London 2012: Hoteliers raise prices ahead of Olympic Games
Hotel rooms near to the Olympic Park are going for as much as �250 a night, as anticipation for the start of the Games reaches fever pitch.
Not ones to miss a once in a lifetime opportunity, hotel owners in Stratford have already sold rooms - and entire floors - months in advance.
And it appears people who want to be minutes away from events when they start on July 27 are in for an expensive time of it.
Bill Tiwana, co-manager of the Forest View Hotel in Romford Road in Forest Gate, said they started receiving enquiries as soon as the Olympic bid was won.
He said: “We had a lot of companies contacting us, and people from as far away as the United States.
“We are expecting the family of one of the US Olympians to stay here during the Games.”
Mr Tiwana admitted they were keeping a close eye on the competition to see how far prices were inflated.
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He added: “Of course, we want to see what everyone else is doing - I know some hotels are doubling their prices, and a few are three times the amount. They are going all out.”
Independent hotel owners think they will be under pressure from hotel chains, such as Premier Inn and Ibis, who have rooms available in Stratford.
Majad Ahmed, manager of Lodge 51, also in Romford Road, Stratford, is waiting to see if his lease will be renewed in March before accepting any more bookings.
He explained: “It is quite frustrating because we had a very serious inquiry from the media in France.
“They wanted 20 rooms, but sadly we couldn’t say yes. About six months before that a media team from Norway came to see the hotel.
“I know that some other hotels are renting out for as much as �250 a night.”
Hygene Edwin, manager of the Viking Hotel in Romford Road, added: “A lot of our rooms have been booked out since last year and three floors have been taken.
“We intend to keep some of our rooms for local people.”
Pubs are also preparing for an increase in trade and people wanting to stay in their rooms.
Justin Egan, who runs the Cart and Horses in Maryland Point, said: “I wouldn’t think our prices would increase. We have taken the enquiries but not the bookings yet.
“I’m looking forward to the whole occasion.”
Other hotel managers believe the recession might have an effect on people who are looking to book their rooms now.
“Before Christmas, there was a lot of interest, but it’s been pretty quiet in January to be honest,” said Mark Lewinsky, manager of Park Tavern Hotel in Portway.
“I think in February it will pick up once people have got the money.
“We would probably be putting our prices up as everyone else is doing the same thing.”
It was also revealed last week that Olympics organisers have been forced to hand back more than one fifth of hotel rooms reserved for officials and dignitaries since 2005.
This will free up space for potential spectators to snap rooms at a bargain price.
One of those to strike an agreement with Locog was Ramada Hotel in the Royal Docks. A spokesman said it still too early to say whether its rooms would be available.