Hotel Expert, Fiona Duncan, shares her top tips


In the hot seat:

  • Fiona Duncan
    Hotel Expert at The Telegraph

Fiona's Focus:

  • Fiona writes one column a month for Hotel Hit Squad, for this she doesn’t only like new hotels, she likes old and trusted ones as well. Rest of the Hotel Hit Squad include:
    • Mark O’Flaherty – focuses on design and restaurants
    • Hattie Garlick – focuses on family
    • Sherelle Jacobs – reports on hotels for millennials
  • Luxury for Fiona is authenticity, location, simple, peaceful. She loves independent hotels and dislikes glitzy and ostentatious. Keep things simple, “generosity is luxury”
  • Monday is the best day to pitch to Fiona
    • Monday Fiona is at home
    • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday in London
    • Friday, back to the New Forest
  • If wanting to meet Fiona, Wednesday or Thursday are her preferred days in the Sloane Square area
    • Doesn’t like meeting clients

Top Tips:

  • Fiona very rarely goes on group trips, prefers individual trips so that she can find a story and experience it as a guest would
  • Unable to properly review a hotel before its official opening. There’s rarely any atmosphere and there are also invariably teething problems. Hotels get delayed so don’t under estimate an opening date and be honest/realistic
  • New openings abroad with a strong angle work well for The Telegraph, she also likes pitches tied in with history
  • Interested in reviewing wellness tied in with travel
  • Exclusives are only important for Fiona if it is a leading industry name, if it is a smaller boutique hotel then for Fiona they are not as important
  • Keep emails short and clear, include low-res images so Fiona has an idea of what to expect

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