August 28, 2012 12:30 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. Last week, Ramsay wasn’t able to save the failing Cambridge Hotel from its impending foreclosure. Will he have better luck this week at the Keating Hotel in San Diego, CA?
The Keating Hotel is owned and operated by Eddie Kaen. Eddie wants his hotel to be considered the Ferrari of hotels. Seems as if everyone agrees – it misses the mark. Brian Rutherford, the hotel’s executive chef, says it’s “all style and no substance.” Eddie spent millions on the decor but pinched pennies on the basic necessities. The general manager Sandra Vivas is overworked.
Ramsay’s first impression of the hotel isn’t good. He’s greeted by an “ugly” dog, tacky decor, and harsh colors. The room Gordon Ramsay is staying in costs $759 a night. Good grief! The room’s furniture is cheap looking, uncomfortable, and impractical. The tub is right in the middle of the sitting area – no idea where you’ll find the toilet and sink.
Ramsay orders room service. Ramsay is surprised the order goes through the front desk instead of directly to the kitchen. His food is served to him in cardboard boxes and plastic containers, which is not up to par with the $800 per night price tag on the room. The plastic containers do come in handy. Ramsay uses one to spit out the disgusting food and call it a take away puke box.
Ramsay hangs around the front desk, taking in all the complaints from the customers, including dirty rooms, hair and sand in the beds, and a 45-minutes wait for cheese. Ramsay wants answers from Sandra. He tells her, as the general manager, she should be ashamed.
By now, Ramsay is anxious to meet the owner Eddie. Ramsay asks him what he was smoking when he started the hotel. Ramsay points out the bad-looking floors, the wrinkled sheets, the poorly planned furniture, and the poor food. Eddie doesn’t want to hear any of it. Ramsay says, “Eddie is acting like a baby who just had his lollipop stolen.” Eddie says to his staff, “Who is this guy?! The first thing he does, he lays right into me.” Ha, has Eddie ever seen one of Ramsay’s shows? What exactly was he expecting? Bottom line, Eddie’s ego is bruised. He’s embarrassed.
Ramsay heads to the restaurant, which is around the corner in a separate building. Ramsay is not impressed with the management or the food. Ramsay meets Brian, who has completely thrown in the towel. Brian collapses while talking to Ramsay. Eddie has the audacity to blame Ramsay for stressing out Brian to the point of passing out. It never occurs to Eddie that Brian’s stress is a result of his working conditions. When Ramsay realizes Eddie places the blame on him, he goes off on Eddie. He says, “Do not dare to go (beep) anywhere near that I put him in that ambulance. 150 items on that (beep) menu inside of a (beep) shoe box can send that man to an early grave.” The next day, Brian, who was diagnosed with dehydration and anxiety, returns to the restaurant.
Ramsay arranges for Eddie and Sandra to listen to the complaints from the Keating Hotel’s guests – horrible smells, weird design, inadequate furnishings, poor room service. When asked who would return to the Keating Hotel, not one guest raises their hand. After the meeting, Eddie claims to be open to making some changes.
Ramsay starts with Brian in the kitchen. Brian is coming back to life… feeling energized working in his kitchen next to Gordon Ramsay. Ramsay simplifies the menu and urges Brian to find his voice, to fight for what is right in his kitchen. Next, Ramsay reveals his design makeover to the entire staff. For starters, the overabundance of red in the lobby is gone. Ramsay updates his suite with comfortable furniture and clean linens. Everyone is all smiles, but will it last?
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Photo credit: FOX