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The Story







The story of Hotel starts in England, with engineer Denys Fisher, the inventor of Spirograph toy. He founded his own company, Denys Fisher Toys. Through the 60's and 70's Fisher and his company, designed and produced many toys, like Doctor Who and Star Wars figures and distributed board games acquiring their licenses, like Haunted House, Dig and obviously Hotel.













But the name behind the invention of Hotel is Geoff Hayes. Mr Hayes founded with Bowden and Dyble BDH, an advertising agency formed in 1964. In the 70's the success of his company was being paired with his further adventures into developing games himself.  This led to his favourite pastimes: planning for his much enjoyed annual trips to New York, USA, to attend the Toy Fairs - a chance to meet up with his buddies in the industry.As far as we know, this man known for his larger than life laughter, is the real inventor of the game, an untold game legend.













After its first development, the game was finally officially released by Denys Fischer in 1974, sold inside a huge black box. The game consisted in a hard-cardboard table where up to four players had to move their small colored cars. Each turn the player had to try to buy lands and build different buildings with the aim to create full hotel chains to make opponents pay for their stay in your hotels.













This was the content of the game:
1 board
30 roofs
30 bases
30 hotel entrances
30 cardboard buildings
8 Leisure facilities
8 Cardboard Title Deeds
4 cars (in 4 different colours)
1 standard die
1 planning permission die
Various banknotes of this denominations: 50 - 100 - 500 - 1000 - 5000













The game shared many rules and particularities of the much more famous game Monopoly. Effectively the object of the game was very similar, and for this reasons many pointed out Hotel to be a clone of Monopoly. I guess the aim of Hayes was to create a simpler and more attractive version of Monopoly keeping the main philosophy of the game:
- buy terrains
- build on them
- let opponents pay you over them
His great idea was to include real 3d hotels, which involved the players who could see their buildings grow with their eyes, taking form and expanding, giving them a visual idea of what they were owning. Furthermore the rules of Hotel were more easy and smart. The most simple definition of Hotel is "a modern version of Monopoly".













Denys Fisher Toys was then sold to Palitoy which was subsequently bought by Hasbro. Fisher continued to work with Hasbro in developing new toys. Hasbro in the meantime had bought also the company of Milton Bradley, the first pioneer of board games.













In 1986 the first "modern" version of Hotel was released, published by MB and still developed by Hayes. It brought the original rules but the big step forward was a new fresh 80's design made by the magic of Roger Ford. The box was totally redesigned, with a photo of the game, more colorful, more attractive. The hotels style was more heterogeneous, they recalled real hotels, the walls were made of thicker cardboard and with glossy paint, a style that was so right and beloved that it would last for almost another 20 years.<br> A thinner board was made, that could be easily folded in two, so that the box could be made smaller. The game was finally translated into different European languages, including English, Italian, Spanish, German, French and Dutch. Due to a huge marketing and advertising campaign it was a great success at the time and it's still the most common version.













The following year it was released in the United States, Canada and Japan a similar version. The buildings and the rules were almost the same but with a different and more "American" style. And yet again it was a great success, the game was finally distributed around the globe, winning several prizes and awards for the best game of the year. May board games were developed during those years, it was the "golden age" of board games.













Through the years many different editions were released, even travel editions and various non official PC adaptions for example. People still tries nowadays to create its own edition with 3d printers or Lego bricks, showing how the games still keeps its fame alive, through lovely nostalgia.







Edition Timeline

Here is a timeline of all the offical editions that have been published:
















This is a chronological list of all the official editions