London hotel the Wellesley has come under fire after charging a guest £75 for three bottles of water.
Edward Heaton met a client at the five-star hotel, ordering three bottles of San Pellegrino water during their get-together. He was later surprised to be presented with a bill for £75.
In explanation, the hotel said it had a minimum spend per person of £25 in its bar after 4pm. The three bottles came to £16.50, with an additional service charge of £8.33. The Wellesley then added £50.17 to make it up to the minimum spend.
Heaton told the London Evening Standard: "I have no issue if they have a minimum charge, but they need to make it clear.
"I was meeting a client and it was a very hot day, around 4pm, and we asked for three bottles of water.
"I didn't want to make a scene because of the people I was with, so I paid the bill but got in touch with them later to complain."
After Heaton got in touch on Twitter the hotel said it would make the policy at its Crystal bar "dazzlingly clear to all in future".
A statement from the hotel added: "The Wellesley applies a minimum spend of £25 per person as standard after 4pm for guests occupying the hotel's cigar terraces. Guests are made aware of this policy on arrival and the rates are printed on the menus.
"Mr Heaton did send an email of complaint the following week. In response, The Wellesley's management team replied on the same day to offer its sincere apologies to Mr Heaton for an experience he deemed less than satisfactory and we would like to take this opportunity to apologise again."