Note: We’re experiencing duplicate main photos in old posts, which our developers are working on to resolve. Hopefully, soon this will be changed. Thank you for your patience as we muddle our way through “new site” challenges.
Today’s photos are from the National History Museum in South Kensington, London, England on this date in 2014. Please see that link here.
The time to venture downstairs to the reception desk to pay our bill seems to come more quickly each month. Although we’re affording the costs of living in a hotel, we still cringe over the nightly rates for the room and evening meals. Breakfast is included. Taxes are 28% on top of the room rate. The taxes for our meals is 18%.
|This is an actual bee and its size as shown.|
No, we don’t have the expense of a rental car, entertainment (duh!), or wine and spirits, all by-products of being in lockdown now for over five months. The “rent” itself is higher than we usually pay for a holiday home, but in those cases we must add the costs for a rental car, groceries, entertainment and wine and spirits.
In essence, we’re paying less per month than we would have paid living in a holiday home. Of course, the perks are considerably less, if not non-existent. As we’ve mentioned over and over again, we cannot access any of the hotel’s usual facilities; not the health club, not the restaurant, not the bar, not the daily newspaper and sadly no access to the pool or outdoors.
|Photos through the glass are less vivid.|
Subsequently, paying the monthly hotel bill (including dinners) at approximately US $4,000, INR 292514 is hardly a sum we relish in paying. However, with the utmost of gratitude, we’ve had a clean and safe environment during the trying times of COVID-19 while trapped in India. On top of the above sum, we pay for insurance, prescriptions, vitamins, website charges, streaming services (more now than usual), cloud storage fees, and a variety of odds and ends, mainly toiletries.
As members of Hotels.com, using the link on our site, we’ve been able to accumulate a number of “free” nights. The amounts determined by the value of the free nights are solely based on our average room rate for the nights we’ve recently used and paid, plus a nightly fee of US $10, INR 731.
|Insect displays in the Charles Darwin research area of the museum.|
We booked three free nights, from August 29 to August 31, 2020, using Tom’s account. Then we booked the first 12 nights in September using 12 free nights. All of the 15 nights reflect a shortage since the room rates, plus taxes were higher than the value we’d accumulated for each night. Thus, we paid US $481.08, INR 35181, for the 12-nights including taxes, but not including our meals for this period.
The room prices online vary nightly by quite a significant amount. We attempt to check pricing several times a day to ensure, when we’re ready to book again, we’re getting the best possible price. We’ve definitely observed the nightly rates increasing and more and more time passes since the onset of the lockdown as more and more in-country flights become available and there are more in-country business travelers who frequent this hotel.
We have to accept the reality that we could be living here for many more months. There is nothing on the horizon, on any news sources in India, that international flights will be resumed any time soon. As of yesterday, India, in the number three position in the world, has more new cases and deaths from COVID-19 than the US or Brazil, both in the number one and two positions respectively.
|There were numerous paintings of animals from artists throughout the world.|
These facts don’t bode well for India allowing incoming and outgoing international flights. There are a few flights to the US, UK, and Dubai but, we aren’t interested in flying to any of these locations with the high incidence of the virus.
Nonetheless, we don’t forget for a minute, that we are safe, in a clean and hygienic space and have little responsibility other than to care for our personal needs, laundry, exercise while continuing to manage our site. I am working one hour a day on the edits on each of the past almost 3,000 posts and although its cut into my much needed free time, I’m getting through it, day by day.
Stay safe and healthy. God bless.
Photo from one year ago today, August 29, 2019:
|Ruins at the shoreline at an overlook in Falmouth, England. For more photos, please click here.|