Saturday, 31 May 2014

Hotel Babylon, by Imogen Edwards-Jones

2 stars

I've already read one of this series of books and so knew the format going in - unnamed source(s) in the industry tell tales from behind the scenes, which are then written into a day in the life of - although I didn't enjoy this as much as Hospital Babylon. This is partly due to the format which means it seems less like reporting and more like bad fiction, and is also partly due to my never having worked in a hotel. But mostly it's due to the fact that in the hotel trade there don't seem to be any moments of quiet sweetness in amongst all the bad behaviour; the people that can afford to stay in top hotels seem to just behave badly knowing that, whatever their transgression, flashing a few notes will see you not only let off the hook but fawned over like you shit sunbeams.

There are enough scandalous tidbits to keep most gossips satisfied - whether it be the fools paying £800 a shot for whiskey (I don't care how rich you are, you're a twat if you think any drink is worth that), the proper-looking ladies leaving shits in their beds, the businessmen asking reception to nosh them off, the requirement that you tip anyone who so much as makes eye-contact with you in order to be treated well, or the celebrities allowed to dangle people out of windows as their security is bigger than yours - but, along with all the confessions of just how much hotels fleece anyone who walks through their doors (especially if you're one of the back-of-house staff), if you're anything like me most of them will just leave you feeling annoyed and more certain than ever that you'd rather doss down in the back of your Transporter than give any of these wankers your money.