Created By: jatay3 on November 22, 2011 Last Edited By: jatay3 on December 4, 2011

Hotel of Spies

Hotel with lots of spies.

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Trope
We already have City of Spies. But what kind of places do these spies go to in that city? Why they go to a Hotel of Spies. This place will always be a luxurious hotel, with all the trimmings. There the heroic secret agent goes to party at taxpayers expense. Perhaps he will be eavesdroping as the high and mighty have Dances and Balls or hold a Fancy Dinner. A sad job but duty calls.

Film

Live-Action TV

  • Used frequently in Burn Notice, naturally, since it's a show about a burned spy and occasionally features other spies as well. The main character, Michael, notes in his narration that offering to meet at a Hotel swimming pool is akin to an olive branch in the spy game; the other spy will know that it's relatively safe, since it's in public (so they can't just shoot you), there's plenty of escape routes, and due to it being hard to hide a weapon in a bathing suit.

  • In a sketch on Dave Allen At Large two spies go through a conveluted routine of signs and countersigns which seems to be overkill - until he gets to "tea and crumpets." She's "tea and toast," "tea and crumpets" is in a different room.

Literature

  • In the 1902 novel The Grand Babylon Hotel, practically every important member of the staff is secretly some kind of conspirator.

Real Life
  • There was a Soviet joke once:

- We heard the new Olympic Village is built out of microconcrete. Could you tell us what it is?

- Of course. It's 10% concrete and 90% microphone.
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • November 22, 2011
    condottiera
    In the James Bond reboot Casino Royale, the hotel is full of secret agents and spies. There's even an American agent in disguise.
  • November 23, 2011
    Chabal2
    Seen in a lot of works set in Christie Time, when multiple countries could be expected to send their agents in the same place.
  • November 23, 2011
    randomsurfer
    In a sketch on Dave Allen At Large two spies go through a conveluted routine of signs and countersigns which seems to be overkill - until he gets to "tea and crumpets." She's "tea and toast," "tea and crumpets" is in a different room.
  • November 23, 2011
    condottiera
    In the 1902 novel The Grand Babylon Hotel, practically every important member of the staff is secretly some kind of conspirator.
  • December 1, 2011
    jatay3
    My ignorance is embarrassing. I assume Dave Allen At Large is a TV comedy routine?
  • December 1, 2011
    jatay3
    Real Life: See Istanbul Intrigues for descriptions of some of these places in neutral contries during World War II. Sometimes it really is true that War Is Glorious!
  • December 1, 2011
    Shnakepup
    • Used frequently in Burn Notice, naturally, since it's a show about a burned spy and occasionally features other spies as well. The main character, Michael, notes in his narration that offering to meet at a Hotel swimming pool is akin to an olive branch in the spy game; the other spy will know that it's relatively safe, since it's in public (so they can't just shoot you), there's plenty of escape routes, and due to it being hard to hide a weapon in a bathing suit.
  • December 1, 2011
    Shnakepup
    I can't remember...was the fancy party at the beginning (and end) of True Lies at a hotel? If so, it'd count.
  • December 1, 2011
    randomsurfer
    @jaytay3: Dave Allen At Large was a British TV series starring comedian Dave Allen, wherein he sat in a chair and told jokes to a live audience in between showing filmed sketches.
  • December 4, 2011
    Omeganian
    There was a Soviet joke once:

    - We heard the new Olympic Village is built out of microconcrete. Could you tell us what it is?

    - Of course. It's 10% concrete and 90% microphone.
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