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January 26, 2009
Posted: 2319 GMT

DAVOS, Switzerland - I like to arrive in Davos a few days before the World Economic Forum begins when I can experience the picturesque Swiss town without the thousands of delegates. During the Davos week, getting a hotel room here is impossible.

Many stay in apartments, or worse, in nearby towns (oh the shame of it!). This year I made a bit of Quest Personal History (QPH)! I am so early I am the only person staying in my hotel. The existing guests checked out (a group of German skiers) and the manager asked me what time I wanted him to come in to make my breakfast, since I am the only person here.

In all my years of travel for CNN Business Traveller, I have stayed in big hotels, small hotels, grand hotels, shocking hotels… but I have never been the ONLY guest staying in a hotel.

By this evening, other early birders will have arrived and I shall have to ‘share’ my hotel! In the days ahead I shall write about the issues at Davos.

Until then I shall enjoy another moment of QPH… today I will ski! I know of no real research into this, but delegates always ask each other, “have you ever actually skied during Davos?” The answer is usually long and rambling about why best intentions have been thwarted; panels, meetings, lunches “got in the way."

This year I will get up the mountain, then when the question is asked I can be very smug and say “of course I have skied, oh, and I even had the hotel to myself!”

Hotels and skiing… this is indeed going to be an historic Davos meeting!

Tune in to CNN International each evening at 1900 GMT to catch Richard’s new show, Quest Means Business.

For more coverage of this year's World Economic Forum, go to our special Davos page.

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