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Confessions of an Old School Hotelier in the Digital Age

Sixteen royals, four presidents, more than sixty actors, thirty-six rockstars, forty famous sports men- and women, and over a dozen politicians. The cast of characters through the doors of Patrick Griffin's hotels adds spice to a magnificent journey and a grand life.

A Memoir in Three Parts

​​A funny, moving and heartfelt memoir of social upheaval from post-war Britain to the digital age.

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Patrick and Maggie Thatcher
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B HRH Prince Charles - 1979 copy 2 copy.

Patrick Langley Griffin OAM grew up in the post-war years of a gloomy Britain in the 40s and 50s and his career spanned fifty years as a hotelier in grand hotels across the UK, Europe and Australia.   His memoir is filled with characters famous, infamous and hitherto unknown.  From his first star encounter with Charlie Chaplin, the memoir is filled with tales of film stars, rock legends, celebrities, heads of State and politicians, as well as the British Royal Family.  No less enjoyable are the tales of ordinary folk, just as full of laughs, tears and crazy behaviour.  The memoir is full of humour, candour and genuine empathy for the common humanity that binds us all.

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“He truly is an industry legend and on behalf of the team at Intermedia, I say congratulations.” 

James Wilkinson, HM Magazine, Managing Editor. August 2009


“Whether he likes it or not Patrick Griffin is a legend in his own lifetime.”….”If the word 'gentleman' weren't outdated we'd use it to describe Patrick Griffin.”  

Hilary Doling, Editor, The Luxury Travel Bible. February 2011

Born in Rugby, England in 1946, Patrick's early youth was spent in Swanage, Dorset, where the family had moved to escape the German bombing while their father served in the RAF.  Although not academically inclined, his charm, wit and unfailing ability to make lemonade when he was given lemons ensure his childhood and public school years are filled with adventures and hilarious mishaps.


His career started in 1963 as a trainee manager at The Grand Hotel in Eastbourne, a very traditional Victorian-era five-star hotel, where he found his passion for hospitality.  Half a century of social and political change comes to life, from post-war austerity and bureaucracy through the Swinging Sixties and the ‘Summer of Love’ in Amsterdam, to England’s industrial upheaval and ‘Winter of Discontent’ of the 70s. 

Patrick and his family moved to Australia as the century drew to a close for a new beginning, opening two hotels that would set a new benchmark in luxury hotel standards.  His resilience and sense of humour helped him to survive and thrive even though the global financial crisis shook the world. 

In 2009, whilst National Accommodation President of the Australian Hotels Association, he was awarded an Order of Australia (OAM) in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List for ‘Services to Hotels and the Tourism Industry’. Patrick is married with three sons, and retired from his role of Regional Managing Director of the famed company of Orient-Express Hotels, Trains & Cruises in 2011.

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“A really great fun read. A lot of laughs out loud, and for me, it was a witty and nostalgic look back at the sixties and just how much has changed in our world!” 

V. Harwood, Wahroonga, Australia

The Grand Life Trilogy - Back cover

Patrick Griffin's memoir is available to purchase now for eReader. You can purchase the trilogy on this site or choose your favourite online store.

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“He has written a wonderful, hard to put down record full of anecdotes and laughs as he rose in the  hotel industry over the years from Plonger (washing the dishes) to Regional Managing Director of Orient-Express Hotels” 

Jill Tweed, Chichester, UK

“The Grand Life is about the life and times of a traditional hotelier. Patrick is a natural raconteur, bon vivant and gifted storyteller. He offers the reader a fascinating insight into his personal journey from 1950’s English schoolboy to becoming a visionary hotelier in what is fast becoming a bygone era. It is a cultural and historical record told lovingly with his trademark English charm, wit and humour. Only a person with Patrick’s life experience could pen such a highly readable, fascinating and historically significant tale” 

Christine Whyte, Sydney Australia


Use the form below to get in contact or ask the author any questions!

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