Fawlty Towers Hotel

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports on the “reopening” of John Cleese’s fictional “Fawlty Towers” hotel. The Gleneagles Hotel in Torquay, a sedate resort in the southwestern county of Devon, was the inspiration for the series based on a stay by Monty Python troupe’s in 1971. Cleese described then-owner Donald Sinclair as “the most wonderfully rude man I have ever met.” For those who have watched any of the episodes, Basil Fawlty, the hen-pecked manager of Fawlty Towers, epitomized what a hotelier should not be – rude, clumsy and a financial ninny.

The series was a runaway hit in most parts of the English speaking world but unfortunately did not catch on in the US although Canadians are quite familiar with it. While a real life Fawlty Hotel would probably have the shelf life of an ice-cube in the Sahara, the comedy does offer a take-away for prospective hoteliers – that all it takes is for any one of the myriad pieces that go to make a successful lodging establishment to go awry for a customer service disaster.

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.

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