August 15, 2012 03:00 AM by Melissa Stavarski
On Gordon Ramsay‘s new Fox series Hotel Hell, the famous chef turns his attention to struggling hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts. Much like Kitchen Nightmares, Ramsay attempts to turn around these declining businesses. In part two of the series premiere, Ramsay attempts to make changes at the Juniper Hill Inn in Vermont.
In the conclusion to the series premiere, Ramsay discovers that the owners of Juniper Hill Inn, Robert Dean II and Ari Nikki, are not charging their friends. Their friends are getting free rooms, food, and drinks. The staff complains that they also do no leave tips. Even when tips are left, Robert takes a cut for himself. Ramsay approaches Robert for his side. Under no circumstances, says Ramsay, should the owner of an establishment take a cut of the staff’s tips. When Robert calls his “friends” to question whether or not they left tips for the staff, the first person says, “I left the money with you, Robert.”
Ramsay has heard enough. He walks out and leaves the Inn. For the sake of the staff, he returns. Ramsay says to Robert, “I’ve come back. Not for you, for the staff. They deserve better.”
Ramsay is hoping to cash in on some of the stuff Robert has stashed. Much to his dismay, an auction specialist offers Robert only $25,000 for a room full of
junk ”collectibles and antiques.” The specialist tells Robert he has nothing but a bunch of old copies and reproductions.
Ramsay gathers a room full of paying guests to give their feedback to Robert and Ari. Robert apologizes to the guests who are unhappy. Ari gets mad. Ramsay orders them both to take a step back to decide if running an Inn something they even want to be doing.
The kitchen is Ramsay’s next stop. He asks Giulian to prepare three dishes from Robert’s menu and three of his own budget-friendly dishes. Ramsay passes Giulian’s dishes off as his own to Robert. Robert loves the food. When he finds out they’re Giulian’s creations, Robert tells Giulian he’s sorry he hasn’t given him more freedom. Robert admits – the food is delicious.
Robert is starting to regret his lack of compassion and leadership. Ramsay gathers the inn’s staff, and Robert apologizes. The staff appreciates his honesty. Ari still needs some work though. Robert refers to Ari as “emotionally constipated.”
Ramsay has been hard at work, making changes at Juniper Hill Inn. Ramsay redecorates the entry way and the dining room. He also removes the old pathetic-looking bar and creates a new lounge room.
Ramsay, Robert, and Ari agree that Robert should be the front line at the Inn. Ari, on the other hand, will manage things from behind the scenes. The first time Ari mixes himself with the public again, he yells at Sarah, “Excuse me! Excuse me! I am the boss!” Sarah disappears. Ramsay diffuses the situation with Sarah. He also reminds Ari – you need to be nicer or stay in the RV.
After just a short time, Ramsay has revived the Juniper Hill Inn. It’s full of paying guests, the staff is happy, and Robert and Ari are making their best effort to be leaders. The conclusion felt rushed – and there wasn’t any “this many weeks/months later” update. Only time will tell if these changes last or if Robert and Ari go back to living their fantasy life with no regard for anyone else.
Did you watch the premiere of Hotel Hell? What did you think?
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Photo credit: FOX