Many luxury hotels in Britain fully booked until autumn as families splash out to avoid stressful overseas trips
Many luxury hotels in Britain are fully booked until the autumn as families splash out to avoid stressful overseas trips.
The Lanesborough – a five-star hotel at Hyde Park Corner in Knightsbridge, West London, said bookings are up by a fifth at weekends, while Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair said its business from UK guests has doubled.
Brown’s managing director Stuart Johnson said his guests are keen to enjoy London’s parks, restaurants and cultural attractions this summer without the usual crowds of tourists from abroad.
Luxury: Holidaymakers are booking spa breaks in the UK and avoiding stressful overseas trips
Families scrapping plans for overseas holidays due to everchanging travel restrictions are spending their lockdown savings on bigger suites, fine dining, spa treatments, river cruises and even room service for their dogs.
Stuart Geddes, hotel manager at the Lanesborough, said: ‘What we are seeing from our domestic market is the rise in demand for a ‘test-and-stress-free’ break.
‘Even when it has been possible to travel overseas to a green list country, the Covid testing requirements can be so confusing and expensive that opting for a London hotel is a stress-free option. We are seeing that guests are willing to spend more on domestic travel, having saved on cancelled or postponed foreign trips.’
The Pig hotels group, which runs seven boutique hotels across the South of England, has no free rooms until October after ‘unprecedented’ demand drove up bookings by 45 per cent since reopening last month.
Rockliffe Hall, a luxury golf and spa hotel near Darlington in County Durham, expects to be 98 per cent full in July and August, after bookings shot up 71 per cent in May, compared to 2019. It took £84,000 of bookings over three days last month and guests are spending an average of £91 more per head.
Many are requesting a full itinerary of golf, fine dining and spa treatments before they arrive.
Jason Adams, managing director of Rockliffe Hall, said: ‘Since announcements on the easing of restrictions, our booking pace continues to supersede all records.
‘With the uncertainty around international travel, customers want peace of mind when booking their summer break.
‘The spikes in our booking pace since the red and amber list was updated show this is the summer of the Great British Break.’
The Mitre Hotel at Hampton Court, Surrey, took a rush of last-minute bookings after Portugal was taken off the green list and is now 83 per cent full and ‘increasing daily’.
It said spending per head is up 15 per cent on average, with an increase in guests booking experiences such as boat trips, tickets to Hampton Court Palace and picnics during their stays. ‘Guests are making the most of time spent away from their homes,’ a spokesman said.
The Balmoral hotel in Edinburgh reports a rise in large groups as families reunite to celebrate landmark occasions. General manager Richard Cooke said: ‘The trend we have seen is British guests as a family unit, and a greater take-up of suites offering more space for families to connect.
‘We’ve seen an increase in anniversary and birthday bookings as people play catch-up.’