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Series / Hotel Hell

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Hotel, Hotel Hell
If you think the beer is rotten
You should see the clientele

An American reality television show that first aired on FOX on August 13, 2012. Following a format similar to Kitchen Nightmares, the show follows Gordon Ramsay as he visits hotels in dire need of assistance.

The second season premiered in July 2014 after a two-year hiatus. The third season premiered in May 2016.

If you're looking for terrible or scary hotels in general, that's Hell Hotel. Not to be confused with the haunted house from Universal Studios' 1997 Halloween Horror Nights.

This show provides examples of:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: At the Towns Inn, after being completely baffled by all the dirty baskets full of bugs, Gordon calls the owner Karan a basket case, causing her to giggle and tell him it's a good pun.
  • The Alcoholic: The owner of Longview, Washington's Monticello Hotel, Phillip, was revealed to have a drinking problem, with multiple DUI offences under his belt. Gordon is left flabbergasted when one of the servers shows him a newspaper showing Phillip had been arrested and held overnight in jail for DUI at bare minimum days before Gordon had actually shown up to the restaurant, and judging from the headlines Gordon actually was already in town when it happened. It probably goes without saying that the hotel itself suffered because of it (though that was far from its only problem). He had been entered into rehab by the episode's end, however.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The stylish Keating Hotel in San Diego is made to evoke Ferrari cars (Eddie, the owner, being a supercar fanboy, hired an automotive designer to decorate the hotel in his requested image.) Too bad the hotel's operations weren't nearly as sleek and smooth as the decor. Case in point: all service calls were routed through the front desk and the restaurant was housed in a separate building down the street. Even the decor was impractical, since rooms often didn't have enough seating or table space to eat ordered food and there were ridiculous layout designs like the bathtub not being in the bathroom. One of the guests even said that the design was "form over function."
    • Hotel Vienna has some beautiful outfits as Ramsay acknowledges. But they cost $300 apiece - meaning employees would already have to pay $300 out of their own pocket before receiving their first paycheck. Ramsay also finds the "German" names on the menu hard to pronounce.
    • Meta example that's not exactly due to the owners' choice: But the Calumet Inn's reddish-pink exterior was designed using jasper. It was pretty, but it was also very heavy meaning if a piece fell off, it could easily injure or even kill a pedestrian. This was one of the reasons why the hotel was a pain to sell.
  • Bad Boss:
    • The premiere episode, featuring Juniper Hill Inn in Windsor, Vermont, has an example in Robert, the manager and co-owner. Between his spending money on antiques for decoration, as well as a $100,000 motorcoach, his failure to pay his staff on time or a decent paycheck, and his obvious lack of understanding of why his staff is on the verge of revolting against him, it's fairly clear why the inn isn't doing so well. To make things worse, Gordon later discovers that Robert had been letting his rich friends stay at the inn for free while this was all happening and stealing his staff's tips to pay himself whenever he works. Gordon actually Rage Quit and left when he confirmed the latter and only returned for the sake of the staff. The other co-owner, Ari, was only "better" in the fact that he was mostly hands-off in actually running things outside of accounting and book-keeping (which he abused to let Robert take the staff's tips), and otherwise was usually an open Jerkass to guests and employees while Robert could at least play at being a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing and give a "sorry".
    • invoked Phillip, the owner of the Monticello Hotel, has a serious alcohol problem, and does his damnedest to save a penny, including cutting down on hours for his staff (forcing them to come in early and not even clock in), and putting his own used furniture in the rooms (including mattresses stained with his own semen). Luckily, by the end of the episode he's gotten help, checked into rehab, and the hotel's head chef (himself sober for nine years) has offered to be his sponsor.
    • Vanda and Rina, the sisters who owned the Calumet Inn in Pipestone, Minnesota only because their investor father purchased the building in their name. Both were overly emotional and insisted on taking all the power for themselves, forcing their general manager to be a server, busser, and front desk assistant, among other menial tasks not befitting her position.
    • Brian, Kevin & Joel, the three owners of the Murphys Hotel of Murpheys, California. They frequently get wasted at the hotel's bar and drunkenly berate and abuse their staff, and their partying keeps Gordon up all night. He takes this about as well as you'd expect.
    • Eddie, the owner of the Keating Hotel in San Diego had expensive tastes and didn't care about his staff, forcing them to multitask. The head chef, Brian, is so mentally broken from years of stress and a terrible menu that he passes out while Gordon is talking to him, necessitating a 911 call. When Eddie tries to avoid taking blame for any of this, Gordon chews him out on the spot.
    • Lisa & Jonathan, the owners of the Vienna Inn of Southbridge, Massachusetts didn't even have a payroll system in place for their employees - they had to beg them for a check. In addition, they also made their employees wait on them hand and foot after the restaurant had closed for the night and the customers were gone.
    • The Brick Hotel in Newtown, Pennsylvania was purchased by a mother and son pair, Varindar and CJ, who had no experience whatsoever in the hotel industry but thought that the hotel would be a "good investment." Furthermore, Varindar's former job was a child therapist, yet she alone was basically micromanaging the restaurant while CJ worked another regular job. Under this regime, pretty much no money was invested into fixing up obvious problems with maintenance such as bullet holes in the wall and the business was hemorrhaging staff that were regularly fired by Varindar or simply quit because they couldn't take things anymore. She also had a habit of calling the police to remove staff who were upset that they hadn't received their pay. One of the most important things that Ramsay did was bringing in CJ to take on a more regular role with the management of things, as he at least had a fair amount of experience in the business world.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Sarah at the Town's Inn. It initially seems like she's a friend and volunteer (Perhaps not the most useful one, but still), but it turns out that she fancies herself the manager, bossing around the staff and dealing with the decaying hotel walls with painted murals and steel wool to fill holes.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • The Cambridge Hotel episode ended with the revelation that the bank foreclosed on the hotel between Gordon's visit and the airing of the episode, despite making a turnaround. The "sweet" part? Gordon Ramsay found a promising 19-year-old named Scooter working in the kitchen to put himself through college, planning to open a bakery when he was done... and decided to pay for Scooter's education himself, on the condition that Scooter send Ramsay a loaf of fresh bread after he opened the bakery.
    • Beachfront Inn and Inlet ended with Ramsay flat out leaving because he thought the owner was beyond redemption... but he did actually enact many of Ramsay's changes
  • Brick Joke:
    • At the Calumet Inn, Ramsay chastises the owners' father for buying them a hotel despite their lack of experience, adding that if he really wanted to teach them responsibility, he should have bought them a goldfish. At the end of the episode, Ramsay's parting gift to the sisters is a pair of goldfish for them to take care of.
    • At the Curtis House Inn, there is supposedly a ghost called Betty in the room Gordon was placed in, which could be a big deterrent for some. While Ramsay himself doesn't experience anything more unusual than a faulty door handle (which was just a matter of repair), the makeover of the room embraces the paranormal angle, adding a monogrammed pillow for Betty and a portrait with recessed eyes that follow the viewer to catch guests off guard. What's more, Gordon brings in a paranormal investigator who certifies the building haunted and gets it on a local ghost tour.
    • At Murphy's Hotel, Gordon Ramsay makes an offhand joke about wanting to see the lapdances one of the owners perform. As he drives away from the hotel, he realizes that he never actually got to see it.
  • Brown Note: For Ramsay, Meson de Mesilla owner Cali's awful Cher karaoke becomes this.
  • Brutal Honesty:
    • Ramsay's modus operandi. He will find any problems, he will drag them into the open, and he will tell the owner, the staff, and the hotel's customers in blunt, direct language. It's often the only way to break through the owners' denial.
    • David, one of the prep cooks in Meson de Mesilla. He outright told Ramsay that the food was awful and he wouldn't eat it. He still seemed to be in good spirits, despite being forced to serve it. When Ramsay finds out he's actually a good chef, he puts David in charge of the breakfast menu.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Ramsay shows some of this at the Brick Hotel, whereupon noticing some doll furniture in an alcove, takes it out to sit on to talk to the housekeeper.
  • But Now I Must Go: Chef Ramsay sometimes has this effect when he's finally fixed the hotel, but the owner(s) sometimes wish he could stay longer.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Whenever people show up on the first day of Ramsay's visit to check out the various hotels and restaurants, he likes to state in his narration, "I feel sorry for all of them" (or some variation thereof).
    • Ramsay also refers to hotel guests as "the people who could keep the doors open."
    • "Oh, come on." Said by Ramsay whenever he runs into heavy denial from the hotel owners.
  • Child Hater: Brent from the Lakeview Hotel refuses to let any children into the hotel or restaurant, despite the on-premises ice cream parlor. We find out later in the episode that this is probably because Brent's estranged son refuses to let him see his three grandchildren.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: David, the owner and co-manager of the Hotel Chester in Starkville, Mississippi, is a former hotel turnaround specialist of thirty years experience with a master's degree in hospitality management. Yet he's helpless to turn around his own hotel, probably due to a car wreck that ruined his health.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Karan, the manager of Harper's Ferry, West Virginia's Towns Inn. Not only has she filled the hotel with filthy baskets, boxes of junk, creepy dolls, and expired food, but she also stores her clothes in people's rooms, and sees no problem with the hotel's hamburgers being heated up by boiling in a pan. She walks about with a vacant expression, never shows any actual emotion or passion other than a vague smile, and treats the hotel like a bad thrift store, personal storage unit, & her home combined. No matter what awful stuff Gordon shows her, she only smiles vaguely. She admitted that she became an innkeeper simply because it seemed like a fun thing to do with the rest of her life, despite not having any knowledge of how to actually run an inn. After Gordon implements his changes, however, she seems much more sane, implying that she was simply detached from the whole affair and needed some structure, though she's still a little whimsical.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In "The Town's Inn, Part 1," Ramsay discovers that the innkeeper, Karan, is trying to sell off various baskets that she's either made or found, except that he finds that several of them are filled with bugs.
    Ramsay: $12?! And that's with the bugs?
    Karan: (either perfectly serious, or just not paying attention) We don't charge extra.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Every owner featured on the show has sunk incredible amounts of money into the various hotels, some of which have incredibly extravagant furnishings. And many of these owners operate hotels to fuel their own egos rather than out of any desire to be proper innkeepers and engage in the hard work that accompanies the job.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Par for the course since it's a Ramsay show. Most of the time, the chefs' incompetence is due to the pressures placed on them by their even more incompetent bosses.
    • The Keating Hotel's chef, Brian, actually passed out - in front of Ramsay, no less - due to his high anxiety and dehydration. Not helped by the menu having him serve pizza with chocolate, strawberries and bacon.
      Ramsay (narration): Bacon and chocolate pizza? OMFG.
    • The Hotel Chester's chef - co-owner Sukie - had zero training, and it showed in her weird, ill-advised experiments with sushi. Case in point: giant rolls that wouldn't fit in anyone's mouth and had cream cheese in the middle, and of course the Strawberry Fields sushi.
    • Sandy, the owner of the Four Seasons Inn in West Dover, Vermont essentially pretended he was a chef so he could hide in the kitchen away from his unhappy guests, and it showed in the inedible food: doughy bread, apple risotto made with apple concentrate, and ravioli that even Gordon could only describe as "bizarre". The actual chef, Steve, was so ashamed at what was served to Gordon that he broke down in tears.
  • Deadpan Snarker: David, The Hotel Chester's owner. Gordon made it a point of commenting on how dry his sense of humor was.
  • Dinner Theatre: The Roosevelt Inn has the Sherlock Holmes Murder Mystery Diner. Ramsay criticizes it as a Wish-Fulfillment fantasy for John, who denies it as a sound business decision. Ramsay points out after all that prep work (the majority of it done by John's wife while he "prances about"), they only made about $200 and none of the guests actually stayed to book a room for the night, even one of which would have made more money than the entire Murder Mystery Diner. It actually did stay after the show was concluded - and it continued to remain practical with a much more modest menu and coupled with inn-stays
  • Downer Beginning: The Angler's Lodge had been doing well until the owners' ten-year-old son died, leading the grief-stricken parents to ignore the lodge until years of indifferent service and bad food had destroyed its reputation.
  • Downer Ending:
    • The Vienna episode ends with Gordon Ramsay revealing in voiceover that after he left, the owners reverted straight back to the old decor and the old menu. As such, the hotel continues to have a crummy reputation around town. The hotel was eventually forced to shutter after a fire broke out there in 2017.
    • Lakeview Hotel in Chelan, Washington. The major problem was the male owner's mistreatment of the locals and local businesses. Gordon emphasized that he needed to start rebuilding relationships and brought in a group of local businesspeople to talk with him and start tearing down walls. Unfortunately, after Gordon left, the owner reverted right back to form, resulting in several of the staff leaving and the hotel's reputation going right down in the dumper. The owners claimed much what was shown on the episode was staged. The male owner describes the filming as actually having been a "fun experience" at the time.
  • Dreadful Musician:
    • The owner of the Meson de Mesilla fancied herself as the next Cher, and insisted on performing live in every dinner service. To say that the guests (and Gordon) disagreed would be a massive understatement, and between her poor singing and the cheap, crappy speakers that she played her music through, it produced an effect that bordered on Mind Screw.
    • The Applegate River Lodge played host to numerous cannabis-fueled jam bands of varying quality that kept Gordon up all night.
  • Ear Worm: In the season two premiere, Meson de Mesilla owner Cali insisted on singing Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time" during every dinner service. Gordon admitted at the end that the song will probably be stuck in his head forever.
  • Face Palm: Gordon Ramsay standard: he's done both the facepalm and the double facepalm. At one point in the Calumet Inn episode, Gordon is doing this as a Funny Background Event.
  • Feet of Clay: On his way to the Roosevelt Inn, Gordon notices a billboard for the hotel depicting the owner, John, in a chef's outfit. Later in the episode, John is shown struggling with dinner service, where he fails to even cook a soft-boiled egg.
  • Fratbro: The Murphy's Hotel was purchased by three friends who only party and drink every night. Gordon gets exasperated when he is told that the three are co-owners and nobody takes charge of main management.
  • Foreign Culture Fetish: Cali, the owner of the Meson de Mesilla, is obsessed with Italy, using Venetian plaster for the walls, painting murals with Tuscan views, and having a Tuscan-inspired menu in the restaurant despite being located in New Mexico.
    • John of the Roosevelt Inn is clearly quite an Anglophile, particularly for Victorian/Edwardian England. He even puts on a (not at all convincing) accent for his Sherlock Holmes Mystery Dinners.
  • Head Desk: Gordon Ramsay does it in the final episode of the first season, "Roosevelt Inn," after the owner, who is also serving as head chef, can't even serve him a proper soft-boiled egg.
  • Head-in-the-Sand Management: Brian from the Beachfront Inn. His response to the many problems at his hotel or restaurant were to ignore them and hope they go away.
  • Hell Hotel: What Ramsay has to deal with in every episode, more or less.
  • Hidden Depths: Early in the Meson de Mesilla episode, Gordon meets one of the hotel's prep chefs, a young man named David who seems hyperactive and whose competence seems suspect at best. The following morning, he goes to the town's market, and finds out that he also runs a food truck which has a huge queue, and Gordon gets a breakfast taco that he really enjoys. As a result, Gordon gets him to put together a proper breakfast menu for the hotel, which originally didn't do breakfast services.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Early in the second half of the Juniper Hill episode Gordon persuades co-owner Robert to sell off his collection of antiques, which is supposedly worth around $300,000 - $400,000, which would clear up the hotel's debts and leave enough funds for it to operate for the next year or even two regardless of guest numbers. Gordon calls in an antiques dealer/head auctioneer...who promptly tells him and Robert that the collection is made up of copies and items that are either suffering condition issues or were never that valuable to begin with, and is therefore worth maybe $25,000 at most, which is less than he'd paid for the items and much less than he thought they were worth, not even enough to cover the next five weeks. Cue a massive Face Palm from Gordon, as it dawns on both he and Robert how bad the situation really is.
    • In the same episode, Gordon has suffered through what is a lackluster lunch priced at $74 (already highly overpriced for a cut of lamb and three courses) and is treated for his dessert half a cake which is all that price pays for. Gordon asserts his right to the other half the dessert of his ludicrously expensive lunch, and finds that it actually tastes delicious. But just as he is finally feeling hopeful, the owner admits it is in fact shipped and not homemade. Gordon is incredulous.
    • On his way to the Four Seasons Inn, Gordon thought he was going to be staying in one of the luxurious Four Seasons hotels. When he notices that the presentation is far below the standards of a typical Four Seasons establishment and consults the staff for clarification, it dawns on him that this is the Four Seasons Inn, and that this was going to be another episode of Hotel Hell.
  • Humiliation Conga: It happens when Gordon realizes that the owner is the source of the problem because of their stubborness/ego, so he either gathers the staff to voice their corncerns and/or gathers guests inside his bedroom to give honest feedback. In the worst cases, Gordon even gets blacklights for everyone to see what's on their beds. Only after all of this, the owners start accepting the changes.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Many staff members are shown to be much more aware of the problems than their bosses. In fact, Gordon has to tell the owners to back off and let their staff do their jobs.
  • Hypocrite:
    • No other way to describe Zach, the innkeepers' son at the Angler's Lodge. At their morning meeting on Day 2, he upbraids Gordon for swearing in front of his parents the night before, only to immediately use the word "shit" right in front of them. Gordon has great fun mocking his double standard.
    • Co-owner Robert of the Juniper Hill Inn seems proud of the fact the inn is reservation-only since, in his words "the guests we don't want here are people that don't have a lot of money", yet this doesn't stop him from letting his friends stay in the rooms and eat the food for free many times over.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Brent from the Lakeview Hotel claims that the frozen burgers are fresh because they're thawed before cooking.
  • Insistent Terminology: In the premiere episode, hotel manager Robert corrects Ramsay in a Confession Cam when Ramsay chastises him for buying a $100,000 RV, claiming that it was a "motorcoach, a higher class version of an RV."
  • Jerkass: Ari of Juniper Hill, and John of the Roosevelt Inn. The former, even when the hotel was turned around, treated staff and guests alike with contempt and was described by his boyfriend Robert as "emotionally constipated," while the latter was only in the business to feed his ego and made numerous threats of violence. It was as if Russell was a hotel owner.
  • Just Fine Without You:
    • At the Applegate River Inn, Gordon's solution is to tell the hippie Bumbling Dad to disappear and let the others take charge, since he always said that he didn't care about the business. He gladly did so and spends his time at his hut.
    • At the Calumet Inn, Gordon made the owners realize that they had no business running a Hotel they didn't even know how to manage, so his solution is to put Mandy in charge of it with the condition that Rina and Vanda get far away from it.
    • The terrible food at the Angler's Lodge was caused by the head chef, who didn't trust her two assistants and literally refused to let them do anything, resulting in her being overwhelmed and producing substandard cuisine. Even after Gordon talks to her multiple times about the importance of trust and communication, she refuses to change. On opening night, she once again shoos the other chefs away from their stations, insisting on doing all the work herself with predictably lousy results. Gordon first demotes, then fires her when he still refuses to talk to anyone. The two assistants took over primary cooking duties; while they were technically inferior chefs to her, they were both hard workers who communicated well, resulting in good food being sent out quickly.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: In-Universe example in the Roosevelt Inn episode. After concluding a Sherlock Holmes Murder Mystery Diner show, the owner of the hotel and planner of the event, John, mentions that the guests only come for the event and don't usually stay overnight. Ramsay points out this is a big problem, because just one booked room would have made more money than the entire event did with much less hassle.
  • Kayfabe: Vanda Smrkovski has claimed on her personal blog and elsewhere that the Calumet Inn's dysfunction was entirely a show put on for the cameras.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Karan has one when she and her hotel receive makeovers, saying that she knows her family (and possibly Gordon and the audience) expects her to revert to the old ways, but it couldn't be further from the truth.
  • Mascot: Layla maintains a very noticeable presence at the Four Seasons Inn, and becomes the namesake of the hotel's rename: Layla's Riverside Lodge.
  • Manchild:
    • The Roosevelt Hotel owner. Remember, he used to go to school there. Ramsay at multiple points calls him out as treating it all like his own little fantasy while ignoring the real pressure it's putting on his wife, most evident with the Sherlock Holmes Murder Mystery Diner Show where she's putting in so much work behind the scenes while he's effectively "prancing about" pretending to be a detective.
    • The owner of the Keating Hotel essentially ran his hotel by putting in everything he thought was cool, regardless of whether it made any sense. This is why his entire hotel was designed to look like a Ferrari and also why there were 150 items on the restaurant's menu, despite getting no more than 50 customers a night.
  • May–December Romance: Phillip, the Monticello Hotel owner, married a woman who was thirty years older than him and he inherited the hotel when she passed away.
    • His new girlfriend, one of the Hotel's managers, is also around thirty years his senior.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Gordon treats the hotels' staff with kindness, especially since their owners usually don't.
  • Noodle Incident: A guest comments that the decor of the Keating Hotel resembles a brothel (based on what she's heard). Gordon confirms that yes, it is indeed like a brothel...
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: At the Roosevelt Hotel, the owner stages a monthly Sherlock Holmes-esque mystery dinner, and he and everyone else put on ridiculous English accents that waver between this and Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping. The owner even proclaims that his English accent is better than Ramsay's. Except Ramsay is from Glasgow. Granted, his accent is a little less Scottish than most, but still...
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: While eating lunch at the Meson de Mesilla, Gordon has to put up with the owner's horrid Cher cover as live entertainment. When he learns she's going to do it again at dinner, he has basically this reaction.
  • Once an Episode: Ramsay getting into the shower or bath, and making it a point of presenting his (censored) bare ass to the camera.
  • Only Sane Employee:
    • Joanna from the Applegate River Lodge. She's the only thing keeping the hotel's doors open, with no help from her lazy stoner ex-husband or feuding sons.
    • Mandy, the general manager (in name only; see Bad Boss above) of the Calumet Inn. When she eventually performed a Rage Quit after becoming so fed up with the owners' incompetence, Ramsay was sure the hotel would fall apart without her.
    • Generally speaking, every hotel has at least one employee that's leagues above the rest of the staff in terms of general competence; usually Gordon unofficially recruits them as his Lancer as they try to fix the problems the hotel has.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Angler's Lodge's owners lost their 10-year-old son in a tragedy, with the mother becoming despondent and not wanting to work for years because of it.
  • Panthera Awesome: The title sequence at one point features a roaring tiger.
  • Papa Wolf: Gordon is fiercely protective of the often neglected employees under the delusional owners, and doesn't tolerate said owners blaming them for the problems, or, even worse, taking them for granted. One such latter incident leads to an outstanding "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    Robert: "They don't have to work here."
    Gordon: "Oh my god. How dare you! How dare you! How fucking dare you! 'They don't have to work here.' Oh my god! You disrespectful, disgusting man! 'They don't have to work here.' I don't think you realize how fucking lucky you are! It's not all about you, Robert. Robert's bubble. Robert's world. Robert's dream. You're not the lord of the manor, and you're not The Great Gatsby. You're Robert."
    Robert: "Excuse me, excuse me..."
    Gordon: "Go on then, you pompous fuck."
    Robert: "Excuse me. Don't talk to me like that."
    Gordon: "Why, what's wrong with it? Get your head out of your ass, and start getting a little fucking real."
  • Pointy-Haired Boss:
    • The two sisters that run the Calumet Inn are in their late 20's/early 30's, respectively, but are spoiled rich kids that have little-to-no real world experience, much less an understanding of how to run a business. This doesn't stop them from micromanaging the staff, though.
    • Karan, the manager of Towns Inn. She keeps her own personal belongings and clothing locked in wardrobes in the guests' rooms and refuses to remove them, allows her friend to boss the staff around even though the woman is not an employee, and makes the real employees cook with old and broken equipment in a dirty kitchen and reheat food that's been bought and frozen months prior, (to the eternal frustration of the Head Chef).
  • Product Placement:
    • Gordon's iPad and GMC Yukon XL feature prominently in several episodes.
    • In the second season, he switches to a Lincoln Navigator, and brings in furniture from for the inevitable hotel makeover.
    • In the third season, Gordon downgrades to a Chevy Suburban, and its supposed soundproofness is a plot point in several episodes.
  • Punny Name: The Towns Inn, run by Karan Townsend (which in some American dialects is pronounced more or less the same as "Towns Inn").
  • Rage Quit:
    • In the Juniper Inn episode, Ramsay stalks out when he discovers Robert has lied about not taking his staff's tips. Ramsay later came back to make sure the staff got paid.
    • Gordon almost does this with the Towns Inn when he sees how filthy it is (via a luminometer scan: 30 relative light units (RLU) is considered clean; his room measured 803 RLU), despite one of the staff begging him to stay. Gordon only stops when he glances into the front office and notices that Karan also lives there. Given that Gordon has a soft spot for mothers and older women, he decides to try one more time with the inn, and is finally successful.
    • In "Beachfront Inn & Inlet," Ramsay left in the middle of relaunch after finally deciding that there was just no way he was going to get through to the owner. It's not even so much rage as utter despair and disappointment. Despite this, this brief blurb at the end indicates that at least some of what he had been saying may have gotten through, even if it took a while.
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: The shower curtain at the Brick Hotel measured a whopping 5680 RLU in the sample Gordon took. As noted above, anything over 30 RLU is considered unhealthy. The Brick Hotel's curtain was '189.3" times over the limit.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: In rare situations, the owners of the hotel are willing to take all the criticism that Ramsay has and resolve to be better at their jobs without arguing or denying anything that he says. This can be seen with David and Sukie from Hotel Chester and Sandy from Four Seasons Inn.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Robert of The Juniper Inn was wealthy enough to have a vast collection of antiques, but didn't have the common sense to get them valued. What he thought were goods valued at $300,000-400,000 ended up being worth just $25,000.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter:
    • Layla, the owner's dog from Four Seasons Inn. The same could be said of the other dogs that show up in the episode.
    • At the Applegate Lodge, there's a resident basset dog Trudy. A guest also brought a tiny dog around to dance.
    • John and Tina of the Roosevelt Inn have two dogs of their own. Unlike the previous two examples, this hotel was not designed to accommodate dogs, so they stank up the carpet in the lower levels of the hotel.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Talaya, the housekeeper of the Brick Hotel, speaks like this at times, especially when talking about the dirty curtains with other staff.
  • Scenery Porn:
    • "Four Seasons Inn", "Beachfront Inn&Inlet", and "Angler Lodge" all have some beautiful scenery, which Gordon comments are being wasted on such... terrible places.
    • Landoll's Mohican Castle actually looks really really beautiful.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • Gordon damn-near gives up on the Juniper Inn and actually drives off when he realizes Robert has lied about not taking his staff's tips when the first one of Robert's friends called up confusedly asks why he's asking about leaving tips when she "left the money with [Robert]" to do so. The only reason he came back was because he couldn't in good conscience leave without ensuring the staff got paid.
    • Mandy does this at the Calumet Inn, even after Ramsay told her that she was the best thing about the hotel. Eventually, she did agree to come back as general manager, but only if owners Vanda and Rina left her and the hotel alone.
    • Gordon's room at the Towns Inn was so filthy and disgusting that he flat-out refused to spend the night there.
    • At the Brick Hotel, Ramsay rings a fire alarm to evacuate the place after finding a bacterial reading of 5,680 RLU. A segment featuring this in an episode a couple back established that anything over 30 RLU is supposed to be a danger zone on the luminometer that Ramsay uses.
    • A rare case of owners doing this: The rich but incompetent Smrkovski family decide to completely remove themselves from their Calumet hotel's business and let more experienced staff handle it.
    • One employee/relative of the Curtis House's sibling-owners decided that she couldn't take any more of the toxic environment being fostered by their constant fighting, or of the sister's Control Freak tendencies, and gave them a "The Reason You Suck" Speech before quitting. This was very early in the episode after Gordon gave his initial feedback on the food and accommodations, and she never returned for the rest of the episode.
    • Gordon Ramsay himself stormed out during the supposed relaunch of Beachfront Inn & Inlet, where the restaurant couldn't even get the meal to the mayor despite Gordon's constant mentions about it, even when the owner claims that they sent out her meal.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely:
    • Karan of the Towns Inn starts out looking very much like the Wicked Witch archetype with her wild long hair and dark, unchanging clothing, not helped by her naturally beaked nose. After receiving a much-needed makeover, however, she looks decades younger. Not only that, but she also becomes much more confident and assertive.
    • Sandy from The Four Seasons Inn started the episode looking tired, with an unkempt beard and a chef coat. By the end of the episode he started to embrace his position as Inn keeper, shaved and started wearing appropriate suits.
    • Averted at the Beachfront Inn. The night before the hotel is relaunched, Gordon tells Brian the lackadaisical owner to show up the next day in clothes befitting his position. Brian shows up in a polo shirt and cargo shorts. Gordon refuses to even speak to him until he's gone back home and changed.
  • Shockingly Expensive Bill:
    • Ramsay always asks up-front how much the rooms in each hotel cost per night. Since many of the hotels featured are luxury or high-end places they can get pretty high, but the Keating Hotel really takes the cake: each room costs close to $800 per night! It's implied that the owner's constant spending on pretty Euro-car decor is a major factor in this: the in-room Jacuzzi tubs alone cost $20,000+ each (and they're not only uncomfortably modern-styled, but noisy as hell too).
    • Anyone who damages the Venetian plaster on the walls at the Meson de Mesilla will be faced with this thanks to the waiver the guests are all required to sign (although Gordon simply tears his in half). According to the owner, the faux-marble finish costs $7.50 per square foot to replace.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: One clueless (and/or unethical) owner actually named his independently-run hotel The Four Seasons Inn, much to Gordon's disbelief. Needless to say, the establishment is renamed before episode's end.
  • Shrine to Self: The owner of Roosevelt Inn decorated the hallways with his school photos growing up.
  • Sibling Rivalry:
    • Siblings Duke and Dusty from Applegate River Lodge had been in a feud with each other, having their own businesses separated inside the lodge, and they didn't even share the profits with their mother to pay the debts. They only made truce after Gordon made them realize that the only one suffering was their mother. They eventually made peace with each other after learning to work together.
    • Curtis House Inn's owners, siblings TJ and Chris, kept fighting with each other a lot, with the staff trapped in the middle of their feud. Gordon had to force them to make up and be professional by setting up an intervention with their family and staff.
  • Silver Vixen: Barbara at the Juniper Hill, who is seventy, looks a decade or two younger, which Gordon remarks on.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: The owner of the Meson de Mesilla was so confident in her (nonexistent) musical ability that she installed three stages throughout the hotel where she could perform, complete with a sound and speaker system.
  • Spaghetti and Gondolas: The Meson de Mesilla, which is decorated in a generic Italian theme (beige walls covered in Venetian plaster, tapestries depicting bucolic Tuscan views, etc.) Other than being Author Appeal on the owner's part it makes no sense, especially given the setting (Las Cruces, NM). The building's traditional Southwestern architecture makes the contrast even more jarring.
  • Spoiled Brat: Rina and Vanda from the Calumet Inn. Rina cries and flees everytime and Vanda pesters her staff constantly. Rina even told that they got the hotel because she requested her dad to buy it for her, and she once claimed that "she needed space" after only working six weeks and left... for three months. Vanda is not any better, since she always claims that she is a busy hardworker while getting up around 3 o'clock and doing useless tasks.
  • The Stinger: Several episodes of the second season end with a particularly stupid quote by one of the owners.
    • "I thought Gordon would be nice to me!"
  • Stock Sound Effect: The Warcraft II pig farm sound appears twice in Season 1: once when Gordon is introduced to Robert and Ari's pet potbellied pigs at the Juniper Hill Inn, and again at the Keating when he is served the 'Chocolate Pig' dessert pizza.
  • Strictly Formula: Each episode follows broadly the same pattern:
    • Gordon arrives at the hotel, has trouble checking in, and finds both his own room and the overall decor to look pretty awful. Usually the rooms are horribly expensive as well.
    • After checking out the (usually sub-par) amenities and speaking with the staff, Gordon samples the hotel's food, which is predictably bad.
    • At the end of the first day, Gordon confronts the owner on their cluelessness about the hotel industry as a whole. Sometimes the hotelier admits being out of their depth, but usually they remain oblivious to the problems, even though the rest of the staff are perfectly aware what's going wrong.
    • The second day starts with Gordon stripping off and taking a bath or shower, before gathering the owner and all the guests (or former guests, if the hotel's doing really badly) in his room, where the guests unanimously agree that they would never stay in that hotel again as it is. Sometimes Gordon will bring out a UV light and show the horrifying stains on the bed and carpet. If the owner has been uncooperative with Gordon until now, this is where they'll finally realize the error of their ways.
    • Gordon brings in his design team to give the hotel a makeover. Depending on the chef's level of skill, Gordon will either let the chef rip up the owner-imposed menu and let them redesign it from scratch, or will just create the new menu himself.
    • A bunch of guests show up and there may be some teething troubles but otherwise everything goes well and Gordon checks out, talking about how the hotel can succeed if the owners try hard enough.
  • The Stoner: The father of the family that runs the Applegate River Lodge. He has no business sense, caring more about the "vibes" of the place while his wife and sons do the work. Gordon finally got fed up with him and just politely asked him to just sit out the rest of the episode as he clearly did not care about what Gordon was trying to do and Gordon wanted to focus on the people actually running the place.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Responding to rumors within the town that the Vienna Inn is really a brothel, Gordon asks the owner if the basement has been used for swinger sex parties; she replies that it hasn't been used for that in the last 10 years.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Gordon has to give this to the hotel owner, Robert in the very first episode after hearing some of the appalling stuff he was doing, including withholding pay from his employees and cheap-skating on food quality...while simultaneously spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on paintings and antiques, charging seventy-four dollars for a single lunch meal, and allowing several of his friends to stay in rooms and eat for free.
    • He also gives one to the two sisters that own the Calumet Inn, in order to make them realize how extremely out of their depth they were.
  • Title Drop: At both the River Rock Inn and the Monticello Hotel when Ramsay realizes his sheets are stained with bodily fluids.
  • Title Theme Tune: The eponymous "Hotel Hell" by the Australian band Skyhooks. Dropped in the third season.
  • Trailers Always Lie: In the preview for season 2, it's made to look like Gordon is arguing with Mandy from Calumet Inn and that she would be a problem owner. Instead, the scenes from the preview were both Gordon and Mandy telling off the owners and Mandy was the reason the hotel was still alive.
  • Trash of the Titans: In the premier episode, Juniper Hill inn co-owner Robert clearly has a problem with hoarding things. While it could be partially blamed on his background as an antique dealer, Gordon criticized how out-of-place many of the various antiques and knickknacks around the inn clashed with the atmosphere. And that was before one of the staff revealed the inn's basement and Robert's office was filled with clutter, and then up to eleven when he shows Gordon at least five storage containers just choke full of various furniture and the like. Gordon is left incredulous at the sight of easily tens of thousands of dollars worth of items just lying around when Robert can't even afford to pay his own staff.
  • Trash the Set: Unwittingly done by Gordon when he arrived at the Cambridge Hotel, and found a strange bar above his bed. After joking that it'd probably be useful for bondage situations, he gave the bar a tug — and it immediately broke off the wall, landing on and smashing the room's bedside lamp.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Robert Dean of the Juniper Hill Inn, a wealthy cloudcuckoolander of an antiques dealer who is definitely not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
  • Wham Line:
    • The very first episode, "The Juniper Inn," has a doozy. Among the hotel's issues, Gordon has discovered that the owner lets his rich friends stay there for free, and they aren't tipping the staff. Gordon forces the owner to call all of them to encourage them to leave tips... and the very first thing out of the mouth of the first person he calls is "I left the money with you." The very nearly convinces Gordon to give up on him entirely.
    • In "Meson de Mesilla", Gordon renovates the entire hotel to make it more appealing to guests, including changing the food menu, and the owner, Cali, seems thrilled with the changes while Gordon is there. Then Gordon leaves. Cue Cali saying: "What do I do with the five cases of hamburger buns that I just brought in?" What follows is Cali talking herself out of approving of Gordon's renovations, to the chagrin of her employees, who loved the changes Gordon made.
  • Worthless Treasure Twist: In "The Juniper Inn", Robert is a antique dealer who has rooms and storage containers filled with antiques and paintings he believes are worth around $300,000. Ramsey hires an antique auction house to evaluate and sell it so as to use the money to get him out of debt. It turns out most of the pieces are either a remake or silver plated and everything is worth at best $25,000, which is barely above ten percent of what he thought. Robert admits he's paying more to store it than what it's worth.
  • Verbal Tic: David, the animated prep cook from the Meson de Mesilla, seems to end every sentence with "Sir" when speaking to Ramsay at first - but when he's in his element, making typical Southwestern cuisine at his own food truck, he drops this hyperactive disposition altogether, becoming far more mellow.
  • You Didn't Ask: In "The Town's Inn, Part 1," Ramsay is pointing out to the innkeeper, Karan, the insanity of the idea of there being her personal wardrobe in his room. She says that the wardrobe is locked and he doesn't have to deal with it and he tells her "But you didn't tell me that when you took my money," getting him this response.
  • Your Costume Needs Work: The owner of the Roosevelt Hotel, who has a habit of putting on Sherlock Holmes-themed nights for guests (don't ask), comments that his British accent is much better than Gordon's...when Gordon is from the U.K.. (Scotland, but still.) Gordon can just stare at him in disbelief for a few seconds.


Video Example(s):


"I'm blaming you"

In the very first episode of 'Hotel Hell', Gordon Ramsay chews out Robert Dean II for mistreating his employees and for blaming them for his misfortunes.

How well does it match the trope?

3.86 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheReasonYouSuckSpeech

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