This week I took part in a debate at the BHA Summit, opposing the motion “Traditional hotels are dying when faced with the growth of serviced apartments”, chaired by Piers Brown who manages both Boutique Hotel News and Serviced Apartment News.
My partner in the debate was Rafi Bejerano whose family own Pride of Britain member hotel The Arch London.
We were up against George Westwell and Paul Rands, two leading figures in the Serviced Apartment sector who made powerful opening speeches in favour of the motion. A lack of modesty allows me to report that we won hands down, largely because the hotel sector is doing demonstrably well, despite all the challenges it faces. It was interesting, though, to learn about how profitable apartments can be and the growing demand for them in big cities.
All this was of course a very friendly affair with no terrible consequences for the four of us. What a contrast with the real world of political debate and the dirty tactics used. Like many I watched the general election unfold with my head in my hands – the stability and certainty Mrs May hoped to bring to our country has proved as slippery as a bar of soap in the bath.
TV interviews encourage us to hate at least half of the politicians we see. The few I’ve met in person have all been absolutely charming so this is a cruel distortion – like or loathe ‘em most have gone into politics wanting to do some good. Perhaps we need to learn to be kinder to them, and allow their best qualities to shine?