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The Reluctant Hotelkeeper: A Memoir Kindle Edition
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There were to be battles royal with neighbours not wanting their status quo to be altered, and with the local fire authority who sought to impose draconian new safety measures.
John Searancke came to the role of hotelkeeper almost accidentally, and most definitely with much reluctance. After his parents’ marriage fell apart, he was dragooned in, at the age of 22, to pick up the pieces of their new venture, a barely-trading country house hotel that had, frankly, seen better days. Not only was it posting an annual loss, but the fabric of the building was crumbling and there was no money left to make improvements.
Over the years, and with the steepest of learning curves, the grand old building was renovated and transformed to meet the requirements of the modern discerning traveller. Accolades for the hotel and its restaurant were won; together they became a well-regarded destination for a number of celebrities – and those that deemed themselves to be celebrities but were not. Stories abound featuring idiosyncratic guests, overbearing public bodies, fractured family life and animals of all shapes and sizes. The local fire station next door was demolished one foggy night, people were frightened by flying dogs and snakes in the long grass, and there were, as befits a country house, strange goings on in the night. Many were the guests who checked in who really should not have been seen together.
This is a tribute to all the people behind the scenes who helped to make the hard-won transformation into a great success.
The Reluctant Hotelkeeper by John Searancke is an engaging memoir that takes readers into the life of the author who ended up reluctantly being a hotelkeeper, and how his rescue mission ended up being a love affair with an old building. His parents had bought the place in the countryside to save their crumbling marriage, and the author was pulled into this venture when he was just 22. The role of a hotelkeeper is not as easy as many think because the reality of life in a hotel is very different, and the hours required to make it a success are punishing. The memoir is also a tribute to all the people who worked behind the scenes and helped in making this grand transformation a huge success.
The memoir is straightforward and honest, entertaining and insightful, and the author opens up about the difficulties he faced, and how he managed to keep his faith in long-term planning. There are a lot of interesting stories about eccentric guests, how many guests who checked in should not have been seen together at all, and how it ended up being one of the favored stops for a number of celebrities. The author goes through the entire process, speaking about transforming the hotel methodically and in detail, taking readers along with him and his experiences while getting the old building renovated to cater to the needs of a modern traveler. There is not one boring moment in this memoir and the positive narration and outlook make this memoir an encouraging and motivating read. The author's story and experiences are enriching, and the ups and downs of his life and the accolades he received for the hotel and its restaurant will encourage many readers out there to become hotelkeepers.
- ASIN : B07LB7WLZM
- Publisher : Troubador Publishing (December 11, 2018)
- Publication date : December 11, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 2939 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 164 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #856,158 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on January 13, 2020
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Top reviews from the United States
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This is the first book I've read of John's, but certainly won't be the last.
I loved it and I loved John Searancke's story telling style. Well-written with gentle humour, the author's affection for his staff, his dogs and his mother shine through. It's a lovely book to read at the end of the day and altogether delightful. I now want to read the author's first book about his dog!
John takes on the task and spends 35 years building up a lovely hotel.
We get a glimpse of the hard to get along with neighbors, the pesky town council, outdated rules from the fire authority, the regulars and not so regulars that come to stay. Some so bizarre they are asked to leave.
This read has so many endearing moments I wanted to fly across the pond and holiday in the village. The Reluctant Hotelkeeper will give you plenty of smiles and a few laugh out loud moments.
Top reviews from other countries
This was not a short-lived thing; he had been in this business for over 35 years. The book starts where they have sold their country hotel and the new owners are now in. Then he's looking back on those years in the hotel business. Also, childhood memories-school, holidays in the Isle of Man etc.
It was a fabulously fun book. And what a hoot, a fair few chucklesome passages in here! I just seemed to keep laughing at his misfortunes! Uh oh! The things that can happen in a hotel. I love 'behind the scenes' memoirs like this! A bit of celeb gossip-without naming any names..... Beautifully English expressions. Some great word choices, it seemed like so much thought has gone into this to keep it fresh and entertaining. Or I imagine that's how he talks all the time. An experienced speaker maybe? Beautifully written. A total delight.
I finished John Searancke's book in just a day and a half and it was fantastic. He is responsible for serious lack of any sort of housework by me over the weekend-I just had to keep on reading! I've read and really enjoyed both of John Searancke's previous books. I knew this would be good-but I didn't realise just how good it was going to be! It's marvellous, what a great book.
The author takes over a dilapidated hotel, a hasty purchase by his parents in an attempt to save their failing marriage. Neither he nor they have any experience, nor have they any idea how to run a hotel.
I sensed immediately that John wasn't the sort of person to be satisfied with making a go of the hotel, but was going to make it the very best hotel it could be. There is no help from his father who leaves the story quite early on, and his vague mother doesn't contribute much either, so it's down to the author to pick up the reins.
He acquires some excellent staff, and some rather bad ones. There is a strange lady who seems to live in a cupboard. The local villagers are hostile - anybody who has moved to live in a small village in England will know that you'll never be considered a local for as long as you live, and it will take 25 years before you even become accepted, so they are obstructive to all his plans for development and improvement of the business.
John keeps his head down and moves forward with his plans, finding ways around and over all the obstacles put in his way and gradually raising the standard of the hotel until after only 35 years of hard work, it is time for him to sell and move on to a new life.
He comes across as a decent, honest and very hardworking man, who strives for perfection in all he does, doesn't suffer fools and expects high standards.
A well-written and enjoyable memoir.
He writes with great humour and there are many laugh out loud moments throughout the book. Indeed, I was astounded at some of the antics of his guests.
Happily, the author transforms his inheritance into a fine award winning business, and deservedly reaps the financial rewards.
An entertaining memoir which makes me want to read more of John’s books.