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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 12/2018
  • 978-1789017571 B07LB7WLZM
  • 266 pages
  • $5.99
Paperback Details
  • 12/2018
  • 978-1789017571 B07LB7WLZM
  • 248 pages
  • $16.92
The Reluctant Hotelkeeper: A Memoir
A rescue mission originally thought of as lasting for a year or two turned into a 35 year lifetime love affair with a beautiful old building. There were to be battles royal with neighbours not wanting their status quo to be altered, and with the local fire authority who sought to impose draconian new safety measures. John Searancke came to the role of hotelkeeper almost accidentally, and most definitely with much reluctance. After his parents’ marriage fell apart, he was dragooned in, at the age of 22, to pick up the pieces of their new venture, a barely-trading country house hotel that had, frankly, seen better days. Not only was it posting an annual loss, but the fabric of the building was crumbling and there was no money left to make improvements. Over the years, and with the steepest of learning curves, the grand old building was renovated and transformed to meet the requirements of the modern discerning traveller. Accolades for the hotel and its restaurant were won; together they became a well-regarded destination for a number of celebrities – and those that deemed themselves to be celebrities but were not. Stories abound featuring idiosyncratic guests, overbearing public bodies, fractured family life and animals of all shapes and sizes. The local fire station next door was demolished one foggy night, people were frightened by flying dogs and snakes in the long grass, and there were, as befits a country house, strange goings on in the night. Many were the guests who checked in who really should not have been seen together. This is a tribute to all the people behind the scenes who helped to make the hard-won transformation into a great success.
Reviews
Amazon US Customer Review

Fascinating insights that keep you glued to the page!

I really enjoyed this book very much indeed. It's a fascinating read about the the author's life as a hotel owner and manager, a career he was somewhat landed with by his parents and for which he was completely unprepared. How he kept going against huge odds makes a remarkable story of resourcefulness and, yes, courage. The fact that the hotel ended up hosting the rich, the shameless and the glamorous was all down to his hard work and determination and I developed great admiration for the author while I was reading the book. However, what made it entertaining were all the background stories and anecdotes about the various guests that they entertained. From obnoxious rock stars to a prison inmate and his wife booking a room for a quick couple of hours, there seemed to be no end to the potential for scandal and gossip at this ostensibly genteel hotel.

I loved it and I loved John Searancke's story telling style. Well-written with gentle humour, the author's affection for his staff, his dogs and his mother shine through. It's a lovely book to read at the end of the day and altogether delightful. I now want to read the author's first book about his dog!

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 12/2018
  • 978-1789017571 B07LB7WLZM
  • 266 pages
  • $5.99
Paperback Details
  • 12/2018
  • 978-1789017571 B07LB7WLZM
  • 248 pages
  • $16.92

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