Suppliers to one of London's smartest new hotels have been left fuming because they were still owed thousands of pounds three months after its big launch.
The St Martin's Lane hotel in London, owned by New York hotelier Ian Schrager, had this month still not paid some bills for goods delivered on its opening in September.
Wine suppliers were among those who had to pester it for payment. Another has vowed to withhold credit.
"The amount of money it has cost me in time in chasing it up is outrageous," said Richard Horwell, managing director of Chilla, which supplies wine chillers.
"I will never give them credit again. We were told by the general manager that they had blown their opening budget and had cash-flow problems."
A spokeswoman for the hotel said: "He absolutely didn't say that. If anyone thinks that there are cash-flow problems at the hotel, they should try booking a room there tonight."
In a statement, general manager Niels Sherry admitted that there had been "initial administrative delays" during the opening of the 204-bedroom hotel.
Horwell claims he was eventually paid when he marched into the hotel with his sales manager intent on removing the chillers if money was not forthcoming.
Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 23 December 1999 - 12 Jan 2000.