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Fawlty Towers – January 2019

‘There was a suspicion of nerdiness at this hotel. All but one of the staff were foreign, which is fine by us, but that is all the more reason to have them trained. Nor is their English necessarily good enough; even the woman to whom I paid the bill when we signed out did not… Read more

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Crisis what crisis?

  By Adam Raphael Happy New Year! I believe it will be. But as Yogi Berra sagely pointed out: ‘It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.’ Anyone who claims they know what will happen in the coming months is a fool or a charlatan. No one can be sure where Brexit is going…. Read more

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Brexit Secrets and Lies

By Adam Raphael No government has ever set out before to make its voters poorer which makes the political mess we are in all the more bizarre. Whatever the outcome of this week’s Brexit parliamentary debates, the stakes for the hospitality industry could not be higher. UK Hospitality, which represents three million jobs and £130… Read more

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Hotel Secrets

By Adam Raphael The borderline between triumph and disaster in the hospitality business is narrow. Every year the Guide receives thousands of letters, emails and phone calls from readers telling us about their stays in hotels, inns and B&Bs. Most are enthusiastic. Some critical though balanced. A minority so dire that they qualify for Fawlty… Read more

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Bulls, Bears & Brexit

By Adam Raphael The 2019 edition of the Guide, to be published on Monday, has a record number of 860 entries, ranging from great-value B&Bs to luxurious country house hotels. The Daily Mail will publish exclusively this Saturday the ten winners of the Guide’s 2019 César awards. They include a castle on the Wild Atlantic… Read more

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Cancellation Woes

By Adam Raphael Nothing causes more grief than cancellation fees. Tales of lost deposits and charges for meals never eaten, even when cancellations are made weeks in advance, are frequent. Last week, a particularly angry whinge thudded onto my desk. ‘Have you come across this level of venality before? I think it smacks of gross… Read more

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Booking Woes

By Adam Raphael The conclusion in last month’s newsletter, that Booking.com and other online travel agencies have succeeded in sucking billions of pounds out of the hospitality industry because they meet a need, was too kind. If hotels and B&Bs dealt with reservation requests more efficiently, they would not be gouged to the extent they… Read more

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Squeezing the hotel goose

By Adam Raphael The Competition and Markets Authority is threatening to prosecute online hotel booking sites for scams ranging from pressure selling and misleading information to hidden charges and commission based rankings. But it is not just consumers who are being gulled. The sad truth is that online travel agents and hotel review sites have… Read more

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Silence is bliss

By Adam Raphael Music may be the food of love, but muzak—ugh! Admittedly the Guide is not impartial on this issue, but this bee in our bonnet is shared by many GHG readers. ‘Whatever happened to silence?’ one asked in exasperation. Another wrote this week: ‘I could have done without the tacky music which was… Read more

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