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Frank Hovis

Vanity, the Curse of Televison

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This is a good match for Jamie's Pukka restaurant collapse thread but deserves its own.

I very much enjoyed Channel 4's The Hotel (some episodes still available on Youtube) as it followed the chaotic Mismanagement of Mark Jenkins of his Grosevnor Hotel in Torquay, his generally useless staff who spent most of their time playing up to the camera rather than working (Christian being the prime example).  This wasn't schadenfreude, for all the faults it genuinely seemed a nice place to be.

Anyway, encouraged by the camera Mark and co. had one whacky idea after another to "save the Grosevnor" until eventually time ran out and he had to concede defeat and sell it to someone who gave the impression of being a hard headed financial expert - own helicopter, accountant, specialised in buying hotels cheap.

But TV turned his head; having been presented as a financial success he thought he couldn't lose and, disliking the low rent image of the Grosvenor, proceeded to throw vast amounts of money at it to turn it into a luxury venue, hooked up with a celebrity chef (that's always a good idea...) and actually renamed it after him: the John Burton-Race    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Burton-Race

(JBR himself having gone bankrupt in 2009)

Spin forward a few years and:

His hotel group is in administration and his hotels up for sale because, as he says himself, he spent too much money on The Grosvenor.

Looks like that brief TV appearance at the end of Series 3 turned his head.

 

 

Several very good hotels up for sale as a consequence:

Well-known Cornwall hotels in Falmouth, Padstow and Fowey are put up for sale after owner goes into administration

https://www.cornwalllive.com/news/well-known-cornwall-hotels-falmouth-1210449

Company behind Falmouth Hotel, Fowey Hotel and Metropole Hotel at Padstow has gone into administration

https://www.cornwalllive.com/news/cornwall-news/company-behind-falmouth-hotel-fowey-1035121

 

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4 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

This is a good match for Jamie's Pukka restaurant collapse thread but deserves its own.

I very much enjoyed Channel 4's The Hotel (some episodes still available on Youtube) as it followed the chaotic Mismanagement of Mark Jenkins of his Grosevnor Hotel in Torquay, his generally useless staff who spent most of their time playing up to the camera rather than working (Christian being the prime example).  This wasn't schadenfreude, for all the faults it genuinely seemed a nice place to be.

Anyway, encouraged by the camera Mark and co. had one whacky idea after another to "save the Grosevnor" until eventually time ran out and he had to concede defeat and sell it to someone who gave the impression of being a hard headed financial expert - own helicopter, accountant, specialised in buying hotels cheap.

But TV turned his head; having been presented as a financial success he thought he couldn't lose and, disliking the low rent image of the Grosvenor, proceeded to throw vast amounts of money at it to turn it into a luxury venue, hooked up with a celebrity chef (that's always a good idea...) and actually renamed it after him: the John Burton-Race    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Burton-Race

(JBR himself having gone bankrupt in 2009)

Spin forward a few years and:

His hotel group is in administration and his hotels up for sale because, as he says himself, he spent too much money on The Grosvenor.

Looks like that brief TV appearance at the end of Series 3 turned his head.

 

 

Several very good hotels up for sale as a consequence:

Well-known Cornwall hotels in Falmouth, Padstow and Fowey are put up for sale after owner goes into administration

https://www.cornwalllive.com/news/well-known-cornwall-hotels-falmouth-1210449

Company behind Falmouth Hotel, Fowey Hotel and Metropole Hotel at Padstow has gone into administration

https://www.cornwalllive.com/news/cornwall-news/company-behind-falmouth-hotel-fowey-1035121

 

Anyone who thinks that there is money to be made from a hotel in an English seaside town has clearly never lived in an English seaside town.  @spygirl will be along to explain all this as his knowledge is deeper than mine.  

However I will leave you this where a beautiful old house was knocked down to build the hotel with the rooms being sold off to fools investors.  It then went into liquidation 

https://www.raithwaiteestate.com/

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32 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

This is a good match for Jamie's Pukka restaurant collapse thread but deserves its own.

I very much enjoyed Channel 4's The Hotel (some episodes still available on Youtube) as it followed the chaotic Mismanagement of Mark Jenkins of his Grosevnor Hotel in Torquay, his generally useless staff who spent most of their time playing up to the camera rather than working (Christian being the prime example).  This wasn't schadenfreude, for all the faults it genuinely seemed a nice place to be.

Anyway, encouraged by the camera Mark and co. had one whacky idea after another to "save the Grosevnor" until eventually time ran out and he had to concede defeat and sell it to someone who gave the impression of being a hard headed financial expert - own helicopter, accountant, specialised in buying hotels cheap.

But TV turned his head; having been presented as a financial success he thought he couldn't lose and, disliking the low rent image of the Grosvenor, proceeded to throw vast amounts of money at it to turn it into a luxury venue, hooked up with a celebrity chef (that's always a good idea...) and actually renamed it after him: the John Burton-Race    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Burton-Race

(JBR himself having gone bankrupt in 2009)

Spin forward a few years and:

His hotel group is in administration and his hotels up for sale because, as he says himself, he spent too much money on The Grosvenor.

Looks like that brief TV appearance at the end of Series 3 turned his head.

 

 

Several very good hotels up for sale as a consequence:

Well-known Cornwall hotels in Falmouth, Padstow and Fowey are put up for sale after owner goes into administration

https://www.cornwalllive.com/news/well-known-cornwall-hotels-falmouth-1210449

Company behind Falmouth Hotel, Fowey Hotel and Metropole Hotel at Padstow has gone into administration

https://www.cornwalllive.com/news/cornwall-news/company-behind-falmouth-hotel-fowey-1035121

 

' being a hard headed financial expert - own helicopter, accountant, specialised in buying hotels cheap. '

Those are mutually exclusive.

 

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1 minute ago, spygirl said:

' being a hard headed financial expert - own helicopter, accountant, specialised in buying hotels cheap. '

Those are mutually exclusive.

Exactly, unless you are mega-rich something like that needs to be put to work.

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Saw this loads in the Cotswolds, great stately piles bought up and converted into high-end hotels that lasted a few years before crashing into administrative oblivion.

You could see it coming on a lot of occasions, I worked in one where the owner/manager (who, let the record show, was a pompous, insignificant little bastard) did a runner and another firm took it over who hired some cowboy landscapers who tore up the 100 year old gardens and generally made a mess of the place in readiness for it's next cycle of bankruptcy.

Another that went into administration suddenly and alarmingly was the one where we got married. We were told it was winding up two weeks before our wedding leading to some squeaky bums. We actually had to make a back up plan in case the bloody hotel ceased trading before the day. Thankfully, with the help of an external catering company (their own staff had been laid off) we had our wedding. The hotel did somehow manage to lose our wedding cake though and shut down the next day before we could get an explanation.

I have a pretty dim view of a lot of 'exclusive' hotels. From a customers point of view, they tend to be extortionately expensive and mediocre. I don't think I've ever stayed in one where I thought it was worth the money. Some of the quotes we got when looking for a wedding venue were hilarious and I nearly squared up to some managerial ponce in a shabby chic, Oxfordshire shrine to pretentiousness who treated me like I'd come in to have a shit on the carpet. 

From a contractors point of view, pricey hotels are some of the most onerous clients you can have IME. They are notoriously late with payment, their expectations bear no semblence of reality, they treat you and your staff like dribbling peasants, and, more often than not, the management are pompous, insufferable arseholes. I avoid them like the plague.

Tldr - Many expensive British hotels are shit and managed by wankers. There is a good reason Fawlty Towers was set here.

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To be honest, most cheap hotels are shit and manged by wanker. Low rent wankers but still wankers.

Ive looked into the books of UK tourism/hotels - Im not an accountant.

There's only 2 that appear to make money: London city breaks and Centre Parcs.

At best, the rest are no more than a play of rising real estate prices. The only way to get out is to convince someone to buy the place. But for this to work you need to be very aware of the where the UK is terms of the credit cycle. And not to convince yourself that that, just because yours numbers have ticked up a bit, that you should hold onto the hotel.

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I'm a chain hotel man myself; I have stayed in top ones with work but given the low amount of time I end up spending there it never seems to be worth the premium.

In this country it's Premier Inn, then Travelodge (subject to checking reviews to make sure it's one they've refurbished rather than one of the falling apart ones), then a pub with rooms (again, having checked reviews), and then whatever I can get.  All in the range £60 - £80 for two of you; go to a "Hotel" and you're looking at £150 for something no better and often worse.

I might go to a top hotel for afternoon tea but that will be it.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

I'm a chain hotel man myself; I have stayed in top ones with work but given the low amount of time I end up spending there it never seems to be worth the premium.

In this country it's Premier Inn, then Travelodge (subject to checking reviews to make sure it's one they've refurbished rather than one of the falling apart ones), then a pub with rooms (again, having checked reviews), and then whatever I can get.  All in the range £60 - £80 for two of you; go to a "Hotel" and you're looking at £150 for something no better and often worse.

I might go to a top hotel for afternoon tea but that will be it.

 

 

Unless your taking your mistress then you are not staying in the hotel.

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1 minute ago, spygirl said:

Unless your taking your mistress then you are not staying in the hotel.

Exactly.   Unless there really is no other option the only meal that I want to eat in the hotel is breakfast; I have never gone half board let alone full board.  If I'm somewhere new I want to be out all day and evening.  So the requirement is for a clean, comfy, quiet room and if that's available for £80 then I'm not gong to pay £120 because somebody has handknitted the curtains and scattered junk shop prints around the walls.

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14 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

I'm a chain hotel man myself; I have stayed in top ones with work but given the low amount of time I end up spending there it never seems to be worth the premium.

In this country it's Premier Inn, then Travelodge (subject to checking reviews to make sure it's one they've refurbished rather than one of the falling apart ones), then a pub with rooms (again, having checked reviews), and then whatever I can get.  All in the range £60 - £80 for two of you; go to a "Hotel" and you're looking at £150 for something no better and often worse.

I might go to a top hotel for afternoon tea but that will be it.

 

 

I don't actually mind Travelodges and Premier Inns. They do the job and usually aren't too egregiously expensive. Airport ones can be a bit of a handful some days as they sub as stag and hen holding pens but, for the most part, they are pretty good. I've never stayed in one and felt mugged off unlike a 150 quid a night joint where you can hear the people next door taking a dump/shagging till three in the morning.

Honourable mention to Scottish highland b&b's too. I've never stayed in a rubbish one.

18 minutes ago, spygirl said:

There's only 2 that appear to make money: London city breaks and Centre Parcs.

At the best part of a thousand quid for four nights during the holidays, they would have to be run by Joey Essex not to be coining it.

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14 minutes ago, Sgt Hartman said:

I don't actually mind Travelodges and Premier Inns. They do the job and usually aren't too egregiously expensive. Airport ones can be a bit of a handful some days as they sub as stag and hen holding pens but, for the most part, they are pretty good. I've never stayed in one and felt mugged off unlike a 150 quid a night joint where you can hear the people next door taking a dump/shagging till three in the morning.

Honourable mention to Scottish highland b&b's too. I've never stayed in a rubbish one.

At the best part of a thousand quid for four nights during the holidays, they would have to be run by Joey Essex not to be coining it.

Precisely.

Centre Parcs are set up in woodland. No expensive city centre real estate.

Put you plumbing and power in.

Build your captive shops and eateries.

Bingo.

The only niggle is you have to run a fleet of buses from the nearest council estates for cleaners and the like.

And you have to pay them them while they travel.

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1 hour ago, Sgt Hartman said:

Saw this loads in the Cotswolds, great stately piles bought up and converted into high-end hotels that lasted a few years before crashing into administrative oblivion.

You could see it coming on a lot of occasions, I worked in one where the owner/manager (who, let the record show, was a pompous, insignificant little bastard) did a runner and another firm took it over who hired some cowboy landscapers who tore up the 100 year old gardens and generally made a mess of the place in readiness for it's next cycle of bankruptcy.

Another that went into administration suddenly and alarmingly was the one where we got married. We were told it was winding up two weeks before our wedding leading to some squeaky bums. We actually had to make a back up plan in case the bloody hotel ceased trading before the day. Thankfully, with the help of an external catering company (their own staff had been laid off) we had our wedding. The hotel did somehow manage to lose our wedding cake though and shut down the next day before we could get an explanation.

I have a pretty dim view of a lot of 'exclusive' hotels. From a customers point of view, they tend to be extortionately expensive and mediocre. I don't think I've ever stayed in one where I thought it was worth the money. Some of the quotes we got when looking for a wedding venue were hilarious and I nearly squared up to some managerial ponce in a shabby chic, Oxfordshire shrine to pretentiousness who treated me like I'd come in to have a shit on the carpet. 

From a contractors point of view, pricey hotels are some of the most onerous clients you can have IME. They are notoriously late with payment, their expectations bear no semblence of reality, they treat you and your staff like dribbling peasants, and, more often than not, the management are pompous, insufferable arseholes. I avoid them like the plague.

Tldr - Many expensive British hotels are shit and managed by wankers. There is a good reason Fawlty Towers was set here.

The catering trade attracts people who cannot run businesses full stop. Hotels, restaurants, pubs, the majority of them are run by idiots who are buying into a pipedream rather than reality.

Hotels seem to attract inherited wealth types, who run it with a view to doing a runner in 5 years. Pubs seem to attract retired folk who think they can throw cash at something and make it work, despite having no experience.

 

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52 minutes ago, spunko2010 said:

The catering trade attracts people who cannot run businesses full stop. Hotels, restaurants, pubs, the majority of them are run by idiots who are buying into a pipedream rather than reality.

Hotels seem to attract inherited wealth types, who run it with a view to doing a runner in 5 years. Pubs seem to attract retired folk who think they can throw cash at something and make it work, despite having no experience.

 

Going some of my experiences, also a high proportion of those that don't like interacting with customers. Hate people, excellent go and run a B & B.

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3 hours ago, One percent said:

Anyone who thinks that there is money to be made from a hotel in an English seaside town has clearly never lived in an English seaside town.  @spygirl will be along to explain all this as his knowledge is deeper than mine.  

However I will leave you this where a beautiful old house was knocked down to build the hotel with the rooms being sold off to fools investors.  It then went into liquidation 

https://www.raithwaiteestate.com/

You're wrong. My wife's old boss in Eastbourne is minted (and mental). He once appeared on The Hotel Inspector.

His son was well known for his ostentatious black and gold car mods on pistonheads. 

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7 minutes ago, The Generation Game said:

You're wrong. My wife's old boss in Eastbourne is minted (and mental). He once appeared on The Hotel Inspector.

His son was well known for his ostentatious black and gold car mods on pistonheads. 

Complicated.

The old boss could have inherited his hotels, in which cas there's n finance on them.

Or he could be a canny operator.

Most hotel/ub/whatever disasters are people swithcing from employment to buy and run a whatever.

The Raithewaite hotel thing was a SIPP con.

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3 minutes ago, spygirl said:

Complicated.

The old boss could have inherited his hotels, in which cas there's n finance on them.

Or he could be a canny operator.

Most hotel/ub/whatever disasters are people swithcing from employment to buy and run a whatever.

The Raithewaite hotel thing was a SIPP con.

Nope. He fits your usual demographic to a tee. 

Here's a random article on him. 

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/31/sheikh-of-eastbournes-historic-pier-bans-picnics-and-dog-walkers/amp/

Edited by The Generation Game

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3 hours ago, One percent said:

Anyone who thinks that there is money to be made from a hotel in an English seaside town has clearly never lived in an English seaside town.  @spygirl will be along to explain all this as his knowledge is deeper than mine.  

However I will leave you this where a beautiful old house was knocked down to build the hotel with the rooms being sold off to fools investors.  It then went into liquidation 

https://www.raithwaiteestate.com/

You are correct on this one.  Until it was pulled by the moderators on TOS there was a brilliant thread on regional house prices, Yorkshire, about the Skelwith Group that has links to Raithwaite.  Very similar to the Timeshare ripoff stuff on another thread.  

 I have seen some fabulous restaurants in Yorkshire go under, great food, fully booked but the owners misjudged the VAT bill.  

I love Premier Inns, the one at St Pancras is like a 5 star, as are a couple of newly refurbished in Edinburgh.  Especially good when you can get a special offer.  To be avoided at peak times when prices rocket on account of the same type of algorithm as Uber.

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3 minutes ago, The Generation Game said:

https://companycheck.co.uk/director/910088048/SHEIKH-ABID-GULZAR/companies

2 minutes ago, Ina said:

You are correct on this one.  Until it was pulled by the moderators on TOS there was a brilliant thread on regional house prices, Yorkshire, about the Skelwith Group that has links to Raithwaite.  Very similar to the Timeshare ripoff stuff on another thread.  

 I have seen some fabulous restaurants in Yorkshire go under, great food, fully booked but the owners misjudged the VAT bill.  

I love Premier Inns, the one at St Pancras is like a 5 star, as are a couple of newly refurbished in Edinburgh.  Especially good when you can get a special offer.  To be avoided at peak times when prices rocket on account of the same type of algorithm as Uber.

That was mine.

It got pulled, no notice, when the trial of Skelwith directors was happening.

The thread cmae up when you google 'skelwith con'

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7 minutes ago, The Generation Game said:

For a 70 YO he seems to have only recetnly got into LtdCos.

Ill call BS/con on him.

He's going to similar to this:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/12189864/Indian-drinks-tycoon-Vijay-Mallya-flees-to-Britain-with-nearly-1bn-in-unpaid-loans.html

Itll all be one mess of conned money and bank loans.

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2 minutes ago, spygirl said:

https://companycheck.co.uk/director/910088048/SHEIKH-ABID-GULZAR/companies

That was mine.

It got pulled, no notice, when the trial of Skelwith directors was happening.

The thread cmae up when you google 'skelwith con'

There is also something onTwitter called Skelwith Truth.  A bit random but otherwise very good.  I drive past the abandoned Skelwith site on the junction of the A59 / A1 every week.  Think it has now been earmarked for housing.

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