haul

We're thrilled to have scooped five of the nine awards presented by our franchisor IHG at this year's Europe Star Awards including the most prestigious of all for Hotel of the Year for Holiday Inn Express Newport. The awards recognise outstanding performance and are presented based on customer satisfaction surveys, nominations and input from our IHG colleagues and were presented at the Holiday Inn Express Business Performance Meeting at Holiday Inn Winchester on November 27th.

In total, Somerston's hotels won the following awards for the Holiday Inn Express brand in Europe:

  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel of the Year for Europe is Holiday Inn Express Newport.
  • Torchbearer Award, presented to top performer hotels in quality and customer service, went to Holiday Inn Express Newport.
  • Quality Excellence Award was won by Holiday Inn Express Swansea - East.
  • IHG® Rewards Club Hotel of the Year went to Holiday Inn Express Swansea - East.
  • Most Improved Heartbeat Hotel of the Year was won by Holiday Inn Express Glasgow City Centre Riverside, recognising a phenomenal performance in improving guest satisfaction scores.

We take great pride in the results which reflect the hard work, passion and professionalism of the teams at our hotels. 




September 2013

Look out for the new Holiday Inn Express campaign - coming to a TV near you soon!

We're delighted to announce a brand new TV campaign for Holiday Inn Express hits TVs this month and will tell you a little bit about what we do to make your stay Spot On.

At Holiday Inn Express we are passionate about understanding you and delivering only the most useful, time-saving and Spot On experience. This aim informs everything we do: from designing the hotel, to helping you plan your visit, to enhancing your experience with us, to the service you receive.

It's an experience that is designed with people in mind, which helps us offer everything you need, and nothing you don't.

Simple. Smart. Spot On. Holiday Inn Express brand has been designed to meet the needs of our guests – everything they need and nothing they don't.  We hope you (and your digital self!) enjoy the new adverts!


August 2013

Wi-Fi now free in every Somerston hotel

We're thrilled to announce that guests are each and every hotel in our group can now enjoy free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel with Holiday Inn Express Bedford and Holiday Inn Express Lincoln City Centre being the latest properties to offer the facility. Guests can also benefit from Enhanced access with greater brandwidth and access for more devices for just £5 per day.


July 2013

The Big Expense: Workers in Manchester lose £3,202 in company expenses

Save time and money with IHG’s Business Advantage card.


Workers across Manchester could be losing out on £3,202 due to complicated expense forms according to new research from IHG which surveyed 1,000 workers who claim expenses across the UK.


Alarmingly, the amount individuals lose out on may be even higher, as one in three (32%) say they have gone overdrawn at the bank, or incurred credit card charges, because they have had to pay for company expenses from their own personal bank account.


And it’s not just individuals who lose out. The cost for businesses equates to £4,174,112 a year as each month individuals spend an average of 39 minutes of their working day filling out tricky expense forms which, over a working lifetime, equates to over 38 working day.


The survey marks the launch of IHG’s Business Advantage programme which removes the hassle of completing expense forms, giving individuals and their company a free and easy way to organise, book, and pay for hotel accommodation when staying at any of IHG’s 300 hotels across the UK. According to the survey, individuals in Manchester typically fork out £109.03 a month to cover work related expenses but will often under claim by an average of £6.67 with lost receipts (39%) cited as the most common cause for inaccurately filled out forms. Although £6.67 may seem a small price to pay, over the period of a working life, individuals could end up losing out on £3,202.


As well as being costly, handling expenses on behalf of the company can be very stressful for employees, with 38% confessing to worrying about not having enough money to make it to the end of the month when waiting for expenses to go through. Almost half (46%) say they are annoyed by the fact that their employer expects them to spend their own money on company expenses.



32% also admitted that whilst away on a work trip they have been put in the embarrassing position of worrying that they didn’t have enough money in their personal account to cover a bill they’ve had to fork out for.



Matt Luscombe, Chief Commercial Officer & SVP Franchise Operations, IHG Europe.says “Nearly half of those polled in Manchester (44%) said the main reason they have not been able to claim back expenses in the past is because they have lost receipts and 45% admit they haven’t claimed expenses simply because their work load has been too heavy and they couldn’t find time to fill in the complicated forms. At IHG we want to make life as simple as possible for our customers. Business Advantage removes the unnecessary admin and stress of expense forms, and at the same time offers an array of benefits including discounted rates across 300 IHG hotels instead.”


To celebrate the launch of Business Advantage, artist Kyle Bean has designed an 8ft lion sculpture made entirely from shredded receipts. The lion will be touring the UK over the next three months and will be at IHG’s Holiday Inn Express at Salford Quays between Monday 22nd July and Friday 26th July. You can visit the lion to find further information on Business Advantage. Alternatively, companies can sign up to Business Advantage online at


Expenses by numbers:

  • £308.74 the average worker in Manchester has put a maximum of on their personal credit card
  • £12.76 the largest amount workers from Manchester are prepared to spend per month without expensing (the national average is £14.98)
  • 595,451 The number of people who claim expenses across Manchester
  • 17% the percentage of people who have roped in a friend, partner or colleague to complete their expenses claim form because they didn’t have time to do it
  • 31% The percentage of people who don’t think they claim back every penny they spend each month
  • One in four admit they have not claimed an expense in the past because the amount seemed so small.
  • Although most people claim to be very diligent with work expenses (39%), nearly a third (31%) say that although they are fairly accurate, they don’t think they claim back every penny they have spent. Benefits of Business Advantage
  • No minimum spend, no joining fee, with as many cards as you need
  • Secure and flexible travel management system (Business Account) with payment cards that cover all authorised hotel expenses charged to your room.
  • A 4% discount at over 300 hotels across the UK including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express® and Staybridge Suites®. Plus you don’t need to stay a minimum number of nights to qualify for this discount
  • One monthly direct debit with one VAT invoice covering all transactions and up to 45 days free credit.
  • Instant IHG® Rewards Club Gold Elite Membership which allows you to earn points that can be redeemed against any number of rewards, including free nights at any IHG® property worldwide and free internet access*.
  • Organise, book and pay for accommodation without fuss

*Free Internet access is available to IHG® Rewards Club Gold and Platinum Elite members from July 2013 and worldwide for all members in 2014.



About IHG IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation with a broad portfolio of nine hotel brands, including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE™ Hotels & Resorts.

IHG manages IHG® Rewards Club, the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty programme with over 73 million members worldwide. The programme was relaunched in July 2013, offering enhanced benefits for members including free internet across all hotels, globally.

IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns over 4,600 hotels and more than 674,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories. With more than 1,000 hotels in its development pipeline, IHG expects to recruit around 90,000 people into additional roles across its estate over the next few years.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.

Visit for hotel information and reservations and for more on IHG® Rewards Club. For our latest news, visit:,, or

The Business Advantage survey was carried out by Opinion Matters who polled 1,000 people who claim expenses across the UK.

  •  The average amount workers can lose due to complicated expense forms (£3,202) is based on the average worker in Manchester under claiming £6.67 a month over a working life of 40 years.
  • The most recent figures from ONS show that there are 1,189,000 people in employment in Manchester. Using the survey dropout rate, it is estimated that of those workers 595,451 claim expenses
  • The cost of filling out expenses (£4,174,112) is based on the ONS figure of the average Gross Annual income in Manchester (£21,139), the time people spend filling out expense forms and the number of workers estimated to be claiming expenses in Manchester


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