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Of course, this didn't sit well with London hotels, particularly the W London where Paul was set to film a segment for the BBC FastTrack's program. The hotel abruptly told him they did not allow filming in their rooms. Fortunately, the newer Renaissance St. Pancras does and they stepped into save the day. But still, Paul couldn't shake what the W was hiding. So, with the help of a friend, he went up into a room at the W London on the fifth floor to see just what the W was so afraid of. And here's what he found.
And now we leave you with a special guest post from Paul Carr, the man who spent three years living in London hotels, an envious escapade which not only serves as the premise for his book, The Upgrade, but which also gives him license to lay into London hotels for their overpriced rates and poor service. And away we go.
When Samuel Johnson suggested that a man who is tired of London is tired of life, he clearly wasn't paying $500 a night to stay at a mid-refurb Radisson in a drafty twin room overlooking some dumpsters. In fact, if you want to become tired of life very quickly, a night in a London hotel is a great place to start.
I should start by emphasizing how much I love hotels. I love hotels so much, that three years ago I gave up my apartment in London, sold nearly all of my possessions (all that wouldn't fit in a single carry-on bag) and began living as a permanent hotel-dweller.
Since then, by virtue of having no fixed abode (and very little shame), I've enjoyed a life of ridiculous excess and adventure, met thousands of incredible people and had more fun than is perhaps sensible for a grown man. Certainly more than is legal: my adventures have landed me in jail cells on at least three occasions (that I can remember) and ultimately lead to me finally quitting drinking and writing a book about my misadventures: The Upgrade, which just so happens to be published this week in the UK and Europe.
And yet, London is the one city on earth which makes me hate the idea staying in hotels, let alone living in them. For a start, the economics are ridiculous. A cursory glance on Hotels.com shows me that the cheapest,the cheapest, central London, four star or above, hotel room available tonight is $531. By contrast, for just $30 more in New York, I could book a loft at Morgans. Hell, for $100 less I could comfortably book any of the current hotel-only deals on Jetsetter and still have enough left over for dinner.
Here's some news to make even the most assiduous of hotel geeks jealous: the knowledge that however many days you spend on the road for work or pleasure, however many SPG points you own, however much you might be the spitting image of Ryan Bingham in every other sense, you will never be as thorough a hotel spod as the man pictured above.
Because Paul Carr, said man pictured above and a British author, spent three years living in hotels. Not "staying" in them. Not "practically living" in them. Actually living in them - as in, giving up his apartment in London, stuffing all he wanted to possess into a suitcase (or a "large leather duffel bag", if what he says here is true), and spending his life moving from hotel to hotel around the world.
Luckily (or unluckily, if you succumb easily to the green-eyed monster), he's written about the whole thing in a book, The Upgrade, which will be published in the UK next month and the US early next year. According to the blurb:
Thanks to Paul’s highly-developed blagging skills, what begins as a one-year experiment soon becomes a permanent lifestyle – a life lived in luxury hotels and mountain-top villas. An existence solely of fast cars, Hollywood actresses and Icelandic rock stars. Of 6,000-mile booty calls, of partying with 800 female hairdressers dressed only in bedsheets, and of nearly dying at the hands of Spanish drug dealers. And, most bizarrely of all, a life that still costs less than surviving on cold pizza in London.