The last time Gordon Ramsay checked in to a low-end, lice-ridden, lowdown hotel that no self-respecting rageaholic would be caught dead in, he didn't blow a gasket exactly but - well, he did blow a gasket, actually.
Sometimes, though, out of deep anger comes great inspiration, and Hotel Hell is the result.
Hotel Hell - beginning next week on Global and Fox - is Ramsay's bid to do for dodgy bed and breakfasts what his Kitchen Nightmares has done for struggling restaurants: Whip them into shape and hopefully make them better poised to meet customers' expectations.
In the premiere episode, Ramsay applies his exacting standards and demands of excellence - or, if not excellence exactly, something at least approaching competence - to the Juniper Hill Inn in Windsor, Vt., where he immediately clashes with Robert Dean II, the inn's wellto-do and impatient proprietor. Ramsay finds Dean's treatment of staff to be "inexcusable" - which, coming from the head wrangler in Hell's Kitchen, is really saying something.
Ramsay was in a more sedate, diplomatic mood when he faced reporters last week at the summer meeting of the TV Critics Association, but it didn't take him long to get worked up.
"I don't think common sense is that common in these scenarios, because it's so obvious what's wrong," Ramsay said when describing some of the horror hotels he had to endure while making the series. "That's the frustrating part."
And hellish hotels don't all charge bed-and-breakfast prices. Some of the worst offenders - Ramsay used a more pithy word - charge prices more like the Ritz.
"I came across hotels that were charging $450 a night, which I think is a lot of money, anywhere, for anyone. There's a level of taking things for granted because we're-in-a-unique-position/we-have-a-corner-on-the-market/ there's-no-one-else-in-Upstate-New-York-so-if-you're-on-your-way-to-skiing-you-have-no-choice-but-to-stay-here gets very annoying after a while.
"I just think when you see a customer being undermined, or shortcuts being taken with the hygiene, it just makes you angry. I mean, if you had a dentist appointment tomorrow morning and you go in for a filling, you will see that the office is absolutely spotless. I think kitchens and hotel rooms should be exactly the same."
Ramsay is full of tips for the prospective traveller considering a weekend getaway. His tips aren't what you might expect to find in a travel magazine, though, or a glossy tourist brochure from the local chamber of commerce.
"If you are single and are dating and are going away for a wonderful weekend, like any couple would do, and you get there and they offer you an upgrade you to the honeymoon suite, don't take it.
"The shock for me, doing this, wasn't just the bathroom, or the reception area, or the unfriendliness on checking in. It was the general hygiene. It's not just about a cracked tile, or a dirty towel. The biggest worry I came across through the whole series was bed linen, the state of the pillow cases. Remove the pillow cases, flash a black light in there for 30 seconds, and - I was horrified. I mean, literally horrified. And I'm talking about some very expensive hotels."
Hotel Hell premieres Aug. 13 on Global and Fox.
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Original source article: Gordon Ramsay checks in to Hotel Hell