Original Fawlty Towers hotel in Devon set to close?

Inspiration for Fawlty Towers, Gleneagles Hotel, could close down

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Original Fawlty Towers hotel in Devon set to close?

The hotel that inspired the hit series Fawlty Towers looks likely to close down, according to reports.

The future of the Gleneagles Hotel in Torquay, Devon, is uncertain after councillors rejected plans to convert it into a retirement home.

John Cleese based his sitcom Fawlty Towers on the hotel after visiting it while filming Monty Python's Flying Circus in 1973.

According to the Metro, Cleese said the manager at the time, Donald Sinclair, was "the most marvellously rude man I've ever met", and based the famous Basil Fawlty character on him.

Councillors in Devon were told at a meeting this week the hotel has ceased trading last month.

Owners Oceana Hotels were disappointed that the plans for a retirement home were rejected and are now looking at their options, which could include opening again at Easter.

Kevin Wood, managing director of Oceana Hotels, told the Daily Telegraph: "We always close it for winter for a varying amount of time, sometimes for a month, sometimes two weeks.

"It is the slackest period of the year and it depends on what business there is in town.

"We have found if we stay open, we don't make money. We are due to reopen for Easter."

According to the Daily Mail, he added: "Staff were told in early December and we offered to transfer everyone to our Bournemouth hotels.

"It is a difficult location to run a hotel being a mainly residential area and we have tried our best.

"I think most of the residents are happy to have redevelopment here."

According to the Express, Carolyn Custerson, chief executive of the English Riviera Tourism Company, said there was still some hope that the hotel could yet survive.

She said: "With the turnaround in visitor numbers and with more marketing and some modernisation, I believe the Gleneagles could once again be a successful three- to four-star, boutique-style hotel."

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