The Hotel: Backstairs at the World's Most Exclusive Hotel

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9781559703772: The Hotel: Backstairs at the World's Most Exclusive Hotel
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After spending a month at Claridge's Hotel in London, the author of The Laundryman describes how this luxury haven for the wealthy maintains its level of perfection, and how it prepares to the last detail for a stay of a Queen or a president.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

A day-in-the-life view of venerable Claridge's of London. Some say that hotels sell sex. But according to Robinson (Bardot: Two Lives, not reviewed), what the expensive old inn on Brook Street sells is sleep: They feature mattresses so comfortable that the king of Morocco, who had come to the hotel with his own bed, ordered them for all the beds in his palace. If God is in the details, then Claridge's is a holy place, selling not only serene sleep but a kind of Edwardian service that is almost extinct. One customer wants his door handles wrapped in Kleenex. They are. The actor Edward G. Robinson had the concierge buy him two French poodles, and the president of South Korea, whose large party arrives with 450 pieces of luggage, needs the TVs in his suite replaced with sets made in Korea. Although the hotel does not sell sex, and no unregistered guests are allowed in the rooms after 11 p.m., like a good brothel it knows how to give a lot of bang for the buck. A Mr. Al-Turki will be spending some $75,000 for his six-week hotel visit. He would like to be called Your Excellency, and the staff is instructed to do just that. The centerpiece of Robinson's grand-hotel diary is a lavish state banquet given for Queen Elizabeth by the amir of Kuwait. For two hours of good food and appropriate conversation in a re-created desert tent in Claridge's ballroom, the amir spends nearly $300,000, and the hotel staff brings the project off with an attention to detail worthy of a NASA launching, including the creation of a silver pot used to hold the amir's plastic container of supermarket yogurt. The soul of discretion, Robinson has agreed not to mention many clients' names or their hotel room numbers. As Claridge's centennial year approaches, it may need a little interesting p.r., and this book should do nicely. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Under the skillful direction of Francois Touzin, general manager of London's famous hotel Claridges, the staff go to extremes to meet the eccentric and demanding requirements of the hotel's diverse clientele. Robinson (The Launderymen, LJ 9/1/96) presents a behind-the-scenes look at the hotel industry through the introduction of a cast of characters who excel at this art. His fascinating and insightful observations cover everything from culinary delicacies and room service to security and renovations. Robinson highlights the precision and planning involved in the hotel's day-to-day operation, from banquets that cost #l70,000 ($272,000) and last only 96 minutes to the importance of tea sets or room colors for guests. An informative narrative deliciously sprinkled with humorous tidbits that will leave readers entertained?and no doubt dreaming of their own visit.?Jo-Anne Mary Benson, Osgoode, Ontario
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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