Brace yourselves. Gordon Ramsay is coming. On June 2, the award-winning chef and restaurateur arrives with a camera crew to film his unscripted show, Hotel Hell, at the scenic but troubled Applegate River Lodge in Applegate, Oregon (about 20 miles east of Medford).
Now in its second season, Hotel Hell features Ramsay travelling around the country, lending his high-decibel brand of expertise to “some of America's most horrendous hotels, troubled inns and struggling resorts, many of which are on the brink of closure.”
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Applegate’s co-owner Joanna Davis—who has operated the quaint seven-room hotel with her (now) ex-husband Richard since 1997—is excited and grateful to accept Ramsay’s help.
“We’ve got a beautiful place. But we’re barely making it.” she says. “We’ve never really run this like a real business. It’s kind of a family way of life. Richard and I have never agreed on how we want it to be run, and so our kids are confused as well. We’re hoping Gordon can give us some kind of direction and show us how important it is to work together.”
What's in store for the Davis family? If it’s anything like Kitchen Nightmares, Ramsey's other fixer-upper reality TV show, the episode will go something like this: Ramsay arrives wearing a V-neck or graphic tee of some sort, orders food, spits it out in disgust and storms into the kitchen to berate the owner/chef/cowering waitstaff. Commercial break. Now Ramsay has changed into his chef's whites (translation: he means business), and after a few more days of Ramsay calling grown men "donkeys," the restaurant performs a successful dinner service at last. Hugs and tearful thank-yous all around, and Ramsay walks triumphantly away into the night.
All this makes for entertaining television, but whether the Davises are ready for Ramsay’s unique managerial style remains to be seen.
“I know his MO,” says Davis. “It’s a little frightening. It’s a little intimidating. It’ll probably be embarrassing at times. But I’m just going to be true to who I am, and hope for a positive outcome.”
We’re hoping right along with you, Joanna.
For room or dinner reservations during filming (June 2–6), email HotelShowApplegate@gmail.com.