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Terms & conditions


At Corinthia, we always strive to provide the best rates on our website. If you don’t think we have, we’ll pay for 100% of your room on the first night, and price match the rest. Should you find a lower price elsewhere, please submit a claim within 24 hours of your original booking and we will respond within two working days. Please note, this also applies to discounts and promotions available on

Process for making a claim:

Step 1. If within 24 hours of a confirmed reservation with Corinthia Hotels made on, you find a lower rate for the same hotel, room type, inclusions, stay dates, discounts and payment conditions, please contact the relevant email address from the list below to make your claim. All claims must be made within 24 hours of the original booking and at least 24 hours prior to the standard check-in time of the hotel.

Step 2. Your claim should be supported by the URL where the lower rate was found and a screen shot which clearly displays the date of stay, room type, same hotel, inclusions and payment conditions of the lower rate offering on the competing website. Please include your contact information (name, email and phone number).

Step 3. If we are able to verify that the lower rate found qualifies for the Best Rate Guarantee, and all other terms and conditions are met, Corinthia Hotels will pay for 100% of the room charges of your first night, and will price match the room for the rest of your stay. You will be charged for all nights booked at the matched rate, minus the first night which will be free.

To make your claim, email the relevant hotel on one of the following:

First night free, match rate for rest of stay, no minimum nights

Terms and Conditions:

Corinthia Hotels guarantees the best online rate on based on the following terms and conditions:

1. Your original booking must have been made through
2. The lower rate must be found and the claim submitted by email within 24 hours of the original booking and at least 24 hours prior to the standard check-in time at the hotel. If the original booking was made within 24 hours of arrival, the Best Rate Guarantee is not applicable.
3. The Best Rate Guarantee only applies to published rates available to the general public online, which can be found and booked immediately without any kind of restriction or payment restrictions.
4. The lower rate found must be for exactly the same booking criteria - the same hotel, the same room type, same inclusions, the same stay dates, same number of guests, the same rate description and, if applicable, the same promotion. The cancellation and advance purchase policy and all other terms and conditions of the stay must also be identical. If the claim refers to a reservation consisting of several nights' accommodation, the average rate for each night will be compared to the average rate for each night, for an identical reservation, using the website where the lower rate is found.
5. Corinthia Hotels will verify the lower rate claim and respond within two working days of the claim being made. *Claims will be processed from Monday to Friday, between 9am to 5pm, at the hotel's local time.
6. The rate comparison will be made net of any taxes, gratuities or any other fees or charges associated with the room rate, and the lower rate must still be available at the time the hotel validates the claim.
7. The Best Rate Guarantee is void where prohibited by law. Corinthia Hotels reserves the right to modify or cancel its Best Rate Guarantee policy at any time in its sole discretion and without prior notice.
8. Corinthia Hotels has the sole right and discretion to determine the validity of any claim, including without limitation, determining that the lower rate found is genuinely available and that the claim meets all terms and conditions. In case of dispute, Corinthia Hotels' decision is final.
9. In the case of a fully prepaid rate booked through, Corinthia Hotels will refund the difference to your credit card, if applicable, within 30 business days of submitting your claim. Corinthia Hotels is not responsible for any fees associated with cancelling a reservation made through a different channel.
10. Best Rate Guarantee will be suspended during times where or certain rates are not available due to an outage, a technical issue or a circumstance beyond Corinthia Hotels' reasonable control.
11. The Best Rate Guarantee does not apply to rates found offline, negotiated corporate rates, group or MICE rates, opaque provider rates or rates requiring membership in a club or other organization, governmental rates, direct mail or email solicitations, rates offered by providers that do not supply the name or location of the hotel until after a reservation has been made or other rates that are not available to the general public. We reserve the right to deny a claim if the availability of the Competing Rate cannot be independently verified at the time of processing the claim.
12. The Best Rate Guarantee does not apply to packaged rates. Packaged rates include Hotel accommodations sold as part of a travel package in which the Hotel does not provide all services (including but not limited to airfare and/or car rental, tours etc.) and Hotel accommodations sold with additional amenities.
13. Corinthia Hotels may deny a claim where the difference between the rates is less than 1%.
14. If the Competing Rate is in a different currency from the rate booked on, the Competing Rate will be converted into the same currency as the rate offered on our website using the exchange rate as published in in place at the time the initial reservation was made. Discrepancies may occur between Corinthia Hotels' rate and the Competing Rate due to differences in exchange rate sources. If the rate discrepancy is solely due to exchange rate fluctuations, we reserve the right to deny the claim.

Everything You Need To Know About The History of Chelsea Flower Show

London in Bloom   |   April 2019

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A potted past of London’s most fragrant horticultural event

Romantic garden © iStock/BesthAmber

Every spring, London erupts in a riot of colour and fragrance as the city’s most prestigious flower show gets underway. Spanning five days and attended by an illustrious guestlist that includes the British Royal Family, Chelsea Flower Show has been flying the flag for florals for more than a millennium. From its against-all-odds resilience to its most memorable exhibits, here we explore Chelsea Flower Show’s fascinating history.

Finding The Right Home

Chelsea Flower Show’s inauguration was in 1862 as the Royal Horticultural Society Great Spring Show in Kensington. The three-day event was staged in a single marquee, and its guest of honour was the king’s mother, Queen Alexandra. Over the 26 years that the show was hosted in the palace grounds, its popularity increased, and one marquee gradually became two.

In 1888, the show was moved to Temple Gardens, a verdant chain of green spaces on the banks of the Thames. The new more central location proved a roaring success. Two marquees bloomed into five, with the Great Spring Show attracting some of the most prestigious seed merchants and plant nurseries in England and beyond. The number of exhibitors nearly tripled from 48 to 120.

Despite its popularity, the event was cancelled in 1912 to make way for a one-off botanical event, the Royal International Horticultural Exhibition, to be held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea. It was so successful that a decision was made to permanently relocate the Great Spring Show to its Chelsea home the following year, initiating the flower show’s renowned history in Chelsea.

A Tenacious 150-Year Run

The Chelsea Flower Show has since run every spring, apart from brief hiatuses during the First and Second World War, when the Royal Hospital’s grounds were required for use as an anti-aircraft base. The show eventually resumed in 1947, however the ravages of war had decimated output from England’s nurseries and there was not much in the way of seedlings and plants to display. The shortfall was integral to Chelsea Flower Show’s history, as this was the year that flower arrangements were introduced to make up for the dearth.

In 1927, a campaign was launched to favour indigenous plants and British nurseries – and ban foreign exhibits. The Royal Horticultural Society rejected the appeal, stating: ‘Horticulture knows nothing of nationality.’ A decade later, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth celebrated their coronation. To mark the occasion, the Great Spring Show put on an epic Empire Exhibition; a cosmopolitan collection that included Australian mimosa, Kenyan gladioli, Canadian pines and Palestinian prickly pears.

Weather has been a contentious issue in the history of Chelsea Flower Show, with the English spring notoriously unpredictable. In 1928, a ferocious storm flooded the marquees on the night before the opening. A dedicated team of staff worked through the night to rescue the site, which was beautifully restored to receive its first visitors by the morning. Four years later, the rain was so severe that a summer house display collapsed in ruin. Greater weatherproofing was put in place to prevent future calamities.

Wild flowers © iStock/Linda Raymond
Chelsea Flower Show © iStock/Magmark76

A Well-Heeled Guestlist

The show’s popularity increased exponentially after 1953, the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. By then, the UK’s nurseries had recovered enough to put on a colourful show that paid tribute to the country’s celebratory mood. Over the next half of the century, Chelsea Flower Show established itself as the spring event, attended by the ‘who’s who’ of polite society, including the Royal Family. Her Majesty The Queen has only ever missed two Chelsea Flower Shows since her coronation.

It wasn’t long before crowding at the show became a major issue. Even with extra marquees, the event was overwhelmed with thousands of keen gardeners and interested onlookers. By 1979, visitor numbers had peaked at 6,000, with overcrowding forcing the turnstiles to be temporarily locked off in an effort to regulate the inflow of visitors. A decision was made to extend the show’s opening hours, with discounted tickets available after 4pm to discourage the morning crowds. The one-way system that had been rejected as impractical 20 years previously was put in place with great success, and the previous limit of 90,000 visitors was reduced to 40,000.

Continuing to grow every year, in 2000, the 2.90-acre Great Pavilion replaced the immense marquee that had housed the show since 1951. The dismantled marquee was upcycled into 7,000 handbags, jackets and aprons. The Chelsea Flower Show is now attended by nearly 160,000 attendees every year, with tickets secured in advance to ensure comfortable visitor numbers.

Exhibits Through The Ages

After impressing judges with her cacti garden in 1929, American Sherman Hoyt donated the display, set against a painted Mojave backdrop, to Kew. It was displayed in a dedicated glasshouse in the botanical gardens for more than 50 years before being moved into the Princess of Wales Conservatory.

British Television presenter James May made history at Chelsea Flower Show with his 2009 Paradise in Plasticine. The vivid garden of spring blooms, roses, a fruit tree and a lawn laid with a picnic was created entirely from plasticine. He received an unofficial award for his ingenuity with a plasticine gold medal. Little did the judges know that May had hidden a garden gnome in his display. Garden gnomes are banned, as they fall under the verboten category of ‘brightly-coloured mythical creatures’, which are not in keeping with Chelsea Flower Show’s tasteful aesthetic.

Luxury fashion house Yves Saint Laurent commissioned a garden to coincide with the launch of its iconic fragrance Opium in 1997. This kickstarted the trend for high-end brands such as Chanel and Laurent Perrier creating beautiful gardens and displays at Chelsea Flower Show every year.

In 2011, Irish designer Diarmuid Gavin exhibited the Irish Sky Garden, redolent of the sci-fi animated Hollywood blockbuster Avatar. The pod was suspended by a crane, and occasionally lowered into the garden below, where, its roof covered by turf, it resembled a hillock in the Irish landscape.

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