A Devon hotel, Hotel Gleneagles in Torquay, which inspired the legendary TV comedy series Fawlty Towers has been officially re-opened by one of the show’s stars.
Prunella Scales (who played Sybil Fawlty) has officially re-opened Hotel Gleneagles after arriving in a replica of the red Austin 1100 car, which, in one of the series’ most famous scenes in 1975, Basil gave a good hiding with a branch when it conked out and wouldn’t restart.
The reopening followed a major refurbishment. The hotel was recently bought by local businessmen Brian Shone and Terry Taylor. They have spent Â£1 million on refurbishing the facilities, and Prunella Scales was guest of honour at the official relaunch on 18th September 2006.
Fawlty Towers was based on the Gleneagles, where John Cleese stayed with other members of the Monty Python team in the early ’70s. Cleese, who of course played Basil Fawlty, based the character on the owner of the hotel, Donald Sinclair, who he described as “the most wonderfully rude man I have ever met.”
Mr Sinclair, who died in 1981, is said to have thrown Eric Idle’s suitcase out of the window “in case it contained a bomb” and complained about Terry Gilliam’s table manners.
Looking back, the real Sybil, Beatrice Sinclair, agrees her husband was not good with the guests. “Not really, he was a commander in the Royal Navy and he liked to have the last word. I don’t think he ever really enjoyed the hotel life.”
The Gleneagles was not the location where the series was filmed. That was done in Thames Valley. The hotel shown in the series was the Woodburn Grange Country Club in Buckinghamshire, but that burned down in 1991.
By comparing the two photo’s you can see that Prunella didn’t age at all!
Only 12 episodes were made of Fawlty Towers, and they were first aired on BBC1 more than 30 years ago.
But the legend of Basil and Sybil lives on…
With thanks to: Â»BBC
When you try to research cosmopolitan Herbert Ypma on line, it is hard to find something else about him than the introductions to his world famous series of Hip Hotels Books on book sellers sites (or have a look at this transcript of a chat with him on USA Today). It is a Dutchman who has lived on several continents and who has visited, photographed and reviewed a myriad of hotels and possibly invented the already too much used and therefor maybe obsolete term “Hip Hotel” where HIP stands for Highly Individual Places.
I found is site Hip Hotels.com. Many nice views of hotels he visited, but yet no personal information.
I take it that he lives by the motto “a picture is worth a thousand words”…
Today at the Dutch Horecava (a hospitaliy fair) the record of building a pyramid of champagne glasses has raised from 35,000 glasses to 39,000 glasses and a height of 7 meter.
I had here a link to photos but those have disappeared in the meantime
Last edited by Happy Hotelier on December 30, 2009 at 2:16 pm
Yes I do remember where I was: Under way to a building meeting, when my DW called in shock and I went back to see the life feeds on TV of those horrific hours. I will never forget the footage of people in sheer panic sky diving from Twin Towers head along…
Shortly after stumbling on A Luxury Travel Blog and mentioning it on weekendhotel here – which post I translated today with its original time stamp, in line with my policy to use the original timestamps of the Dutch posts to give the reader my historic perspective here – I invited Paul Johnson to come over and visit our small luxury hotel Haagsche Suites for a special feature that he gracefully published here.
While he visited us with his DW (DW is chat language for Dear Wife), my DW asked me: “Why don’t we do what they do: Visiting nice places, having fun, and reviewing them?” I realized that we were doing this already from time to time for quite some time, only I didn’t publish about our adventures lacking a forum. Subsequently I discussed this idea in an attempt to find some common grounds (and a forum) with Willem who appears far to busy with managing his site Weekendhotel than to expand too rapidly in other countries than say Germany and France and maybe UK and Spain for the moment.
This led me to start this English language site, albeit not until an interview with Danny Hanush of Special Hotels in a Dutch glossy magazine inspired me to use the “Happy” part in the name and the motto.
Now Paul honoured me with another intro to Happy Hotelier here. So, thank you, Paul for triggering all this.
Publishing in English about The Netherlands, about some of its fantastic accommodations brought together by Willem and in dear need to be translated fully in the English language and about the Hague in particular as a neglected travel destination is a dire necessity to my view. Such in addition to my other aims. Not because the English are too lazy as Paul suggests, but because Dutch is a difficult language for any non-Dutch and because I am not able to come to speed in for instance French, Spanish, Italian or German, to name a few languages. This been said I will research the possibilities to use some translation tools that I have seen somewhere on a Blog that enables the reader to translate posts on a Blog simultaneously.
So off I am at full speed to satisfy my own curiosity and that of our foreign friends.