London Ritz is recycling
In these austere times even the Ritz is recyclingAnne Richards and Jonathan Prynn
It may be one of the world's most luxurious hotels but even the Ritz is not above an economy drive in the most delicate of areas in these tough times.
An internal memo seen by the Standard reveals that the Piccadilly institution is saving thousands of pounds by salvaging soap, shampoo and even remnants of toilet rolls from the rooms of distinguished guests, who recently included former US President Bill Clinton.
Once the rich and famous have left their rooms and suites — for which they pay up to £6,000 a night — maids are told to decant half-empty bottles of liquid soap so they can be used in the dispensers in the staff facilities and the gents' lavatories.
Bottles of shampoo are made available to chefs showering after a hard session in the kitchen, while the paper rolls are taken to the staff
The minutes of a housekeeping meeting on 17 March show how the hotel saved almost £1,500 in February through “savings from recycling guests' toiletries”. Spending was only £12,000 compared with a £13,493 monthly housekeeping budget.
Under the heading “How can we continue to save costs?” managers at the five-star hotel urge maids to “use chemicals appropriately” and “use only one of each item such as bin liners, blotting paper etc”. The memo continues: “Toilet rolls to go back to the office towards being used in staff toilets or in Powder Room. Recycling of toiletries. Keep slippers if department guest has not used them.”
Stephen Boxall, managing director at The Ritz, which is owned by the Barclay Brothers, said the hotel had decided to cut down on the amount of waste, for both cost and environmental reasons.
He said that all guests get a full, fresh set of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and other toiletries every day but rather than throw away the surplus it had been decided to recycle them.
He said: “We are doing our bit for the environment and to save a bit of costs. There's probably not another hotel in London not doing what we're doing.
“I wish we could do more recycling but we are limited when you consider the type of money our guests are paying.”