Luxury Hotels


Appreciation is the best form of marketing, and it can be shown in a variety of ways. Hotels that remember customers’ particular whims are showing appreciation, the recipients in turn appreciate the gesture.

To take a few examples going back, perhaps a decade.  STEIGENBERGER FRANKFURTERHOF remembered Girlahead’s penchant for scratchy, rather than fluffy, towels (thank you Moritz Klein, then master of that mansion). Several Peninsulas and Ritz-Carltons have noted a non-use of pillow stuffings and provided empty pillowcases with supplies of towels to be used as fillers. More and more properties, any or no brand, fortunately take note of what their tech system suggests, say still rather than sparkling water, and bananas and blueberries instead of citrus. And so on and so forth.

Pity the airline industry. The ‘workers’, cabin crew, arrive at an aircraft less than half an hour before passengers board. Checks have to be done. There is no time to gen up on who is embarking.

Just sometimes there is an amazing surprise. Last Thursday’s two-class BA flight Cancun to London Gatwick was full, partly because of happy TFesters returning home. One of the crew working the 56-seat Club World (Business) cabin was Karl, a natural performer – well, he had been a professional opera singer until he was 56.  The entire crew were a delight, working as if a well-rehearsed team. Somehow one of them did have a moment to check available records to see a flight status. See the charming result, above.

It’s worth noting that this airline obviously does not consider Cancun warrants First Class. A Financial Times leader a couple of days ago pointed out that several airlines, including Lufthansa, are increasing First because of growth in demand from the leisure sector (come on Ursula, we’re finally going back to The Maldives so let’s do it in style).

Is First Class worth it?  Frankly on British Airways the jury is out. In First, personal lighting is not overhead but to one side, and it is impossible to access the international socket. The Temperley washbags are superb, and really useful afterwards (thank goodness for deodorant and big-size toothpaste). Food is infinitely better – good marks for Loch Fyne salmon cubes on smashed avocado. Breads, out of London at least, leave much to be desired. As for service, it depends on the crew… roll out Karl, cloned ad infinitum.