Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Sherlock Holmes Hotel

In 1971, Benny Green wrote in The Spectator, about what a hotel named The Sherlock Holmes should be like:

"When a man walks into a hotel named The Sherlock Holmes, the last thing he wants is conventional politeness and efficiency. When he asks for his room number it is feeble and ridiculous to give it to him. Instead he should be given a cryptogram, some fingerprint dust and a packet of spyglass lenses and left to work it out for himself. The diminutive pageboy who carries himself as the Bavarian light-heavyweight wrestling champion. While the customer sleeps, all the numberplates on all the doors should be switched round. On the foyer carpets should be plainly visible the footprints of a great hound, and fog should be pumped through into every corner of the premises. . . and then on leaving the hotel, each guest should be required to first pass a rigorous examination on the contents of the hotel and umbrella stand, giving the age, occupation, nationality, height, weight and political opinions of the owners of every sunshade, shooting stick, walking stick, parasol and cricket bat. I guarantee that a hotel run on these lines would be opening branches in every major city in Britain before the end of the 1970s"

Sadly, it seems that no one took Mr Green up on his suggestions as I'm sure his prediction would have come true long ago...

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