Tell the story: When we flock to buildings where someone notable lived or worked, what draws us? If we can find out all we ever wanted to know from books and online, and take a virtual tour from the comfort of an armchair, why do the miles? Part of the answer is that we want to immerse ourselves in a story, to feel a sense of involvement and place that no amount of virtual touring or reading can bring. For a building to be more than the sum of its constituent parts, it needs a story. It needn’t be a roll call of famous names and great deeds. Tell your guests who runs it, why this location, what makes it special, and keep the story alive. Be local: If there’s one place that’s different from any other, it’s where we are right now: local. This is the place where small businesses, artists and artisans, food and wine producers carve out a unique trade; weaving themselves into the fabric of the area and adding to its richness. Independent hotels are already a part of that story, but it’s not always visible. Bring the local indoors – local exhibitions, for example, or a celebration of local food – as a way of engaging and connecting guests with both the hotel and where it is. On such connections, layer by layer, loyalties are built. Get the full story at