Monday 19 December 2011

Book ~ "The Suite Life: The Magic and Mystery of Hotel Living" (2011) Christopher Heard

From Indigo ~ Hotel living has always seemed exotic. Why did Claude Monet, Greta Garbo, Coco Chanel, Vladimir Nabokov, Howard Hughes, and many other mercurial individuals desire such a life? Besides answering that question, The Suite Life features interviews with high-profile celebrities who have also chosen hotel living, such as Johnny Depp, Warren Beatty, Keanu Reeves, and Criss Angel.

Author Christopher Heard was conceived in the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto and now lives there as the writer-in-residence. The Suite Life is the culmination of a lifelong fascination with iconic hotels and those who have opted to reside in them. It tells of the enchantment of being exposed to many varied energies at the same time and describes the uniqueness of life lived in a place where people can let their inhibitions relax.

Living in a hotel is many things, but first and foremost it is magical.

I had read an article in the Toronto Star a couple months ago about this book. I hadn't heard of the author but apparently he is a "TV and radio personality and an author with several celebrity bios to his name".

What attracted me to this book (so I reserved it immediately from the Toronto library system and just got it on Friday) was that the author lives in one of Toronto's historic hotels, the Royal York. I've been to a few functions there (Christmas parties and conferences) and it's a grand old hotel.

The book is split up into three parts:
  1. A private oasis of solitude ... with room service - details famous personalities (from the likes of Howard Hughes to Johnny Depp) and their experiences living the hotel life
  2. Some kind of epic grandeur - provides the history and stories of the Royal York
  3. Suite dreams - discusses the author's experiences living in the Royal York and surrounding area such as the personalities he's met and living through the G20 last year
It is an interesting book and I enjoyed it. I'd recommend it to anyone who lives in Toronto, who is interested in different ways of living and/or who enjoy getting a bit of insider gossip about personalities.

Here's a quote by Heard in the Toronto Star article:

"You don’t think about towels. You don’t think about making the bed, or taking out the garbage.

"One of the great lessons of hotel living is that you become very minimalist," said Heard, who personalized his room with photographs and his 5-year-old daughter’s artwork. "You just have what you need, what is of current concern. You don’t keep piles of magazines around anymore.

"And you don’t have neighbours. Your neighbours are here for two days, then gone. Whereas the maids that come in regularly and the door people that you see every day, they are the constants in your life."

It sounds like quite a life ... how would you like to live in a hotel?

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