There’s VIP status, there’s VVIP status — and then there’s being royalty, which you kinda figure bumps you to the front of any line, right? Well, evidently not.
It turns out that their titles — and insanely high profiles — weren’t enough to secure accommodations for Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Prince Harry at the French hotel of their choosing.
Indeed, the family had wished to travel to the Le Hôtel Marotte in Amiens this summer, but there was no room. And even with their status, the booking was a no-go.
Hotel manager Olivier Walti told the local paper Courrier Picard the back story. He said that the French Foreign Ministry had reached out to the property at the beginning of the year to inquire about booking suites for the family’s upcoming trip. They were attempting to make the plans with a solid six-months notice, but the hotel was already sold out. And the manager thought it utterly distasteful to bump any plebeian guests in favor of the fancier (fanciest?) travelers.
“The Foreign Ministry has contacted us in January to see if we were able to accommodate the royal family on the occasion of the Somme commemorations,” Walti said, according to a translation of the French language Courrier Picard story in Travel + Leisure.
“We had to decline the offer. It is impossible. We are already booked solid. We would not tell people who have booked with us for months and who have already paid for their stay, sorry, but the royal family is coming, we will have to cancel. It’s just unthinkable ethically.”
The Hôtel Marotte is a five-star boutique hotel, with just 12 rooms — so you can imagine the booking crunch. The rooms are distributed in two different buildings: There’s the “Old House,” with traditional decor including mouldings and influences from the Belle Époque. And then there’s the “Cube,” a modern white extension that gives the appearance it’s actually levitating. This building has three suites, with a focus on relaxation, including private spas and/or saunas. There’s a penthouse with a private terrace on top.
The royal trio are set to visit the Somme region from June 30 to July 1 to honor those who died in the 1916 battle there.
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