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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Lost Horizon


After moving from place to place and country to country for twenty years, I really haven't much to show for: a pile of old passports full of colourful stamps and visas, a few photos from a time before selfie sticks, and this charming little volume of "Lost Horizon" by James Hilton.

My first stay at a Shangri-La hotel was in Singapore in 1975, a mere four years after it had first opened its doors. There, and in subsequent stays in the Shangri-La in Hong Kong and Paris, I was always greeted by this book on the bedside table, with its flyleaf inscribed by the concierge:


"This captivating story you are about to read was written in 1933 by an English novelist who wrote of an idyllic settlement high in the mountains of Tibet.

Today, even amongst those who have never heard of Lost Horizon, the words 'Shangri-La' stand as a synonym for paradise.

In 1971, a deluxe hotel was founded in the thriving city of Singapore in Southeast Asia. In choosing the name Shangri-La, there was a desire to set a standard, to create an identity that would eventually produce a group of hotels unique in the world.

As the group expanded, it has sought to retain all the ideals of its mythical namesake. Serenity, harmony and natural beauty, all characteristics of the Shangri-La group. This enchanting book will give you a glimpse of this world. A world once imagined, a dream that has become a reality.

We hope you enjoy it."


A cut above the usual Gideon Bible, don't you think? To experience the "Shangri-La feeling" yourself, read the full story here.


P.S. I even have some of my shirts still wrapped up in Shangri-La laundry bags, and never worn since. How's that for a souvenir from long ago?