Mania over Prince William and Kate Middleton’s engagement has spread like wildfire, with London’s hotel industry the latest to catch the royal wedding fever.
Hoteliers across the U.K. capital have been inundated with bookings for Will and Kate’s big day — April 29 — with many four- and five-star hotels more than doubling the room rates to cash in on the big day.
Tourist organizations in the city estimate that hotels in central London will be fully booked for the end of next April within a few weeks. As of Dec. 14, some of London’s most luxurious hotels, namely the Ritz, the Dorchester and Claridge’s, are already fully booked.
Hotels within walking distance of Westminster Abbey have unabashedly raised their normal rates to unprecedented levels.
The Royal Horseguards Hotel in Whitehall Place charges up to £650 ($1,008) per night for a double room for the end of April 2011, yet £263 ($408) for a typical Friday before Christmas.
On a normal night, the Ritz on Piccadilly charges £300 ($465) for a superior king room, but a hefty £575 ($891) for that same accommodation April 29.