Category Archives: Opinion

Is a hotel room complete without a kettle?

I once spent the night at luxury country house hotel Cliveden and had a meeting with the chief executive of Travelodge the following day. I told him that Cliveden had a policy of not having tea or coffee-making facilities in their rooms. ‘We are a country house hotel, not a chain,’ the general manager had said when I’d asked her.

cliveden house hotel
Cliveden – definitely not a hotel chain…

The Travelodge boss was appalled. ‘If we didn’t have kettles in our rooms, there’d be riots,’ he said, and he probably wasn’t exaggerating.

Cliveden might argue that this proves their point. (Although there is coffee-making equipment in its very posh Prince of Wales suite, so I’m not sure how consistent its position is).

luxury hotels coffee kettle tea
… but there was coffee in our very posh Prince of Wales suite

I had always thought that a kettle or an espresso machine such as the smart Nespresso makers were practically mandatory in British hotels and B&Bs. (If you go to America, however, it’s a completely different matter. The five star luxury hotel Bellagio in Las Vegas is one of the most famous  hotels in the world but its room don’t have kettles. They do have ice-making machines on every corridor though, which you wouldn’t get in a British hotel).

But I have stayed in several hotels recently which have very deliberately decided not to enable their guests to make their own hot drinks. They prefer to bring your coffee to your room, so you are treated more as a staying guest than a paying customer.

Thus Hartwell House, near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, has placed little notes in the rooms stating that there aren’t any coffee facilities but you only have to ring and a drink of your choice will be on its way to you.

luxury hotels coffee kettle tea
This note rather helpfully stopped me searching around for the kettle

Its sister hotel, Bodysgallen Hall near Llandudno, in North Wales, is the same. Which is all very well – my morning coffee was left in my room at Bodysgallen while I was in the bath, which felt very indulgent – but what if you’d like a cup of tea in the middle of the night, or before you’ve got dressed, without having to wait for someone to bring it to you? Continue reading Is a hotel room complete without a kettle?