EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

Image Credit: FOX

'Hotel Hell' recap: Sweet dreams

Season 2 | Episode 2 | “Monticello Hotel” | Aired July 28, 2014

Surprisingly, tonight’s episode of Hotel Hell doesn’t start with a warning (other than that of suggestive dialogue and language), but if it did, here’s what it might say: “After watching, you may never want to sleep on a hotel mattress again.”

Gordon travels to Longview, Washington, home of the historic Monticello Hotel, which was built in 1923. On the outside, it is indeed historic-looking (because really, doesn’t everything look historic with an overabundance of patriotic bunting?), but on the inside, it looks like it hasn’t been cleaned since 1923. The bathrooms are filthy, the carpets are worn, and the furniture is faded, saggy and mismatched. And those mattresses I already mentioned? We’ll get to those in a minute. I want to make sure any food you may have eaten before reading this recap has had time to digest.

Phillip Lovingfoss, the owner of the Monticello, is living his boyhood dream. But really: He’s wanted to own the hotel since he was eight years old and his mother worked there. When he was in his mid-30s and worked there as a bartender (foreshadow alert!), he fell in love with the owner, who was in her 60s. (And by “fell in love” he obviously means “hatched an evil but brilliant takeover plan.”) When she died, Phillip inherited the hotel and an estate worth $10 million.

Screenshot 2014-07-28 23.26.13.jpg

Now that he’s dating Ginger, the hotel’s GM, who is also 30 years his senior (it appears Phillip has a type), Phillip flaunts his wealth in front of his overworked, underpaid and underappreciated staff with expensive jewelry, yachts, a fleet of vintage automobiles he leaves parked out in front of the hotel and his arrogance. And maybe the most problematic issue the Monticello is facing? There are only four suites in the entire historic hotel that are available for guests. The overflow guests (read: more than eight) have to stay in the dumpy, Motel 6–looking block of rooms next door.

It’s time for our man Ramsay to intervene (in more than one way, as he quickly discovers). After checking in and being taken to the “North Wing,” which is what they call the “crappy hotel next door” (as Ramsay puts it), he refuses his room and insists he stay in the main building, where he discovers his room is full of décor from a doctor’s office waiting room. And by “doctor” I mean my pediatrician—in 1975. Phillip also uses all the other rooms in the historic hotel as a dumping ground for ugly, junky furniture he doesn’t want anymore (apparently you don’t have to have good taste to be a millionaire).

hotelhellpaper.jpgBut it turns out that Phillip’s biggest offense is actually far more serious than some worn furniture, stained toilets or disgusting food (as Ramsay discovers when he samples the menu). Phillip is an alcoholic, and everyone but Phillip knows it; in fact, as the restaurant manager shows and tells Ramsay, Phillip was arrested just the previous day for a DUI.

Ramsay is shocked that he didn’t know this news (which I strongly doubt, but I’ll go with it because Ramsay is THE MAN) and calls Phillip and the kitchen staff out. This is what we will call “Intervention #1.” After the obligatory finger-pointing (Phillip and Ginger accuse the staff of taking advantage of them; the chef doesn’t get to plan his own menu and isn’t allowed time to prep; the staff is underpaid; the owner calls the staff liars), Ramsay tells Phillip that he can’t run his hotel like a miser and expect success.

Ramsay: Have you had a drink today?
Phillip: No.
Ramsay, with a new AA slogan: If you can’t be honest with yourself, you’re f*cked.

After a second intervention, in which the staff confronts Phillip about his drinking problem and Phillip once again denies it (seems that slogan is taking some time to catch on), Ramsay takes them all up to his room to scare them straight. Has your food digested? Good. Ramsay passes out orange chemistry goggles to the staff, turns out the overhead light, stands on the bare mattress and flips on a blacklight. The mattresses light up like a DayGlo petri dish with splatters and globs of illuminated body fluids. I’m not sure if those glasses were to help them see the stains or to protect their retinas from exploding like tiny atom bombs. Ramsay sweeps his light over the offensive lakes of questionable residue and identifies one as the very thing we’ve all been thinking, but have been too frightened to voice aloud: semen.

Listen: We all know our own mattresses harbor all kinds of residue and flakes and mites, but when someone else’s is all lit up for us (as is the case when we discover these are Phillip’s old mattresses), it gives new, sick meaning to the phrase “sweet dreams.”

After more intervening with Phillip, where the staff tells heartbreaking stories about being overworked and underpaid, and after Ramsay tries to point out to Phillip that his staff is the backbone of his business, Phillip still can’t give any answers for his behavior. Ramsay’s answer? “Get the f*ck out.” Tough love at its toughest. I’m both terrified and reassured for Ramsay’s children’s future. 

Waking up in the bathtub (because he’s not an idiot), Ramsay brings a focus group of guests to try to intervene (Intervention #4, if you’re keeping track). When even comments like “it looked like an animal was killed and dragged down the hall” don’t get through to Phillip, it’s time for Gordon Ramsay’s therapy session. Dr. Ramsay sits down with Ginger, and after she tearfully tells him that she’s scared for her boyfriend, promises he’ll persuade moneybags to get treatment. You know what this means? Intervention #5.

The staff gathers—once again (this has to be getting tiring)—and tells Phillip honestly what they think of him. Surprisingly, they care. Not surprisingly, Phillip doesn’t. Eventually, Ramsay gets through to him and convinces him to enter treatment. Fifth time’s a charm.

Overnight, the Hotel Hell team magically transforms the Monticello’s four suites into pimped-out and overaccessorized rooms of luxury (sorry, but the bearskin rugs were tacky) and—drumroll, please—opened up four new rooms in the main hotel! The tacky “MOTEL” sign on the block of rooms next door is gone, but we’re left to imagine the improved décor, as we don’t get to see it. With a new room-service menu and a reinvented menu for the hotel restaurant as well, the Monticello is once again the heart of Longview.

As for Phillip? Apparently he is to start treatment next week. And word is the Monticello’s staff is reenergized and bookings are up after Ramsay’s help and the renovation. Hey, with a brand-new capacity of 16 guests, they’ll surely be back in the green in no time.

Hotel Hell airs Mondays at 9/8C on FOX.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

You May Like