Customer charged £75 for 3 small bottles of water during the heatwave

Sinead Moore
Expensive water at The Wellesley Hotel
Expensive water at The Wellesley Hotel

A businessman was charged a whopping £75 for three small bottles of water at a Knighstbridge hotel during the heatwave.

Edward Heaton was meeting a client at the Wellesley Hotel on July 17.

He ordered three 500ml bottles of San Pellegrino water from the waitress, ITV reports.

The property buying agent was shocked to see the bill amounted to £75.

What Heaton didn't know is that the five-star hotel has a minimum charge of £25 per person when using its bar after 4pm.

The three bottles of water cost £16.50 and there was also a service charge of £8.33. The hotel then added a "minimum spend" charge of £50.17 to bring it up to £75, reports the Evening Standard.

Mr Heaton was not made aware of the minimum charge when he placed his order.

He said: "I have no issue if they have a minimum charge, but they need to make it clear.

"I was meeting a client and it was a very hot day, around 4pm, and we asked for three bottles of water.

"There was no menu, we just gave our order, had the water and then I asked for a bill. It came to £75 - for three small bottles of water. I thought it was extraordinary and I quietly asked if it was correct and they said 'yes, there is a minimum order of £25 per person after 4pm.'

"I didn't want to make a scene because of the people I was with, so I paid the bill but got in touch with them later to complain. "

"There were no menus when we sat down and no one explained the minimum spend."

Bill at The Wellesley Hotel
Bill at The Wellesley Hotel

Edward emailed to hotel to express his disatisaftion with the experience.

He also tweeted the hotel, who responded by saying, "Thanks for letting us know.We will make sure our policy at the Crystal Bar is dazzlingly clear to all in future. All the best."

Mr Heaton added: "For £75, we probably could have had a nice glass of wine each or maybe even champagne ... I will never set foot in that hotel again."

In a statement the hotel said:

"The Wellesley applies a minimum spend of £25 per person as standard after 4pm for guests occupying the hotel's cigar terraces where Mr Edward Heaton held his business meeting on 17 July 2014.

"Guests are made aware of this policy on arrival and the rates are printed on the menus distributed on the terraces.

"The minimum spend of £25 per person is comparable to similar venues across London. Mr Heaton did not raise concern at the time of his visit but did send an e-mail of complaint the following week.

"In response, The Wellesley's management team replied on the same day to offer its sincere apologies to Mr Heaton for an experience he deemed less than satisfactory and we would like to take this opportunity to apologise again."

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