Have you ever stayed in a five-star hotel, or gazed at the lobby and dreamed of spending the night in pampered luxury?
Have you ever wondered, in establishments designed to make visitors feel coddled, cosseted and royally indulged, how far hotel staff will go to please their most demanding customers?
Or how they deal with guests whose demands are unreasonable, excessive or plain gross?
The “Hotel Stories”, set in luxury five-star hotels, are comic case studies of how the world’s most brilliant hotel manager, Ms N, and her loyal ally Tatiana sort out some of the nastiest customers – and colleagues – you can imagine.
One reviewer said the Hotel Stories were “like Roald Dahl short stories, crossed with W Somerset Maugham”; and “Tatiana is Watson to Ms N’s Sherlock Holmes – except more deadly”.
The “Hotel Stories” are written with an insider’s knowledge of how hotels work and the extraordinary things which happen within.
In each story Ms N, with Tatiana’s help, sorts out sticky problems; and helps transform hotels from mundane to magical.
But you won’t find Ms N’s methods taught in any hotel school.
The first story, with a startling twist, is called “The Two Rooms“, and features an obnoxious hotel guest who will not leave; some Russian ice-hockey fans; a Prime Minister on a moral crusade; and an angry Japanese chef, locked in a battle of wills. As Ms N says to Tatiana: “It is time to start solving some problems.”
The second story, “The White Blouse“, is set, perhaps, somewhere in the Former Soviet Union. Ms N, with Tatiana’s help, delivers the ultimate lesson on how to demolish an immovable bureaucratic obstacle in the form of Mr Kagit, who works in the President’s office and whose brother is the Minister of Planning. As Ms N says: “There are many things about this hotel we need to change. Some of them are small things. Some of them are big things. We will start with the big ones.”
The third story, “Gents“, is set in sunny Florida and involves a congress of hoteliers; too much testosterone; and alligators. Ms N wants a certain job as a General Manager. But as she says to Tatiana: “These so-called gents have a habit of fixing up appointments amongst themselves. It is a kind of male-bonding. Of course I could not play these games, even if I wished to do so.”
The fourth story, “Britches” shows how Ms N and Tatiana first met; and sorted out Mr Minas, the hotel owner from hell, using a Combined Burns Night and St Patrick’s Day Ball (they do happen – I’ve been to one); the President of China; and something Tatiana found under a handsome Scotsman’s kilt. After talking to the wife of Mr Minas, Ms Arine, Ms N tells Tatiana: “I am a lucky woman because I have studied at a famous hotel school in Switzerland. But after talking to Ms Arine I realise that there are options open to hoteliers which are not taught even in the best schools.”
Which of the “Hotel Stories” is best? Some reviewers have said Gents is the funniest (“Ms N keeps on getting darker and even more likeable!”; or “only Ms N can use a mobile phone wielded by a total stranger as a murder weapon”). But The Two Rooms – the first in the series – still has more reviews (“You’ll never make a fuss at a hotel again”). And if you want to see bad guys really get their just rewards, nothing can beat The White Blouse (“Dark and gripping yet somehow comical and fun throughout”; and “Ms N lays the foundations of another compelling read. Literally”).
Each “Hotel Story” is self-standing; but you may do best to start with the first, “The Two Rooms” and read on from there. Enjoy!
Or if you want to go to Amazon and buy the “Hotel Stories” there, follow this link. And please do write a review if you enjoy the stories.