It looks like Gordon Ramsay and his Hotel Hell team’s renovations vary drastically from one business to the next.
Seeing Gordon Ramsay (and his incredible behind-the-scenes team) completely transform entire hotels, motels and inns on the hit show, Hotel Hell, will always be awe-inspiring. And, as it turns out, not just down to television magic.
The scale of the Hotel Hell renovations
While the quantity and scale of renovations that are done to every hotel featured on the show vary greatly and it does not usually include all of the hotel’s rooms.
These renovations are actually real and get left behind when the Hotel Hell team go on their merry way again.
Although the success of these renovations really seems to depend on who you ask.
Karan Townsend, the owner of season three’s Town’s Inn, insisted that the inn’s Hotel Hell renovations only totaled about $20,000 and did not respect the inn’s history at all.
Moreover, Brent and Afni MacDonald from season three’s Lakeview Hotel claimed that new bedding was the only real upgrade that their hotel got.
However, other owners, like John and Tina Hough from season one’s The Roosevelt Inn, walked away with a new executive sweet, a renovated kitchen and even a new basement meeting room.
How the Hotel Hell process works
Producing the Hotel Hell episodes actually took much more coordination than audiences may realize and every business and its owners had to go through quite the months-long process before their renovations could be completed, as follows:
|Step 1: The casting||Hotel Hell was cast just like most other reality shows on television, through public casting calls which were advertised through the network.|
|Step 2: The research and preparation||Ramsay actually has an entire team of researchers, members of the production team and members of the public, who help him research the lodging establishments before he visits them for the first time.|
|Step 3: The filming and renovations||After everything had been finalized, Ramsay and his team spent anything from a few days to a few weeks renovating the hotels and training the staff.|
|Step 4: The airing of the episode||Only after all of this has been completed, can the episode be edited and finally, aired on television for the world to see.|
How Ramsay chooses his Hotel Hell establishments
The IBIS World Industry Reports revealed that the number of hotels and motels in the United States had reached 107,258 at the end of 2022 and the Dream Big Travel Far Blog estimates that there are about 742,728 hotels and resorts across the globe.
Therefore, it is difficult to imagine just how this celebrity chef and his team went about choosing just a few lodging establishments to feature on every season of Hotel Hell.
But Ramsay revealed the answer to this question when he started promoting Hotel Hell, all the way back in 2012, before the series had even started airing.
Ramsay stated in an interview with the TV Is My Pacifier team, that they gave preference to hotels with great historical significance in their areas.
Is Hotel Hell fake?
While the Hotel Hell makeovers may not always have been very consistent in terms of scale, one thing that has been consistent since the show started airing its first episodes in 2012, are the questions around whether it is all just fabricated for the cameras or not.
And although it has been pretty widely confirmed that the show did indeed do the renovations which were shown on camera, it is also true that the production team often filmed scenes more than once to get certain shots right.
In the end, Hotel Hell is pretty much as real as any other reality television makeover-show on television.
The Hotel owners do not always keep Ramsay’s renovations
If you have ever tuned in to watch an episode of Hotel Hell, then you will know that the owners of the lodging establishments featured on the show are often less-than-thrilled to hear Ramsay’s suggestions for their businesses.
And while some owners, like the Houghs for instance, found plenty of value in the new breakfast bar which the celebrity chef left them with, other owners have not always felt the same.
Furthermore, Verindar Kuar from season three’s Brick Hotel insisted that the show had done irreparable damage to the hotel’s reputation and insisted in 2016 that they needed to renovate the hotel all over again after Ramsay’s departure.