Patrick L Griffin OAM

HM continues its special feature series showcasing excerpts and entertaining tales from ‘The Grand Life: Confessions of an Old School Hotelier’ – a new memoir trilogy by legendary international hotelier, Patrick L Griffin OAM.

Patrick Langley Griffin OAM grew up in the post-war years of a gloomy Britain in the 1940s and 50s. His career spanned fifty years as a hotelier in hotels across the UK, Europe and Australia. His story is populated by famous and infamous people, as well as tales of all the staff he worked with, full of laughs, tears and crazy behaviour. His memoirs are full of humour, candour and genuine empathy for the common humanity that binds us all.

Patrick with former Australian Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam in 1994.

Excerpt 3

Over the years I have found extraordinary talent amongst staff at all levels who have come up with brilliant new ideas. Why? Because they have been encouraged to do so, and on seeing one of their ideas implemented they have gained confidence and a great source of pride in their work, making them a more enthused, happier and committed employee, and loyal to the hotel where they have been appreciated. The management team that supported me believed in this and it flowed through to staff in all departments.  

Was this successful? Yes indeed it was! The proof was in the low staff turnover, the plethora of local and global awards and the recognition of staff at The Observatory Hotel. The proof of the pudding is truly in the eating: they won dozens of awards.

I pondered on the night of my retirement about how much had changed during my career, and why I had stayed in hospitality. So many people are stuck in a job they hate, but I had loved every minute of mine. I had been able to choose where to work and where to travel, and met remarkable and interesting people along the way. My job was fun and I realised how spoilt I had been. I was fortunate to have been part of the boom times in our industry. I had arrived in a career almost by accident, with modest talents. I remembered how the nurse at my birth had said I had bags of personality. I recalled those musty old school reports so carefully preserved by my father, dismayed at my lack of academic achievement.

I am now seventy-five.  Would my father be proud of what I achieved?  I would like to think so.

The Grand Life: Confessions of an Old School Hotelier
Meeting legendary British television host, Sir David Frost in 2011.

Each of the three volumes of ‘The Grand Life: Confessions of an Old School Hotelier’ are available as an e-book, by print on request and will soon be available as an audiobook. For more information, CLICK HERE.