Bullitt Hotel was opened in October 2016 with a view to bringing a different concept of hotel to the four-star market in Belfast. Committed to its ‘no-nonsense’ philosophy for staying, playing or working, Bullitt has focused on delivering a quality service with no hidden costs, bang in the city centre.
Upfront about ditching the over-the-top extras, Bullitt boasts cosy rooms fit for solo travellers, couples or groups as well as luxurious facilities and the latest technology including superfast WIFI and smart TVs.
So much more than just a room for the night, the quirky hotel also has an extensive food and drink offering with a restaurant, bespoke grill, bar, rooftop bar and garden where customers can enjoy cocktails, tasty light bites, coffees, afternoon teas or craft beers.
Avvio has been working with Bullitt Hotel since August 2016 before it opened the following autumn. We caught up with Front of House Manager Lucy Waugh (who was awarded Front of House Manager of the Year Award at the Institute of Hospitality Awards in 2018!) to find out more about how Avvio has helped the hotel to drive direct bookings.
Why did Bullitt Hotel decide to partner with Avvio?
We used Avvio’s booking engine Allora in our sister hotel The Merchant Hotel and, as it was so effective and efficient to use, it was an easy choice to make when we were deciding which booking engine would work for Bullitt.
What are the key benefits of the booking engine for Bullitt Hotel? What impact has it had on direct bookings?
I think one of the key benefits for Bullitt Hotel has been how easy it is to navigate, both for guests on the front end and operationally for us at the back end. These days, customers expect a slick booking process that’s quick and effortless. We pride ourselves on our no-nonsense approach and the booking engine has provided us with the platform to sell our unique rooms in an easy and appealing way.
The consistent updates and enhancements always provide great tools for fine-tuning the offers to guests, as well as for how we track and report. It’s been really interesting to see how Allora has been impacting our direct bookings; it’s a real eye-opener and has created exciting opportunities directing traffic back through our own site.
As Front of House Manager, how do you find working with the Avvio team?
The team are extremely patient! Which is definitely a bonus when you are bombarding them with questions during a busy hotel opening. The support team is fantastic, not only at answering any queries but also at explaining the what/where/when/why which I found hugely beneficial when I was finding my way around the system at the start our partnership.
I was introduced to Avvio by our partners at Right Revenue and the team has guided us through every aspect of setting up, the channel manager and beyond! Niall and the rest of the digital team have been fantastic with helping us increase direct business; they genuinely care about what is best for the brand.
What does the future hold for Bullitt Hotel?
Bullitt is gearing up for the busy summer season with The Open’s return in July and more guests being welcomed to the city with our new group tour series. Our ‘Book Direct’ schemes which have been developed further are now in place so it will be fascinating to see how they perform in the busy market.
In 2017, we extended the bedroom stock from 43 to 74 as well as adding the rooftop bar Babel. Now the dust has settled, we are looking to expand the brand in Dublin at a site in Capel Street so there are some exciting things in store!