The British TV period drama Downton Abbey, which weaves stories around the lives of a fictional aristocratic family and their staff in the early 1900s, seems to have captured the imagination of luxury hotels worldwide. The series was featured as a Masterpiece Classic PBS program in the USA, and New York’s Oheka Castle luxury hotel in New York decided to offer its own Downton Abbey experience. It has created special “Aristocratic Escape Packages” where Lords and Ladies can be entertained in the manner befitting upper class gentry.
This pampering package includes overnight accommodation, afternoon tea, champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries and a copy of the drama series on DVD. Oheka Castle and Estate on Long Island is no stranger to an upmarket clientele. It was the setting for the marriage of Maude Kahn, elder daughter of Otto Kahn, to Scots Guard Major John Marriott in 1920 with a guest list straight from the Who’s Who of New York Society.
Other luxury hotels cashing in on popular TV series include the urban art hotel, Artists Residence, in Brighton England. It was featured in the Hotel Inspector TV series that shot a behind-the scenes-documentary and the hotel now basks in notoriety.
Similarly, the reality TV show Dancing with the Stars has prompted a spate of package weekend breaks with a dancing theme. Judges and professional contestants from the British version, Strictly Come Dancing, are guests at luxury country house hotels across Britain. Guests have two dance lessons before a performance, plus a Q&A session and photographs with the celebrities.