“What’s it like to work in a small hotel?”
We constantly have guests comment on how interesting it must be to work in a small hotel. Well, back in the early ’70s John Cleese had the same question while he was filming Monty Python sketches he was staying in a hotel in Torquay, U.K. His inspiration led to the creation of the what the British Film Institute considered the number one Greatest British Television Programmes of all time.
‘Fawlty Towers,’ is set in Torquay, UK (‘The British Riviera’). Basil and Cybill Fawlty run a faulty hotel; where the proprietors, guests, staff, and building are always setting off Basil Fawlty’s (Cleese) very short fuse. It’s in Mr. Fawlty’s reactions we find ourselves laughing out loud! There are only tweleve episodes of the series, ten of them I think are PERFECT. Fawlty Tower’s was co-wrote by John Cleese and his co-star/wife/ex-wife Connie Booth (they divorced in between writing episodes six and seven).
I have had some friends who watched Fawlty Towers during classes at hotel school– it was part of their curriculum! The show isn’t exactly a barometer for what it’s like to work in a hotel (although the first hotel I worked at, overseas, was pretty similar at moments). I recommend Fawlty Towers for anyone that wants to imagine what running a hotel is like– not for an acurate picture, but for a fun interpretation and a chance to laugh real hard.
Fawlty towers can be purchased off itunes for $1.99 an episode– very very worth it! Fawlty Towers is also on rotation on PBS with other greats like ‘The Black Adder,’ and ”Are you Being Served?’ Pick any episode and GO! (‘The Germans’ is my favorite!).
Posted by Laurie, Concierge at Hotel Veritas