York hotel group stars in new Channel 4 documentary – and it sounds like a must watch…

The stars of A Very British Hotel Chain: Inside Best Western. Photographs: Channel 4

We may not be able to stay in hotels at the moment, but at least we can spy on how they work!

A new TV documentary series starts this week following a hotel chain and its York-based head office.

A Very British Hotel Chain: Inside Best Western comes to Channel 4 this Tuesday.

Made by Plum Pictures, it takes us behind the scenes of what is one of Britain’s oldest and largest hotel groups.

The three-part series follows Best Western’s York HQ team “and its quirky collection of hoteliers as they battle to win over customers from the rival hotel chains”.

Best Western CEO Rob Paterson

It’s going to be compulsive viewing, according to the television editor of Radio Times Alison Graham.

She writes:

  • The meeting rooms at the Best Western hotel chain’s head office in York all have go-get-‘em names, including “Challenge” and “Own It”. Yes, it’s that kind of workplace.

    Somewhere, you can’t help but feel, there must be a sign saying “You don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps!”

    This knowing, often excruciating in a David Brent/The Office kind of way documentary series was filmed in the months before the coronavirus pandemic flattened the hospitality industry.

Terii Dunne, director of business development

Among the people we’ll meet are relatively new CEO, Rob Paterson, originally from Australia but now based in Bishopthorpe.

He said: “Best Western hotels have always delivered hospitality differently – packed with personality and proudly independent – but in uncertain times, sometimes that isn’t enough.

“I’m proud to partner with Plum Pictures and Channel 4 to take viewers behind closed doors of our brand and our quirky collection of hotels as we work on delivering an exciting new future for one of the oldest brands in the business.”

And Gilly Greenslade, factual entertainment commissioning editor at Channel 4, said: “This brand-new series revels in the day to day eccentricities that take place within a hospitality environment.

“We expect viewers to be charmed by the access-all-areas look at this hotel group’s unconventional and enjoyable ‘family- like’ employee set-up.”

  • A Very British Hotel Chain: Inside Best Western begins on Channel 4 on Tuesday (19 May) at 9pm