I’ve never understood people’s fuss over the water they drink when they go to hotels, let alone their willingness to pay for what is otherwise free in most western countries. When I’m out in cities where you can drink tap water, that’s what I ask for; when I have to buy mineral water, I ask for the cheapest.
Water is water is water. Having said that, I agree that sometimes the taste is distinct. For example, here in Madrid, mineral water Bezoya and Aquafina taste strange to me; I will drink them if I have to, but I avoid buying those brands — I don’t like water that tastes like something (it’s not supposed to taste like anything!), but otherwise I’m not fussed. The whole “tap water isn’t good for you” conundrum doesn’t phase me in any way.
It totally ruffles my feathers when I go to a posh hotel and people I go with actually have a preference of mineral water, so I would go absolutely bonkers if I went to Claridge’s Luxury Hotel in London and was given a water menu with 30 international brands to choose from. 30!
According to a recent article in the BBC: For the most refined palette there is fine artesian water from Japan at $30 a bottle and $40 a bottle, or Mahaolo from Hawaii, described on the menu as “rare deep sea water” that is “very old.” And Just Born Spring Drops from India is apparently “light and not aggressive,” at $42 per bottle.
WHAT!? THAT’S MORE EXPENSIVE THAN A GOOD BOTTLE OF WINE! And this stuff sells?
“We wouldn’t do this if there wasn’t a demand for it,” says the hotel’s public relations manager. Apparently guests not only ask for berg or glacial water, but water with no sodium content or water fortified with calcium and magnesium; they even specify the region from where they want the water! “People are so very, very careful about what they eat these days that it’s moved into water.”
Have I completely lost perspective here or do you find this as absurd as I do?