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Afshin Rattansi

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Piece about Novels andHotels
Sunday, June 25, 2006  11:37:00 AM

by Afshin Rattansi

Literary Fiction
Live in a Luxury Hotel Not in a House - The Dream Of The Decade

More than forty years after the building of a skyscraper hotel in one of the world’s capitals comes a novel about hotel living: “The Dream of the Decade – The London Novels” by Afshin Rattansi, former BBC Today Programme Producer.

The location of novel is the London Hilton skyscraper in Park Lane, finished in 1963 and designed by William B. Tabler Architects. The protagonist, a 1980s working-class-man made-good is a millionaire – but what about others who have chosen to live in hotels instead of buying property?

In New York: The Carlyle – “Though hotel residents come in varied shapes, sizes and ages, the population tends to skew older and toward a high tax bracket, said Marcie Lieberman, hotel manager at The Carlyle. "It's usually an upper-echelon person. People who have gotten used to a certain convenience and who like living in an environment where those things are available," she said.

Combine that with the right amount of pampering, and you've got the answer to a hotel dweller's prayers - all ending in amenity. The Ritz-Carlton on Central Park South, for example, offers inclusive and a la carte services for any situation from wanting a massage to needing diamonds at a moment's notice.” (Daniel Bubbeo, Newsday)

In London: “John Petch, sales director of boutique hotel group, GLA Hotels (owners of the Lancaster in Paris and the Cadogan Hotel in London) began his career with the Savoy group in the early 1980s. Back then, the fifth floor at Claridges was reserved for long-term guests. But by the early 1990s, he says, hotel residency was dying out. Even the wealthy regarded long stays as uneconomical and turned their attention to affordable second-home investment opportunities.

But the tide is turning; both the Lancaster and Cadogan have three long-stay residents who use the hotels as their city bases. "People are moving back into hotels because of the security and service," says Petch. Boutique hotels also excel at providing a home- from-home atmosphere backed up with personalised service. "If you have a flat, you might have one person to look after you," he says. "Here you have all of our staff on call."” (Tracy Hoffman, Financial Times)

Hotel-living Names:
Geri Halliwell – The Lanesborough, London
Bobby Hashemi, founder of Coffee Republic – Claridge’s, London
Ruud Gullit – Malmaison, London
Chris Evans - Langham Hilton, London
Richard Harris - Savoy, London
Rupert Murdoch's courtship with Wendi Deng - The Mercer Hotel, New York
Ken Hom - The Dorchester, London
Peter Sellers and Britt Ekland; Richard Burton and Liz Taylor - The Dorchester, London.
Coco Chanel – Ritz, Paris
Marlene Dietrich - Hotel Lancaster, Paris
Greta Garbo, - Fairmont Miramar, Los Angeles
Howard Hughes - Desert Inn, Las Vegas
Salvador Dali - Hotel Meurice, Paris
Peter Bogdanovich - Stanhope Hotel, New York
Claude Monet - Savoy, London
Cate Blanchett – Covent Garden Hotel, London
Christina Ricci - Covent Garden Hotel, London
Diane Von Furstenberg – Carlyle, New York
Frank Sinatra - The Waldorf Towers, New York
Cole Porter - The Waldorf Towers, New York
Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald - Lowell Hotel, New York
Madonna – Carlyle, New York
Madonna – Home House, London
William Burroughs – Beat Hotel, Paris
William Burroughs – Chelsea Hotel, New York
Sid Vicious - Chelsea Hotel, New York
Dylan Thomas - Chelsea Hotel, New York
Arthur C Clarke - Chelsea Hotel, New York
Bob Dylan - Chelsea Hotel, New York
Tim Burton – Portobello Hotel, London
Francis Ford Coppola - Portobello Hotel, London
John Lennon – Hilton, Amsterdam

The title novel in the quartet, The Dream of the Decade, may end in disquieting circumstances but one only has to look at the tragedies of the famous who have died in hotels to know it isn’t uncommon. ends
The Dream of the Decade

 More News about Afshin Rattansi
Piece about Tristram Shandy and The Dream of the Decade - 6/25/2006 11:35:00 AM

Risk and Fiction - 6/25/2006 11:33:00 AM

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