A LITTLE FLIGHT READING
IF you’re an accommodation buff who loves hotels in the classic mould with rich history and rollcalls of legendary guests, this coffeetable tome will make you drool. In an (appropriately lavish) third edition, the collection is presented by Swiss hotelier Fritz Gubler who, among many achievements, founded the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School in NSW. There is an emphasis on long-established European properties but New York gets gongs for 12 of its most distinguished hotels; in Canada, there are the great ‘‘railway chateaux’’ of Banff Springs and Lake Louise and, in India, a panoply of converted royal palaces includes the romantic Lake Palace at Udaipur and the colossal Umaid Bhawan at Jodhpur, where, long before Shane Warne bowled her over, Liz Hurley wed businessman Arun Nayar in 2007. Asian colonial piles such as Raffles in Singapore get the nod, while in east Africa, Gubler relates the history of the Mount Kenya Safari Club at Nanyuki, north of Nairobi, where socalled white mischief held sway during the colonial era; the property was bought by actor William Holden and a circle of investors in 1959 and still welcomes guests who like a touch of old-style glamour with their pink gins.