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Old Government House is a lovely hotel in Guernsey

Old Government House is a lovely hotel in Guernsey. Reckoned to be the best on the island, it's a comfortable resting place for a weary traveller.

Part of the Red Carnation Hotel Group, it offers good food, quality service and…shabby upselling of its rooms.

I was greeted with a big smile from the receptionist when I entered the hotel. I had booked a classic room for a hefty £125 a night but within seconds the young lady was telling me she could upgrade me to a lovely room but at a supplement.

I assured her the classic room would be fine, after all, I had seen the photographs on their website.

Imagine my disappointment when I was shown into a cold unfriendly room that might have been considered luxurious in Pentonville Prison but was certainly substandard for Guernsey's premier hotel.

I should have paid for the upgrade!!

Contrast the psychology of hotel's approach to that of British Airways. On long haul flights BA will often upgrade passengers for free.


Because BA realises that providing an upgraded seat in business or first class engenders goodwill and it will encourage passengers to upgrade their ticket on future flights because the beds, food, wine and service make flying a pleasure not an ordeal.

It worked with me. I no longer fly at the back of the plane when travelling long haul.

After complaining about the upselling to Old Government House's general manager Andrew Chanrtell, I was offered a nicely appointed classic room. I declined his offer but asked why I was not put in this attractive room in the first place.

There is a lesson in BA's approach for all businesses - if you under promise but over deliver you will retain your customer's business for ever.

For my part I will choose the Bella Luce next time I have to stay in a Guernsey Hotel.