Why you need to deliver on your promises, a hotel package that caught the eye, and news about an iconic London landmark.

A frustrated and unhappy child

There were reportedly many a tear shed by children disappointed by the Willy Wonka Experience in Glasgow. 

Anger at the Willy Wonka Experience

Reality bites. Promotional images created by Artificial Intelligence promised a Willy Wonka Experience ‘filled with wondrous creations and enchanting surprises at every turn’. But the families that turned up at a bodged event in Glasgow in February were left stunned, upset and angry as they toured what was described by one person as little more than “an abandoned, empty warehouse”. I’m sure you have seen the inescapable coverage. The company behind it, House of Illuminati, will have to change its name as refunds are not going to help the damage limitation exercise. What a total crock. I always believe in under promise and over deliver, not the other way around.

The poor actors from the failed event have at least enjoyed some fame, discussing the chaos on chat show sofas. I even hear that t-shirts are being printed saying ‘all I got was the crushing realisation that magic is not real and reality is a bitter disappointment’. Ouch. A Glasgow nightclub jumped on the bandwagon with a Willy Wonka themed disco. Every cloud has a silver lining, as they say. At least some are benefiting from a very harsh, upsetting lesson.

A hotel giving refunds for bad weather

An outside view of the InterContinental Singapore hotel

The InterContinential Signapore offers a ‘Rain Resist Bliss’ package - refunding you if it rains for a certain amount of time on your holiday. What’s next? Sun burn compensation?

I admit to being mildly obsessed with the weather. I like to talk about it (what Brit doesn’t?), and if I can’t find a forecast I like, I keep looking at new apps or websites until I find one I do. Inevitably the forecast will be wrong which causes me to mutter expletives to myself. And what is it with forecasts? They change their mind… like the weather ironically.

This novel new package guarantees guests a good time, even if their plans are struck by showers.

So my interest was piqued when I read that a hotel in Singapore has launched a ‘first-of-its-kind’ rain insurance package. It refunds guests as much as $850 if their travel plans are dampened by wet weather. Have management staff at the 5-star InterContinental Singapore lost their marbles? If you have visited during its wet season, it’s a destination famous for high humidity and tropical downpours. This novel new package guarantees guests a good time, even if their plans are struck by showers. Well, like most things, the devil is in the detail. If booking the Rain Resist Bliss Package, you do indeed receive a refund to the value of your single-night room rate.

But (and it’s a big but) the package is available exclusively only for suite room bookings starting from a cool $850 per night. But you do get a dedicated 24/7 butler for a ‘hyper-personalised experience’. Perhaps they can provide you with a brolly. Now, what hotels will introduce this in the UK? Go on, I dare you!

Transformation of the BT Tower

The top of the BT Tower in London

Source: Metin Ozer on Unsplash

The BT Tower is to be transformed into a luxury hotel after it was sold for £275m.

When I’m London and see the BT Tower, I often wonder what the view is like up there. I never did get the chance to go to its restaurant which was run by Billy Butlin (yes of Butlin’s fame). Access to the viewing platform was stopped in the early 70s and I’ve often thought it’s an opportunity missed not to develop it and do something constructive with what is a Grade II listed building.

Let’s hope they do a decent job of it, and bring that revolving restaurant back.

Originally called the Post Office Tower, of course, it is labelled ugly by some, but I disagree. I don’t think the London skyline would be the same without it. So I’m pleased to see that it’s going to be transformed into a hotel following a £275 million sale. About time. Let’s hope they do a decent job of it, and bring that revolving restaurant back. But I’ve often found that restaurants with views charge sky-high prices for distinctly average food. Let’s hope the nosh is as good as the vista with this one. I think it’s safe to say it won’t be cheap.