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A la Colthard: London hotels post Covid

I was shocked – when seeking to book a hotel in Mayfair for the first weekend in September – to be quoted over £1,000 a night for Browns in Albemarle Street.

I imagine hotels are making up their Covid losses in the summer when occupancy is much higher and Browns is uber posh but £1,000 ..???

I have just completed a four night stay in my usual hotel of choice The Marylebone.

This was once the Clifton Ford but is now part of the Irish Doyle Collection.

The Doyles owned and sold Jury’s and reinvested in 3 luxurious hotels in Tottenham Court Road, Kensington and Marylebone.

Marylebone is a great location, being near the West End and Regents Park –  it attracts a cool and Irish crowd.

It’s very convenient for me as I have friends plus business and professional friends in this quarter as well as fine restaurants like Fischers.

Yet over the years I have been staying – and especially now – I have seen a rise in prices and decline in service. This puts a preset on the hotel to maintain prices and on staff as inevitably tipping must decline

It’s little but irritating things like taking ages to find my case in long term storage, the television breaking down. the turn-down service at 9.00 pm and Eastern European cleaning staff who do not speak a word of English.

The reception staff seem to be recruited for their looks, not efficiency, and do not know what to do when things go wrong.

Shortages are everywhere.

Maybe Brexit is the cause, maybe a reluctance to work after the Pandemic.

I do feel strongly the hospitality industry should try harder to resolve this – not just go cap in hand to the Government and then raise prices.

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About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts