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!
It's the start of the summer season back at the Grosvenor Hotel in Torquay. After a long, lean winter, finances are at rock bottom and hotel manager Mark faces the toughest challenge of his life: to stop the doors closing on the business forever. His bums on beds formula hasn't worked and only a radical approach can save the failing hotel now. In true eccentric style, Mark has come up with a master plan: his self-described three-star, bucket-and-spade hotel is going upmarket, catering to the 'Guardian readers - the people with money'. Cue more madness and mayhem as Mark and his team try to lure in posh guests and keep them happy over another busy summer season. Mark's first step towards attracting posher guests and their disposable dosh is through special events. Feisty reservations manager Alison is not convinced by Mark's new snobbish aspirations but is soon swept along in his maverick mission.
Mark brings in a former AA Chief Hotel Inspector as he tries to take the Grosvenor upmarket.
Mark decides the key to attracting more up-market guests to the Grosvenor is to invest in a new gourmet sausage.
The Grosvenor bares all at what should be the hottest money-spinning event of the season - Ladies' Night. But with only two days to go manager Mark and events manager Christian are still on the hunt for the star turn - the strippers. Oh, and they've set the ticket price too low: half a dozen topless butlers, a couple of strippers, a disco and a buffet, all for a fiver. Nobody knows exactly how many ladies are coming. Christian hasn't numbered the tickets and Mark is selling more and more behind Christian's back. Meanwhile, the former chief AA hotel inspector that Mark called in to help reverse the Grosvenor's fortunes returns to check on efforts to upgrade the hotel. With little evidence that any of his recommendations have been implemented, one of the bedrooms gets a 60-minute makeover while 'unflappable' reservations manager Alison distracts the inspector in the hotel bar. At least the inspector is on hand to provide some solutions to the chaos of Ladies' Night, confronting Mark and Christian about yet another last-minute scramble. And as he digs deeper he discovers the hotel finances are in worse shape than he imagined. Meanwhile, the guests are warming up for Ladies' Night, including a pink-clad hen party from South Wales and three generations of the all-girl Fletcher family from Shrewsbury, one of whom has an unrequited crush on manager Mark.
Mark has had a brainwave as he continues to attempt to broaden The Grosvenor's horizons and attract new guests: an Indian themed night, with Indian dancing, Indian singing and a lavish Indian feast, in an attempt to attract repeat business from Indian families. Mark throws himself into the spirit of the evening, plumping for authentic Indian dress and plastering his face with brown make-up, to the horror of reservations manager Alison, and the amusement of his Indian guests. Mark isn't the only thing getting on Alison's nerves; all hell breaks loose when someone steals her beloved Torquay United mug. And Mark reaches the end of his tether when a simple BBQ almost turns into a bonfire. Meanwhile, some important invited guests are getting ready for Indian night, including Indian millionaire Gulu and his daughter Dibna, who are on a rare trip to the seaside. They're blown away by the beach at Torquay, but the banquet at the Indian night falls short of their expectations and fish and chips become the order of the day. To make matters worse, pest control is called to investigate some unwelcome guests in the millionaire's bedroom. The French family from Doncaster are also checking in. They've come to Torquay for many years but now eldest son Luke, who has autism, is growing up and the family holiday is a chance for him to spread his wings.
Mark decides to take a tougher line on staff management, and that it's time for events manager Christian to become more cost-conscious. Mark gives Christian a chance to prove himself by asking him to organise a money-spinning wedding fair at short notice, and to oversee a wedding that The Grosvenor has gifted to a local couple as part of a drive to raise the hotel's profile. But Christian's personal life is in turmoil and he's suffering from a broken heart; can he give the bride the day of her dreams? Tensions come to a head as word leaks out that Christian has been persuaded to give the 'free wedding' couple the two most expensive things on the menu: duck a l'orange and pink Cava. Mark finally decides to take decisive action. 'Christian's day of reckoning is coming,' he says, but their meeting takes an unexpected turn. Meanwhile, Alex and Amanda from Dudley are checking in to The Grosvenor. They've come to Torquay to relive some of the happy childhood memories Alex had with his father, who recently passed away.
Mark finally decides to sell The Grosvenor: his debts are now so high that he has no choice but to let the hotel go. He's dreading telling the staff. Mark turns to his advisor, the former chief AA hotel inspector, for support. The guests, like the staff, are unaware that these are the last days of The Grosvenor in its current guise. Meanwhile, front of house, The Grosvenor is as 'fawlty' as ever. The Jones family from Leeds check in after taking eight hours to travel the 300 miles to Torquay. The Grosvenor corridors prove a similar navigational nightmare as they settle in to their first ever stay in a hotel. Reservations manager Alison's favourite family, the Fountains, make a return visit to The Grosvenor and nine-year-old Lane Fountain's dream comes true when a maintenance man teaches him how to vacuum. Lane has a genetic condition called William's Syndrome: he's extremely friendly and obsessed with vacuum cleaners. The hotel staff take him under their wing as the business collapses around them. It's the end of an era but Mark tries to keep a smile on everyone's faces by entering Team Grosvenor in the Torbay coastal rowing race. For the first and last time, Alison dons her Lycra and takes to the water. Can Team Grosvenor win the battle at sea even though Mark's lost the financial war?
Mark needs a buyer for The Grosvenor before the summer ends, while the doors are still open and the staff still have their jobs. In the meantime, he wants reservations manager Alison to step into his shoes and run the hotel. Alison is far from convinced but agrees to do it 'on a trial basis'. The first day Mark is away, barman Nick decides it's his chance to run the bingo session. With a few drinks inside him he tries to bring alternative comedy to The Grosvenor's regulars. Alison realises she's going to have to crack the whip to get the staff in line for a new owner. Mark, meanwhile, is on the trail of a local hotel magnate who has shown an interest in The Grosvenor. With no other potential buyers coming forward, former salesman Mark needs to close this deal. With a sale looking more likely, Mark prepares to leave, and the reality of an era at The Grosvenor coming to an end hits the staff. They decide to throw a last-minute leaving party for him: can they pull off this one last event in time? Meanwhile, the oblivious guests keep telling Mark what a great time they're having and rebooking for the next year. Mark's mum, Stella, is finding it all hard to bear. Will her son be leaving with nothing except the holiday memories he always wanted to create for his guests?