Follow TV Tropes


Series / Hotel Babylon

Go To

The hotel with no reservations.

Actually it's got plenty—you aren't going to see nipples, that's for sure.

Inspired by an expose of the hotel industry of the same title, Hotel Babylon is about the staff of a five-star hotel in London's West End. It ran for four series before getting cancelled due to low ratings.

The show was largely told from the perspective of Charlie (Max Beesley), a former receptionist who was promoted to deputy manager in the first episode by the hotel's general manager, Rebecca (Tamzin Outhwaite). The other hotel staff included head concierge Tony (Dexter Fletcher), head barman Gino (Martin Marquez), food and beverage manager James (Raymond Coulthard), head of housekeeping Jackie (Natalie Mendoza), head receptionist Anna (Emma Pierson), and receptionist Ben (Michael Obiora). In series three, they were joined by Emily (Alexandra Moen), the head of PR and Jack (Lee Williams), the new deputy manager.

The first series largely revolved around Charlie settling into his new role, as well as his growing relationship with Jackie and his promotion coinciding with the hiring of former flame Anna as the new head receptionist. He also had to deal with Rebecca, who was separated from her husband and living in the hotel; and his past as a convicted criminal coming back to haunt him.

In series two, Rebecca divorces her husband and she and Charlie (who broke up with Jackie between series) entertain the possibility of a relationship, but aren't able to make it work. When Rebecca leaves at the end of the series following a foiled takeover attempt from a rival hotel chain, she recommends Charlie be promoted to general manager.

Series three saw Charlie dealing (badly) with the new responsibilities of being general manager, attempting a relationship with Anna (and failing) and finally leaving toward the end of the season for new career opportunities in New York. His replacement was Jack, who was dogged by disasters.

By the time series four rolls around, Jack has been fired and his replacement Juliet is trying to save the hotel from financial ruin. Her wealthy ex-husband Sam decides to buy the hotel and the series follows their fraught working relationship. The series ended on a Cliffhanger, with Sam considering whether to rekindle his relationship with Juliet or begin a new one with Emily.


  • Air-Vent Passageway: Used for an air vent rescue—Anna is chosen to crawl through the hotel's air vents when Jack and Emily are put in a Hostage Situation and they need a way of looking into the room without alerting the hostage taker.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Charlie's troubled younger brother Dan.
    • Gino has a bit of a Sibling Rivalry going with his younger brother Ginelli.
  • Armoured Closet Gay: Ben's childhood friend (who he kissed when they were teens) became a rapper known for his homophobic lyrics.
  • Babies Ever After: Anna, who leaves the show with Charlie and their newborn daughter
  • Betty and Veronica: Sam's predicament in the series finale, where Juliet is Betty and Emily Veronica.
    • Also applies to Rebecca at the end of series one—her ex-husband Mark is Betty and her fling Adrian is Veronica. In the end, she chooses Mark, though their attempted reconciliation has clearly not worked by series two, as she files for divorce. Enter Charlie as the Third-Option Love Interest.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Hotel maid Tanya is heard speaking Croatian in the first episode.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Averted in the case of Tony's daughter Liz, who generally seems mature and well-adjusted for her age.
  • Break the Cutie: Charlie's replacement Jack, who performed so badly as general manager that he was fired off-screen between series three and four.
  • Bullet Time
  • Camp Gay
  • Code Emergency: Asking someone if they've got any purple requisition forms was the code for "Immigration Raid Incoming." Given how many of the staff are immigrants, this code got used quite a bit.
  • The Casanova: Charlie, who gets involved with Jackie, Rebecca and Anna.
  • Christmas Episode: Subverted, as the hotel staff have their Christmas party in February, when business goes quiet after the Christmas/New Year rush.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Emily, while originally appearing as a bit of a Motor Mouth, is shown to have some rather weird ideas in the fourth season. She convinces herself that the world is about to end and considers various options for going wild (these include streaking and turning Ben straight). Also, when she helps the team to fake a wedding, she needs to be constantly reminded that it's not real.
  • Cut Short: The television show was cut on a huge cliff hanger that, unfortunately, never got revolved concerning the love triangle between Sam, Emily and Juliet.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Tanja saw friends and neighbours murdered during the Croatian War of Independence.
  • Dark Secret: One of season one's plot arcs was Charlie trying to keep his stint in prison a secret from Rebecca.
    • In one episode, Jackie discovers that James is virtually broke from losing all his money to Tony in poker games.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Anna mostly, though James and Ben are quite adept at this too.
  • Everybody Is Single: All the characters except for Tony, who is Happily Married.
  • Fanservice: A good portion of the cast.
  • Food Porn: The cook-off between Otto Clark and the hotel's head chef Adam involves lingering camera shots on the dishes and the staff's reactions as they taste them.
  • Getting Hot in Here
  • Ghost in the Machine/Good Angel, Bad Angel: Tony's conscience manifests itself for an episode, dressed as a genie.
  • Hollywood Board Games: One guest hires prostitutes to play Scrabble with because he feels lonely. That he picks said board game is meant to convey that he's such a loser.
  • Hostage Situation: The plot of the series 3 finale, with Jack and Emily as the hostages alongside a bogus faith healer (LongStory).
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Tony, who is able to fill about just about any request a guest has, including fake passports and heroin.
  • Jerkass: Charlie. When he's not able to pay the hotel employees, he calls in a favour from a man he knew in prison, who loans him the money. When Charlie can't pay the money back, the man sends in his debt collector, who assaults one maid and then tries to attack Jackie, who accidentally kills him in self-defense and then has to leave the country for her own safety while Charlie quits the hotel for a cushy job in New York. Good work, Charlie!
  • Kick the Dog: In season 2's Christmas Episode Tony loses the Concierge Award of the Year, to a twenty-something. Then he hires The Mafiya to modern the place up. They push, he pushes back, and then drugs are brought in. Tony kicks the Russians out, and they beat him up while everyone else is having the yearly Christmas party.
  • Latin Lover: Gino, the half-Italian, half-Spanish head barman claims to be highly successful with the ladies.
  • Lingerie Scene: Jackie, and a number of female guests.
  • The Mafiya: Tony does a deal with them in a series three episode and ends up regretting it.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Meredith, a motivation expert appearing in the fifth episode of season four.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Gino, by one of the male hotel guests. With Ben's advice, Gino then puts on a Faux Yay ruse in order to continue getting the guest's tips.
  • Mood Whiplash: In the second episode we go from Anna's face at Gino telling her the location and shape of her tattoo (which means he gets to kiss it) to one half of a Happily Married elderly couple staggering downstairs, having found his 70-year-old-wife dead in their anniversary suite. To make matters worse, the hotel staff clearly adored the couple and welcomed them with genuine cheer earlier in the episode. Then we have to see them wheeling her body out through the lobby.
  • My Secret Pregnancy: Subverted—it's obvious to everyone that Anna is heavily pregnant in the series four opener, but she has not announced it to her colleagues nor Charlie, the father of the baby because she wants to keep it private.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Any time they have an actor play a "celebrity." Special mention probably goes to the episode with the footballers.
  • Opening Narration: Initially Charlie did this, but it ended up being shared by other characters.
  • Page Three Stunna: Gino has a crush on one who stays in the hotel.
  • Potty Emergency: Carrie Cottan has one in Episode 13 on her way to her hotel room.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Raymond Coulthard (James) in season two.
    • Danira Govic (Tanya) in season four.
  • Put on a Bus: Rebecca at the end of series two, after losing the trust of the hotel staff.
    • Charlie leaves towards the end of series three to take up a job managing nightclubs in New York. The Bus Came Back
    • Long Bus Trip: Jackie, who leaves to go back to Australia after covering up an accidental death of a debt collector.
  • Seen It All: The main characters, who all get caught up in the often-unusual goings-on of the hotel guests
  • Shirtless Scene: Charlie has a couple of these.
  • Slobs Versus Snobs: Posh maitre'd James often clashes with earthy barman Gino.
  • Special Guest: At least one per episode. Have included Paula Abdul, John Barrowman, Honor Blackman, Joan Collins, Anthony Stewart Head, Bonnie Langford, Jude Law, Chris Moyles, Tony Robinson, Rachael Stirling, David Walliams and Michael Winner.
  • Tsundere: Anna is a Type A.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Receptionist Ben is gay and black.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Most episodes featured at two major plotlines plus a minor one.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Jackie to Charlie after he explains the reason for the presence of a debt collector in the hotel (who she had just accidentally murdered after he tried to assault her).
  • Whole Episode Flash Back: The fourth season finale is an entire flash of Sam's explaining how he got to his current problem. Never resolved though.