Windsor’s hotel operators are reaping the benefits of royal wedding fever reporting a soar in bookings for this weekend.
While Dorchester Collection’s Coworth Park and Cliveden House hotel will host Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, respectively, the town’s other hotels will be swarming with well-wishers and media hoping to capture a glimpse of the happy couple.
AccorHotel’s MGallery by Sofitel Castle Hotel Windsor, which the couple will pass during their procession through the town’s streets following their marriage, is fully booked.
Area general manager, Alan Bickerton, said: “It’s no surprise that occupancy rates at the MGallery by Sofitel Castle Hotel Windsor are extremely high this week, and indeed we are fully booked between Wednesday and Saturday, up from an already high seasonal average of 75-80%
“We have seen a doubling in the number of North American visitors to the hotel hoping to catch a glimpse of the royals this weekend. We have also experienced a significant amount of interest from media companies, which account for around 40 per cent of the hotel’s occupancy this week, bringing a stronger mix of corporate customers than normal.
“With tens of thousands expected to descend on Windsor this weekend, we’re also hoping for strong custom on food and beverage as guests and visitors share the celebrations. We have introduced a special cocktail list and a new royal afternoon tea offering a quintessentially British experience, featuring everything from ham hock terrine, cray fish and grilled artichoke and pepper to seaweed cone, jumbo scones, mini cakes and macaroons, accompanied with tea and coffee or Champagne to top off this special week.”
Travelodge has said that all of its hotels across Berkshire have sold out, with the booking frenzy even spreading to London.
Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge spokeswoman, said: “Our hotel teams are working around the clock this week to get ready for the influx of customers who are coming from all corners of the globe to soak up the atmosphere of the Royal Wedding. We have even ordered extra supplies of Prosecco as there will be a lot of toasts being made to celebrate the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.”
Booking.com has also reported an increase in bookings year-on-year, with a spike the day after the couple’s wedding date was announced.
The booking website said the majority of those booking from outside the UK were from the US, followed by Australia, Germany and Canada.
Airbnb has predicted it’s not just Windsor that will reap the benefits this weekend forecasting a 1,438% increase in guest arrivals to Slough, compared with the same period last year.
The community booking site predicts Maidenhead, Windsor and Reading will also see increases of 362%, 194% and 57% respectively.
Airbnb hosts in Windsor are, unsurprisingly, expected to be its biggest earners this weekend charging an average fee of £353 for the weekend.