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InterContinental London The O2 adds a £30 pool fee

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I have a soft spot for InterContinental London The O2. It is a good quality hotel which can be excellent value on certain dates.

I took my family there for a weekend break once when it was £100 per night, even though we live across town, because it has a good pool and we thought we’d show the kids a bit of east London.

I doubt I’ll be doing that again in a hurry though ….

InterContinental London O2

As of yesterday, InterContinental London The O2 added a huge fee for using their swimming pool. It would now cost £90 for my wife and I, plus our two children, to have a dip for an hour. You literally just get a one hour slot for that price.

This is what the hotel website now says:

“From Monday 25th April 2022, we will be inviting guests to use our facilities at The Spa by making a booking with the relevant prices below:

The Swimming Pool, Steam Room, Sauna, Jacuzzi

(All booking slots for the swimming pool are only available for 1 hour of use)

Hotel Guest Prices:

  • Hotel Guests (Adult): £30
  • Hotel Guests (Child 5-18 years old): £15

Children can only be booked at the Kids Swimming Pool Hours:

  • 9:00 – 11:00AM
  • 3:30 – 17:30PM”

There is a £5 discount per person if you a member of the ($200 joining fee) InterContinental Ambassador loyalty scheme. The fee is waived entirely if you are a member of the ‘invitation only’ Royal Ambassador programme.

This pricing is, frankly, madness. It’s certainly a very impressive pool – I called it ‘stunning’ in my 2016 review – but the pool is the only reason that many people stay here if they don’t need to be at the O2. I can’t believe many families being prepared to pay £90 for a one hour slot.

This isn’t the first post-covid money grab we have seen from a London hotel, of course. Many high end hotels – not this one, to be fair – have added a 5% ‘discretionary’ service charge to their room rates as we covered here. Because it is technically ‘discretionary’ it does not need to be shown in the headline price whilst booking.

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Comments (131)

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  • Tony says:

    Slightly off subject but indicative of the management. I believe this is the hotel that cancelled confirmed reservations at short notice without rebooking guests or any compensation when it decided to become a quarantine hotel. Caused many people a lot of problems and financial loss. I am not staying at Arora owned hotels.

  • Nate1309 says:

    What a terrible system. £90 for a family to go swimming!

    I hope this leads to no bookings and the hotel goes bust as a deterrent to other hotels.

  • Carol Douglas says:

    Had an awful stay here. Penny pinching and our room wasn’t cleaned for three days.

  • Nick says:

    Was considering a stay here vs either the Kimpton or the IC Park Lane over the next few months, now the extra benefit this has over the other two of the swimming pool charging extra is a bit off putting, given the central location of the other two. This penny pinching attitude of places makes me want to take my custom elsewhere just on principle. I’d have less gripe if it was an ambassador benefit included entirely

    • Aam says:

      My experience at Kimpton was quite penny pinching either, and park lane is also notorious of giving good member benefits given how many OTA customers they have. So I’d suggest you to pick elsewhere other than these three…

  • Andrew. says:

    Slum it at use the Council pool at Woolwich instead

    • Sam says:

      Let’s not forget Hilton Syon Park (The then ‘Syon Park, a Waldorf Astoria hotel’) has been doing this for years. Not impressed.

    • The Lord says:

      Thames is right there too

  • AJA says:

    I think this is not a good move. I think it would be better to just increase the room rate. When I book a hotel I usually choose one with a swimming pool and expect that providing that facility to be part of the rate I am charged for my room. I am fine with paying extra for spa services but the pool itself should be free.

  • AndyH says:

    Intercontinental management have been on a fact-finding trip to Center Paris, it seems! 😂

  • Lady London says:

    Tacky, tacky, tacky.

    They could have sweetened it by dressing it up as a package, say by including a soft drink etc.

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