The business of fantasising about future holidays, while winter is at its darkest, traditionally involved a sofa or large bed (to accommodate the proposed holiday partner) and a stack of glossy holiday brochures.

The stack has now grown much smaller and much of the fantasy is fuelled by the laptop since the places we want to visit can often be best viewed through websites and film, which are more likely to be up to date than the print version.

Having come to terms with this initial leap into the electronic world I am now asked to accept that, for many, the mobile phone is the chosen medium for hotel dreams and it is certainly true that an increasing number of bookings are coming from this source.

The evolution in our customer’s browsing and booking habits has inspired us to undertake a complete overhaul of our website, which you can now see. If you have a chance you should be able to access our new film which starts with a breath-taking drone ride around Rutland Water (ending in a certain Hotel!), pictures of our 17 rooms, up to date menus and wine list and much more. To my surprise much of this works well enough on a mobile.

It is one thing to embrace the new world of websites, social media, emails and texts, quite another to abandon the old. We have no intention of abandoning the print version newsletter for those who want it and we are thrilled that Relais et Châteaux have rediscovered the relevance of a nice old fashioned chunky guide to sit alongside an up to date on-line presence.

On the sofa, in bed, and beyond the WiFi zone, print is best!

Tim Hart