The Hotel: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Hotel

Jeffrey Robinson, Author, Jeffrey Robnison, Author Arcade Publishing $24.45 (320p) ISBN 978-1-55970-377-2
A guest at Claridge's Hotel in London once asked the hall porter to find him an elephant for his friends to ride in the park. With scarcely a hesitation, the porter persuaded the London Zoo to supply one. Another guest requested that a courier fly to Nice to pick up his watch. The porter arranged it. These are among the stories here about innkeeping in one of the world's grandest hotels. Robinson (The Laundrymen) has dogged out the minutiae: Claridge's chef will use only a balsamic vinegar flown in from France that cost more than $100 a bottle; the manager has slept in every room to become intimately knowledgeable with their individual comforts. And there is enough detail about floral arrangements, security, food preparation, computerized records, cost controls, service, staff training and exquisite handling of elegant guests who leave without paying their bills or take expensive hotel equipment for souvenirs to provide a blueprint for anyone considering running a hotel on any scale. The gossip about the rich patrons will tickle tabloid fans. Stylish prose it is not, however. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/28/1997
Release date: 05/01/1997
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