I popped into The Royal Berkshire Hotel on the outskirts of Ascot recently. I was only there for a meeting, so I didn’t get a chance to check out the rooms, however from what I saw, the place looked immaculate and utterly luxurious. There was no standard reception desk. I reckon that’s the mark of a true, quality boutique hotel. There’s no need for a ‘shopping counter’. Instead there’s just a helpful lady at a nice big oak desk.
What really ticked the boxes for me was the restrooms. I have a barometer that, so far, has never failed in determining the quality of a hotel. It’s all about hand towels in the loos. Proper hotels — the best — have real cloth towels, you see.
Many big supposedly 5-star luxury hotels in London don’t even offer this, preferring instead to range whizzy and really noisy hand drier machines. Or paper towels. Or worse, those revolving towel things that require you to pull down a fresh bit. They’re rubbish.
It’s wonderful to use a proper hand towel. Your hands get dry immediately. No messing around.
The gents at the Royal Berkshire (by the meeting rooms) had an array of little pigeon holes below the taps, each filled with a cloth towel ready for you to use.
There’s an environmental question, of course. I trust that The Royal Berkshire has taken adequate steps to ensure basic reduction of carbon footprints in order to offset and offer this facility.
I did try and take a photo but there were lots of people around and I didn’t want to scare anybody.
The Royal Berkshire is now the second hotel in recent memory (after the Chancery Court, Holborn) that I’ve come across offering proper towels in the bathrooms.
If you know of any others, please let me know!