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The Hotel

Season 1 2011

  • 2011-04-17T15:00:00-04:00 on Channel 4
  • 60 mins
  • 8 hours, 0 mins
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Documentary

Documentary following life at the Damson Dene, a three-star hotel in the Lake District, as staff try to keep holiday-makers happy during a busy summer season.

Season two switches to the Grosvenor in sunny Torquay, where manager Mark tries to keep control over troublesome guests, and even more troublesome staff!

8 episodes

1x01 The Proposal

  • Series Premiere

    2011-04-17T15:00:00-04:00 — 60 mins

A man from Essex nervously prepares to propose to his girlfriend, and a fellow guest awaits the results of a test for cancer. Meanwhile, manager Wayne Bartholomew is at a loss as he tries to deal with new assistant Amos, whose enthusiasm greatly outweighs his abilities

1x02 The Wedding

  • 2011-04-24T15:00:00-04:00 — 60 mins

Checking in to the Damson Dene in this second episode are Tom and Susanna, who arrive a couple of weeks before their wedding to make sure everything is in place. Susanna is five-and-a-half months pregnant and Tom's grandmother has been very ill so there is no time to lose. Even though he lives alone in a caravan with his dog, Fly, Hotel Manager Wayne is a bit of a romantic. So he loves to put on the perfect wedding in one of the three civil ceremony rooms: the Princess Suite, The Heron View and the Lounge. The hotel's owner, Jonathan, depends on weddings to keep the hotel afloat, so both insist on giving the bride and groom their dream day. Whenever there is a wedding, most of the pressure falls on chef Kirk and his Polish kitchen staff. Catering for 80 people puts everyone under stress and the language barrier can really turn the heat up. When Tom and Susanna's big day arrives, the first signs of trouble arise when the toilet in their bridal suite stops working and Tom turns to brandy to calm his nerves. Then the best man goes too far in his speech and the service from the kitchen starts to break down. Can Kirk get the kitchen running smoothly, and can Wayne keep the guests happy?

1x03 Kids Eat Free

  • 2011-05-01T15:00:00-04:00 — 60 mins

It's the school holidays and the Damson Dene is full to bursting with families and their young children. From reception to the gardens, from the bedrooms to the hallways and even under tables in the dining room, kids are everywhere, pushing the staff to the limits. Checking in this week are four families desperately in need of a break from the pressures of everyday life. But with noise levels on the rise and flies irritating both staff and guests, will their stay in the Lake District deliver the stress-free holiday they're after? The hotel is stretched when one of Britain's largest families comes to stay: Kate and Ian, their two dogs and seven daughters aged 14 and under. With so many kids, they've named their daughters alphabetically, and keeping track of all their ages is tricky. And the family is about to get even bigger. With yet another baby on the way, Kate and Ian are especially in need of a few days away. They're regular guests as few hotels so readily accommodate such a large family, but here at the Damson Dene, the staff set about juggling furniture and filling the two rooms with extra beds in a bid to squeeze everyone in. And parenting is proving hectic for Alistair and Emma, who've come to the hotel with 18-month-old Connor and three-month-old Cameron. He might not have officially reached the 'terrible twos', but Connor is definitely giving his parents the run-around. Meal times are proving especially chaotic - and potentially embarrassing - as young Connor causes a scene over dinner. But with the hotel full of other people's kids, some of the staff are missing their own. Kate, the restaurant supervisor, pines for her five-year-old son who she's recently left in Poland for an extended holiday with his grandparents. And hotel manager Wayne reveals a startling truth about his own childhood.

1x04 Bedlam and Breakfast

  • 2011-05-08T15:00:00-04:00 — 60 mins

On one night at the Damson Dene, the lives of staff and guests change forever. Checking in are Richard and Rebecca from Manchester, who have two young babies and haven't spent a night on their own for 14 months. Richard's just turned 30, and when Rebecca asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he said 'a night's sleep'. For this exhausted couple, a night away from the kids should be the perfect tonic. It's also their three-year anniversary, so they'd like to celebrate that too and make it a night to remember. But after champagne, beer, wine and a bottle of vodka, the night becomes one they'd do well to forget. Also visiting the Damson Dene are Simon, an engineer for the Royal Navy, and his Brazilian girlfriend Vanusa, whom he met while on a naval posting overseas. She doesn't speak a word of English and Simon's Portuguese is basic, but he's madly in love with her. Undeterred by the language barrier, he's taking her on a two-week tour of the UK in the hope she'll agree to move here and start a new life together. Arriving straight from the airport, the Lake District is the first stop on their holiday. Will a night at the Damson Dene - her first ever outside Brazil - work its magic? Behind the scenes, kitchen porter Kuba has recently been put in charge of preparing all the starters and desserts. But is he up to the job? Kuba's behaviour in the kitchen has been testing the patience of both head chef Kirk and manager Wayne. Tonight, the fallout from his drunken evening may lead to a one-way ticket back to Poland. Is this one hangover too many for Kuba?

1x05 There's a Fly in My Soup

  • 2011-05-15T15:00:00-04:00 — 60 mins

The Damson Dene comes under attack from guests complaining about everything from the décor to the food and the housekeeping, pushing manager Wayne and his staff to the brink. First to check in are mother and daughter Margaret and Sasha, who love value for money and make a point of seeking out bargain breaks. They've driven from near Bolton to the Lake District to take advantage of the Damson Dene's £50-a-night bed, breakfast and dinner deal. But can the hotel live up to their exacting standards and high expectations? Geordie couple Jamie and Danielle are not impressed when the TV in their hotel room goes on the blink. Things come to a head when a nasty review is posted on TripAdvisor, in which the staff bear the brunt of the criticism. But it's not all bad reviews. Mark and Clare from Wigan love everything about the hotel, especially its dog-friendly policy, as they never go anywhere without Brandy, their cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Following a stock-take, mouldy food is found in the fridge. Determined not to let standards slip, General Manager Wayne comes down hard on the kitchen staff, and clashes with Kirk the head chef, who's forced to rethink how best to run his kitchen.

1x06 Do Not Disturb

  • 2011-05-22T15:00:00-04:00 — 60 mins

Mysterious forces are at work at the Damson Dene when one of the hotel's showers appears inexplicably occupied baffling staff and guests alike. Local psychic Amanda is looking for a function room. She's running an event to show everyone that they too can be looked after by one of the angels she believes are all around us, if only we open our eyes. 'You're very lucky if you get to see an angel... most people tend to feel (them)', says Amanda. Intrigued, head receptionist Yvonne turns up to find out more. Meanwhile, checking in to the Hotel are the Bells - an Evangelical Christian couple who've come away for a relaxing weekend of walking and prayer. They're fascinated by the general assistant Amos's Biblical name and think he might be a potential convert. But the Bells are baffled when they return to their room to find the bathroom locked and the shower on full pelt. The receptionists are baffled too, and manager Wayne is sent to investigate. The hotel's newest recruit, Amos, is reaching the end of his probation period. He's moved from Romania in the hope of building a career in the hotel industry. Despite being hard-working and keen, he still struggles with basic tasks, and the strain of starting life in a new country is also taking its toll. Amos considers his future and reflects on the tough circumstances back home that led him to leave Romania in search of a better life in England. Hotel manager Wayne can't decide whether he wants to adopt him or suggest that he return home to Transylvania.

1x07 Pillow Talk

  • 2011-05-29T15:00:00-04:00 — 60 mins

Relationships are under the spotlight at the Damson Dene. Nadine and Christian are at the end of a two-month trial separation. They've come to the Damson Dene with their teenage children Beth and Luke and cocker spaniel Cassie in a last-ditch attempt to save their marriage and bond again as a family. Christian and Nadine's attempts to rescue their relationship veer from public displays of affection (to the embarrassment of Beth and Luke) to private moments of tension as they struggle to forgive and forget. Will a stay at the hotel get their relationship back on track? Meanwhile, Bob and Jeanie from Scotland have come to the Lake District in search of peace and solitude and to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Behind the scenes at the hotel, barman Paul and general assistant Lavinia are the only married couple living in the staff quarters. They came to the UK from Romania three years ago and are about to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. Manager Wayne has become very close to them, and, despite his own chequered love life, remains a hopeless romantic. They're away from their home, family and friends, and Wayne is determined to make their anniversary one to remember, so he enlists help from the other staff to prepare a surprise banquet.

1x08 Damson in Distress

  • 2011-06-05T15:00:00-04:00 — 60 mins

Trouble is brewing as manager Wayne clashes with his assistant, Marta. Marta was the acting manager until Wayne was hired a year ago, and their relationship was problematic almost from the outset. Now their dislike for one another has reached the stage where hotel owner Jonathan is forced to get involved. Things come to a head when Wayne pushes Jonathan to decide which of them should go if they can't tolerate working under the same roof. Can Jonathan mend the fences or will a vacancy at one of his other hotels provide the only solution? Elsewhere, Jonathan hopes another of his couplings is more successful - this time in the hotel's pigsty. He's brought in a boar to impregnate the hotel's resident herd of sows. Will these pairings prove less problematic? Back in reception, singer/songwriter couple Marie and Philip are checking in. They've come to the hotel seeking creative inspiration from its surroundings and the chance to write songs together. Phil's snoring, however, is proving far from music to his wife's ears. They've brought their son Andrew with them. He's about to turn 16, and the couple are determined to squeeze in one more family holiday before he's too old to endure the prospect. As a birthday present, the couple drive Andrew on a 350-mile round trip from the hotel up to Edinburgh to visit a shop he loves. But, perhaps they should have phoned ahead to check it would be open...