Pictured above is the rather wonderful Chancery Court Hotel on High Holborn in Central London. I used to have an office on Kingsway just round the corner from the hotel. A few days after moving into the office I decided to host a meeting in the Chancery Court’s bar — I presumed it had one. I thought it would be a little bit nicer than the rather boring meeting room in the office. I wasn’t wrong. If anything, it was way, way better. Indeed, the bar had a dedicated area that — if you visited regularly — you could use for meetings: Two massive green leather Chesterfields facing each other. It was fantastic. I began to hold all my meetings there, occasionally popping through to the Lobby Lounge for lunch or breakfast.
At this point back in 2006, the Chancery Court was a Renaissance Hotel — one of the Marriott’s super-brand hotels. It was most certainly deserving of that status. Indeed, I regularly found the other hotels in the Renaissance chain wanting compared to the Chancery Court.
One of the key quality benchmarks for hotels that I established around this time was towels-in-the-public-bathrooms. It had taken me a while but I began to notice that only the best hotels I visited had real towels in their public bathrooms. Little ones rolled up, for example. Or placed in a nice pile by the sink. It made the experience so much nicer than paper or the noisy dryers. I know it sounds silly but I really did prioritise going to the Chancery Court because of this.
I’m always constantly surprised by the lack of proper towels in other supposedly super-high-quality hotels. I recognise that there’s probably an environmental factor to consider here.
I had a look through my Flickr archive and located this photo (4pm, February 26, 2006 according to the timestamp!) that I took for a personal blog post on this subject. This photo illustrates how the Chancery Court used to do it — I haven’t been into the hotel recently to verify it’s still similar though. I wonder if they’ve swapped to paper towels? I should also point out that the last time I stayed there (about 6 months ago) the hotel was about to undergo a change of management away from Marriott to — it looks like — a privately owned and managed hotel. I have to say, I’m liking the smooth new website.
Have you been to a hotel that has proper towels in the public bathrooms? Surely this is the mark of a top class institution?