London’s most shameless hotel has another shameless cash grab

Welcome to your five star hotel in London, where you are lucky to have a room to go with your reservation, because we cancel some of them without helping to rebook, and once you arrive, the pool costs more than $35 per person.

It may look like a Comedy Central or Saturday Night Live skit, but the Intercontinental O2 is fast becoming London’s cheekiest hotel, and in a bid to retain the title, its latest ride is a masterpiece. .

Want to enjoy the beautiful but desolate swimming pool? It’s $35 per adult and children are not free.

There’s so much to unpack, so many valid questions to answer, and so many eyebrows to raise, so here’s the latest with this utterly bizarre take on “hospitality,” with parentheses being the operating principle.

Intercontinental O2 adds pool fees

Spotted by our friends head to points, the Intercontinental O2, theoretically a five-star hotel in London — I would really say, four at best — has added a new pool charge. No, it’s not for Londoners hoping to stop for a swim, but for genuine hotel guests.

Yes, even if you pay the fairly high nightly rates for a non-central hotel, you will have to pay $35 to use the pool and you may also need to book in advance. Specifically, it costs £30 per adult and £15 per child under 18 to use the pool. It was previously free.

It’s worth noting that all of the UK’s Covid-19 restrictions have been removed, so it’s not like this solves a capacity problem or brings in an exciting new service. This is just another shameless hotel offering shameless fees because they feel the world owes them.

Even customers who already choose their hotel and pay for the experience.

This is nothing new for this hotel

This hotel is owned and operated by the Arora Groupwho doesn’t seem to be too fond of customers, but very fond of any underhanded attempt to get more money, even if it means breaking loyalty program policy.

During the pandemic, the hotel canceled hundreds of reservations on short notice and refused to honor reservations or rates for a later date, or rebook elsewhere – per IHG’s rebooking policy for guests. cancellations initiated by the hotel.

The move left guests stranded, many of whom had come from afar. So yes in a way the new pool fee can be seen as a positive because if at least you are offered the option to pay it it means the hotel has not been able to resell your room at a better rate, and cancel your reservation.

Picture by alfred dereks from Pixabay

Why is IHG not doing anything?

People forget that hotels participating in major loyalty programs very rarely belong to the big corporation with their name on the marquee. They simply sign agreements to use the big brand and hotel standards to attract customers.

Most “big chain” hotels are owned by investment groups, real estate companies, or individual owners.

In a weak market, hotel owners are desperately relying on hotel-flagged IHG, Hilton, Accor, Marriott to fill rooms, but in unprecedented times like today’s demand, rooms are filling up anyway.

They feel they benefit less from participating in the program during these times, so they like to play hardball with the “free” stuff they have to give away to members or elite guests.

These marketing groups like IHG can’t afford to piss off a group of hotel owners and lose the contract to operate and market the property, so they remain much more indifferent – even when the hotels are mean and break the rules of the program – than they should, or maybe you would like.

Race to the bottom of hotels

A hotel in the United States recently added a “sustainability tax”, which sounds admirable, doesn’t it?

Alone, expenses is to restore the old building to save the operating energy costs of the hotel owners. This isn’t about saving the planet, it’s about saving hotel owners’ expense sheets, sneakily charging extra fees from guests to achieve the goal.

Around the world, resort fees continue to rise not only in resorts, but also in major cities, and a host of misleading “after price” extras also continue to appear. And no, they “cannot” be deleted, even if you don’t use the facilities or wifi.

But even with all the shame of a hospitality industry that seems determined to drive everyone into Airbnb, where service standards and amenities are actually improving, few things take the cake like the new £30 fee (37 $) per person to use the pool at the hotel where you are staying.

GSTP has lots of great tips for visiting London, but the guide might need an update with some things best avoided too.

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