"Little box, sir?" repeated the concierge, when I called up later for some background information. "I'm afraid I'm not aware of any little box being part of the Kylie package, sir. Allow me to make some inquiries."
The line went dead for exactly a minute, and he returned to tell me that no one knew anything, and that in all likelihood the box had been placed on my pillow as a non-Kylie-themed memento of my stay at the Egerton. My Kylie-themed gift, he explained, was the glossy, bound guide to "Kylie—The Exhibition" that I had found on my dressing table.
I was inclined to protest. How could a guide to an exhibition of Minogue’s clothing, however sturdily bound, be considered Kylie-themed?Is the Bible a biblically themed book?Are the Olympics a sports-themed event?
But I held off, being suddenly more conscious than ever of how fragile the bonds are by which the disparate components of an offbeat package deal are held together. For while these strange packages may indeed be artifacts of the eternal price-wrangle between hotels and their temporary residents, they exist to benefit both parties and, like Tinker Bell in Peter Pan, depend for their very existence on a mutual act of faith by all concerned. And having spent an unrecapturable afternoon amid the tulle-wrapped, pixie-like mannequins of "Kylie—The Exhibition," I felt more able than ever before to join Wendy, the Lost Boys, and Peter himself in that life-giving declaration: "I believe in fairies."
Egerton House Hotel, Egerton Terrace, Knightsbridge; 44-20/7589-2412; www.egertonhousehotel.co.uk; doubles from $465; V&A Kylie two-night package $1,185, double, valid through June 10.
Bruno Maddox writes a column for Discover magazine.