It’s hard to deny that Gordon Ramsay has built an empire on Fox in between some of his various cooking shows — whether it be “Hell’s Kitchen,” “MasterChef,” or “Kitchen Nightmares.” Now, he is taking on the world of hotels.
If you like “Kitchen Nightmares,” then you are probably going to enjoy “Hotel Hell.” While Ramsay is not nearly as well-known as a hotelier as he is a chef, the format is still the same. Gordon comes in to an establishment, is shocked by the conditions of the establishments, and then starts to figure out how to save it. This week, the focus was on a Vermont establishment that had an owner who was all about the finer things in life — he had delicate antiques, valuables, and paintings all over the wall. However, things were not nearly so pristine behind the scenes. We had a hotel owner who did not pay his staff on time, rooms that smell, and food that was extremely overpriced. The entire place felt as though it was designed to keep out most of the riff-raff, but they weren’t actually good enough for the upscale clients, either. It was a bit like a miserable version of the British sitcom “Fawlty Towers.”
Ramsay spent most of the episode running around and interrogating everyone — including the staff, the former employees, and even the hotel owner’s boyfriend. The problem with “Hotel Hell,” however, is that it does not yield the same sort of creativity that we see on “Kitchen Nightmares.” Running a hotel without business does not yield the same sort of result of seeing an intense restaurant, and the staff was therefore not pushed to the same limit minus a few minutes near the very end this week.
Due to this episode actually being two parts, we did not end up seeing what ends up happening to this establishment with its seemingly greedy owner and suffering employees. Will we watch again? Sure, but we hope it gets a little less depressing, a little more entertaining, and we see some more Ramsay at his best. “Hotel Hell” isn’t a bad show, but it’s probably the weakest chapter in the Ramsay anthology of greatness.
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