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It’s almost enough to make you feel sorry for Ryan Giggs. We said almost.
He’s all excited, gearing up to launch Hotel Football, his imaginatively named hotel in Manchester, and if those drawn-by-a-teenager renderings weren’t embarrassing enough, this week it emerged that he's been using a convicted killer to promote the hotel.
Kevin O’Dea was part of a gang that attacked and killed student Sion Hardy in 2008, as he left a nightclub. Since he was released from prison in 2011, he’s reinvented himself as a model, which is how he turned up on the Hotel Football website, being poured a beer by a not-at-all-patronising stock sexy woman (we read today that 91% of women feel misunderstood by advertisers – can’t think why), in front of a spectacularly misplaced sign saying “Attack The Day”.
(Two things we’re not commenting on: just how big the dearth of models in the Manchester area must be if O’Dea makes the cut; and just how it’s possible to spend a mere three years in jail for killing someone.)
The minimum spend warning at the Langham
When we recounted the horrifying story of the guest who was charged $127 for three small bottles of water at the Wellesley Hotel last week, we said that was the first we’d heard of any hotel doing this, and that it was a first in London.
Sorry guys, on so many levels. Because it turns out we were wrong.
An article in the Times this weekend about minimum spends in London namechecked the Dorchester, the Ritz, the Savoy, and – gasp – perennial HC fave the Langham as all having minimum spend policies in place, at least some of the time. Here’s the rundown on each:
Hotel Rip Offs / Hotel Scams / Hotel Scandals / Hotel News / London Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Hotel Bars / → All Tags
UPDATE 11.15am: Response from hotel at the bottom of the post. Also, there were two clients with Mr Heaton, though the bill is as described, and the minimum spend refers only to the terrace of the Crystal Bar, not the bar itself. The hotel also says it has apologised to Mr Heaton (presumably not via Twitter).
How much would you pay for a small bottle of water at a five star hotel? $5? (That’d be our personal limit.) $10? (Maybe if we were really thirsty.) Nothing, because water should be from the tap and free? (You’re clearly American, welcome to Europe.)
How about $127? Yes, one hundred and twenty seven dollars. For three miserable bottles of sparkling water. Sadly, this is not a joke.
Ten days ago, at about 4pm, businessman Edward Heaton sat down at the outside terrace of the Crystal Bar at the Wellesley Hotel in London. He was meeting two clients, and it was the middle of the heatwave. Between the three of them, they ordered three small bottles of sparkling water. He says there was no menu, they just ordered direct from the server.
Meeting finished, they requested the bill. £75 ($127) for those three small bottles of water.
Was the water laced with crushed diamonds? No, it was San Pellegrino. Was it served in a golden goblet? Can't be sure, but presumably it was in a glass made of glass.
Here’s the breakdown. £16.50 ($28) for the water (already obscene). £8.33 ($14) for the service charge (let’s hope they threw in a lot of bar snacks). And £50.17 ($85) for “1x minimum spend”.
Minimum spend? Ah yes. According to the Wellesley, anyone who sits down at the terrace of the bar - though not the bar itself - after 4pm must meet a minimum spend of £25 per head. Have you ever heard of that? We haven’t, and we’re pretty partial to our £6 cups of London hotel tea. The only hotel bar in the world that we’ve ever encountered a minimum spend at is £10 at the Montage Beverly Hills ($50 minimum spend for world class cocktails). It simply does not happen in London.
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We already knew that hotels in Washington D.C. saw their share of scandal but this new incident involving the Secret Service at the Hay-Adams Hotel is just bizarre.
According to anews report, one of the agency's top supervisors agent was off-duty when he met a woman in a room at the hotel, which is dd miles from the White House. After he left the woman, he realized he left a bullet behind in the hotel room. So he went back to the hotel, told the front desk and tried to get into her room. The woman would not let him in. This later led to the agent being punished internally by the Secret Service. He's now been removed from his position.
There are so many scenarios running through our mind right now. Who was this woman?
How much does she charge? How do you leave a bullet behind? Was this involved in the foreplay mysterious meeting somehow? We'll never know the answer but we can certainly add "Playing with Loose Bullets" to our list of 13 Things You Wish Didn’t Happen in Hotel Rooms (But They Do).
Some 20 Secret Service agents are currently under investigation right now for their bachelor-party like antics in Cartagena, Colombia before President Barack Obama arrived in town to speak at the Summit of the Americas last week.
At least 11 agents have been suspended without pay for their debauchery which was uncovered after one of them refused to pay $47 to a prostitute he hired. Yup, secret service agents are like regular hotel guests--they get drunk and look for hookers too!
The woman apparently squatted at the Hotel Caribe refusing to leave the room until she was paid. After police were called, the agent then finally paid up.
“Imposing” is the word we probably would have used. Or “magisterial”, maybe. But definitely not “like a psychiatric hospital”, which is how Roberto Cavalli just described the Armani Hotel Milan.
“Between Armani and me there is an abyss. Have you seen that new hotel? It looks like a psychiatric hospital” were the exact words he used when talking to La Repubblica newspaper.
The most embarrassing thing for Armani in the whole affair is that you know what? Now that he’s said that, we look at pictures and go “You know what, it kinda does.” But then again, it’s hardly out of place in Milan, a city whose buildings are way more severe than the flouncy terracotta stuff you expect in the Italy of your textbooks.
W Hotels / Dominique Strauss-Kahn / Hotel Sex / Prostitutes / Hotel Scandals / DC Hotels / → All Tags
While a porno spoof based on the life and trials of Dominique Strauss-Kahn seeks donations for filming, we think we may have a good location suggestion for the shoot--The W D.C. where DSK allegedly shacked up with a $500-a night prostitute, according to a new report in a French paper.
Apparently, DSK flew a Belgian hooker to the U.S. to accompany him on the job while he was head of the International Monetary Fund. And now one of the girls is talking. In an interview with Nord Eclair, the girl spoke of flying to DC in January of 2010, posing as DSK's "assistant."
What they should have got
If you thought that just one couple being abused in place of having their marriage vows read out by staff at Vilu Reef resort in the Maldives was bad enough, sit tight, because there may be more.
Channel 4 News in the UK has reported today that the man carrying out the $1300 ceremony on the YouTube video has officiated at other ceremonies at the hotel and even asked viewers in its daily mailout to beware if they’d had the ceremony done themselves.
In the video, a couple renewing their marriage vows in what they believe is a traditional local ceremony are instead called “infidels”, “swine”, that any children they have will be “bastard swine” and told they are not legitimate to be married.
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Scandal at The Standard! Really, scandals at The Standard Hotel in New York City shoudn't really be so shocking anymore, but this time the focus is on a cartoon menage-a-trois.
In order to celebrate the upcoming premiere of the fourth movie in the Shrek series"Shrek: Forever and After"the people at Dreamworks behind the kid-friendly characters made the curious choice to allow Shrek, Princess Fiona, Puss in Boots and more to appear in a photo spread with live models. The glossy results, shot by famed photographer Ellen Von Unwerth and styled by Lady Gaga's stylist Nicola Formichetti, is drawing some ire for using children's characters in adult situations.
See the images, after the jump