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a blog by Chris Barrow

Critical Non-Essential

I arrived at the Tower Hotel in London at 5.45pm last night. Tired and quite a bit burned out – all I wanted to do was get to my room, take a hot bath, get some supper, make a few phone calls, get to sleep before 9.00pm. There was a long line of people waiting to register. The Hilton across the bridge was full last night – so no concierge-level check in for me this evening – just out there with the madding crowd. I counted 15 people in the queue ahead of me – and each guest has to be hand-held through that laborious process. My heart sank. Then a young girl arrived carrying a tray laden with glasses of fresh orange juice. She walked down the line, offering a refreshing glass to each guest and explaining that extra staff were on their way to man the desk and that we would be in our rooms within 15 minutes. We all started smiling and stopped grumbling. A dozen glasses of orange juice, a deadline and a smile – that was all it took. After supper and a walk around St Katherine’s Dock I made it to bed before 9.00pm, feeling that the Tower Hotel has considerably raised it’s game since Guoman Hotels took over.

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