About Billesley Manor
Set in 11 acres of private green parkland, Billesley Manor is an elegant 16th Century Elizabethan Manor House – Hotel and Spa. Located just 3 miles from Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, this historic property is steeped in history and charm. The grounds feature an 11th Century Victorian-era Church and an ornate topiary garden, which was planted 120 years ago to replicate a chess board. Billesley Manor offers both that perfect peaceful sanctuary from the outside world, as well as is the perfect choice for immersing yourself in all things Shakespearean, or exploring the nearby Cotswolds.
The multi-functional Manor offers comfortable and stylish accommodation, coupled with high-end dining, an events venue and a serene location for wedding ceremonies. In addition, there are state-of-the-art wellness facilities, too, making for the ideal relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
We sat down with Stephen Fearnley, General Manager at Billesley Manor, to discuss how they are using music as part of their brand strategy.
Take a listen to Billesley Manor’s playlist
Why is music so important at Billesley Manor for identity and what music challenges have you encountered?
Music evokes a multitude of feelings and has the ability to create strong associations, so for Billesley Manor, the choice of right music which will make its guests fee welcome and swept away to somewhere special where they can truly relax and unwind has been important from the get-go. Music creates a consistent ambiance and atmosphere throughout the Manor. With each area having a different purpose and complimentary feel, tailored playlists for each zone have helped enhance the guest experience by ensuring they’re comfortable in the environment, looked after and feel special. From relaxed and calming music in the spa, to a more upbeat tempo in the gym, mellow in the lounge area to a faster beat in bar, all of the soundtracks form part of the overall brand strategy of creating a luxury guest experience and getaway from normal life.
The challenge for the team at Billesley Manor was ensuring brand consistency with all its music, ensuring that the correct genre was playing at different times of the day, rather than the staff deciding what music they like or what’s top of the charts. With its acclaimed reputation, management didn’t want to jeopardise the long-standing legacy of the manor and all the history which has created its legacy.
The Problem: brand consistency
Billesley Manor was on the lookout for a music service who could create brand consistency on a holistic level, which was tailored to varying trading patterns, different guests, seasonality and still upheld the luxurious DNA of the Manor.
Fearnley mentioned that on a company level, it needed the music to communicate their luxury getaway feel throughout the Manor. Furthermore, on a site level, the curated music needed to reflect the Manor’s unique clientele, staff and reputation. Lastly, on an area / zone level, the music needed to match the atmosphere and demographics of each space, throughout the varying times of the day.
Ambie offers excellent service and response times and doesn’t leave out any issues. I never have to go back to any problems unresolved.
The Solution: consistency and control
Billesley Manor appointed Ambie to take control and create the perfect curated soundtracks for its hotel and spa. The Curators at Ambie met with the team over at Billesley Manor to understand exactly what / who the brand is, what makes them tick, what are their unique selling points, what ambiance they were looking to create, and ultimately, why do they need music in their business. Ambie created a centralised music control with easy management access, as well as consistent dynamic music that shifts according to a rigorous schedule throughout the day, can be adjusted in the moment, and is updated every month.
The team at Billesley Manor have been impressed from the beginning. The staff throughout the hotel and spa love that the music “just does its own thing and no input is needed.” “Ambie offers excellent service and response times and doesn’t leave out any issues. I never have to go back to any problems unresolved.” It was such a seamless set up and once its up and running, there’s nothing for the team to do which has brought about a sense of peace of mind and freedom for the team on shift. The songs match the clientele, and the ambiance is completely unfailing and strengthens the brand’s reputation, day in and day out.