Anyone leaving it late to book a hotel room for the Olympic Games may have to pay more than three times the usual going rate, a survey has found.
Rooms are still available at some of London’s luxury hotels between July 25 and August 12. But confronted with inflated prices, tourists may tell hoteliers to follow Olympian Phillips Idowu’s example and take a running jump.
The Town Hall Hotel in Victoria Park is charging an average rate of £880 for a room between August 2-5 and August 9-12, compared to its regular rate of £249 – a price hike of 253 per cent – according to a survey compiled by Luxury-Hotels.com.
Of London’s 70 five-star hotels, 20 still have rooms available and tourists face charges inflated by 62 per cent on average.
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Luxury hotels such as the Lanesborough and the Connaught have no rooms whatsoever available during the Games.
But a spokesman for the British Hospitality Association questioned whether the survey was fair, adding that only by comparing the Olympic booking time with other marquee events in the area, such as Wimbledon and the Farnborough Air Show, could a reasonable judgement be made.
He said: “In central London there will be little availability, but that doesn’t mean the prices are all high.
“Quite a lot of rooms were allocated to Locog (the London 2012 Organising Committee) and the agreement was the industry would provide 40,000 rooms at a discount rate for the Olympic family, such as media and officials.
“Some of these rooms have been sent back, so that’s 8,000 left and 32,000 filled by Locog. These rooms are actually at a lower rate than they would normally be in August.”
The spokesman compared the increase in prices to the policies of airlines and theatres, which can put up the cost of tickets to reflect demand.
However, he said London hotels which are part of major chains would be careful not to damage their reputation and that of the capital as a whole.
“Most hotels which are group owned and managed will be pretty careful about raising prices so much that they get a bad press because it is bad for business and for future business. It gives London a bad name as an expensive city,” he said.