Whilst I am fortunate to be able to afford to go on Lakes & Mountains holidays, I am acutely aware that many cannot – especially single-travellers – for good reason. On inspecting the Inghams Lakes & Mountains brochure I noted some of the scandalous amounts that are being levied on rooms occupied by singletons, be it a dedicated single-room or a twin/double for use by single person. Below are some examples of this:

Hotel Argentina(Dubrovnik) – a single-supplement from 67-115 GBP per night
Hotel Miramar(Opatija) – a single-supplement of 33 GBP per night
Grand Hotel Toplice(Bled) – a single-supplement of 52 GBP per night
Grand Hotel di Como(Lake Como) – a single-supplement of 50 GBP per night
Hotel Goldey(Interlaken) – a single-supplement of 32 GBP per night
Seehotel Kaiserstrand(Lochau) – a single-supplement from 86-110 GBP per night.

That is just a small selection.

Having accessed the websites belonging to all of the above, it has been difficult to ascertain if the aforementioned amounts imposed on single-travellers are being passed onto the traveller booking through Inghams, due to the websites not displaying tariffs but merely giving you a final amount for the duration of your stay rather than a detailed breakdown to justify the expense. I am therefore unable to be sure who is at fault charging the punitive amounts demanded from travellers flying solo.

There is though evidence elsewhere to suggest that travel-operators are not playing-fair when it comes to other hotels. Having researched other accommodation-providers that are showcased in the Inghams brochure, I arrived at the following results:

Hotel Les Grillons(Lake Annecy)
Single-supplement charged in the brochure: 29 GBP per night
Single-supplement charged on the hotel website: 12 € per night(10 GBP)

Hotel Jenewein(Obergurgl)
Single-supplement charged in the brochure: 17.50 GBP per night
Single-supplement charged on the hotel website: NO SINGLE-SUPPLEMENT MENTIONED

Hotel Postwirt(Soell)
Single-supplement charged in the brochure: 29 GBP per night
Single-supplement charged on the hotel website: 25 € per night(20 GBP)

Hotel Jezero(Lake Bohinj)
Single-supplement charged in the brochure: 24 GBP per night
Single-supplement charged on the hotel website: 10-30 € per night(8-24 GBP)

The Jezero though is a special-case, not in the least due to my previous experience of staying there little more than 6 months ago. Then, I was charged 25 GBP per night a single-traveller, a not inconsiderable 175 GBP over a week. For this, I expected to receive a twin/double room for use by a solo-traveller – this was not the case. I in effect paid a financial-penalty for the ‘crime’ of being a single-traveller; for my money I received a dedicated single-room, i.e. a room for one person. Having inspected the price-list whilst at the Jezero which they work from should you book directly with them and therefore independently, there was NO single-supplement charged by them for the use of a dedicated single-room. I was therefore diddled out of 175 GBP by the tour-operator with whom I booked my holiday. This year things seemed to have subtly changed in that the Jezero have started charging extra for the use of a dedicated single-room – a not so princely 10 € per night(8 GBP), which is still a long way from the 24 GBP charged by Inghams in their brochure. You can pay up to 30 € per night extra for the sole use of a double/twin room depending on the time of year, which indeed on the face of it equates to the 24 GBP charged by Inghams. BUT, please do not forget that the tour-operator will in all likelihood put the traveller in a dedicated single-room and not a twin/double for sole use, meaning they are profiting to the tune of 16 GBP per night at the expense of the single-traveller.

Any lame excuses that tour-operators come out with to justify single-supplements do not wash, at least none that I have been privy to. One classic was that pound for pound it cost more to clean a single room than twin/double accommodation is baffling and blatantly a lie. By definition, a single-room has a smaller bed, wardrobe, bathroom, television and less(if any) balcony furniture. There are no reasons or excuses for ripping off the single-traveller, apart from it being a flagrant way of garnering extra money at the expense of a discriminated section of society – single people. For goodness sake, they should be rewarded for retaining their sanity by staying unmarried or not carrying excess baggage, be it materially or in human form.

So, what can be done about this? Writing to ABTA, your Member of Parliament and the tour-operators is always a start but I wouldn’t anticipate much success. Whilst the travel-companies have you over a barrel bearing in mind that the easiest and often the only way to travel to your favourite resort is usually with a package-holiday through them, I would quite simple boycott the hotel in question and stay at the nearest available hotel/resort that offers a fairer deal for the single-traveller. Alternatively, confusingly and perhaps perversely, there is plenty of package-hotel accommodation that does not levy a single-supplement on dedicated single-rooms or double/twin accommodation for the lonesome holidaymaker. Why is this? Well, two theories predominate. Firstly, perhaps tour-companies really do only pass on genuine costs charged to them by accommodation providers or secondly, and most likely, they withhold charging a single-supplement on some of the accommodation they sell through its brochures to create the impression that only some and not all hotels charge them swingeing fees for the sole use of hotel rooms, be they dedicated single-rooms, twins or doubles, giving the impression it is entirely out of their hands. I suggest you make your own minds up.

If you can, travel independently and contact the hotel directly for the best rates. Single people are not pariahs or cash-cows and shouldn’t be treated as such.