The product is used in plastic drinking bottles and in the lining of some canned food containers, among other purposes.

London - A businessman has vowed never to visit an exclusive London hotel again – after he was charged £75 (about R1 300) for three bottles of water.

Edward Heaton was meeting a client at the Wellesley Hotel in Knightsbridge during the recent heatwave. He ordered three 500ml bottles of San Pellegrino, which cost 60p in supermarkets.

But when Mr Heaton asked for the bill he was shocked to see that it came to £75.

It emerged that the Wellesley – a five-star hotel which charges £600 a night for a suite – operates a minimum spend of around £25 per person after 4pm.

The water itself cost £5.50 per bottle and there was a service charge of £8.33, bringing the total bill to £75.

Mr Heaton, who runs property firm Heaton and Partners, said: “For £75, we probably could have had a nice glass of wine each or maybe a bottle of champagne. But three bottles of water? I wasn’t angry. I was just totally bemused.

“There were no menus when we sat down and no one explained the minimum spend.

“I didn’t want to make a scene because of the people I was with so I paid the bill, but got in touch with them later to complain.

“They were incredibly unapologetic. I will never set foot in that hotel again.”

The hotel responded to Mr Heaton’s complaint by tweeting: “Thanks for letting us know. We will make sure our policy is dazzlingly clear to all in future.”

And they released a statement saying: “The Wellesley applies a minimum spend of £25 per person as standard after 4pm for guests occupying the hotel’s cigar terraces where Mr Edward Heaton held his meeting.

“Guests are made aware of this policy on arrival and the rates are printed on the menus distributed on the terraces.

“The minimum spend of £25 per person is comparable to similar venues across London.’

But the hotel’s statement went on to apologise for the confusion, adding: “The management team would like to offer its sincere apologies to Mr Heaton for an experience he deemed less than satisfactory.” - Daily Mail