Candid Caller

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The Independent Travel
IN A new book about life in hotels, the demands of the rich and eccentric have come to light. For example, when the pop singer Michael Jackson stayed in a London hotel he, rather predictably, had expensive oil paintings in his suite swapped for posters of Disney characters. This week the Candid Caller, dressed as the concierge, asked: In a perfect world, what would you demand of a hotel?

Mrs Ellie Ritz of Poplar, east London: 'I'd want the whole room done out in peach, my favourite colour: walls, curtains, carpet. I'd also ask for my own massive satellite TV dish and spend all day and night channel-hopping.'

Mrs Rosemary Langham of Wearside: 'Fresh milk; I hate the packs of UHT milk they put by the kettle. If you ask for fresh milk the staff think you're being really difficult - and then charge a small fortune for it.'

Mr Mike Forte of Eastbourne: 'I'd insist on a suite so that I had real privacy. I always find hotels very impersonal places full of strangers. With a suite I wouldn't have to talk to any of them.'

Mr Fred Hilton of Lincoln: 'Sound-proofing that worked. I stay in quite a few hotels and my biggest complaint in hotels is the noise - televisions, banging doors, people stomping around corridors. I've even had someone running a bath in the room above me at 4am.'

Mr Richard Grosvenor of Birmingham: 'Usually you get about two beers in a mini-bar. So I'd have all the soft drinks and pounds 3 cans of Coke removed and the beers stacked up.'

Mrs Maggie Strand of Liverpool: 'I wouldn't want Disney pictures, perhaps posters of Mel Gibson and Clint Eastwood. Can't think of anything else, it would be enough not to have to clean up after the kids. Oh, yes, a team of child-minders.'

Mrs H Johnson of Cardiff: 'I'd have the pool cleared for a morning swim. I swim three mornings a week at the Empire pool, but I've never had the place to myself.'