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Are London’s hotel staff really so impolite?

by Chris Glithero on April 1, 2015

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London is generally regarded as having some of the finest hotels in the world, and a luxurious stay in a London hotel is considered as much a part of the London experience as a visit to Buckingham Palace or shopping in Harrods. But it seems something has gone amiss in some of London’s hotels, at least according to a recent survey by website hotel.info.

In a table charting the politeness, friendliness and competence of hotel staff in capital cities across Europe, London was ranked bottom. In another chart for just cities in the UK, London ranked only 10th, while Sheffield, Leeds and Bristol were deemed the most polite. The UK as a whole, however, was ranked bottom for politeness and friendliness of hotel staff, alongside Russia.

The points-based system was devised by Hotel Info by analysing millions of customer reviews around the world. At the other end of the table, Finland, Germany and Austria were found to have the most friendly and accommodating hotel staff in Europe.

spokesperson for Hotel Info said, “Despite the fact that these countries are at the bottom of the table their hotels are nonetheless evaluated relatively positively by their guests. However, if the traveller is expecting the legendary British politeness the actual result is less than satisfactory.”

Of course, surveys such as these should always be taken with a pinch of salt, but it suggests that London’s hotels may need to brush up on their etiquette when welcoming and serving guests. Conversely, could it be possible that overseas visitors to London visit the capital with an image of ‘British politeness’ that the reality can’t possibly compete with?

It’s a bit of a mystery to us as regular visitors to London hotels as we generally come across quite high standards of service. But maybe the disparity between excellence and mediocrity is wider in London than other cities.

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Photo credits: Hernan Pinera.

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