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article imageReview: 'Inside Claridge's' — A world beyond austerity Special

By Alexander Baron     Dec 4, 2012 in Lifestyle
London - Austerity is a buzz word of these times, but there are some people who don't know what it means. The few who can pay £5,000+ per night for a suite at London's most exclusive hotel without batting an eyelid.
Inside Claridge's is a short series - 3 episodes - in which the BBC shows us how the others live: not the other half, not the other 1%, but that tiny percentage of people who can afford to spend £1,000 plus per night for a hotel suite - that, incidentally, is a special offer currently to be found on the hotel's website. Early on, the gent who mans one of the telephones is asked by a guest how much will his taxi fare cost. Anyone who has to ask that question ought to have booked another hotel!
The BBC spent a year working on this series. The first episode was recorded in the run up to Christmas last year, the first time cameras have been allowed behind the scenes.
At that time, the Piano Suite would have set you back £5,100 per night, but you get your own private butler with that. The most expensive suite appears to be £6,900 per night.
In spite of its quintessential Englishness, Claridge's has an ever smiling German manager, Thomas Kochs, and few native English amongst its 400+ staff; it also has two miles of corridors, a one million pound chandelier that is cleaned every night - all 800 pieces of it - and the last man operated lift in London. It serves over 1,000 lobsters and 60,000 bottles of champagne a year to its 83,000 guests, who include the likes of Tom Cruise and Madonna. U2 were here at the time this programme was made, although we don't get to see them. For Bono, this is a far cry from the Band Aid organisation.
Claridge's is well known for the patronage of royalty and celebrities. A large party of foreign royalty is currently expected - apparently from an Islamic nation, because it is said to comprise 27 female guests with their women only security guards, and alcohol is to be banished from the entire floor, which they are commandeering.
This is nothing exceptional, but people who pay this type of big bucks are entitled to make exceptional demands.
More about Claridge's, Claridges, Super rich, Privilege, thomas kochs
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