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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.
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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!
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on 29 December 2002
As a frequent visitor to the hotel it was marvellous finding out what really went on behind the scenes. We never knew !
A superb read for anyone who has stayed at the hotel and a real insight into the life of running a top class hotel.
We look forward to the next one !
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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.
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on 30 August 2012
This is a great read. Having stayed in the hotel on 14 occasions it is amazing to see what went on behind the scenes and the story of how Tony & B turned a broken shell into a top international hotel. We never knew he half of it !!

The story of the best hotel we have ever stayed in of which we now have such fond memories.

As an Agatha Christie fanatic it was a must but the reality and the people we met made it so much more :-)
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on 29 July 2015
Great to read about the history of Burgh Island. I have visited the beach and the Pilchard Inn several times but not stayed at the hotel as yet.
I love anything Art Deco so this book was very informative.
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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.
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on 2 September 2011
This is the story of the renovation of a remarkable 1930s hotel on a small island off the south coast of Devon -- it was featured in one of the Poirot episodes. It also tells of the hotel's background and also the island. Quite lovely!
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on 27 May 2012
An inside look into the renovation of a beautiful art deco hotel in the heart of South Devon. This book is a must for anyone in love with the history of the South Hams and in particular, Bigbury and Burgh Island.

I'm a big fan of the area and would also recommend the following:

Devon Family History - Bigbury, Bigbury-On-Sea & Burgh Island

Around and About Burgh Island and Bigbury-on-sea
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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.
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