The Sybaritic Single spends more time at luxury hotels than he does at home. Naturally, exquisite welcome rituals have become an integral part of his art of arrival.
There is nothing more banal than offering a glass of Champagne to a guest at the beginning of a dinner or being served a one upon check-in. An unusual, fresh cocktail is so much more appropriate. It will also tell more about the host and his refined taste – a chance too good to be wasted. Though for some Champagne can be the safest bet.
Earlier this week, the Sybaritic Single happened to be in Abu Dhabi and was lured to spend a night at the Sofitel Corniche. As a top-tier member of AccorHotels Le Club, he expected to be surprised – in a good way – at this new hotel.
Upon arrival, he was presented a démodé welcome drink voucher (vouchers of any sort are so-not-luxury). Curious by nature and eager to get rid of the nasty piece of paper, he ascended to the bar on the 36th floor.
Disappointingly, he was offered a limited selection of wine options from the specific “Welcome Drink” menu, one red and one white. Forget any bubbles. The “white” seemed a harmless choice. Moments later, he got a hearty pour of the Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, Sierra Grande 2018 (retailing at £6.69 a bottle) in a catering-class stem glassware. No Champagne or a French white at the hotel which prides itself of the French penchant for fine living?
The bar’s sound system was blasting Joe Cocker’s “Trust In Me” (1992) as the Sybaritic Single concluded that sometimes no welcome drink at all would be a better option than being offered a truly appalling one. Especially at a luxury hotel where one expects to be delighted. He quickly walked away to reunite with own Baccarat red crystal flûte – and with his own emergency stock of Cristal 2009, in the peace and comfort of his room.
And where has the Sybaritic Single experienced the best welcome? Undoubtedly, it must have been at another Sofitel far far away – at the Metropole in Hanoi.