Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Book ~ "HotelBiz: A Memoir" (2010) Hans Gerhardt

From Amazon ~ Operating some of the world's most famous and exclusive hotels exposed Hans Gerhardt to the private lives of kings and queens, world leaders, and movie stars. He has been trapped on an elevator with a notorious dictator, cracked jokes with Prince Philip, drank expensive wine with Charlton Heston, helped Dudley Moore escape marauding Japanese tourists, and Burt Reynolds woo Loni Anderson. David Carradine mooned him, Sophia Loren dazzled, The Queen Mother charmed, and Marlon Brando directed traffic during an early morning fire alarm. But "HotelBiz: A Memoir" is more than just a collection of fascinating anecdotes about famous people - although it is certainly that, too - it is also a compelling rags-to-riches story, how a child of the deprivation of post-war Germany became a cabin boy sailing the world and rose to become Canada's best-known hotelier. It is a story of great triumph and of heart-rending tragedy: Hans for the first time tells how he lost his son Ralph in the attack on the World Trade Center Sept 11, 2001. He takes the reader behind the scenes to detail his many years in the hotel business, from his days as a waiter at a small inn in Germany to running the Sutton Place, Toronto's premiere hotel, to overseeing hotel operations in the Caribbean and Canada. Filled with insight, humor, and drama, Hans Gerhardt's "HotelBiz: A Memoir" offers a unique window into one's man's adventure-filled life and the business he loves.

This book appealed to me because most of the hotels he worked at are in Toronto and I like gossip!

Gerhardt starts the book by talking about his son, Ralph, who was killed in 9/11 along with Ralph's girlfriend, Linda.

Then he takes us back to his beginnings in Germany, leaving home at 15 to work on boats before finally settling into the hotel business.

Gerhardt has lots of stories to tell and speaks well of most of the people he has encountered.

He seems like the kind of guy you could sit down and have a beer with.

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