If you like living vicariously through others, POSH HOTELS WITH SALLY & NIGEL is the documentary for you.
Each episode features a stay at a luxury hotel, where Sally Lindsay and Nigel Havers take turns experiencing life as a guest upstairs and what it takes to deliver the five star service downstairs.
Their first stop is The Berkeley Hotel in London. Upstairs, Sally is the first to experience life as a guest, staying in a humble £2,000-a-night suite (suites can cost up to £18,000 a night) the size of a London apartment.
Guests staying in these suites can experience the works: including the loan of a £1,500 Burberry coat tailored to their measurements plus an array of designer accessories as well as monogrammed pillowcases, sleep masks and bathrobes.
Downstairs, Nigel takes part in the monogramming that happens on site - thankfully now done by machine and not by hand. It quickly becomes clear that delivering the kind of service that’s expected isn’t as easy as it looks. Pressing trousers becomes a matter of skill when you have 10 minutes to complete three pairs (or 200 suitcases full of clothes).
Nigel might think he knows how to make a bed, but an hour later he’s done a mediocre job and has seven rooms left.
Time is of the essence when it comes to meeting The Berkeley standards. When Sally is called down for flower duty, they only have until 7am to create a perfect arrangement in the lobby.
“It’s harder than it looks” she comments, before discovering that the concierge desk is even harder. One guest requests a helicopter to fly them to Heathrow within 3 hours. Another wants a lost belonging retrieved from the Ritz - in Paris. Hiring a litter of puppies to keep guests company isn’t extraordinary - it's the norm.
Posh Hotels is an enjoyable, curiosity-satisfying documentary. Nigel and Sally have brilliant chemistry, and it’s hard not to laugh along with them as they discover the wonderful and surprising gems within the luxury hotel. Nigel plays the affable gentleman with no idea how to put on a duvet but who knows exactly how he likes his dry martini (ice cold with a twist) perfectly. By contrast, I found myself in Sally, equally mesmerised by the digital toilet that even has a dryer and trying to take home every bit of luxury she could (sadly, not including the Burberry coat).
As they drove off in a £20,000 Ferrari at the end of their stay - because, of course, The Berkeley comes with a Ferrari dealership attached - I was left thoroughly entertained. Posh Hotels might not be a gritty investigative documentary, but it’s fun. It offers a glimpse into the grandeur 5* star guests enjoy all while reminding you that it doesn’t happen by mistake - an army of staff work hard round-the-clock to make it grand.
- Watched on Channel 5. 01/02/2019