on 29 May 2002
A captivating story about Tony Porter's restoration of the art deco hotel on Burgh Island in South Devon. Lovingly written we follow Tony and His wife leaving the heady glamour of the London fashion world and taking on the mammoth project of restoring this beautiful hotel back to its former glory - meeting a host of colourful characters along the way you really find you can't put it down once you have started - At times a little twee, but overall a heartwarming, funny, uplifting tale. A great holiday read.
on 17 October 2015
An amazing account of the love, devotion, attention to detail and genuine hard work which Tony Porter and his wife gave to a beautiful piece of history. Having recently had an overnight stay in the Garden Suite and experiencing the magical white tie evening, I can only describe it as 24 hours of decadent luxury. I love everything about the Art Deco period and walking through the front door of the Burgh Island Hotel is like walking back into that wonderful era. This is all thanks to the Porters' dedication and this book is a fabulous celebration of all their time at this Great White Palace. A definite must for anyone who likes Art Deco!
on 26 March 2013
I enjoyed The Great White Palace as a very readable book, and in its way informative. My only reservation is that it dwelt almost solely with the writer's tenure and for me would have been better if it included sections covering the history of the island, its inhabitants and building that the author had come, in his time there, to discover.
on 1 August 2012
This is a very compelling , gentle and warm true story of Tony & B who gave up their high-flying careers in London to buy a run-down, near derelict hotel on a Devon semi-island (the island having previously been used by Agatha Christie for some of her stories).
The problems and extraordinary characters they encounter on the journey are described (and in some cases also photographed) perfectly and with not a little humour.
Do yourself a favour - immerse yourself in the art deco world of a forgotten corner of Devon.
on 22 April 2010
My wife and I owned and operated a seaside hotel for seven years from 1972, so we could clearly identify with many of the trials and tribulations described here. Alas, our place was nowhere near as exotic as Burgh Island!
This book is an absolute 'must read' for people with an affection for Devon and Cornwall, a fascination for art deco,an enjoyment of TV's 'Grand Designs' [pity that show wasn't being aired while Tony was restoring the hotel]. A good book, well written and leaving me wanting to continue with a sequel to flesh out many of the uinwritten stories that are hinted at in the narrative.