‘The Economist’ on ‘A Short History of Hotels’ and, erm, Trowell services!

If you are taking it easy in the office (or at home) today, there is an interesting article on the history of the global, branded hotel industry which is worth a look.


It appears in the bumper Christmas double-issue of ‘The Economist’ (£6.95 at a good newsagent near you), or online for free.  The article, entitled ‘A Short History of Hotels’, is here.

On a slightly more offbeat note, there is also a super piece about 24 hours in the life of Trowell motorway service stationYou can read that article here.

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  1. The Economist will always remind me of the BMI Diamond Club. I remember the great signup bonus’s and laughed when the postman pushed 7 copies a time through the letterbox. Oh happy days.

  2. Nice article – though a bit odd to find it in The Economist.

    Maybe they were trying to fill a bit of space in the dead period over Xmas & New Year 😉

    • The Christmas Economist is different to the rest of the year. They commission 15 or so long-form pieces like these two, and run them inbetween the usual articles. Then stick a few £ on the cover price!

      It is always very good, though, you always find a few gems like these. It is the only Christmas ‘special edition’ I bother buying on a regular basis. I didn’t even get the Christmas Spectator this year, because it came out so early that the articles would have been two weeks old by the time I got round to opening it on Boxing Day!

  3. sandgrounder says:

    I haven’t even looked at mine yet due to my Christmas books. I shall have a look tonight!

  4. An excellent read, thank you. The former article explains why staying in a globally branded hotel is the antithesis of travelling. They are really targeted at wealthy unfortunates who, like Greek wines, do not ‘travel well’.

    • Sounded more like someone with a chip on their shoulder to me! Is Holiday Inn targeted at the wealthy?

      It also seems rather judgemental to say they don’t travel well. While they travel differently to you and me, who’s to say your way is the “correct” way?

  5. Perhaps the journalist saw this article and decided to pen a British equivalent…


  6. gnarlyoldgoatdude says:

    As for the Trowell Services article, it’s interesting that they referenced “The Irony Of Fate.” Doubtless my family and I (as well as a good proportion of the former USSR) will be tuning in tomorrow night as it is on every New Year’s Eve on Russian TV, just as it was in the Soviet days.
    Nice film, but an hour too long.