Hotel Babylon – Imogen-Edward Jones and Anonymous
Hotel Babylon is over a decade of behind-the-scenes gossip, scandal, and excitement in the luxury hotels of London squeezed into one 24-hour shift. Set in the fictional Hotel Babylon with some name changes to protect privacy, everything else in the book, we are assured, is completely true.Hotel Babylon is told by a man working the reception desk. As the reader, we help check-out all the guests – inspecting all their bills – answer phone calls from mad hotel guests, scan the crowd for goods dealers who supply the hotel with black market wine and caviar, and keep track of anything that could potentially harm the reputation of the hotel – whether it’s prostitutes, homeless people, drunks, or angry guests. We also get to hear the back story of the VIP customers who routinely drop as much in tips as they spend on a night at the hotel, or are so regular at the hotel that it is hardly a shock when they die in their room. We learn the difference between the chambermaids and the house cleaners, why the head chef always acts crazy, and how hotels finally manage to sell all those ridiculously expensive wines that have been sitting in storage for years. Basically, the more money you spend, the more you can get away with, and this book documents all the scandal.
This book is a record of the entire day, and because it is ten years condensed into a 24-hour shift, we see how the dynamic of the hotel changes from day to night. It reads like a journal, and moves quickly from one topic to the next. Whether it is relaying stories of celebrities behaving badly or reporting actual incidents from the hotel, we get it all, and it just keeps coming. It is highly entertaining, often unexpected, and quite a ridiculous look at how people behave so differently when they are away from home and think they have no limits.