Hotel Hell interview

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http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/aug/29/hotel-hell-leaves-roosevelt-inn-owners-reeling/?print-friendly

Mind you think they were a bit nieve in ie not watching any of his other programs in prep and about how they picked awkward people!

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I'm really enjoying the new season of Hotel Hell, except Gordon is STILL stripping down every episode, getting into the tub with his behind blurred out, or getting into a pool in a speedo. There's something mental about that. I have to cover the screen with a hand the way I do in a scary slasher movie.

I learn more from Hotel Impossible, because it's a real hotel person hosting the show, and Anthony Melchiorri really knows his stuff. But restaurateur Ramsay does have good sense, and he generally does a good job of cutting to the heart of the mistakes the failing hoteliers are making. Good entertainment. Good show.

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Well here's another new one on me. Never seen this at a hotel before. It's 9 a.m. now and every room door in the hotel has what appears to be a picnic basket in the hall, on the floor against the wall by the door. I peeped under the cover cloth of mine and it's all the clean towels, soaps, etc. for the maids. So, rather than having a big cart blocking the hall all morning as they move from room to room, each room has its own little basket the maids will use, then I guess when the rooms are done they make one run of the hall to pick up all the baskets and they're out of here.

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One more report from this 100 room hotel that in many ways is more like a B&B than a hotel. When I got back to the room from dinner this evening, they'd been in the room to freshen, replaced the towels I'd used, turned down the bed and left Arkansas-made English toffee on the pillow.

I know lots of hotels offer turndown service if you ask for it, but this is the first place I've stayed, other than a cruise ship or B&B, that does it for every room without being asked.

I've been telling people, this hotel is just like being on a cruise ship, but here the toilets work!

Edited to add: I just found an envelope left on the desk with a nice letter to me that includes the following quote:

"It is an art apart. Saint Francis of Assisi said, "All saints can do miracles, but few of them can keep a hotel."     --Mark Twain

 Also, I just noticed that they saw I'd sipped a little whisky before dinner, and they refilled my ice bucket!! I'm loving this place!! May leave a tip, and I never do that!!

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Arkansawyer wrote:

One more report from this 100 room hotel that in many ways is more like a B&B than a hotel. When I got back to the room from dinner this evening, they'd been in the room to freshen, replaced the towels I'd used, turned down the bed and left Arkansas-made English toffee on the pillow.

I know lots of hotels offer turndown service if you ask for it, but this is the first place I've stayed, other than a cruise ship or B&B, that does it for every room without being asked.

I've been telling people, this hotel is just like being on a cruise ship, but here the toilets work!

Edited to add: I just found an envelope left on the desk with a nice letter to me that includes the following quote:

"It is an art apart. Saint Francis of Assisi said, "All saints can do miracles, but few of them can keep a hotel."     --Mark Twain

 Also, I just noticed that they saw I'd sipped a little whisky before dinner, and they refilled my ice bucket!! I'm loving this place!! May leave a tip, and I never do that!!

I just got back from a convention at a resort where they did a turn down. I wanted to make myself a hot cocoa when I got back from the schmooze & booze so I ran a cycle on the keurig to get the coffee out of it. I left the cup on the counter because I was going to reuse it when I got back. Nope. It was replaced. The room was tidied, chocolates on the nightstand, lights turned down, trash emptied.

I was SO embarrassed! I had changed clothes and left everything strewn on the bathroom floor!

And I was wondering when I left the room why it was that someone was still cleaning rooms at 6 PM! Now I know.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

One more report from this 100 room hotel that in many ways is more like a B&B than a hotel. When I got back to the room from dinner this evening, they'd been in the room to freshen, replaced the towels I'd used, turned down the bed and left Arkansas-made English toffee on the pillow.

I know lots of hotels offer turndown service if you ask for it, but this is the first place I've stayed, other than a cruise ship or B&B, that does it for every room without being asked.

I've been telling people, this hotel is just like being on a cruise ship, but here the toilets work!

Edited to add: I just found an envelope left on the desk with a nice letter to me that includes the following quote:

"It is an art apart. Saint Francis of Assisi said, "All saints can do miracles, but few of them can keep a hotel."     --Mark Twain

 Also, I just noticed that they saw I'd sipped a little whisky before dinner, and they refilled my ice bucket!! I'm loving this place!! May leave a tip, and I never do that!!

PS and of course telling mgmt would be the greatest gift, along with a TA review. Smiling

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Arkansawyer wrote:

One more report from this 100 room hotel that in many ways is more like a B&B than a hotel. When I got back to the room from dinner this evening, they'd been in the room to freshen, replaced the towels I'd used, turned down the bed and left Arkansas-made English toffee on the pillow.

I know lots of hotels offer turndown service if you ask for it, but this is the first place I've stayed, other than a cruise ship or B&B, that does it for every room without being asked.

I've been telling people, this hotel is just like being on a cruise ship, but here the toilets work!

Edited to add: I just found an envelope left on the desk with a nice letter to me that includes the following quote:

"It is an art apart. Saint Francis of Assisi said, "All saints can do miracles, but few of them can keep a hotel."     --Mark Twain

 Also, I just noticed that they saw I'd sipped a little whisky before dinner, and they refilled my ice bucket!! I'm loving this place!! May leave a tip, and I never do that!!

Worthy of a nice tip. Attention to detail, my kind of place!

I enjoyed that at a hotel where there was a Dr Seuss quote on my pillow with a chocolate. It was a super quote, which escapes me at the moment. And oh so clever.  That is why I put SWEET DREAMS LOVE BIRDS on a note for our guests (certain guests - anniv / honeymoon). I liked it so much!

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If you have guests with a sense of humour... you could try this book instead..

http://www.amazon.ca/Go-F-Sleep-Adam-Mansbach/dp/1617750255

It's also available as an audiobook, read by Samuel S. Jackson

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIBqd1kxoQk

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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

If you have guests with a sense of humour... you could try this book instead..

http://www.amazon.ca/Go-F-Sleep-Adam-Mansbach/dp/1617750255

Take note that the address above is for Amazon Canada and if you order from there you'll pay a lot more both in base price and shipping. I have some friends who will LOVE this book so I ordered for them. From Amazon US it's about $9, with free shipping if you're a prime member.

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Just replace the .CA with .COM and you get the US. And of course .CO.UK gets you the UK version for Amazon.

I love this book, but I'm not sure how a guest with no sense of humour would take it. Some, would be just laughing their heads off.

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A nice little thing I noticed at this hotel, something I haven't seen before: a cheap hotel logo tote bag in the closet. Costs the hotel less than a dollar, could come in really handy for a guest who's bought a lot of stuff to carry home, and a walking advertisement for the hotel.

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Fastened to the wall, and a fake headboard on the wall are two different things. Smiling

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And another thing: every single outside corner in this hotel room has one of those plastic corner protector strips nailed to it. Kind of takes away from the luxury feel this suite tries to convey.

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OK, here's an example I think should be obvious to anyone. This is at a very nice, expensive hotel. They must have professionals on staff to handle stuff like this. Can anybody see any problem with their placement of wall paintings in these photos?

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Did you avoid smashing the picture with your suitcase every time you opened it up?  frown  Obviously, they didn't spring for any kind of trained decorators. 

It's like when you go to someone's house and all the artwork is hung way too high.  Or there's one tiny picture that's hung way too high on a huge wall.  Some people just don't see what the problem is...

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Wait! Arks, do you have a real headboard or a faux headboard? smiley

(NO I didn't mention this on my other diatribe, I took a few photos of the room while I was there for blogging purposes, the US vs THEM thing)

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Wait! Arks, do you have a real headboard or a faux headboard? smiley

OK, I'm back in Little Rock, attending a conference and I'm staying right across the street from the meeting, in the #1 TA-rated hotel in Little Rock. This place opened in 1873 and President US Grant stayed here shortly thereafter. Wonderful 14 foot ceilings in all rooms. I'm just staying in a basic room, not a fancy suite, but the concierge escorted me to my room and gave me a room tour of the heat and air, TV controls, etc. just like at a B&B. Impressive!

But the headboard? FAUX! It's very nice but still just a board screwed to the wall.

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Wait! Arks, do you have a real headboard or a faux headboard?

The one here at Embassy Suites is faux just like in your photo. I HATE that! So motel of them.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Wait! Arks, do you have a real headboard or a faux headboard?

The one here at Embassy Suites is faux just like in your photo. I HATE that! So motel of them.

I blogged it, you forced my hand. LOL!

 

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Arkansawyer wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Wait! Arks, do you have a real headboard or a faux headboard?

The one here at Embassy Suites is faux just like in your photo. I HATE that! So motel of them.

I blogged it, you forced my hand. LOL!

We're guilty of the headboard on the wall ploy.  However,  the headboard is actually an old pantry door and guests love it.   We joke that this room is our "honeymoon suite"  because the headboard is fastened to the wall.

 

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All of our headboards are fasten to the wall except the log bed and that is so heavy it's not going anywhere!

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Good one JB!

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

I blogged it, you forced my hand. LOL!

yes

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The TV was supposed to be IN the cabinet when the room was laid out. The lamp is all wrong where it is!

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Madeleine wrote:

The TV was supposed to be IN the cabinet when the room was laid out.

Yes but how could they possibly just put the new TVs in front of the pictures and think nothing of it? They must have done this in hundreds of rooms. There's all kinds of wall space left and right of the TV that's empty. It would be so easy to move the pictures. Just no excuse.

Edited to add, I just checked. Those panels in the cabinet do not open. No hinges. There was never a TV in there. Makes the whole thing even worse!

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OK, the sad truth about corporate culture? No one has the ability to make that change. It has to come from headquarters. Can you imagine the kerfuffle if you walked into a room at another Embassy Suites and the picture was not EXACTLY in the same spot as it was at the other hotel 400 miles to the west? Heads would roll.

Besides which, no GM has ever set foot in that room and really looked at it.

We had a new hotel open here 6 years ago. They were told to buy certain bedspreads to insure they looked exactly like every other hotel in that brand. A year later the brand changed the look and this new hotel had to throw out everything they had bought a year ago and replace it. I knew the GM at the time and she was in tears. That money came out of HER budget, not the corporate budget, so she had to cut elsewhere to pay for the new bedding and drapes.

Not that it isn't good for a hotel,  after a year,  to throw out the stuff they never clean.

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Madeleine wrote:

Not that it isn't good for a hotel, after a year, to throw out the stuff they never clean.

yes

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Ignore this duplicate Sad

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Here I sit in my Embassy Suites hotel room (at a seminar and love this new spell checker because I'm never positive on how to spell seminar) and I must say, I feel like Gordon Ramsay looking around this place. It's a VERY nice hotel. All the rooms are suites with separate living rooms and bedrooms, multiple flatscreen TVs, microwave, minifridge, etc.

So the first thing I notice are wrinkled curtains. I mean, they just hang there, so iron them once and they should hold that look pretty well, but these wrinkles make the curtains just look old and dirty.

Next fold back the bed and see dingy, wrinkled sheets. If a hotel this size can't spring for Comphy, at least they could get a mangle and turn out some crisp, smooth sheets.

Then I go into the bathroom and see brown, not black at least, but brown tile grout that's supposed to be white. Guess they'll clean it once it's black.

Didn't bring my blacklight and UV glasses, and glad I didn't!

Picked up a clean-looking glass glass for my traditional upon-arrival Scotch, held it up to the light and saw the obvious smear lines of a glass that was wiped with a dry rag, not washed with soap, You mean those maid's carts don't include a dishwasher? Knowing what I know, I was not surprised. I do like glass. Couldn't enjoy my whisky in one of the plastic cups provided, so headed to the bathroom where I did find soap, and washed it well.

Finally, the cloth covering on the couch and all the chairs. Thinking about all the necked bodies that have lounged here and wishing it was something more clean-able!

Pray for me.

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It's difficult isn't it.

We are like ex-smokers or something. We don't even try to see this stuff, it just jumps out at us. and then it gets worse when you lay down on the bed and look around the room at eye level...

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I knew Momma Cherri's Soul Food Shack - Brighton, England would make it!

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Not a very good track record.

If a restaurant is failing, a week with a celebrity chef and some publicity from being on TV still doesn't teach the owner how to actually run a business, surprisingly enough.   

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On the other hand, if they did not have an intervention, the closure rate would probably be close to 100%. Most  restaurants fail anyway (it's something like 80%), so it doesn't seem like such a bad track record afterall.

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Actually, it's 60% fail in the first year, which is about par for most industries. See http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2007-04-16/the-restaurant-failure-mythbusinessweek-business-news-stock-market-and-financial-advice

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trouble is too many chef's start restaurants thinking good cooking is enough - forget you have to have a good understanding of costing. accounts and marketing to make a go of it!

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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

trouble is too many chef's start restaurants thinking good cooking is enough - forget you have to have a good understanding of costing. accounts and marketing to make a go of it!

Sounds like some innkeepers too!

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 Gordon Ramsay closes out 'Hotel Hell' and 'Hell's Kitchen' with sizzling finales

Examiner.com

During Monday's finale, Ramsay visited two bed and breakfast inns that were populated with bugs, dust and filth. Gordon Ramsay talks about "Hotel Hell" on FOX. Video: Hotel Hell. At the River Rock Inn in Milford, PA, Gordon Ramsay discovered dead bugs ...

 

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

 Gordon Ramsay closes out 'Hotel Hell' and 'Hell's Kitchen' with sizzling finales

Examiner.com

During Monday's finale, Ramsay visited two bed and breakfast inns that were populated with bugs, dust and filth. Gordon Ramsay talks about "Hotel Hell" on FOX. Video: Hotel Hell. At the River Rock Inn in Milford, PA, Gordon Ramsay discovered dead bugs ...

 

And two more scenes of him dropping his underwear and climbing into showers. He's some sort of exhibitionist who enjoys sickening his cameraman.

In one of the two episodes he took out his sleeping bag and slept on top of the beadspread. Couldn't blame him there. I'm skeptical about what all his black light was showing, though.

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we can;'t watch it in the UK yet but at least Gordon makes for interesting viewing! Trouble is i worry that these shows in picking out and pointing to the absolute worst of our industry - tarrs us all with the same brush! plus there are so many of them now

Hotel inspector

3 in a bed and 4 in a bed - where bb owners stay at each others places

and now Hotel Hell which doesn't seem to be showing hotels really!

Plus we have had 2 years of The Hotel where they film undercover and behind the scenes at a large hotel - makes for entertaining viewing but its again not giving a fab idea of the industry! people don't want to see the swan's legs going like mad! 

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The Hotel was about the rebuilding of the Savoy, right? I saw that. I haven't seen 3 in a bed. And yup, hotel hell wasn't at a hotel yet, all inns. I can't see how anyplace wants to sign up for that, even if you do get GR to show up and help.

His UK shows were more effective, though. Fox took all the effectiveness out of the show for ratings. Then again, if you end up on one of these shows, your chance of survival is about 10% anyway. It's 0% if you don't change something. There is a website that tracks the restaurants that he's "fixed" and so few are around today. Not much better for Restaurant Makeover or Restaurant Impossible, either. The owner doesn't change and that's the biggest problem.

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Can you post the link to the website that tracks those "fixed" restaurants?

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http://www.quora.com/What-restaurants-on-Kitchen-Nightmares-have-closed and http://kitchennightmares-kitchennightmare.blogspot.ca/

Season 1, one still open

Season 2, none

Season 3, three still open

Season 4, nine still open

Season 5, eleven still open

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nope The Hotel followed a hotel in the lake district for the first year and then one in Torquay the second year.

But did all back of house staff talking to each other that sort of thing.

The torquay hotel was struggling but was doing completely the wrong thing about it ie dolphin racing  in the pool well woop de do! while the show was on they took their first online booking! and the reception manager "didn't believe it was part of her responsibility to deal with online bookings!"

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Ah. Then I didn't see that one. I saw the documentary on the redo of the Savoy, which I thought was interesting. And I think I'm up to date with the Hotel Inspector, though the new thing with trying to get people to text was annoying.

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people with text? missed that one - if I am super efficient or am trying to encourage check in's cos I want to go out for dinner then I text people that their room is ready so they know they can check in from that time.

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In the last Hotel Inspector at the end of segments they did these advertisements where they asked you to text a number to a specific number to enter to win a vacation at a hotel. They were quite long for advertisements. I hadn't seen those before. 

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nope The Hotel followed a hotel in the lake district for the first year and then one in Torquay the second year.

But did all back of house staff talking to each other that sort of thing.

The torquay hotel was struggling but was doing completely the wrong thing about it ie dolphin racing  in the pool well woop de do! while the show was on they took their first online booking! and the reception manager "didn't believe it was part of her responsibility to deal with online bookings!"

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Arkansawyer wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

 Gordon Ramsay closes out 'Hotel Hell' and 'Hell's Kitchen' with sizzling finales

Examiner.com

During Monday's finale, Ramsay visited two bed and breakfast inns that were populated with bugs, dust and filth. Gordon Ramsay talks about "Hotel Hell" on FOX. Video: Hotel Hell. At the River Rock Inn in Milford, PA, Gordon Ramsay discovered dead bugs ...

 

And two more scenes of him dropping his underwear and climbing into showers. He's some sort of exhibitionist who enjoys sickening his cameraman.

In one of the two episodes he took out his sleeping bag and slept on top of the beadspread. Couldn't blame him there. I'm skeptical about what all his black light was showing, though.

This is the first clip I have seen of the show, most likely my last unless it is a topic on the forum! 

Arkie - maybe his cameraman likes it!  - Ewww!

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 Yeah, the name should have given it all away for them... before they even got a contract.

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trouble is sounds like they were absolutely desparate and grasping at anything to save them - don't feel it was wise that the husband who clearly is quite an impulsive person signed up to the show while the wife was away on holiday!

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 Tina Hough added: “They set us up. Absolutely nothing we could do could be right or we would not have any need for Gordon Ramsay to come save us. I hope people understand that a lot of what they are going to see was scripted in that sense.”

John Hough said he was also surprised by the way things unfolded during filming. He expected to be Ramsay’s “whipping boy” but the level of abuse surprised him.

 

JB - - Just wondering, had they never heard of this guy before? Or were they thinking they could take it for the "stipend" paid for being on the show (whatever that is $, I am sure there is one).

I won't watch this show.

I will stick to Hotel Impossible where there is constructive criticism, and respect.

 

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