The Thoughts of Chairman May... on British Hotels

Observations and experiences from the English hotel industry, or "The piece of England that passeth all understanding."

After staying in English hotels while on a working assignment in the United Kingdom for about six months in 1997, and again in 2000, I am firmly convinced that "Fawlty Towers" is in fact a documentary for the British hospitality industry.

For those out there who haven't seen this classic piece of television comedy, "Fawlty Towers is a British sitcom set in a Brighton hotel, where the manager, Basil Fawlty (played by John Cleese of "Monty Python" fame), is of the firm belief that the running of his hotel establishment would be improved greatly if it wasn't for all the guests in the place. While the British hospitality industry is admittedly not as bad as all that everywhere, I experienced sufficient strangeness to start considering the possibility that Basil Fawlty and Manuel the Spanish porter are running hotel management courses in some dark distant part of Hampshire.

For example:

But don't let me put you off travelling to England. It really is a great - albeit expensive - place to visit. Just bear in mind that despite the latest attempts at hipness in "Cool Brittania", the great English tradition of eccentricity still survives!

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Copyright 1996, 2002 Terry Knight.
Last Updated December 2002
For more information contact: Terry Knight