5 of the Most Annoying Owners from Gordon Ramsay's Hotel Hell
Robert Dean II
Robert Dean II
Robert Dean II appeared in the maiden edition of Hotel Hell in the episode "Juniper Hill Inn." Robert viewed the Juniper Hill Inn as his own private castle and his staff as his serfs.
Robert was an arrogant owner who loved to show-off. He had the hotel filled with antiques. He had his $100,000 motorcoach parked outside the hotel. He also loves to throw parties and lets his friends stay at the inn for free.
Robert treats his staff like indentured servants and does not pay them on time. He also underpays them. Executive Chef Giulian only makes $400 a week which is far below the pay scale of an executive chef in a luxury hotel. Also the server Barbara made $6000 for an entire year which is only $500 a month. The former chef Ida left because she was not paid on time and had a hard time getting reimbursed for the produce she bought on her charge card.
Aside from treating their staff like second class citizens, Robert has a very snobbish attitude. The prices of the hotel are way higher than what locals could afford. Their three course meal costs $59 plus a $15 surcharge if you want lamb. The restaurant at the inn is also reservation only and you could not just walk in. The prices of the rooms are also high at $350 per night with a minimum of a 2-day stay.
Robert shows his true colors during the post dinner service meeting Gordon had with the owners and employees of the Juniper Hill Inn. He argued with Gordon and said that if the employees did not want to work at the Juniper Hill Inn they did not have to. Gordon then leaves the meeting disgusted with Robert's selfish, arrogant and pompous attitude.
The second part of the episode shows that the situation was worse. Robert was not only underpaying, delaying salary payments and treating his staff poorly, he was stealing employee's tips.
Robert is finally humbled when Gordon hires the services of Amy, the head auctioneer at Bonhams. She values Robert's entire collection at $25,000 as it was full of copies and reproductions. Also, many of the antiques had conditioning issues. The collection that Robert valued at $300,000 turned out to be much lower than expected.
Because the hotel was in so much debt and was mismanaged for far too long, the hotel went into foreclosure in April 2014.
Robert Dean II
John is a very eccentric person. He bought the Roosevelt School property for $700,000 in 1999 without telling his wife. He already had the deal done by the time he made the announcement to her. The school holds a special place in John's heart as he attended it from Grade 1-4.
His wife Tina was crying when she found out that John had just acquired the inn in 1999. The acquisition of the property resulted in a financial disaster for John and his wife. They owe $1.1 million to the bank, have cashed in their 401k plan and ended up losing their home. They now lived at the attic of the inn.
During Gordon's initial conversation with John, John is just laughing at all the problems Gordon is presenting to him. When Gordon reprimands him for his attitude, he then threatens to physically harm Gordon. He then gives Gordon the keys to his room and walks off.
Through the episode, John could be seen doing a lot of eccentric things. First, he just lets his dogs roam around the premises and this causes the place to stink. He tells Gordon that the dogs are one of the highlights of the inn. He then hosts a monthly murder mystery dinner where he dresses up like Sherlock Holmes and has his staff dress up as well. He brags that this earns him $200 a night but Gordon chides him because it does not lead to any addition room rentals. To top it all off, the wedding planner Misty Ceriello said that John was mime dancing during the wedding and it caused an embarrassing situation.
The inn was not doing well at all. John said that the occupancy rate for the year was 20%. With 15 rooms for rent, that only translates to an average of 3 rented rooms at any given time. His rates were absurd at $319 a day for a place that smelled and had outdated decor. He also spent $54,000 to renovate a ballroom / multipurpose room which looked outdated and did not bring in any cash flow.
At the end, Gordon was able to make John realize his mistakes and help turn around the failing inn. The good news is the inn is doing better and is still open to this day - several years after the episode originally aired.
Rina Smrkovski was a spoiled child together with her sister Vanda. Shortly after acquiring the inn, Rina took a three month vacation instead of trying to learn the hotel business. She left her family to run the inn on their own.
Rina has very little work experience and seems to know nothing about running the inn. During a staff meeting, she argues with Mandy Thompson, the general manager, and causes her to walk out. Gordon convinces Mandy to return. She does so but on the condition that the sisters leave.
Rina brags to Gordon that she was successful in everything she put her efforts in. Gordon talks to Rina and asks her what has she been successful at. She tells Gordon that she worked at a fast food joint when she was 14.Gordon is unimpressed with this.
The end of the episode shows Mandy now being the general manager of the inn again and the sisters taking a cab home. Gordon gives them two goldfish to teach them responsibility.
Since then, several changes have happened. Mandy Thompson, the general manager, is no longer working at the inn and is now working at the Pipestone System - a cooperative of hog raisers. Vanda has returned and is managing the inn. The inn itself is now for sale for $875,000.
Lisa and her husband Jonathan have owned the Vienna since the year 2000. They wanted the Vienna to be an Austrian haven where people could experience being in Austria without flying out there. However, the place has gotten a bad reputation in the community as a swinger's hangout.
Lisa is depicted on the show as someone who has some psychological issues as she has frequent mood swings and mistreats their staff. She even smacked her server at the back of the head in front of a customer.
The Vienna inn is full of clutter and the food is dated. The ambiance of the hotel is not impressive either. The owners live in the hotel so everyone can hear when they quarrel. The employees also do not get paid on time. The employees also have to pay for their own uniforms.
Gordon investigates the basement and finds a mineral spa and a wine cellar but nothing really suspicious.
Through the show, Lisa is shown to be crying a lot. But the staff dismisses it as crocodile tears.
Gordon then revamps the menu, the decor and the staff's uniforms. Instead of being thankful, Lisa nitpicked small things in the revamp. Before Gordon left, Gordon had a quick chat with Lisa and Jonathan. Lisa sounded very ungrateful and nitpicked Gordon's changes again.
Just as many stubborn owners before them, Lisa and Jonathan reverted back to their old ways and reverted back to the old menu and decor.
Verindar is an Indian migrant who bought the historic Brick Hotel with her son CJ. It was promised to be a hands-off operation which runs itself. It has been a decade since and she has yet to see her investment pay off. Verindar used to be a family therapist who helped people with their problems. Now, it seems she is in need of help as she often goes off on her staff.
The episode begins with Gordon in a room full of former employees. The former employees believe that hundreds of employees have left the hotel due to Verindar's poor attitude towards people.
Gordon is not impressed when he gets to the hotel. The front has smashed windows. The wallpaper is peeling. The wall is riddled with bullet holes.
Gordon ascends up the flight of stairs and discovers plenty of dust. When he gets to the room, his sheets and curtains which were white and now yellowish and the shower curtains and carpets are full of mold.
Gordon is not impressed with the food either and finds out how filthy the kitchen is.
Gordon discovers through his interaction with the staff and CJ that Verindar is very controlling and shouts and demeans people. She runs the hotel like a dictatorship and has cut corners which has degraded the customer experience. She also does not pay the people on time and calls the cops on them when they demand their paycheck.
In the end, Gordon helps Verindar realize the error of her ways and gets CJ more involved in the business as CJ is more of a people person.
In a later interview, Verindar plays up the aspect of reality television to cover up the fact she has atrocious behavior and that her hotel is dilapidated. It appears she may not have changed after all.