Celebrity Hotel by Neil Kirby as told to Paul James is published as a paperback for the first time

This truly inspirational autobiography tells the remarkable journey of a boy from a South London council estate with holes in his shoes and no money in his pocket, but a dream in his head.
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EASTBOURNE, England - March 17, 2014 - PRLog -- Leaving school at 15 with no qualifications, Neil Kirby began his career washing dishes in the basement of the Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane and seemed destined for a life below stairs. Yet, a chance encounter with a man in a navy blue suit gave him the incentive to work towards his goal in life and the motivation to aim high. Not only did he eventually become General Manager of Grosvenor House, but went on to buy a multi-million pound hotel of his own.

As he climbed the ladder, Neil Kirby began working on a daily basis with royalty, Hollywood film stars, sporting heroes, leading politicians, international celebrities and showbusiness legends, including the likes of Marlene Dietrich, Natalie Wood, Tony Curtis, Sean Connery, Julie Andrews, Lauren Bacall, Yul Bryner and Dame Margot Fonteyn. Dealing with the often extraordinary demands, eccentricities and extravagance of celebrity gave him the ability to cope in any situation, no matter how unusual or bizarre.

In this gritty yet heart-warming autobiography, Neil Kirby gives a fascinating insight behind the scenes in the hospitality industry and the graft behind the glitz.

It is a story that will both encourage and stimulate, affirming that anyone with drive and ambition can ultimately achieve success in their chosen profession.

Now an award-winning hotelier, Neil Kirby is living proof that, no matter what your background, if you have a dream, and you’re prepared to work hard, then your dreams really can come true.


"For decades the rich and famous have enjoyed themselves away from prying eyes at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London's Mayfair.  Many have been curious, but only one man knows its secrets.  Neil Kirby worked there for 28 years, starting as a below stairs kitchen hand but rising to General Manager.  Along the way he became close friends with the owner, Lord Forte, and his son Rocco.  In his memoirs he tells all about rubbing shoulders with film stars, politicians and royalty."

"It's apparent from reading this book that Kirby absolutely loves working in hospitality and has lived and breathed the hotel business for more than 40 years.  He now owns his own hotel, the Langham in Eastbourne's Royal Parade, and I have no doubt that he has to deal wi th the same trials and tribulations he did at Grosvenor House Hotel.  Not bad for a dyslexic kid off a council estate.  From start to finish a fantastic read and highly recommended."

"Whatever the weather this book will cheer you up.  Celebrity Hotel by hotelier Neil Kirby is a gem for anyone with a taste for the inside story.  For years Neil was manager of London's upmarket Grosvenor House Hotel.  His accounts of life above and below stairs are amazing.  It's written with great charm but doesn't pull its punches.  An ideal glimpse into a world most of us will never visit."
DAILY EXPRESS- Pick of the Best Books to read on the beach

"Just a quick word to say that I have just finished reading Celebrity Hotel.  I do not normally write to an author but this book was outstanding and so informative.  I was hooked.  You could make this into a film.  Please do not stop writing."
Vicky Colin, October 2010

"I just had to write and tell you how much I enjoyed reading your book.  It was so rewarding to read about your rise from the bottom rung to the top of the ladder, and it certainly sounds as if you haven't changed a bit along the way.  What an amazing quality to possess.  I also found it riveting to read about those you met on your journey and particularly about the relationship you formed with Rocco Forte.  I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a book so much - in fact I was sad when I finished it."
Joy Mitha, April 2010

"The book is read.  I have enjoyed it immensely.  Paul James has written it so that one feels as if they are there with Neil in person as he describes the Grosvenor House hotel and as he walks the corridors and rooms and one can feel the grandeur of the building.  I lived with Neil as he progressed from department to department and even sweated on his many runs with Rocco.  Well done Paul, and also Neil for remembering a life that has been so full to overflowing with many wonderful moments"
Richard Percy, April 2010

"I just wanted to send a message to Neil to say I have recently read your book and loved it!  As I am in the Hotel industry I identified with a lot of your stories but equally the book will definitely appeal to non hoteliers.  Many congratulations and I look forward to the sequel? 'The Langham Years'.
Louise Simmons, April 2010

"I have just finished reading Celebritiy Hotel - absolutely riveting.  A very good read - I loved it."
Jeannette Charles, April 2010

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