Customer charged £75 for 3 small bottles of water during the heatwave

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A businessman was charged at total of £75 for three bottles of water during the heatwave. Edward Heaton was meeting a client at the exclusive Wellesley Hotel in Knightsbridge.

He ordered three 500ml bottles of San Pellegrino - which typically cost 60p in supermarkets.

But when the property buying agent asked for the bill he was staggered to be charged £75. It emerged The Wellesley - a 5 star hotel which charges £600 a night for a suite - operates a minimum charge of £25 per person when using its bar after 4pm.

The water had already cost £5.50 per bottle and there was also a service charge of £8.33. A 'minimum spend' charge of £50.17 was also added, bringing the total to £75.

Edward Heaton's receipt from the Wellesley Hotel Credit: SWNS

I was meeting a client at a hotel. When we sat down, a waitress came over and took our order. It was a very hot day, around 4pm and we asked for three bottles of water. There was no menu, we just gave our order, had the water and then I asked for a bill. It came to £75 - for three small bottles of water. I thought it was extraordinary and I quietly asked if it was correct and they said 'yes, there is a minimum order of £25 per person after 4pm'

Edward Heaton
Edward Heaton's receipt from the Wellesley Hotel Credit: SWNS

Edward emailed the hotel to say he wasn't happy with the way he was treated on July 17. He also tweeted his thoughts. The hotel responded by tweeting:

For £75, we probably could have had a nice glass of wine each or maybe even a bottle of champagne. But three bottles of water? I wasn't angry. I was just totally bemused.

Edward Heaton
The Wellesley in Knightsbridge Credit: SWNS

In a statement the hotel said:

The Wellesley applies a minimum spend of £25 per person as standard after 4pm for guests occupying the hotel's cigar terraces where Mr Edward Heaton held his business meeting on 17 July 2014. Guests are made aware of this policy on arrival and the rates are printed on the menus distributed on the terraces. The minimum spend of £25 per person is comparable to similar venues across London. Mr Heaton did not raise concern at the time of his visit but did send an e-mail 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.

Wellesley Hotel statement