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Hotel

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During five days in the midst of a hot, steamy Louisiana summer, the lives of a colorful cast of characters intertwine in a series of public, private, and personal dramas at the famed St. Gregory luxury hotel.


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During five days in the midst of a hot, steamy Louisiana summer, the lives of a colorful cast of characters intertwine in a series of public, private, and personal dramas at the famed St. Gregory luxury hotel.

30 review for Hotel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Arah-Lynda

    While conducting research for the writing of this novel, Arthur Hailey spent two months as a paying guest at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans.  The owner of the Roosevelt, the late Seymour Weiss, instructed his department heads to answer Hailey’s questions honestly and without holding back and urged them to direct their staff to do the same.  Hailey believes that Weiss had become weary of his hotel and the corruption that had seized it.    The Roosevelt still exists, only these days it is call While conducting research for the writing of this novel, Arthur Hailey spent two months as a paying guest at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans.  The owner of the Roosevelt, the late Seymour Weiss, instructed his department heads to answer Hailey’s questions honestly and without holding back and urged them to direct their staff to do the same.  Hailey believes that Weiss had become weary of his hotel and the corruption that had seized it.    The Roosevelt still exists, only these days it is called the Fairmont.  I found it interesting to research this hotel in New Orleans as I was reading the book. So onto the story.  Basically what Hailey has done is focused on five hot and humid days in the Louisiana summer of 1964, at a New Orleans luxury hotel called the The St. Gregory.  The principal character in this story is Peter McDermott, who is the assistant general manager of the hotel.  Through him we meet other members of the staff and some of the noteworthy guests.   And these are not just any five days at the St. Gregory, for in exactly that period of time the twenty year old mortgage on the hotel is due for renewal.  Problem is that so far no-one was willing to renew it.  Warren Trent, the owner was becoming increasingly concerned about his last remaining option, which was to sell his beloved hotel; his lifetime achievement.  Naturally there  are reasons that financial institutions are reluctant to pick up or renew the mortgage.  In short,  the St. Gregory was poorly managed, which was having a negative impact on the bottom line. Peter McDermott knows very well that corruption runs rampant among the many different departments and staff of the hotel.  Given a free hand, he would clean house and put things right, but he has long since become frustrated with his efforts in getting Warren Trent to see or even acknowledge the problems, particularly as they involved certain key members of staff or long held hotel policies.. Hailey seamlessly weaves the management of a large and luxurious establishment together with the lives and eccentricities of it's many guests.  There is never a dull moment and although Hotel cannot help but be dated, (first published in 1965) I have no doubt that many of the challenges faced in this story continue to plague similar establishments to this very day.  As this story reaches its screeching, chilling conclusion it may have you rethinking which amenities you wish to avail yourself of on your next visit to a large and splendid hotel of yesteryear.  

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    It's a good little story, this - who would have thought you could make the daily runnings of a hotel that interesting? Despite the odd crazy cliche the characters here are excellent, given that it's only a shortish book and not exactly heavily philosophical or anything too deep. I feel I'm doing it a disservice here actually: the characters, 2 or 3 of them in particular, are rather excellent in their own right. A well paced (and getting right into the thick of things early on) and enl It's a good little story, this - who would have thought you could make the daily runnings of a hotel that interesting? Despite the odd crazy cliche the characters here are excellent, given that it's only a shortish book and not exactly heavily philosophical or anything too deep. I feel I'm doing it a disservice here actually: the characters, 2 or 3 of them in particular, are rather excellent in their own right. A well paced (and getting right into the thick of things early on) and enlightening tale, it is very obvious that Mr Hailey, when researching this book, spent a lot of time in large hotels and gleaned an awful lot of inside knowledge on the industry and operation of these vast complexes, if he didn't somehow have it all up there already. The result is an insight into hotel management of the period in the United States, and is thoroughly fascinating, brought to our attention by the skillful creation of plausible characters. And a few unexpected things besides: well worth a read, as, I imagine, are Hailey's other books including Airport and some other single-word titles that lead me to believe that, like Michael Crichton and a great many others, Hailey may have a little bit of a repetitive formula going on if you read his whole catalogue. But hey - this one is very enjoyable.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anushree

    (3.5) “No. I wish to cancel that order and place another”. “Yes Ma’am.” When we generally say this in the hotels and restaurants and promptly another dish is served (or not served for whatever reasons) do we ever sit back and wonder what goes on behind the scenes? Sometimes we perhaps do, but what we imagine is probably only 1/100th of the actual hassle the hotel staff must have undergone to make that one thing available, not counting making it look absolutely hassle-free. Arthur Hail (3.5) “No. I wish to cancel that order and place another”. “Yes Ma’am.” When we generally say this in the hotels and restaurants and promptly another dish is served (or not served for whatever reasons) do we ever sit back and wonder what goes on behind the scenes? Sometimes we perhaps do, but what we imagine is probably only 1/100th of the actual hassle the hotel staff must have undergone to make that one thing available, not counting making it look absolutely hassle-free. Arthur Hailey’s “Hotel” takes us through one such hotel in a detailed, rather immensely elaborate story. This one has multiple characters and inter-woven plots that somehow converge, to make a distinctly riveting narrative. This was my 100th book of 2017 and incidentally 1st of Hailey’s – couldn’t have been a better choice than this for my Popsugar prompt of “A Book set in a Hotel”. The book took me back to my initial reading days when an exciting plot made up most of the story, with very little attention of the reader towards the language or other nuances. (Just to be clear, I am not discrediting the language here just that one doesn’t focus on that much). At the same time, I believe, Hailey’s “TV-Series’ish” tale was a good combination of character arcs and some bitter rumination of the Civil Rights’ Movement during the time (1964 to be precise), as well as subjects such as commercialism, capitalism, morality and loyalty. The role of women is sketched, perhaps, looking at those times. They don’t have a major story-line. That said there is certainly an aura of strength in the women, especially Dodo, who has been given a stereotype of a “dumb blonde”, but by the end of it all, looks like is much more than what she appears to be. There is no dramatization of reality. There is a vigorous portrayal of a need to be ethical and the conundrum associated with it when it comes to running certain major establishments and institutions especially in an age of fiscal boom. Peter McDermott is a resourceful young assistant manager at St. Gregory, one of the oldest hotels of New Orleans. The owner of St. Gregory, Warren Trent, still believes in the values of customer service and human touch. Most of his patrons are a return-clientele and a many staff members are the ones who were employed by him right when the hotel was only a small inn. He has been refusing to give in to the phenomenon of chain-hotels which has engulfed the country - until of course now. St. Gregory is not doing great - with respect to management and finances. There is also tremendous level of debauchery going on at the ground level, the extent of which is hidden from Trent owing to his misplaced trust in his older staff. McDermott knows all of this and wants to change the way things are run, but owing to the obstinate nature of his employer has only failed so far. The book starts on a busy Monday morning inside the hotel and we see Peter trying to tackle multiple things at a time. There is an intermittent moaning being heard from a room, a suspicion of a possible orgy in another one, a customer service issue raised by one of the wealthiest clients of the hotel, another sort of disturbance on one of the floors, an elevator issue and then there is his employer, who we see is quite worried because of a mortgage due for renewal by the end of the same week which is not a happy news. The bankers have issued a due date for foreclosure with an amount of $2mn. The story takes us through various occurrences in the hotel for that full week and comes to a chilling climax. Some stuff is cliché and predictable but for some reason I wasn’t disappointed. Sometimes clichés make really good stories like this one. It doesn’t have any great interpretational requirement, neither is there a thrill of guessing any perpetrator, and yet, the reader wishes to know “What next?” I have my gripes of course, which is why the lesser number of stars. Some details could have been curtailed. The intricate details of the working of an incinerator or an elevator sometimes become a tad bit drudged and unnecessary. We know these two machines will play a major part later after the first few lines and yet Hailey spends lengthy passages to drive the point home. There was a little disappointment somewhere with respect to one character. Nevertheless, I will read Hailey again simply because of the extensive research that Hailey put on show in this one. (Trivia: Hailey resided in Hotel Roosevelt in New Orleans in 1964 to research for this book) Would love to hear your thoughts if you have read this book or any other book by Arthur Hailey.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Disclaimer: ARC read via Netgalley courtesy of Open Road Integrated Media. I am old enough (or young enough depending on your viewpoint) to vaguely remember seeing commercials for the television series based on this novel. So I admit reading this was somewhat more of an interest of why did people love/like enough for it to be a television series. I’m not sure what the answer to my question is, but I must admit this was better than I thought it would be. Hotel Disclaimer: ARC read via Netgalley courtesy of Open Road Integrated Media. I am old enough (or young enough depending on your viewpoint) to vaguely remember seeing commercials for the television series based on this novel. So I admit reading this was somewhat more of an interest of why did people love/like enough for it to be a television series. I’m not sure what the answer to my question is, but I must admit this was better than I thought it would be. Hotel takes place in the 60s, just at the start of the Civil Rights Movement. It is about a hotel (duh) in New Orleans that is going through a crisis. The story shifts between hotel owner, staff, guests, and a would be buyer. The strength in the book isn’t the plot, which to be frank, is rather predictable from the first chapter to the end, but the characters. The book functions more as a believable character study more than anything else. I have to give him props for the character of Dodo is not really a dumb blonde at all, though her story arc was cliché. The book also is very much a product of its time in terms of the woman characters who are in the standard jobs (if they have a job at all). But this is made up for the relationship between the hotel’s manager Peter, and Royce, an African American law student whose relationship with the owner/ president of the hotel, Trent, seems to be a holdover not only from Royce’s father but slave days. This is made more problematic because Trent refuses to desegregate the hotel. And it is this plot point that makes the most interesting read, at least from today’s standpoint. If this were a true Hollywood movie, at by today’s production teams, it would end with Trent realizing the errors of his ways, Peter and Royce becoming BBFs, and the hotel allowing lower income inner city former gang members to work there. The book isn’t today’s Hollywood. While the desegregation issues are handled with typical Hollywood dramatic flair, its outcome is more realistic and nuanced. This makes up for the predictable plot elements like the sick guest, the stealing, the hanky panky and spanky, and the murder plot. Additionally, Hailey’s restrained prose makes the book read more like an HBO series than a daytime soap opera. While it is not a book, I don’t think I would buy (it really isn’t my thing), it was enjoyable, and far more so than the Dan Simmons book I was reading at the same time. In fact, I kept putting that book down to read this. If you like soap operas, this is enough romance and angst here to keep you happy as well. Crossposted at Booklikes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Wsm

    This book is an old favourite.It is a terrific story with some memorable characters and several intriguing subplots.The pace doesn't slacken and the climax is explosive.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Marian

    This book was published in 1965. I probably read it at least several times when I was a teenager. Recently I started thinking about it, and decided to read it again. It totally holds up. Arthur Hailey is a good writer, an excellent storyteller, an expert at plotting and character development, and a genius at weaving story lines and characters together. The book is dated, of course, but who cares? One thing that made me laugh was a successful hotelier's vision of what hotels of the future would b This book was published in 1965. I probably read it at least several times when I was a teenager. Recently I started thinking about it, and decided to read it again. It totally holds up. Arthur Hailey is a good writer, an excellent storyteller, an expert at plotting and character development, and a genius at weaving story lines and characters together. The book is dated, of course, but who cares? One thing that made me laugh was a successful hotelier's vision of what hotels of the future would be like. It hasn't come into being yet! Anyway...next I'm going to read Airport. :)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Readingspree joseph

    Arthur Hailey can make the most mundane things interesting and in this case i found myself dieing to know the fate of the Hotel. The unlikely hero Peter Mc Dermot is fascinating and and in incredibly attractive in a way that transcends just physical good looks. The story is masterfully told and the attention to detail is unlike any other author of his age

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mandy Radley

    I hadn't realised that this book was first published in the 1960's, I remember it being around with all the other blockbuster books in the 80's, maybe this was when the mini series came out. Anyway I spotted it in Amazon before Christmas and I've always wanted to read it, so downloaded it. The book follows a number of characters over 5 days from Monday to Friday, either working or visiting the St Gregory Hotel in New Orleans. Friday being DDay for the owner. He has to come up with a refinancing I hadn't realised that this book was first published in the 1960's, I remember it being around with all the other blockbuster books in the 80's, maybe this was when the mini series came out. Anyway I spotted it in Amazon before Christmas and I've always wanted to read it, so downloaded it. The book follows a number of characters over 5 days from Monday to Friday, either working or visiting the St Gregory Hotel in New Orleans. Friday being DDay for the owner. He has to come up with a refinancing package or accept a buy out from a hotel chain otherwise the bank forecloses. Running alongside this story is the one of a mother and child being killed in a hit and run accident. The hotel also has a professional thief hitting on the guests. The convention of dentists are in uproar as the hotel discriminates against coloured people, plus a few other stories. Everything comes to a thrilling and horrific conclusion on the Friday afternoon. Even though it was a little dated I thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so my partner was asking, WHEN ARE YOU TURNING THE LIGHT OUT, at 11.30pm last night. I only hope my pen friend of around 35 years who now lives on the Isle of Bute and I've just found out she is also reading this, having bought it her mum for Christmas, as she wanted to read it, enjoys it as much as I have.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Yogya Hari Prakash Burra

    Arthur Hailey is just brilliant. He takes an industrial setting like an Airport or a Hotel, and explains the daily operations involved in running such places from the perspective of a key player, mostly a senior manager. The seemingly mundane activities are always very well described and his research is meticulous. It is said that he used to research an industry for years together to portray its nitty gritties accurately. The Human element in these books is also very good with a slew of characte Arthur Hailey is just brilliant. He takes an industrial setting like an Airport or a Hotel, and explains the daily operations involved in running such places from the perspective of a key player, mostly a senior manager. The seemingly mundane activities are always very well described and his research is meticulous. It is said that he used to research an industry for years together to portray its nitty gritties accurately. The Human element in these books is also very good with a slew of characters facing challenges and moral dilemmas frequently. He starts by describing a slow paced day and then switches on to a fast paced narrative once a few incidents happen (typically accidents). This also gives it an exciting thriller feel to it. And since most of his books were written in the 60s and 70s, there is also a historical aspect to these books now. Apart from these, each of his books are set in different cities and he does an excellent job describing the city, local traditions, architecture etc. In this book, the key character is Peter McDermott, the Asst. General Manager of the St.Gregory Hotel, which is struggling to compete with the new efficient Hotel chains. He has work with the hotel owner Mr.Trent, customers, other management and employees like the waiters and bellboys charging more etc . He also deals with accidents and crimes and even the sensitive issue of racial discrimination (considering that the book was written in 1965, it must have been a hot topic then with the desegregation laws just coming into effect). Overall, an excellent read, especially if you are curious about how things work in different industries. Even if you aren't curious, the fast paced narrative part itself is very good and is comparable to any good thriller.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Suby

    I read this book some 40 years back. Already the world of hospitality was being taken over by Hotel Chains. One hotel stood alone independently and this book is about all aspects of hotel management, its struggle for survival and how a discredited manager of the hotel eventually gets into the good books of a millionaire who purchases the place and puts him in charge of the place so that it can continue to function as an independent entity. A marvelous book to read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Mitton

    I love Arthur Hailey works and read this one when it first came out. Seem tame now by today's standards but was a hot read at the time.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rohan Murray

    A thoroughly enjoyable read. I loved learning about the inner workings of a hotel (a staple of Hailey's books - whether it be an airport, bank or newspaper) told through a number of well developed characters. The separate but closely linked stories of these characters come together in the finale with enough surprises and twists to keep the reader turning the pages. Sure, it's pretty outdated now (written nearly 50 years ago) but this is not actually a drawback, rather a nostalgic insight into ho A thoroughly enjoyable read. I loved learning about the inner workings of a hotel (a staple of Hailey's books - whether it be an airport, bank or newspaper) told through a number of well developed characters. The separate but closely linked stories of these characters come together in the finale with enough surprises and twists to keep the reader turning the pages. Sure, it's pretty outdated now (written nearly 50 years ago) but this is not actually a drawback, rather a nostalgic insight into how hotels use to operate and in many ways, it would appear, not that much has actually changed! Interestingly, almost all of the predictions of one of the main characters (Hotel magnate Curtis O'Keefe) made for hotels of the future (most likely our current hotels) have never come to pass. It's still good old fashioned service and people that are seemingly the most important elements in a successful hotel and perhaps it will remain that way for a long time to come.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Arvind Srinivasan

    Typical arthur hailey book which had a simple story with lot of explanation on how hotels work and what are the intricacies of it. Some of the ending, though morally not right but makes us realise life goes that way (not always the right things happens for the right and vice versa). If not for the explanation on how hotel function and its difficulties the book would be just 2 star but giving that knowledge of difficulties of running hotel this book gets that extra. The way I will condu Typical arthur hailey book which had a simple story with lot of explanation on how hotels work and what are the intricacies of it. Some of the ending, though morally not right but makes us realise life goes that way (not always the right things happens for the right and vice versa). If not for the explanation on how hotel function and its difficulties the book would be just 2 star but giving that knowledge of difficulties of running hotel this book gets that extra. The way I will conduct myself in a hotel will change a bit after this.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    This book started tepidly but then built to a boil and I enjoyed every second of it. Give it 50 pages, trust me. It’s very dated but in a way it’s not at all. The treatment of African Americans and women in this novel is of the south in the 1960s when Hotel was written and so the language and stereotypes is of the era and offensive, however, the battle Arthur Hailey writes of (his specific reference is to the desegregation of hotels) is still being waged in the modern hospitality industry in oth This book started tepidly but then built to a boil and I enjoyed every second of it. Give it 50 pages, trust me. It’s very dated but in a way it’s not at all. The treatment of African Americans and women in this novel is of the south in the 1960s when Hotel was written and so the language and stereotypes is of the era and offensive, however, the battle Arthur Hailey writes of (his specific reference is to the desegregation of hotels) is still being waged in the modern hospitality industry in other and similar ways as in… when was the last time you saw anyone other than a white person used in an advertisement for a Caribbean resort? It’s still all white sand and white skin with plenty of exploitative practices to go around. Unlike my other favorite hotel book from the same era, Don't Stop the Carnival, Hailey uses his protagonist to take a stand against such things and his own writing creates an authentic story of the time that supports the desegregation of New Orleans hotels. So that’s how he is on skin color, however, all of his female characters are completely stereotypical of male writers of the era and serve to do nothing other than fight for the love of, entertain, and comfort the male characters. I’m very curious to see since my copy is a first edition from 1965 if the newer printing of this in 2014 has any updates to the language. The story takes place in a grand (think: Fairmont New Orleans) hotel over the course of just 4.5 days and you’re introduced to and get to know a host of employees from owners, management, chefs, housekeepers, elevator operators, and more in addition to a slew of guests and each emerges with their own fascinating character arc which is one of the many reasons I find hotels to be such intriguing places. Where else are so many different humans from so many disparate geographic, economic, and culturally different places & backgrounds thrown together in such an intimate way? This book shows that to perfection, it moves flawlessly between back of house to front, all while building an unforgettable plot to a crescendo that will leave you breathless.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Xiao

    It definitely got better when the stories got to unfold themselves. The book revealed vividly the scenes in a hotel which were usually not known to the general public. Extremely realistic and thought-provoking, it truly did a extraordinary job in, as the author put it himself, “presenting an exposed slice of life.” The four stars may be a little unfair because, after several decades, there are almost for sure certain things that a modern taste would dislike, e.g. many a stereotypical character, It definitely got better when the stories got to unfold themselves. The book revealed vividly the scenes in a hotel which were usually not known to the general public. Extremely realistic and thought-provoking, it truly did a extraordinary job in, as the author put it himself, “presenting an exposed slice of life.” The four stars may be a little unfair because, after several decades, there are almost for sure certain things that a modern taste would dislike, e.g. many a stereotypical character, a somewhat predictable plot which I’m sure it’s novel and riveting in the past when it’s not a cliche yet, and etc.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Most of “Hotel” by Arthur Hailey felt like a stroll through the humid French Quarter on a July afternoon. Long and lazy, taking in history along the way but in no hurry to get to the next destination. The last thirty pages however were more like Fat Tuesday at 11:00 p.m. with drinks and revelry a flyin’- but it still wasn’t enough to redeem the book. Some may remember “Hotel” was an 80s TV series like Love Boat and Fantasy Island where characters rolled in, had a crisis and rolled out w a soluti Most of “Hotel” by Arthur Hailey felt like a stroll through the humid French Quarter on a July afternoon. Long and lazy, taking in history along the way but in no hurry to get to the next destination. The last thirty pages however were more like Fat Tuesday at 11:00 p.m. with drinks and revelry a flyin’- but it still wasn’t enough to redeem the book. Some may remember “Hotel” was an 80s TV series like Love Boat and Fantasy Island where characters rolled in, had a crisis and rolled out w a solution all under an hour. Having waited tables in a number of hotels I was hoping for more behind the scenes scoop on the biz but was sadly disappointed. Some references to women and other minorities show the author’s dated attitude (it was published in 1965) in full swing.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anne (Booklady) Molinarolo

    3.5 Stars A bit too long, in my opinion, but an engrossing read about 5 days in the grand and luxurious St. Gregory Hotel in New Orleans. We learn about the fate of the hotel (almost bankrupt because of mismanagement and the corruption of some hotel employees), guests secrets, thefts, and some bigotry of mid 1960's New Orleans.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Liuba

    I have not met characters so alive for a long time. Even though nothing was surprising for me it was really good to see how destiny lines intertwine. And I just proved myself one more time that I like hotel business very much and all aspects of it are fascinating.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    It’s one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read. Absolutely fascinating. I was truly engaged, intrigued and couldn’t put it aside. Highly recommend!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mary March

    Outstanding!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Manan

    Nice to read some fiction for a change. Story is good but predictable storyline.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    Everyone should read this. Not only entertaining but all the behind the scenes drama of a hotel is spot on accurate. 5 stars.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Great read...I really enjoyed Hotel. Hailey does a great job of intervening multiple storylines around the daily comings and goings of a New Orleans Hotel. The story is engaging and the characters are interesting. Just a good book all around. As a testament, as I finished this morning on the train, I was legitimately agitated the whole trip as events culminated. Stressful day at the office may have an impact on this, but I think it was due to the events to come. Not as suspenseful as others I ha Great read...I really enjoyed Hotel. Hailey does a great job of intervening multiple storylines around the daily comings and goings of a New Orleans Hotel. The story is engaging and the characters are interesting. Just a good book all around. As a testament, as I finished this morning on the train, I was legitimately agitated the whole trip as events culminated. Stressful day at the office may have an impact on this, but I think it was due to the events to come. Not as suspenseful as others I have read, but yet it had me nervous. I became less so after the major events ended. So, I think it was the book. As good as the story is, the day to day operations is equally fascinating. This may prove boring for some, but I find the inner-workings of a place such as a hotel interesting. Equally, some of the engagements of bell-boys, waiters, bartenders, etc. that were reviewed were also enjoyable. Oddly, I found myself yawning during the review of the kitchen and food service. This is either because of my short, non-distinguished career in the industry or that it simply came too late in the novel and was merely delaying the story. Being written in 1965, it's dated. At one point, they review the hotel of the future and it is curious to see some of those items have come to pass, while others, not so much. But being from 1965, its also an awesome time capsule. The hotel of the sixties is not the hotel of 2013. The charm, which even then was fading, is mostly gone. As is the service. Even the old, historic hotels still open today, lack the charm of the St. Gregory. Having just spent a night with the family at the Eagle Mountain House in Jackson, NH, I'm reminded of this. Seeing the hotel and imagining it as it was in the 1940s versus today. The charm, while still there, lacks a certain something. That feeling of dissonence is captured in Hotel. I have no real complaints. Is it dated...somewhat. I don't care though. Is it predictable? Somewhat. Some of the events are obvious, others not so much. I actually called a major plot device early on in the story which I wouldn't think was obvious (not stating here to avoid spoilers). But in general, the hotel carries the story so that predictable plots are dismissable. Hotel read something like a Erle Stanley Garnder (perry mason). Although, that may be because of the period of time. Legitimately pleased to have read this. I'm not surprised to hear it became a TV show and movie, although I am surprised we haven't seen a Hotel reality show yet. I picked up Hotel a few months ago at the Glen Rock library take-a-book/leave-a-book exchange. I generally see nothing there, and one night bumped into about 4-5 interesting possibilities. I actually went home and picked out a few books to trade in. Overall, exceptionally pleased this was one of them. Oddly, a few days later I saw it again in a different exchange. Side note, the cover represented is not the one I read. Mine was the 1965 Dell paperback. White cover, Author's name at the top, title at the bottom. A picture of a hotel stretched from the cover to the binding.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Hope Baugh

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. When the manager of the Fairfield Inn in Muncie, Indiana called me the week before the 2015 Midwest Writers Workshop to say my reservation had to be transferred to a different hotel, I was furious. But when I calmed down, I remembered the scene in this book that said all hotels helped each other out with overbooking because they never knew when the shoe would be on the other foot, or something like that. That got me wishing I could re-read the whole book. My local public library no lo When the manager of the Fairfield Inn in Muncie, Indiana called me the week before the 2015 Midwest Writers Workshop to say my reservation had to be transferred to a different hotel, I was furious. But when I calmed down, I remembered the scene in this book that said all hotels helped each other out with overbooking because they never knew when the shoe would be on the other foot, or something like that. That got me wishing I could re-read the whole book. My local public library no longer has it so I requested it through inter-library loan. A tattered, water-stained copy came to me from a public library in Illinois. The book was a pleasure to read again. When I read it for the first time – sometime in the 1970s? when I found it on my father's bookshelves? – I was fascinated by the behind-the-scenes, insider look into the then-relatively-current hotel industry. When I read it again now, in 2015, I am fascinated by what has changed and what hasn’t in terms of feminism, racism, and technology. I’d like to have my own copy of this book! Anyway, here is that paragraph: “The most miserable moment in any hotel manager’s life was explaining to indignant would-be guests, who held confirmed reservations, that no accommodation was available. He was miserable both as a human being and also because he was despondently aware that never again – if they could help it – would the people he was turning away ever come back to his hotel.” (p. 65) Well, wait. I guess that passage doesn’t talk about hotels helping each other. But anyway, I bet that’s what the Fairfield and the Comfort Inn do in Muncie. I also realize, as I’m typing this, that when I read Hotel when I was younger, I identified with Peter, the manager, much more than I did with Christine, the woman who was the assistant of the hotel’s owner and with whom Peter falls in love. At the end of the book, Peter gets to be executive vice-president in charge of the whole hotel. At last, he will get to hire the people he wants and implement the changes he knows the hotel needs to be successful and ethical in these modern times. No one at the big meeting announcing the new ownership and management talks about what Christine will get to do. She slips an adoring love note in Peter’s pocket and goes home to her apartment to wait for him while he handles a few more emergencies. He handles all of the details related to the elevator emergency, the hit-and-run by British gentry and more. On the last page of the book he remembers the note in his pocket, reads it, and gets another satisfaction: he gets the girl. Hotel is historical fiction now and offensive in a lot of ways – the way the near-rape of a young woman in the hotel is (not) handled! Sheesh! – but I still enjoyed re-reading it. In fact, this is my favorite "re-read" of all the books I re-read in 2015. My full list of favorites, including honorable mentions, is on my reading blog: http://www.indyreadinghabit.com/2016/....

  25. 5 out of 5

    Pawan

    http://iandbooks.wordpress.com/ Before I had read this book, Hotel was just a place to eat and short stay where few people worked. I had never imagined the scale of a large hotel and what all could go on inside it to keep it running. As is the writing style of Arthur Hailey, when he picks up a topic as background for any of his stories, he does a lot of research and makes sure that you will really appreciate that industry after reading his book. This book is just one of a kind of story with hotel as the background of the pl http://iandbooks.wordpress.com/ Before I had read this book, Hotel was just a place to eat and short stay where few people worked. I had never imagined the scale of a large hotel and what all could go on inside it to keep it running. As is the writing style of Arthur Hailey, when he picks up a topic as background for any of his stories, he does a lot of research and makes sure that you will really appreciate that industry after reading his book. This book is just one of a kind of story with hotel as the background of the plot. The story unfolds during five days of the week in a hotel when it is struggling through a financial crisis and is on a verge of a sellout. There are multiple plots running through the book that involve hotel employees, guests, owners and visitors to the hotel. The book was written in 1960s and has incident of racism as well which was more prevalent in high-end hotel industry at that time. But in the end the crisis gets resolved and even though another owner buys the hotel, the previous owner is retained as chairman and it is a kind of happy ending. The story is fast paced and plot after plot unfolds and keeps you glued till the end. But for me, the more important parts were small sub-plots that talked about how actually it works inside the hotel. How does morning alarm service works when you have to wake up 1000 guests in a matter of half an hour. How do you take care of your table linen when you know that guests could have written on it with ball point pen and if you wash it directly the stain would remain forever. What happens when guests forget to return their room keys and throw it in a trash can at airports and thereby allow a trained thief to enter into the hotel. Why large conventions are so important for hotel industry. The book was an amazing insight into the areas of hotel that normal public never see.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Philip

    Although he can't be said to have written a single memorable line of prose, Arthur Hailey was one of the most popular novelists of the second half of the 20th century, because he was usually a cracking good storyteller. He'd settle on a subject that interested him, research it thoroughly, and turn it into a page-turner - the result was bestsellers such as HOTEL, AIRPORT, and THE MONEYCHANGERS. His last novel, DETECTIVE, was published in 2000 and caused hardly a stir - by then Hailey, like Harold Although he can't be said to have written a single memorable line of prose, Arthur Hailey was one of the most popular novelists of the second half of the 20th century, because he was usually a cracking good storyteller. He'd settle on a subject that interested him, research it thoroughly, and turn it into a page-turner - the result was bestsellers such as HOTEL, AIRPORT, and THE MONEYCHANGERS. His last novel, DETECTIVE, was published in 2000 and caused hardly a stir - by then Hailey, like Harold Robbins, had been nearly forgotten, bypassed by mega-selling authors such as Tom Clancy, Stephen King, and John Grisham. HOTEL is obviously an homage to Vicki Baum's GRAND HOTEL, with the setting updated and relocated from Berlin to New Orleans in the 1960s. We're treated to five days in busy the life of a big hotel, of the people whose jobs make the day run like clockwork, and some of the various guests who pass through the hotel's doors for a few hours or a few days. Only problem is, the hotel of the title is experiencing severe financial problems and in danger of being overtaken by an international hotelier whose plan would be to update it and make it just like the other hotels he owns in the US and around the world. Things start out kind of slowly as Hailey lays the groundwork of the plots and characters (several with their own agendas) who will drive the story, but after about 100 pages or so it becomes a fast-paced, engrossing read as Hailey intercuts the various storylines, leading up to a satisfying finale that is tragic for some and happy for others.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Girish

    Hailey's narration is like that of an juggler setting plots in motion one by one, keeping it in air during the performance with mild taps and a frantic finish to the awe of the audience! Arthur Hailey's Hotel is one of those riveting reads that keeps you gripped. St.Gregory's - the mismanaged hotel on the brink of change is a fertile landscape for the story that spans all of 4 days. Peter McDermott as the very human asst manager - flawed, conflicted, passionate and principled - takes Hailey's narration is like that of an juggler setting plots in motion one by one, keeping it in air during the performance with mild taps and a frantic finish to the awe of the audience! Arthur Hailey's Hotel is one of those riveting reads that keeps you gripped. St.Gregory's - the mismanaged hotel on the brink of change is a fertile landscape for the story that spans all of 4 days. Peter McDermott as the very human asst manager - flawed, conflicted, passionate and principled - takes you through decisions he has to make amidst developments in various threads known already to the reader. Hailey's interesting characters are an assortment of stubborn, eccentric, loyal, hopeful, desperate, greedy, guilty bunch who leave an indelible impression. What happens behind the room service, menu cards and swank lobbies is as fascinating as well researched. Research is evident in Scenes spanning from kitchen crisis, to segregation policies, to New Orleans cemetery to Burglars to Garbage incinerators. This book is surprisingly a quick read for 400 odd pages thanks to the narration.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Naomi Kelsey

    I found this book (without a call number) on the library shelves and talked the librarian into letting me take it home "on the honor system". Hailey is actually a surprisingly popular author (for the age of the books) out here, and one can find a few of his Mitchner-light tomes here and there. There are some dated aspects to the book, most notably in gender and race relations, and the writing itself has that drawing room stuffy tone that many pre-1970 books seem to have "Mary hopped from her tax I found this book (without a call number) on the library shelves and talked the librarian into letting me take it home "on the honor system". Hailey is actually a surprisingly popular author (for the age of the books) out here, and one can find a few of his Mitchner-light tomes here and there. There are some dated aspects to the book, most notably in gender and race relations, and the writing itself has that drawing room stuffy tone that many pre-1970 books seem to have "Mary hopped from her taxi cab, one slender leg touching the cobblestone lightly. What would today hold? She wondered gaily, giving the cabbie a dime from her handbag." and so on. I would summarize the book thusly: It's the kind of thing you find during a desperate search through your hosts' entire collection when you're trapped at the house due to weather, settle on, and find out it's not too bad.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Autumn Is Azathoth

    As an adolescent I consumed several novels by Arthur Hailey, including HOTEL when it was still quite new. I enjoyed it very much all those years ago, and am delighted to see it returned to the reading audience by Open Road Media. To.those who have become gluttoned on so-called "reality tv" and long-running drama, I suggest: pick up HOTEL and watch a Maestro conduct! Another benefit of this New edition is author Hailey' s own foreword, which goes into some detail on the factual backdro As an adolescent I consumed several novels by Arthur Hailey, including HOTEL when it was still quite new. I enjoyed it very much all those years ago, and am delighted to see it returned to the reading audience by Open Road Media. To.those who have become gluttoned on so-called "reality tv" and long-running drama, I suggest: pick up HOTEL and watch a Maestro conduct! Another benefit of this New edition is author Hailey' s own foreword, which goes into some detail on the factual backdrop of this exciting novel. Yes, it is based on an actual New Orleans five-star establishment, and the author's extensive in-person research. Readers who, like me, are hungry for a meaty, riveting story with multiple intertwining plot lines and realistic, flawed, characters, need look no further. Curl up with HOTEL and let author Arthur Hailey carry you away on an exciting adventure.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Todd Hogan

    A surprisingly good summer page turner from 1965. The descriptions of New Orleans, of Hotel Management and of the visitors to the hotel are a lot of fun. There are about six plots going on all at once, and cover a week at a fancy hotel facing foreclosure. The author does a great job of helping the reader keep all the characters straight; I never felt lost as it plowed through the separate stories that all end up on the same fated elevator. Not exactly "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" but A surprisingly good summer page turner from 1965. The descriptions of New Orleans, of Hotel Management and of the visitors to the hotel are a lot of fun. There are about six plots going on all at once, and cover a week at a fancy hotel facing foreclosure. The author does a great job of helping the reader keep all the characters straight; I never felt lost as it plowed through the separate stories that all end up on the same fated elevator. Not exactly "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" but a great summer diversion.

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