Monday, June 19, 2023

Discretionary accommodation charge.


At check out I find the large American hotel near Marble Arch have quietly added a "Discretionary accommodation service charge of £25.00 per person, per night + VAT " to the bill. This seems like a rip-off as a15% service ( + VAT ) is already added on to bar and restaurant charges. 'It's quite standard ' says the stern young man behind the desk. This is not a reassuring reply.  This additional charge is removed at my request in what might best be described as passive aggressive silence. I'm guessing 75% of folks pay this 'stealth' charge without even noticing. Why not simply raise ( the already stellar ) room rate ? I'm also pretty sure that this 'discretionary' charge goes straight to the corporate bottom line. 

Hotels are becoming ever more creative in their attempts to separate guests from their money. At a hotel we've booked in Denver for later this year there is a $45 per person per night amenity charge. How can amenities become an add on ? I'd seen amenity charges at swanky coastal resorts but never expected to see them at a downtown hotel. Presumably by this logic the elevators are an amenity.

We do find a good  restaurant on Marylebone High Street . It's hidden behind a real fish shop and receives a fresh daily catch every morning. They have Monkfish which we opt to have grilled rather than oven roasted. Monkfish is not a pretty fish.

Our London train north is once again bang on time and arrives at the local station just as the fast train south comes in on the other platform. It was the big student ball last night. A large group of still suffering from post largesse students are sheltering under the shade of the ticket office roof. Sunshine and hangovers don't mix. For many of them this was the last night of student life and that the start of gainful employment starts this coming week.

'The Font' wonders if ' filled rolls' is a term used anywhere else in the UK or just Scotland .

Back in town the medieval maces that have been used at the graduation ceremonies are paraded back to the secure room in the administration building. One of the mace bearers is a very proud looking lady. A solitary policeman directs traffic and oversees security.

A group of smartly dressed staff follow them. The whole process is every so slightly 'barmy' but in a charming, out of time, sort of way. One of the professors is wearing a sombrero which brings an 'exotic' note to the proceedings.


WFT Nobby said...

Various comments made by my American guests earlier this month suggest that Angus and the Font might find prices in the USA less competitive when compared to the UK than has been the case in former years.
Good to hear the trains are running well.
Cheers, Gail.

Angus said...

WFT - yes. It looks as though London 5 star prices are cheap in comparison with Dallas or Denver. I've not even looked at NY or LA. Restaurants are already giving me sticker shock.

jabblog said...

Discretionary charges are the work of the devil.
The procession looks rather quaint but quite fitting for the occasion.

Tigger's Mum said...

Filled rolls are definitely a thing in NZ. It has never crossed our minds to ask what they are called in Enlgand - we always called them filled rolls.

Travel said...

I so agree, tell me what the real price is - don't add on silly fees. Hotels and restaurant prices have gone up, rental cars have doubled in price in the past 4 years. (You hire labor, you rent things.) I will be in Denver in early August for the American Bar Association Annual Meeting.

sillygirl said...

That sombrero gave me a laugh!

Anonymous said...

I have not seen a "filled roll" in Canada .

Jake of Florida said...

So "discretionary " means we the hotel have the discretion to impose the charge and you the customers have the discretion not to pay it?

Linda said...

Those are pretty reasonable prices for filled rolls, by Scottish standards!

Louise in Az said...

I am going to try just staying silent and glaring next time I want something, or don't want something. Will have to see if it works better than shrieking and stomping.