Throughout the history of Best Western GB, we have had a wide selection of famous faces gracing our hotels. In today’s blog we would like to share a few of these stories with you, please enjoy them below.
Dalai: The unexpected guest
One summer morning a few years back, a group of burly blokes walked into Reception. They worked in personal security, they explained. “Would the manager mind if they had a look around?” “Sure thing”, they were told. A few minutes later, they returned to the front desk. “This looks fine. Would you be able to serve lunch for a VIP?” they asked. “In half an hour?” “Yes, of course”, was the reply. And that is how the Dalai Lama came to eat lunch on the front lawn of BEST WESTERN Calcot Hotel in Reading. Sales director Tony Wimbush recalls: “Six black limos drew up. The Dalai Lama was on his way to Heathrow but was early for his flight and needed to stop off somewhere for some food.” Tony adds: “At the end of his meal he insisted on meeting all the management and staff and bestowing a blessing on all of us. Afterwards, I turned to the manager at the time and said did that really just happen?’’.
Diana: Princess on the guest list
The list of celebrities who have visited BEST WESTERN Willerby Manor Hotel in Hull reads like a Who’s Who of British political, popular and sporting culture. Names such as Bob Monkhouse, Paul Weller, Sir Alex Ferguson and William Hague will resonate but the most impressive on the list has to be Diana, Princess of Wales. The Princess was patron of the Birthrights charity; an organisation dedicated to improving women’s experience of pregnancy and childbirth, and attended a fundraising luncheon held at the hotel by the charity in 1988.
Imagine: Get as fit as a footballer
When ex-England and Leeds United goalkeeper Paul Robinson (currently plying his trade for Blackburn Rovers) wants the use of gym, pool and treatment rooms, he heads to the Imagine spa at the BEST WESTERN Dower House Hotel & Spa in Knaresborough. There’s probably a bit more to looking footballer-fit, but a session here is clearly a start! Originally opened by another sporting hero, Olympic silver medal-winning swimmer Sharron Davis, the spa has recently had a £1m overhaul.