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.