Gransnet forums


staying in upmarket hotels

(169 Posts)
Judy54 Wed 07-Apr-21 16:51:03

Mr J and I have on special occasions treated ourselves to a stay at a 4/5 star hotel with both good and not so good experiences. In some we have been treated very well and in others not so well by both staff and guests who we feel have looked down on us as not being their usual clientele. We once arrived at a hotel after a long journey wearing smart casual clothes and the receptionist looked down her nose at us. Now I don't know about you but Mr J does not normally travel in a suit, collar and tie and I don't wear my finery as we like to be comfortable on our journey. On another occasion the wine waiter was desperate to recommend a wine to us and said if you don't like it, I will change it. We did not like it and he was very disdainful about replacing it to something that better suited our tastes. Have you ever felt out of place in a high end hotel/what was your experience?

AGAA4 Wed 07-Apr-21 17:15:52

Mostly had good experiences but once they tried to refuse my very well behaved daughter a place in the restaurant saying only over 14s allowed. She was 13 at the time. I felt this was unreasonable and they relented. We were at a table next to a very rude man with a cultured accent who was behaving very badly towards a young waiter.
My daughter was being very polite and could have taught this man a lesson in good manners.

Sago Wed 07-Apr-21 17:25:19

No never, I love new experiences and luxury is always welcome.
If staff is condescending I can give as good as I get.

I once bought a load of cheese in a deli one Saturday afternoon, it was cut, weighed and wrapped, I saw a bottle of Merlot on offer so asked for two bottles of the Merlot ( pronounced Merlow) the server said “ actually it’s Merlot with a T !
I changed my mind about the cheese, he was fuming.

If staff behave badly it’s usually more about them than you.

Lucca Wed 07-Apr-21 17:29:42

Merlot with a “T” pronounced ?? It is not !

geekesse Wed 07-Apr-21 17:31:15

I had some pretty poor service in a top London hotel - only the doorman showed me the same courtesy as other customers. Not being part of a European or Middle Eastern royal family, or a celebrity, clearly counted against me. Natch, I won’t stay there again. I’ve had much better service in much cheaper establishments.

Single women staying on their own seem to be a problem for some hotels. I like to go away a couple of times a year for some very serious luxury, and am prepared to pay very good money to do so, including a single occupancy supplement. But I won’t stay somewhere that takes my booking grudgingly or tries to make me feel awkward because I don’t travel with a convenient man. I have now found a delightful, luxurious country house hotel that makes me feel fully welcome. They charge me a normal room rate with dinner and breakfast, and no single supplement. I suppose the second person’s food I don’t eat is effectively the single supplement.

For two days, I am waited on hand and foot and spoilt rotten. They know I like The Guardian with my room-service early-morning tea, and my preference for the time of my dinner booking. When I walk into the bar, the barman asks if I’d like my usual, and then mixes my French 75. So I keep going back there, and they keep my custom. I sometimes arrive still in work clothes, sometimes in scruffy jeans and a saggy anorak, and I am treated with the same courtesy whatever I am wearing. PM me if you’d like me to tell you the name of the establishment.

MissAdventure Wed 07-Apr-21 17:35:17

I've never stayed in a high end place, so that's one less thing to worry about. smile

Nannarose Wed 07-Apr-21 17:37:10

I have only stayed in an 'upmarket' hotel once. It was my final holiday with my parents.
My parents had been unable to take their usual holidays, and spent a lot of money on this hotel. They liked it so much that they asked me to go back with them.
The staff were kindness personified, checking on our comfort in many ways. I was particularly struck by the 'wine' comment. There was a young couple there, one of whom appeared very ill - I suspected a degenerative disease. He sent the wine back twice (I did wonder if his taste had been affected) but they didn't blink and reassured them that they wanted him to enjoy his meal. This young couple appeared devoted to each other, and we were moved by the hotel's consideration. I'd also point out that opened wine can be vacu-sealed and sold by the glass or used in cooking - it really isn't a big deal in all but small restaurants.
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, repeating often that this place followed my grandfather's dictum that our money was as good as anyone's! I had a quiet word with reception when we left, expressing our appreciation and leaving the biggest tip I have ever handed over!
I would share a link, but I am aware that the hotel has changed hands.

Daisymae Wed 07-Apr-21 17:37:40

Have always had good experiences. Can't understand how anyone could look down on someone who was actually a paying guest! Maybe you felt a bit at a disadvantage when you turned up travel weary? I imagine they are used to serving all sorts, that's their job after all. Makes me laugh when I remember a vegan dish at a Michelin star restaurant - basically a plate of roast veggies! Was expecting more but that's life.

janeainsworth Wed 07-Apr-21 17:49:22

<oneupmanship alert>
We’ve occasionally stayed in upmarket hotels, most notably the Negresco Hotel in Nice which MrA somehow booked by mistake.
When we stayed there it was still owned and run by the formidable, flame-haired Jeanne Augier.
The staff were friendly and helpful and we never felt ‘looked-down’ on, despite the hotel’s grandeur. Mme Augier would mingle with the guests, use the lift with them and chat and clearly led her staff by example.

Septimia Wed 07-Apr-21 17:52:04

Wouldn't want to stay in one. When we go away we like to get away from people and relax, not have to be on our best behaviour!

Thank goodness we don't all like the same things.

M0nica Wed 07-Apr-21 17:53:54

Well, DH generally goes round looking like builder, including on holiday and if we are only away for a night or two we often book into a 4 star hotel and I must say we have never had a problem with staff looking down on him or treating us with discourtesy.

Generally most of the guests are dressed as casually as anyone in the street, because usually if you talk to any of them, they are just a cross section of the population in the street, very few are rich businessmen with overgilded wives, or whatever you think the average 4 star guest is.

Wine waiters are always snotty, to everyone and even more so, if you spurn their wine selection or make a complaint. They often get corkage, commission, for selling the recommended wine. If you do not want it or send it back, they lose money.

In most 4 star hotels the only men wearing suits are junior managers and graduate trainees occupying the meeting rooms during the day for training courses.

I must say I cannot wait for lockdown to go so that we can have a 2 day stay at my favourite 4 * hotel in County Durham.

Ellianne Wed 07-Apr-21 17:58:23

one upmanship alert

Ooh nice janeainsworth. I've always liked the look of that. I think in top hotels abroad the service is usually very discreet and respectful whoever you are. We stayed in the Majestic in Cannes and next door to us was a princess who had a body guard in a chair outside her room 24/7. The staff were always kind and friendly.

B9exchange Wed 07-Apr-21 18:01:56

No, I have never felt looked down on, but I did wonder what was happening when on checking in I was allocated the Penthouse Suite at the Queens Hotel in Leeds, and at breakfast the next day they made a great fuss of seating me in the best possible table right by the buffet. I had only booked a standard single, I don't know who they thought I was!!

M0nica Wed 07-Apr-21 18:05:22

Septimia you do not need to be on your best behaviour, nor wear your best clothes, that is part of the charm of staying in a really good hotel and they are usually capacious enough to absorb a lot of people but still leave you feeling as if there is nobody in the hotel but yourself.

Scentia Wed 07-Apr-21 18:07:24

My DD and I once went to the Ivy restaurant in London with two friends. We sat next to some very famous pop stars (the tables are sooo close!!) but it was Vivienne Westwood who complained I had my phone out taking a picture of my meal which was crap and cost me a small fortune!!

Blossoming Wed 07-Apr-21 19:11:41

I have always stayed in good hotels when travelling on business. Among the things that make them good are the attention to detail and the customer care.

Septimia Wed 07-Apr-21 20:24:43

Thanks, M0nica! But I'd still rather go camping or self-cater. My tastes are for independence, open spaces and freedom and I personally wouldn't feel I had them in a hotel.

Grandma70s Wed 07-Apr-21 20:39:56

I think it’s a sign of a good hotel or restaurant that they treat everybody like royalty. Making people feel out of place or inferior is the last thing they should do.

vampirequeen Wed 07-Apr-21 20:47:43

I sometimes look at high end hotels but then look at the price and my Yorkshire bloody erupts grin

Jaxjacky Wed 07-Apr-21 20:52:43

I’ll let you know, assuming it goes ahead, we’ve booked a 4/5 * for four nights in September. I used to stay in 4 * hotels all over the world with work, turning up in jeans I’d travelled in, the only issue was in Japan, mostly being a western, tall, woman.

Deedaa Wed 07-Apr-21 20:56:56

Because DH worked for Waitrose we were able to book a holiday at the hotel on Brownsea Island which is leased to John Lewis. A beautiful country house hotel with large, comfortable rooms, lovely old fashioned bathrooms with large baths and lounges with beautiful sea views. Wall to wall food and cream teas available if were still hungry! Nothing was too much trouble and because everyone was involved with John Lewis the guests and the staff all felt they were on the same side.

Whitewavemark2 Wed 07-Apr-21 21:04:23

I expect to be treated with curtesy and respect, I reciprocate in the same way.

It hasn’t happened and pre-covid we frequented a 5 star in the Sussex countryside are always unfailingly pleasant and go out of their way to make us feel comfortable, but if I felt that the staff were being disrespectful I would warn them and if it didn’t improve I would complain.

I once had a pudding with tonka bean which at the time I had never heard of and asked what it was. The chief came out and gave me one and explained how it was used. I can highly recommend places like that.

geekesse Wed 07-Apr-21 21:13:46


I sometimes look at high end hotels but then look at the price and my Yorkshire bloody erupts grin

I spend about as much on a two night stay in a luxury hotel (dinner, bed and breakfast, Michelin star restaurant) as I would on flights and hotels for a city break or a week in a mid-range Mediterranean resort.

Even without all the Covid stuff, I think I am much better off with my U.K. hotel. I don’t have to get up early for flights, or squash into a metal tube for several hours surrounded by boozy hen- and stag-weekenders, and I don’t have to change currency. There are no last minute supplements, and I don’t need expensive travel insurance. Everyone speaks English. The food is excellent and I know that it has impeccable origins. The plumbing is fully functional. They serve good quality tea (several varieties available) with cold fresh milk. Should I need medical treatment, I don’t have to rely on an unfamiliar system or pay anything up front. I’m unlikely to get sunburnt, or pick up a tummy bug, or get bitten by something nasty.

Don’t get me wrong, I love visiting interesting places overseas as well. Of course it’s ridiculously costly if you compare it with camping (which I also love) or a cheap B&B (which I do as well). But in terms of a holiday, a weekend in a luxury hotel is, actually, reasonable value for money when you compare it with overseas holiday options.

Hellogirl1 Wed 07-Apr-21 21:56:31

About 2 and a half years ago, daughter 3 and I were in London for a couple of shows, and whilst waiting to go in one theatre, she noticed that the Waldorf Hilton was only a couple of hundred yards away, and cheekily said she was going to have a look inside. When she came back she said she`d told them she was bringing her mother to stay there the following year, and she was shown all over the place. The following summer she did book for us to go there, and it was a lovely place, but the bedroom was no better than 3* hotels we`d stayed in. And the cost was way out of my league. Above the mini bar in the room were tubes of crisps, packed like Pringles, but with the Waldorf logo on them, and they were £15! Needless to say, they stayed where they were.

hollysteers Thu 08-Apr-21 00:00:18

Titled and ‘upper crust’ people are often the shabbiest in dress, so a good hotel takes them in their stride. The art of hospitality is to make one feel comfortable.
Shortly after my husband died, I booked into the London Waldorf to cheer myself up and meet my sister who lives in London. Like any good hotel, I was made to feel at home, even alone.
I remember an occasion staying with relatives for overnight and being taken unexpectedly to their golf club for lunch. I was wearing JEANS😨 but with a smart cream linen jacket. In the quiet dining room as I sat down, some underling came over and whispered in my ear that jeans were not permitted in the club. Nice start to the meal I must say.
Golf clubs are rather weird I find.