erc this will make us value the water from the concierge lounge!
Wellesley hotel in London charges man £75 for 3 bottles of WATER | Mail Online
Wow! Remind me never to go there.
Way to go sg1974
Somewhere deep in the bowels at Intergalactic, The Greater Team meets;
Ok, they want BOGOs, how about this? Buy One water, Get One free; then, we hit them with THE MINIMUM SPEND!
we'll have to keep an eye out for this minimum bill caper!
Yes, but at least this isn't a Marriott!
sg1974 That is horrendous.
Not exactly good publicity for the hotel.
This reminds me of an experience that we had at a Marriott in Holland 8 or 9 years ago. Two bottles of water had been left in our room -- we thought they were for our use and without charge. After we had opened them, we discovered the notice that each bottle was 10 Euro -- granted, that is less than 25 £ per bottle. Nevertheless, we were shocked. We left the hotel and found a kiosk across the street that sold the same bottle of water for 1 Euro per bottle, so we quickly bought 2 bottles and replaced the bottles that we had opened. A nice savings...
I wouldn't have paid it either. But to be fair, we have often had bottled water in hotel rooms, placed in the same area as the tea and coffee. We drink it, is is replaced daily, but we have never, ever been charged. Water in a mini bar is another matter altogether of course, but I wouldn't pay for water left on display in the room unless it had a HUGE notice on it that it is chargeable.
I would have refused it and told the server to take it back.
I'm slowly learning to start watching out for things like this plus gratuities being added to our restaurant/bar tabs here in the U.S. We ran into the tip already added at the NY Hilton last week. A great surprise since they quietly included an 18% charge on a bar tab and not once did any server let you know. Many folks included a customary tip as they did not notice the already included tip so the servers were making a huge amount.
Insiders start checking your bills everywhere.
In the UK a service charge is very hit and miss. In a restaurant, if there is a service charge, it is shown on the menu, often as discretionary. We always look carefully at the menu and the bill. If there is a service charge added, we do not tip. If there isn't, and the service is good, we tip. Only once have we deleted the service charge from a bill and refused to pay. This is what happened, copied from a review website:-
"When we arrived just before our booking at 6:30pm, the room was empty except for a large party having the special Xmas menu. A waitress said hello, then continued to set a table for another Xmas party. We stood for quite a while before being seated at a corner window table, the only table in the restaurant with no overhead or wall lights, only some tea lights on the window sill. My eyesight is excellent, but I had trouble reading the main menu as it was so dim. We tried to look at the wine list, but the print was so small that we simply couldn’t read it in the gloom. Then inexplicably, the lights were dimmed, making it even worse. When (after a long time) a waitress came to ask us if we wanted to order a drink, my partner said we couldn’t read the menus and asked to be moved to a window table where there were lights. The grudging response was “I’ll see what I can do, but we have put candles here.”
We were eventually moved and ordered. The waiter did not write anything, which is always a bad sign. Then two further large Xmas parties came in and sat near us. They were fully entitled to enjoy themselves and laugh and joke, but the noise was not conducive to a quiet meal for two close by, and we felt the parties should be in one area of the restaurant, and other diners in another. The only focus of the staff’s attention for the rest of the evening was the parties.
Our starters arrived, and mine was not what I ordered. Hardly surprising as the waiter did not write our order down. However, it was promptly replaced. The presentation of my chopped salad with smoked salmon was dreadful. It was served in a pyrex pudding basin! I have such basins at home; I use them for puddings and mixing ingredients etc. NEVER for serving food in. The salad was also not at all what I expected. “Chopped” salad is supposed to be just that. The only thing chopped in this dish was the smoked salmon. I had to hunt for the extremely small pieces amongst large pieces of lettuce and thick slices of cucumber.
When we had finished the dishes were whisked away without a word from the waitress, and our main courses brought. These were fine but nothing special. When we had eaten them the waitress simply said “finished?” and took the plates away. We ordered desserts which were the best part of the meal, but not amazing. The plates were removed and we declined coffee.
Not once during the whole meal were we asked if the food was OK. We asked for the bill, which was just plonked on the table. In view of the lack of service we crossed out the 12½ % service charge, something we have never done before. A waitress came to to take payment, and seeing what we had done said very aggressively “Is that ALL you are going to pay?” We asked her to tell the Maitre D that we were not happy with the service. She processed the card payment, shrugged and walked away. No-one came to talk to us about our comments.
So we left, the final insult being we had to get our own coats as no-one offered to get them."
Would you have paid the service charge? Thought not.
Doesn't sound like the best of experiences.
My wife probably would have done the same and not paid the service charge.
Ditto, not giving anyone a nice tip for poor service and/or lack of food quality or taste.
Glad you agree iahflyr & sg1974. Going off topic, I know, but we are not mean tippers, far from it. There is an Italian restaurant in the nearest town to us. We go there often. Very middle of the road price wise. Not at all expensive. But they have all fresh cooked food, make their own pasta etc. And they always go the extra mile. For instance, I like Saltimbocca. They had pork saltimbocca on the specials board this week, but had run out of pork. "No problem, we will do you a chicken one", the waitress said when I expressed my disappointment that it was not available. As we were eating our starter she came back and said the butcher had just delivered the pork. I said I'd stick with the chicken. I got the best saltimbocca ever!!
So, back on topic. This restaurant has no minumum charge. You can sit there with a coffee reading one of their newspapers for hours, even when they are busy. Guess what - they are all so lovely and the food is so good we tip probably more than we should. And we recommend the place to loads of people, who also love it!
Great spots that we frequent often we normally tip at a much higher rate than is expected, partially because the food is always wonderful and the smiling servers are like family.
I always know that in Italy and France the water is more expensive than the wine so why not just drink wine
It is always wise to request "Tap water", when in doubt! The "Water charge" is a major "Profit center" for many dining spots!
The Zurich Marriott really caught me "Off-guard" by an excessive charge for some bottled water! Never again!
Good point jerrycoin. Also, I don't know if MRIs from other countries are aware of the law on providing tap water in the UK. Licensed premises (i.e. places that sell alcohol) MUST provide customers tap water free of charge. When I go to the races, if it is a hot day and I am thirsty, I just go into one of the bars and ask for a "glass of tap". They usually even put ice in it! If you are staying in a hotel, you are definitely a customer as you are paying for your room. So, in the UK, never be fobbed off with a hotel's ridiculously expensive bottled water unless you particularly want it, and drink tap water instead.
Thanks for the clarification!
One good "Plus" for GB, too bad the folks having water at The Wellesley didn't know that! I was not aware of this information but have noticed no place gives me a "Hard time" when I order "Tap" in London! (Not so in other countries!)
Most recently, had a wonderful meal a The Dorchester, it's very nice, and they brought out the "Tap", no problem!
Note water (Free/tap) behind the Grand Marnier Souffle'! This was a good dessert!
Man, I didn't eat that many desserts (along with what appears to be a rich, classic ruby port infused with flavourful black currant ) on my cruise! Your tapeworm must be kicking in full speed to stay as thin as you are.
Any "Cover charge", for your entertainment!
I know I have the "Two drink minimum" covered!
I had a "Parched throat" problem from excessive traveling, but I am following the Dr's orders, plenty of desserts accompanied by various, post dinner libations! I have also "Cured" that "Cough" I used to have as a child! All in all, feeling pretty good!
Suffered thru this last night! I hated it, but you have to do what you are told to stay healthy!
jerrycoin wow that looks amazing.
That Alaine Ducasse is a wonderful chef, and he is in many cities. Never had a bad meal, or even close, no matter where you dine at one of his places!
The Dorchester is beautiful, and I do not know where the Wellesley is, (Don't want to know either, with their water prices!)! The Wellesley has to be close, as there are some wonderful places nearby including The Marriott Grosvenor, which is a very nice property!
Can you grill the Grand Marnier Souffle'? WOW
In Vienna, if you order coffee in a coffee shop you always receive a glass of tap water next to your coffee (-- historically, this was to clean your spoon after you stirred your coffee!), but order tea and you may have to pay between 0.50 Euro to 2 Euro for the glass of tap water. (It must be really expensive to clean the glass...)
When my daughter and I ate at a restaurant in Vienna several months ago and she asked for tap water, the bill appeared with a charge for the tap water. I assured my daughter that the cost of the tap water would be deducted from the tip for the waiter, so I guess you could say that there was no net charge for the tap water...
Good thinking, I will remember that!
Andrea Winkler, from Cafe Mozart in Vienna, where a glass of tap water costs 2.50 Euro, was quoted in a 2013 Austrian Times articles as saying: "Of course water also costs us money. …Water is still the cheapest non alcoholic drink on the menu and it is up to the individual guest whether they order it or not." I guess 2.50 Euro for a glass of tap water is a real bargain...
Which all says the UK has got something right for once.
At York racecourse, the drinks tarrif is prominently displayed next to the bars (as it has to be in the UK). Under the water section it says something along the lines of:-
Sparkling Bottled Water - £?? (I don't know the price)
Still Bottled Water - £??
Yorkshire Water - Free
So they even make it clear tap water is free. Brilliant!
Jerry, this is so true. When they ask if we would like water and we say "Yes," they then ask, "Still or Sparkling?" If we say "Still," they bring us a bottle of water and we are charged.
We have learned that if we don't explicitely specify "Tap" water or "l'eau du robinet" (in France), we will be charged.
One has to say "Tap or no water"!
If not you are likely to be charged! It's like asking the question, "When did you stop beating your wife"?
No right answer, if you don't specify "None or Tap"!
Just got back from the JW in Cusco. One is given free bottled water in the room and all you want if you ask at the front desk. First night at dinner, ordered water and was given a bottle that cost around $10. the next dinner, I brought my own bottled water from my room and no one commented and I saved $10. Free except in the restaurant.
The price of bottled water in restaurants never ceases to amaze me. It must be one of the biggest rip offs on the planet!
Restaurant prices are right up there with another huge rip off, what most Marriott;'s charge for that bottle of water in your room, $3.95!
Which you cannot use (at least the two times I inquired) your $10 F & B check in 'bonus' for!
You've got to be kidding!! The F & B cert should be able to be used for ANYTHING F & B related even if it's a nice beer in the hotel. A beer, is't that both F & B?
It can be used for beer, down at the bar (which means you'll have to comb your hair), but not the water placed on your desk in your room.
So take the water from the room down to the bar then! Combing of hair is way overrated, simply put your head under the sink and soak it, then go dripping water.
iahflyr - if you called down and told them your 'hair' strategy, they might just let you drink that water in the room
tommo781 - my oversight - The $10 Food and Beverage Credit is a Platinum arrival gift upon check in (the catch is that, like some department store coupons, there are a lot of exclusions)
Thanks for the explanation. Not being Platinum I didn't realise. Mind you, I go to the same Marriotts in the UK regularly, and tend to be well looked after in the way of a regular free drink for myself and Mrs Tommo etc.
See, diversionary tactics!!!
OK, here is the thing. I am in the UK. I know there are differences with Marriott here and in the US. But how does anyone get a F&B check in bonus? I assume it means food and beverage, but I've never heard of a F&B check in bonus.
As I've said before, I wouldn't pay for the water left on display in the room, unless it had a huge sticker attached saying it will be charged. Mini bar - yes. On the counter - no. But then, to be fair I have never been charged for water on the counter in the room in the UK. Another example of how Marriott differs between the UK & US. I just wish there was some consistency!!
Consistency in everything is so lacking....and I have never been charged either (don't even touch the bottles with the price tag) as I will dash to the CL and grab our bottles there. If no CL then I go to black ops and diversionary tactics.
Haha the water they make so much on. Especially now Marriott has their own brand of water that they charge $2.50 usually in rooms. If you see the Voss water that is usually $5. Always better off hitting the grocery store and stocking that fridge.
rather topical at the moment:
Outrageous hotel charges: 13 of the worst - Telegraph
Is it any wonder we all sneak croissants, bread rolls and bananas in our backpacks for later – it’s the least we deserve!
good luck with this in belgium!
well in both our stays in Paris we ate breakfast and then took rolls with meats and cheese for lunch . It was great to be able to walk Paris and just get a water for lunch. Both Ren Arch and Marroitt CE have great breakfast and of course as a plat it was free
That is what we do as well!
Nothing like having that European Ham & Cheese for a little afternoon delight!
Glad I am not the only one!
See, this is why I advocate Status Quo with our Rewards partner. I live in Washington DC where the strongest campaign message is, "Yes, I'm bad, but my opponent is worse - Vote for me". Marriott is the devil I know, although I am evolving - VRBO, Travelzoo and who knows, perhaps one day I'll play the Priceline "name your price game" (in a city I know well).
I'm still keeping my eye on and pulling for the airmattress boys:
Uber, Airbnb go after businesses | PCWorld Don't be mislead, I don't read PCWorld. The WSJ where I first read this, doesn't allow me to share with non-subscribers .
Here's the link in the article - c'mon Innovators, check it out and give us the scoop. This may be another arrow in our travel quiver. Help us Late Adopters out. Business Travel on Airbnb
Rome ice cream price row reignited as US tourists call police over £33 bill - Telegraph
gee that ice cream and water would want to taste good for that price!
I'm expecting that all properties in California will be charging to showers soon!!!!
IF ANYONE AMONG US CAN PERFORM A PROVEN RAIN DANCE, PLEASE CONTACT THE LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER.
(SUBMITTING THIS WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF TEQUILLA CONSUMPTION)
I can do that. I had my windows washed and 2 days later had a downpour of rain that had water running in gutters and dirtied my windows. This is during a period when we don't get any rain much less during a drought. If they want to pay for window washing, I think I can bring on rain.
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