5% UK hotel service charges seem to be spreading
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18 months ago, we wrote about an annoying new habit turning up at high-end London hotels – an ‘optional’ 5% service charge.
With London’s top hotels now selling for over £1,500 per night (for basic rooms) over the Summer on peak dates, you might consider this a little greedy. It is, of course, optional because it isn’t disclosed in the headline price you are shown when you book.
A friend flagged that the habit has now spread to Four Seasons Hampshire, probably the best luxury weekend break option for families near London.
This is, to be honest, a bit underhand for a brand like Four Seasons.
They don’t even pretend that the ‘service charge’ goes directly to the staff. To quote:
A discretionary Service Charge of 5% of room rate (inclusive of applicable taxes) will be applied to all reservations. This charge is in addition to the room rate per night. This charge is intended to cover a portion of costs associated with our employees.
I think you can happily say ‘No’ to this one without much ill feeling.
(PS. If you are booking a stay at Four Seasons Hampshire, you should use our luxury hotel booking partner Emyr Thomas who is a Four Seasons Preferred Partner. He can usually match any offer on the website, include ‘4-4-3’ or similar deals, you pay on departure as usual and you’ll get free breakfast, $100 of hotel credit, an upgrade if available and other benefits. You can contact Emyr via this form.)
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