Hotel Splendide

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Acerbic, colorful, and spirited stories from a bygone era: behind the scenes in a grand NY hotel, from the author of the Madeline books

Picture David Sedaris writing Kitchen Confidential about the Ritz in New York in the 1920s, which had the style and charm of The Grand Budapest Hotel

In this charming and uproariously funny hotel memoir, Ludwig Bemelmans uncovers the fabulous world of the Hotel Splendide—the thinly disguised stand-in for the Ritz—a luxury New York hotel where he worked as a waiter in the 1920s. With equal parts affection and barbed wit, he uncovers the everyday chaos that reigns behind the smooth facades of the gilded dining room and banquet halls.

In hilarious detail, Bemelmans sketches the hierarchy of hotel life and its strange and fascinating inhabitants: from the ruthlessly authoritarian maître d'hôtel Monsieur Victor to the kindly waiter Mespoulets to Frizl the homesick busboy. Illustrated with his own charming line drawings, Bemelmans' tales of a bygone era of extravagance are as charming as they are riotously entertaining.

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