- Also check our best rated Travel Book reviews
Alex Polizzi's Little Black Book of Hotels Hardcover – Illustrated, 6 Aug 2010
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A must read --Wedding - 1st aug 2010 -
A perfect British escape
--Entertainment News - 5th july 2010
For anyone planning a special getaway in the UK, this book is a must-have --Real Travel, September 2010
Polizzis' research takes the hassle out of hotel selection --Real Travel, September 2010
About the Author
Since 2008 Alex Polizzi has been the presenter of Channel 5's The Hotel Inspector, bringing her considerable industry experience and authority to help transform some of Britain's worst-run hotels. As the granddaughter of Lord Forte and niece of Sir Rocco Forte, Alex comes from a long line of distinguished hoteliers. She trained at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong and worked for Marco Pierre White at the Criterion, before undertaking roles at various Rocco Forte hotels around the world. Alex Polizzi is currently the proprietor of the Hotel Endsleigh in Milton Abbot, near Tavistock in Devon and, together with her mother the hotel designer Olga Polizzi, previously launched the highly praised Hotel Tresanton at St Mawes in Cornwall. She also hosts the BBC Two series, Alex Polizzi The Fixer, where she sets out to wage a campaign to save Britain's family businesses of all types, not just hotels.
Top customer reviews
"This book is intended to celebrate the hotels, B&Bs and guest rooms that deserve attention for the effort they make to look after their guests. Of course I have included some grand and expensive places to stay, but only those that don't rest on their laurels and do give anyone who digs deep into their wallets a really spoiling experience."
Alex Polizzi can make these claims in a calm, well-qualified and experienced voice. Her pedigree is redoubtable. After Oxford University, she trained at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong, followed by a spell with Marco Pierre White at the Criterion and then for a number of hotels under the Rocco Forte banner. Born within the hallowed Forte famiglia, she is the daughter and work partner of Olga Polizzi, the stylish owner of the Hotel Tresanton in St. Mawes, Cornwall and the Endsleigh Hotel, near Tavistock in Devon. Alex has included some of the family hotels in this guide book, because "They are all extraordinary places to stay and wouldn't have been included otherwise". I concur.
Supposing you wanted to stay somewhere for each week of the year, there are 52 personally chosen destinations, and Alex and her co-author Piers Gladstone guide you through which room you should choose, what the specialities of the kitchen are, what to do and where to go in the surrounding area, as well as a page introduction on those essential ingredients: location, design, ambiance and service. The photography and quality of presentation are alluring. You can hear her no-nonsense tone, her insightful delivery, her punctillious attention to the slightest detail on every page. Like a gripping story, with colourful plot and intriguing protagonists, I could not put this book down. I know many details to be spot on: I have been to stay at many of these places, and she speaks the truth. I have noted others for future trips, and feel safe in her judgement.
If only this book could be handed out on day one to every fresh faced student at hotel management college. In an industry with so few barriers to entry, "The laudable characteristic that all the hotels in this book have in common is this dedication to try and get it right." That should be every aspiring hotelier's ambition, and it should not take an inspector to point it out.
Knowing Alex's very high standards when it comes to service, facilitates (not to mention cleanliness) means that without exception you already know what you have here is a book of 52 places to stay that are not going to disappoint.
I would disagree that the book contains 52 `secret' destinations across Great Britain however - some of the hotels are in no way under wraps. I would imagine most people who know UK hotels a little have heard of Cowley Manor, Browns, Hotel Tresanton, the new Lime Wood hotel, Terra Vina and the Hotel Du Vin chain! That said there were also some great smaller properties I'd not heard about before.
It was especially refreshing to read about the inclusion criteria of the book, and to know that none of the hotels had paid to feature (not always the case in books of this ilk). What this has also meant is the book does have smaller guest houses, Restaurants with rooms, and B&Bs alongside the bigger hotels.
As a reference book I would have preferred to have seen the pricing information in the footnotes on the page of each hotel entry and not hidden away in the Gazetteer at the back, but then this would most definitely have ruined the `lust' effect!
With the hotels that Alex is involved in directly, or her family own/run, it would have been nice (and appropriate I think) to mention this in the review of each, not just in the introduction. If they are worthy of being in the book then I see no harm in speaking more personally about them.
As a source of inspiration and a compendium of interesting and high quality places to stay in the UK this is a good book. Its not exhaustive, its nicely illustrated, and its got some great `things to do' for every entry which I found to be a great resource and really helped to sell the destination alongside each hotel.
There are some interesting entries, and the descriptions are okay, but the costs are hidden away at the back of the book, not with the main entries. I'd looked most of them up (very boring!) on the web before I realised. And some of them really are too well known to class as "interesting".
Overall, I'd recommend spending the time on the internet and using Tripadvisor rather than investing in this one.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews