The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Walking Wallets Or The Cost Of Service?
July 3, 2007, 5:38 am
Filed under: Comment

Some people out there still think Asia is this backwater of service and standards … and while in some areas it still has some catching up to do … interms of hotel service, it is absolutely miles ahead of anything the West can offer.

So I land in beautiful [and bloody cold] Melbourne at 5:30am and immediately head to my hotel, the Westin.

I quite like Westin Hotels … at least interms of corporate hotels … they have nice rooms, great beds, amazing showers and toptastic burgers [not that I’ll be having one Jill, oh no!] however one thing that bloody shocked me was this …


Yes, a bottle of water for AU$8.50.

EIGHT DOLLARS 50 CENTS. Lets get this in proportion … petrol is way under half that price … water covers 70% of the planet … you can buy a bottle of the stuff from a local newsagent for $1.50 and the drinking water in Australia is good enough to drink straight from the tap … and yet in a hotel, this product suddenly costs an amount that is equivalent to the Argentinean inflation rate.

That is fucking outrageous ESPECIALLY as the hotel I am staying in is hardly bargain basement!

Lets face it, the Westin are already getting hundreds of dollars a night out for simply supplying me with a fucking bed in a niceish room in the centre of the city and yet they have the audacity to try and charge me $8.50 for a bloody bottle of water.

Maybe this is acceptable for many people – but it’s not for me and it’s not because I’m a tight bastard Northern England / Midlands bloke, it’s because in Asia I’m spoilt.

OK … OK … so in many of the countries I visit, the tap water is not suitable for drinking so they supply bottled water as a matter of course … however the overall standard, service and commitment is way, way better than any of the hotels in Western countries.

The difference is you get the impression they really want you to enjoy your stay because they appreciate that will encourage you to come back again – whereas in the West there’s this subconscious attitude of ‘rip them for all you can get’ and quite frankly its rather sickening.

Companies need to realise that they cannot expect loyalty just because they say you’re a caring, good company … you have to fight for consumer loyalty each and every day because people have lots of choice and very short memories.

With hotels, it’s not about being subservient or cheap … it’s about appreciating the needs, fears and wants of customers and then finding ways to add REAL value to their experience … not seemingly having an eye on achieving outrageous profit at every opportunity  … and that is why I will happily brush my teeth using tap water and not the Louis Vuitton of H20.

Fuck, I’ve only been here 45 mins and I’m already angry … how will I be in a few hours when my tiredness really kicks in!?

24 Comments so far
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can you also post about CCA (in Australia, land of massive drought) having sanctioned access to a million litres of water for the price of $2.40, which they then sell back to us at 1000% in the form of liquified speed, or, even worse WATER!!

Comment by lauren

I have no sympathy for you. None. I did the easyjet shuffle last night and find your moaning about posh hotels and posher water misguided.

Tired, frustrated, back with my calculator? Me? Yes, yes I am.


Comment by Marcus

You post about it Lauren – I like it when you’re angry.

People who control water are going to be wealthier than those that control water.

Comment by Rob

Yay … Marcus is back and this time he’s angry!

Comment by Rob

Welcome to Australia, where the words “water restrictions” and “drought” have made it ok for companies to charge crazy prices for H2O related products. eg bottled water, car washes, compulsory (overpriced) water tanks for your home.
You’re better off washing your teeth with milk, it costs less.
ps. Are you around this weekend for a burg… errrr I mean sushi and or salad meal?

Comment by Age

No burger for me … only salad with maybe a nice piece of beef and possibly a couple of slices of bread on the side.

Comment by Rob

Since I’m a Northerner, you already know what I think about water that costs that much.

Marcus, you may be grumpy but you have a point. Down here in the cheap seats, I’d be thrilled to stay in a hotel where I didn’t have to wait behind 10 other tired fools to check in.

Comment by NP

Another thing, if this water has filtered down through rocks for millions of years before being bottled; why does it have a best before date of three weeks?

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Compared to some waters like VOSS this is a bargain, Rob.


Comment by Seb

Value is where you find it. Some people, I’m sure, will pay that.

Not me though. I’m a dour Midlander like yourself. That could buy 3 pints..

Comment by Will

I love your point Mr M … and lets not forget the Coke debacle when they launched ‘Natural Spring Water’ that turned out to be from a tap!

Comment by Rob

Ahh, Dasani. Tastes like pure, filtered tap water.

Comment by Will

Dear Marcus and NP, can I just point out that my hotel costs are paid by clients because if they weren’t, I’d be in the cheaper-than-cheap seats.

Hell, I’m from Nottingham … I’m not a Southampton Yuppie or a Northern Planner who has a family holiday home in Devon, ha 🙂

Comment by Rob

welcome back marcus from your lightning trip! how did it go?

Comment by lauren

and rob, maybe i will post about it that, about how to undermine good service by choosing shit service partners, and some other post that someone on here wanted me to do.. ha!

Comment by lauren

Me. But I forget what about now…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

hi Lauren. Not sure how it went. We shall have to wait and see.

Comment by Marcus

The Westin seems like a far off civilised oasis compared to this crappy Hilton I’m staying in. I could go into their ‘supplement’ charges which means that an awful (poorly cooked, delivered cold) steak and a glass of red wine cost 35 quid last night. Just awful.

Comment by Charles Frith

$8.50 for a bottle of water might seem pricey but the aussie dollar is the pacific peso, so go open 10 bottles Rob, it probably works out less than a buck in real money.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Thank you Billy … we’ll take it out the payrise you never got!

Comment by Robert

It’s in Cornwall, do pay attention.

Comment by NP


Comment by John Dodds

Cornwall … Devon … same town, different name.


Comment by Rob

[…] At a time where so many hotels are trying to charge you bloody fortune for basic amenities … like toothbrushes and water. […]

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