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Hotel Babylon

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  1,323 ratings  ·  167 reviews
'Something strange occurs to guests as soon as they check in. Even if in real life they are perfectly well-mannered, decent people with proper balanced relationships, as soon as they spin through the revolving hotel doors the normal rules of behaviour no longer seem to apply.'

All of the following is true.Only the names have been changed to protect the guilty. All the anecd
Paperback, 351 pages
Published 2005 by Corgi (first published July 5th 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,040)
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I can see why somebody might give this book one star if they were reading it and hoping to find War and Peace, but let's call a spade a spade (and rate it as one): this is a fast, fun read, a page-turner full of nothing but lurid, juicy hotel gossip. If you take it for that, and are the type of person who, every once in a while enjoys indulging in knowing other peoples' silly doings, then this is one heck of a good book. It's pretty amazing what hotel staff have to smile and put up with, and wha ...more
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 ...more
Elizabeth Reuter
I think I enjoyed reading Hotel Babylon more than I've enjoyed reading most anything else so far this year.

Babylon is a bunch of true stories hotel manager Anonymous told Imogen Edwards-Jones, and that she arranged into a narrative. It's structured over one full day from her source's point of view, as he's forced to do 24 hours on the clock with the help of caffiene pills.

I was worried when I picked this up that it would be all horrible stories about people treating each other like crap. It's no
After reading (and thoroughly enjoying) Air Babylon, I was happy to find out the author had used the same concept in a whole series of books. Before I was able to get my hands on Hotel Babylon, I discovered the TV series inspired by it and subsequently got hooked up. Now I´ve read it, I can tell the TV series are a vivid reflection of the book (hardly a surprise when you know Imogen Edwards-Jones was hired as a consultant), though going more in-depht into both the various hotel-related anecdotes ...more
Andra Constantin
This is an amazing reading for anyone who was ever curious about what actually happens in a hotel, that a guest does not see and, more important, for every person who wanted to work in a luxury hotel or has worked in a hotel at some point.

The action takes place within 24 H - a double shift at front desk for the story teller. The experiences shared and the stories recalled are insightful and nicely detailed - going from management reactions, employee reactions to certain guests to strange situati
Pamela Su
Amusing and somewhat horrifying account of the day in the life of a front-desk hotel employee.

One hotel manager's entire career has been condensed into an action-packed double-shift day. It's quite an eye-opening account of working in a hotel. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes appalling and occasionally touching and sweet.

An entertaining read.
It was terribly written, painfully vapid. I had to quit, it was killing me softly with its song. Killing me....softly. With its song.
Candace Bushnell quote on the book cover again. And set in London. - hallmark Edward-Jones traits.

Interesting look behind the scenes at a hotel. First sentence contains a swear word and sets the tone for the book. Every horrible rumor of debautury and bad behavior reveled in. Drugs, alcohol abuse, sex, morning after pill, stealing, prostitutes & “rent boys”. The only unforgivable sins are being boring and not tipping.

Similar to other behind the scenes books about hotels & restaurants.


I began the TV series first on a whim and now that I must wait to continue the episodes, I've begun the book, which isn't a bad way of going about it, since now I have cast faces in my head to aid me in reacquainting myself with the characters. The book begins with the Receptionist who doesn't get a name due to being in the first person and the book being co-written by an actual manager of a hotel, so I'll just use the name given from the show: Charlie. He
So this was a super light read that I got through in a few days. I got this off of my good friend Jennet's book shelf. I was just curious about the subject matter which is about what goes on behind the scenes of a 5 star luxury hotel. The author is a reporter so the book was written very much like an article with zero story telling ability but just lots of stories laid out very factually. The authors of the book are ANONYMOUS and Imogen Edward-Jones. Apparently the "Anonymous" contributing write ...more
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Having read Air and Fashion Babylon I have been quite intrigued to get round to this one, especially as I loved the TV series. It is along the same lines of Air and Fashion but for some reason I did not enjoy it quite as much, is it because I have read too many from the Babylon series of books, or did the TV series spoil it? Not sure on this one, maybe a bit of both.

The fact that this is based on a 24 hour period does not help (someone doing a 24 hour shift - really? is that allowed?). If makes
Talk about being a fly on the wall! I expect we are all slightly voyeuristic about hotels and what goes on there behind all those closed doors. And what about the staff? Are they really that polite and gracious and dare I say it deferential to guests or is all that a big hypocritical facade? Do the hotels really love us, the guest, or are we just a means to an end.

The answer would appear to be yes and no to such questions! Being a business, the bottom line is all important, but to get the repeat
I am just on a roll with the good books lately. This show was on TVOne a few months ago and I caught it at the tail end of the season and loved it. And now it’s on BBC America back home and EVERYONE NEEDS TO WATCH IT!!! I hope they put it out on dvd, I’m totally going to buy it. Anyway. When I found out that it was based on a book, I knew I had to read it. It’s written over a span of 24 hours, but all the stories where gathered someone’s longer experience working in a hotel. Love love love it. T ...more
Esmira Serova
I must say that I started searching for the book after I watched the first episode of the eponymous TV series, which I absolutely loved, with the brilliant Dexter Fletcher as Tony and Max Beesley as the main character, who is the narrator in the book. Unfortunately, I could not find it at that moment, and the TV series ended and soon it was forgotten - that is, until I came across the audiobook version wonderfully read by Gordon Griffin.
If you are or ever have been in the hotel business anywher
A kind of Kitchen Confidential of the hotel industry, Hotel Babylon describes 24 hours in the life of a receptionist on a double shift at a five-star hotel in London -- 24 hours during which he gets to deal with Saudi sheikhs, Texan oil millionaires, dying customers and call girls who don't want to leave their plush surroundings, and also finds time to gossip about Naomi Campbell, Cher, Kate Moss, Pamela Anderson and Michael Jackson (among others). While all the stories in the book are purporte ...more
The book became a bestseller because it is the 'Kitchen Confidential' of the hotel industry. The writers are Anonymous, a current manager of a five-star hotel in London and Imogen Edwards - Jones, a journalist.

Written in a simple, everyday language, it tells a story of a hotel manager's life within 24 hours. Each chapter is an hour in his life: the routine jobs, the absurd events, the hotel management, etc. For readers, there are tips on how to get room upgrades, stories on what actually happens
Like Air Babylon this book is an eyeopener about the hotel trade. Funny in parts, it gives an insiders view on the behind the scenes of a hotel.

Back Cover Blurb:
All of the following is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the guilty. All the anecdotes, the stories, the characters, the situations, the highs, the lows, the scams, the drugs, the misery, the love, the death and the insanity are exactly as was told by Anonymous - someone who has spent his whole career working in hotels a
Mark Farley
Coming from a hotel background, I can really appreciate this from one of our favourite and most successful local authors. I worked with Thistle Hotels in Central London for a few years and all the way through this book, I was nodding along and scoffing and chuckling with the main characters. Nothing surprised me and that is the problem with the industry, you have to learn to have a strong stomach and an open mind. The characters are loveable, the customers are hateful and demanding (not unlike w ...more
I listened to this one on audiobook. These 'Babylon' type books are turning into a guilty pleasure for me. The sex, drugs, gossip, celebrities, stealing, bad behaviour - it is all here. After reading this, I am pretty sure I never want to work in a hotel - even in a 5 star one - and am glad I have never had to!
I love these kind of ebooks, collections of stories from the 'real world.' This is a clever way of presenting it, it is a collection of all the 'best bits' from working in a hotel, presented over a 24 Hour period as a story. Some of it you think its too crazy so it must be true. It was well presented. Kept me very hooked and I couldn't put it down.

It was well written that it was captivating and fascinating as well as easy to read. Having watched the series it helped bring some of the characters
This is really good. I was searching about the TV show Hotel Babylon and I found out that it came from this book, and so I read it.
It tells us the lives of the people working at the hotel. It gives a different image to the hotel world than what I've seen and also gives facts that I never knew. I think of hotels as a nice, clean place, and the staff are kind, polite, and willing to help. But this book shows me that it's not always true. The staff swear, and a lot of the time, they help just for
Ashland Mystery Oregon
Similar to Heads in Beds, but less cynical, Hotel Babylon is a rousing and revealing treatment of the 5* hotel, this one in London. Oi, what a capital chap this anonymous is - always there, always aware, always conscious of station and service. As an observer this front desk manager is somewhat removed, but the constant pressure must be enormous. Love the insider's view, the forgotten areas below stairs, the clients never forgotten upstairs. I'm reminded again to be grateful for courtesy and acc ...more
Feb 03, 2011 Amy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who works in customer service
Shelves: 2011
After reading a grim fantasy novel, I decided to mix it up and read something light and frivolous. This did the trick! Edwards-Jones gives us a 24 hour glimpse at what goes on behind the scenes in a luxury hotel. I enjoy a good industry expose tale every now and then, and this was a solid one. Anyone who works in customer service will absolutely empathize with the staff, as stories like these are not only restricted to the hotel world. While I didn't find any of the information all that shocking ...more
I picked this up in a charity shop as I'd been intrigued by the TV Drama but it never quite made it.

I've not read anything in a while as I've been so distracted by listening to podcasts so this was a nice easy read to get into reading again.

Purporting to be a collection of true stories the book can sometimes be quite clunky. Phrases like 'that reminded me of when ...' can occasionally break the flow of the narrative. However you can forgive it when you laugh and gasp at some of the exploits of t
Easy page-turner about an exploitative industry that caters to the narcissistic rich with their revolting habits.
Elizabeth Wood
Stories from the hotel industry - passes some time reading, but nothing to shout about.
Luke Peterson
Feb 20, 2007 Luke Peterson rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who travels for work
This anonymous tell-all divulges the behind-the-scenes secrets of operating a luxury boutique hotel in London.

Reading it, I was not only entertained, but I learned how to stand out among the business travelers.

Tip #1: Always leave your housekeeper tips hidden in something you'd expect a housekeeper to upturn (under a pillow or a strewn towel, for example).

Tip #2: If you want to slaughter and spit-cook a goat in your hotel room, make sure you spread around a lot of dough to the staff beforehand.

Not as good as Air Babylon (same author) but still entertaining and instructive.
A fun read about the shenanigans at a luxury 5 star hotel as told to the author by a hotel employee. It is based on an employees 24 hour shift and what comes to light is funny, sad and sometimes way over the top.
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