Thursday 4 August 2011

The Guest Who Never Checked Out.

We are now going to give you a small insight of an experience we had at the Burlington Hotel with a guest who checked in, and stayed with us for over 12 years. Yes, I really mean 12 years. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.

So many people used to ask why he stayed for so long, and there were always several reasons he would respond with, including he was never alone, his food was always cooked for him whatever he wanted (and we mean whatever!) His bedroom was cleaned daily, his washing got done, he was warm, he never spent a Christmas or birthday alone, and we were there to make sure that he was well.

We are not a care home, we are a hotel, and he was very much treated as any hotel guest should be but he became a part of the family, a way of life for staff and a member of the team.

I would arrive at work at 9am and he would be sat in the foyer with his newspaper next to him whilst trying to work out how to make a call on his mobile phone. Guaranteed as he spotted me he would call “Come here, come and see me, I have something to tell you” and he would then proceed to discuss the weather, the news, his game of scrabble the night before etc. This was a daily routine, and on your days of, he would be most disappointed to not see you, or indeed cross you hadn’t been there to see him, especially if you went on annual leave! :o) He would occasionally fall asleep in the lounge on the sofa, he would join our staff parties for Christmas and he would take our General Manager out for dinner. A real character!

It is not however unusual to find a hotel has a permanent guest, just think of the Major in Fawlty Towers (please don't confuse us with Fawltey Towers though!). Anyway why not. It makes sense, if you are able bodied but don’t want to rattle around in a house on your own, or the idea of a care home is unacceptable (as it can be to many people) a hotel is a logical answer.

All our regular customers recognised him, he was happy to talk to everyone and loved to watch from a distance the weddings, parties, anniversaries and various other events that took place over the many years he was there.

He was also a lover of pets, and being a pet friendly hotel, would take great delight in fussing over the various dogs that came in and out and tempting them with doggie treats if they were ever to hand.

We sadly lost our dear old friend a year ago now, and yet he will never be forgotten by the team, the owners or our regulars. A gentleman whos life had so much history and who would always love to tell you all about the things he did, all the people he met and how to run a hotel. (He was a pro at it buy the time he departed!)

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