Claiming on expenses for staying at a hotel

Running a hotel, one soon learns that the hotel invoice is not a straightforward piece of paper for those guests fortunate enough to being reclaiming the cost of their stay from their employer. Anyone not lucky enough to have lived in the world of "expenses" probably looks on the claimants of such largesse with envy. Their envy may well be misplaces, as the beneficiary of the expenses, has to go through the hoop of the expense claim form and the company admin man before he gets his money back from the corporation that he works for.

Now the admin man tends to be someone who does not receive expenses, and appears to resent those who do. He therefore dreams up a set of rules, apparently ad hoc, in order to make the claiming of the said expenses as difficult as possible. This set of rules varies from company to company in a way that defies logic.

The points at issue will be the split of the bill between


Our problem is that the diversity of rules may mean company A allows a maximum of £70 for the room and £30 for dinner, company B will allow a maximum of £85 for the room and £15 for dinner, company C allows a total of £100 for room and dinner, but will not allow drink to be included.

Say all three executives spend £100 with us as £70 for room, £20 dinner and £10 drinks. All three come to the total of £100 allowed, but the sum the chap can claim back will vary. Not un-naturally humans find a way round the problem, and hotels will be asked to re-write the bill to reflect what can be claimed. Drink disappears into dinner, and dinner disappears into room.

No one man can fight the company admin man, therefore all over Britain hotels re-write bills to allow the pretence of conformity to continue.

Probably the strangest request we had to re-write a bill was from the Vice-President of a large US corporation, who entertained 5 guests to dinner, and spent £650 on some jolly nice wine. As I feel it a bit bald to put this sort of sum on the bill as "Wine £650" , I generally itemise such sums so that the guest can check it, for example "Ch Latour 1961 £450, Ch Yquem £175" . Anyway the VP paid his bill and left. A week later I had his secretary on the phone, to tell me how much he had enjoyed his stay, however there was one small point, could I re-write the bill, removing the specifics on the wine. I guess he did not want the admin man to know that the £650 was for 5 people, and that the un-itemised figure could mean that he had entertained masses of people with 100 bottles at £6.50

I find now that the simplest way to solve the problem is to do the Basil upfront, and with a nod and a wink ask how the customer would like their bill written. Those who do not understand why I am asking the question never think twice about it, those under the thumb of the admin men quickly tell me exactly how they need it printed out. All part of the hotel's service

  And if you want to stay in a nice hotel by the sea in Cornwall, Corisande Manor Hotel, Cornwall

                                                                                                       Corisande Manor Hotel, Newquay, Cornwall

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