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Forums Hotel loyalty schemes Accor Live Limitless Raffles Old War Office, London in FT Weekend

  • can2 575 posts

    For those of you who hasn’t seen it yet:
    FT Weekend’s Life & Arts supplement this weekend has a two page front page feature of the said hotel. Pretty impressive I must say.

    yorkieflyer 259 posts

    Is Rob cutting the ribbon?

    can2 575 posts

    It was the FTs travel editor it seems

    can2 575 posts

    The piece has a neat comparison of both Raffles OWO and the Peninsula’s Range Rovers, Bentaygas and Rolls Royces as well as the pieces of arts they commissioned.

    JDB 4,663 posts

    I don’t know why they chose to use the Raffles branding. This idea of using the names of hotels whose whole business thrived very much on their individual characters and uniqueness – Raffles, Waldorf Astoria, St Regis etc. and then corporatising that into a bland chain by adding a bit of make up and bling onto what is fundamentally a Hilton, Marriott etc. and run in the same manner is a tragedy. Raffles and the Grand Hôtel de Pékin were considered to be the two best hotels in Asia a hundred years ago and prized for their distinctiveness. The OWO and the OWO name should be able to stand on its own feet like other top London hotels rather than having a brand that Accor is working to debase attached to it. The original Raffles has so lost its lustre but one hopes the competition in London for ‘special’ hotels will prevent them doing too much damage, although they have stuffed up The Savoy.

    The Savage Squirrel 599 posts

    In addition there are 4 pages (ipad pages anyway) on the Peninsula and the newly opened alternatives in the travel section. London certainly has plenty of new and refurbished options to piss away spend £2k a night on a base level hotel room because it’s in a new hotel that is attracting buzz. Can’t help but think that the same money in a less “of-the-moment” (but still top-notch 5*) property would get you so much more bang for buck – likely with better service from a team that has been there longer too; although being seen “in the right place” clearly attracts a substantial premium…

    Mouse 193 posts

    I don’t know why they chose to use the Raffles branding.

    You really don’t know or you just despair of the practice? Brand name recognition and brag-ability are incredibly important to the target markets of these hotels. It makes complete sense even if it is a bit sad.

    Hilda M 58 posts

    I wonder if ALL suite upgrade nights will work here – they do at The Savoy

    Lady London 2,142 posts

    I have not been at The Savoy since well before Fairmont / Accor finally grabbed it after corporate entities had lusted after it for decades. And 2 of its sister hotels that mattered, also grabbed by the same interests. I once had the privilege of being based every day there for 5 months working out of a suite which overlooked the river.

    I can hardly bring myself to ask but how, exactly, has it been ruined?

    Is breakfast still what it was? Is the American bar? Or does it have blingy flash clientele now?

    JDB 4,663 posts

    I have not been at The Savoy since well before Fairmont / Accor finally grabbed it after corporate entities had lusted after it for decades. And 2 of its sister hotels that mattered, also grabbed by the same interests. I once had the privilege of being based every day there for 5 months working out of a suite which overlooked the river.

    I can hardly bring myself to ask but how, exactly, has it been ruined?

    Is breakfast still what it was? Is the American bar? Or does it have blingy flash clientele now?

    I was also fortunate enough to spend a fair amount of time there when I had to stay in London for work. It has been properly corporatised and they ripped out its soul or character with all the furnishings only to replace it with poor quality repro stuff. The former staff, many of whom had been there forever, were just naturally hospitable and anticipated one’s needs, whereas now the transient staff do it because they’ve been told. The River Room is now a “casual all day dining concept” – Hugh Wontner must be turning in his grave. They constantly thrust bills in one’s hand rather than just putting it on the bill, something I hate if entertaining guests. One can observe anoraks and backpacks, or even wheelie bags on chairs and sofas which is not a good luxury look and would previously have been whisked away. It used to have a wonderfully eclectic clientele – maybe a duchess or maharajah or someone celebrating a special event or smart tourists but they all knew they were somewhere special and behaved and dressed accordingly. They have all moved elsewhere and ushered in I don’t know who – not really bling but I did laugh once reading a review about how impressed they were that their name was on the TV in the room, so now a nice airport hotel corporate touch. It’s now just any old ‘five star’ hotel and as for Gordon Ramsay’s desecration of the Grill…

    Accor is the most terrible steward of brands (not entirely surprising when they have quite so many) hence my comment above that they are making a mistake adding the ‘Raffles’ moniker to the Old War Office as they seek to roll out an iconic single hotel name to all sorts of different hotels.

    can2 575 posts

    Speaking of the tragedies that happened to Raffles, Raffles the guy died on his birthday.

    Here is your Sunday trivium.

    Lady London 2,142 posts

    I have not been at The Savoy since well before Fairmont / Accor finally grabbed it after corporate entities had lusted after it for decades. And 2 of its sister hotels that mattered, also grabbed by the same interests. I once had the privilege of being based every day there for 5 months working out of a suite which overlooked the river.

    I can hardly bring myself to ask but how, exactly, has it been ruined?

    Is breakfast still what it was? Is the American bar? Or does it have blingy flash clientele now?

    I was also fortunate enough to spend a fair amount of time there when I had to stay in London for work. It has been properly corporatised and they ripped out its soul or character with all the furnishings only to replace it with poor quality repro stuff. The former staff, many of whom had been there forever, were just naturally hospitable and anticipated one’s needs, whereas now the transient staff do it because they’ve been told. The River Room is now a “casual all day dining concept” – Hugh Wontner must be turning in his grave. They constantly thrust bills in one’s hand rather than just putting it on the bill, something I hate if entertaining guests. One can observe anoraks and backpacks, or even wheelie bags on chairs and sofas which is not a good luxury look and would previously have been whisked away. It used to have a wonderfully eclectic clientele – maybe a duchess or maharajah or someone celebrating a special event or smart tourists but they all knew they were somewhere special and behaved and dressed accordingly. They have all moved elsewhere and ushered in I don’t know who – not really bling but I did laugh once reading a review about how impressed they were that their name was on the TV in the room, so now a nice airport hotel corporate touch. It’s now just any old ‘five star’ hotel and as for Gordon Ramsay’s desecration of the Grill…

    Accor is the most terrible steward of brands (not entirely surprising when they have quite so many) hence my comment above that they are making a mistake adding the ‘Raffles’ moniker to the Old War Office as they seek to roll out an iconic single hotel name to all sorts of different hotels.

    Eek. One to avoid now.

    Tx, JDB

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