Friday 23 March 2018

Famous hoteliers - from Basil Fawlty to Bono

Basil Fawlty
Basil Fawlty
Hugh Jackman
Conrad Hilton

Pat Fitzpatrick

As Sarah Caden talks to hotelier Francis Brennan, we take a look at some other prominent people in the hospitality business


You couldn't make Fawlty Towers now. Britain has moved on from being a land of nostalgic little Englanders. (Don't mention the Brexit!). The show's stereotypical unreliable, half-pissed Irish builder called O'Reilly was well wide of the mark. Irish builders at that time were usually called either Murphy or O'Toole. Still, that bit where Basil goose-stepped in front of the Germans was hilarious. Right up to the moment you tried it yourself at Oktoberfest and ended up getting 'consular assistance'.


The now defunct Trump University once offered courses to people in 'real estate investment'. Some say it is the most useless qualification of all time. Others say, "You obviously never heard of arts." When Donald arrived at Shannon in 2014, he was greeted with a timeless piece of Irish culture. A local politician licking his ass in the hope of landing a few jobs. Still, you have to say, it beats licking Donald's hair. Who knows what goes into that nest of a thing?


The man behind the Hilton chain started a foundation in 1944, dedicated to ending suffering throughout the world. And still we don't have travel-size toothpaste in hotels. Is it too much to ask? Listen hoteliers, if you need to make a saving somewhere else, just ditch the free shower cap. That gets about as much use as your expensive soft-porn offering, now that people can stream live filth using your free Wi-Fi. Other people, obviously, not us.


Who? Hugh. Hugh who? Hugh Jackman. An Australian star you've never heard of, because nobody over 15 is interested in movies any more. He owns a luxury wellness centre in Australia. Our guess is the definition of wellness in this context is something that ends the minute you see the bill. "What the bloody hell is this, ya flamin' mongrel?" says you, because you've watched way too much Home and Away, and now Alf Stewart lives in your head.


Bono is one of the owners of The Clarence Hotel in Dublin. The Edge is another. A night in the hotel's penthouse suite will cost about €1,200. We tried to book it there now, and the internet actually started laughing at us. One of the luxury features in the suite is an entertainment system. You can play whatever music you like there, because Bono and The Edge aren't the type to force people to listen to their new album. Again.

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