Hotels get creative for wedding of Meghan and Harry
Hotels get creative for wedding of Meghan and Harry
21 MAY 2018 7:50 AM

Mac ‘n’ cheese, Lego and boat trips all somehow were part of this weekend’s Royal Wedding. Meanwhile, in China, Airbnb and friends get organized, supposedly to promote industry standards.

There was a huge wedding Saturday in the United Kingdom—held on the weekend so as not to give us Brits yet one more public holiday—and hotels have been admirably creative, interesting and welcoming.

But before I get to that, let’s look at what is happening on the other side of the planet, where another sort of “wedding” took place.

Organizing China’s sofas
Poor, misunderstood Airbnb hosts.

Pilloried by the long-established hotel industry, how can they ever have a hope of having their voices heard? Will their message be forever lost amid the noise of brands and development?

They evidently require a platform, as this week saw the formation of The House-Sharing Association. Supposedly it is a forum for the development of “house-sharing industry standards,” but seems awfully like a ploy for increased respectability by the initiative’s founders—Airbnb China, (a similar thing to Airbnb) and what surely is a Chinese government organization, the State Information Center of China National Development and Reform Commission.

Actually, SICCNDRC is the government, at least its economic-planning mechanism, and probably the origin of all those rapped knuckles concerning all those foreign, non-core activity hotel, gaming and hospitality buys from Chinese companies we’ve seen lately.

It is both alarming and amusing to see the new initiative is enveloped in jargon.

According to its a news release announcing its formation, the platform wishes to “create fair and benign competition atmosphere, proactively resist improper competition behaviors, firmly reject unsustainable malignant competition behaviors like money-burning and subsidies; and gradually promote standardization and normalization of service process, quality control and dispute processing, actively work with government agencies to clarify right-responsibility relationship among vendors, landlords and tenants.”

My goodness! They have their work cut out.

Meghan and Harry
Hotels capitalized on the 19 May marriage between an American actor and TV star and the sixth in line to the British throne.

Meghan Markle and Prince Henry Charles Albert David Windsor seem very decent people.

There was some youthful exuberance at fancy dress parties and at a Las Vegas hotel, but Prince Harry, I believe, is genuinely liked in the United Kingdom, which has certainly taken to Ms. Markle, who by the time you read this will be known formally as the duke and duchess of something. (According to the BBC, “vacancies” include the dukedoms of Albany, Clarence, Connaught, Cumberland, Kendal, Ross and Sussex).

Also the dukedom of Windsor is open, too, and that is where the wedding took place.

Anyway, hotels are not missing out on the opportunity to cash in, sorry, celebrate the happy event.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • According to The Telegraph, the two Zetter Townhouses properties in London have an offer throughout May that includes a “Royale” cocktail and a royal wedding afternoon tea with both a British side—scones, clotted cream, preserves and Earl Grey tea, I am guessing—and an American side—perhaps buffalo wings and mac ‘n’ cheese with bacon crumble. Eat slowly, is my advice.
  • Those booking the Legoland Castle Hotel or Legoland Resort Hotel, both at Legoland Windsor—now that was admirable foresight!—could have viewed the marriage on TV from their rooms, no doubt, but also are invited to study a re-creation of the wedding scene, Windsor Castle, church, and parade route made entirely from Lego. Making Union Jack flags out of Lego is no easy task, I would have thought.
  • The celebrations are being staged worldwide. The Weekapaug Inn in Weekapaug, Rhode Island, is really going for it, perhaps inspired by its British-born proprietor Simon Piers Dewar, who attended Sandhurst, the same military school attended by Harry and his older brother, Prince William. Royal Wedding goings-on here on the Big Day itself included a royal-themed tea and dinner, staff dressed in red tunics and ceremonial Royal Guard bearskin hats and turns around the pond on the hotel’s boat, which is genuinely called the Quonnie Queen.

For us here at Hotel News Now, we’ll be looking at Windsor hotel performance for the weekend to see if the Royal Wedding has a favorable uptick in metrics.

Now that really is partying!

Email Terence Baker or find him on Twitter.

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