The Hotel Inspector

LIVING CHANNEL – Tuesdays from 1 January, 10.30pm

In this companion series to The Hotel Inspector, Ruth Watson is given the chance to offer more insight and personal views about the hotels covered in the main series, and each hotelier records video diaries as they attempt to put into practice Ruth’s advice. There is also an update at the end of each episode on what has happened at the hotel since Ruth’s visit.

LIVING CHANNEL – Tuesdays from 6 November, 9.30pm

The Hotel Inspector is on a mission – to scare the hell out of Britain’s hoteliers and drag the multitudes of under-performing holiday accommodations out of the doldrums and up to a standard more befitting of the nations’ most visited tourist spots. With the highest standards – and a vicious eye for detail, Ruth Watson lifts the lid on the grotty hotel experience: cheap cotton, inferior interiors and an atmosphere more akin to a morgue than a place to holiday. Her mission is to assess why an establishment is failing to thrive then encourage, cajole and shame the owner into rethinking their service. There is plain talk and good advice, but only once Ruth has taken over the running of the hotel for a day following the routine of the current owners to understand the challenges they face. A five point plan will then be drawn up to implement an upgrade.

LIVING – Tuesdays from 1 November, 9.30pm

The Hotel Inspector is on a mission – to scare the hell out of Britain’s hoteliers and drag the multitudes of under-performing holiday accommodations out of the doldrums and up to a standard more befitting of the nations’ most visited tourist spots. With the highest standards – and a vicious eye for detail, Ruth Watson lifts the lid on the grotty hotel experience: cheap cotton, inferior interiors and an atmosphere more akin to a morgue than a place to holiday. Her mission is to assess why an establishment is failing to thrive then encourage, cajole and shame the owner into rethinking their service. There is plain talk and good advice, but only once Ruth has taken over the running of the hotel for a day following the routine of the current owners to understand the challenges they face. A five point plan will then be drawn up to implement an upgrade.

7:30pm Friday, February 12 on TV One

Alex Polizzi is back to whip Britain’s troubled hotels and bed-and-breakfasts into shape in a new series of The Hotel Inspector, starting tonight at 7.30pm on TV ONE. For the first time, she’s stepping away from home shores, onto the Swiss ski slopes to answer an ex-pat SOS.

As the daughter of Olga Polizzi, the granddaughter of the late Lord Forte and niece of Sir Rocco Forte, Polizzi has all the industry experience and authority needed to turn flagging hotels into profitable ventures. Her mission is to cast fresh and expert eyes over a number of failing hotels and bring them up to the impeccably high standards of excellence synonymous with the Forte name.

Polizzi’s role as hotel inspector requires her to be both tough and tactful, as she helps often clueless hoteliers turn their failing businesses around. Polizzi says: “If a room is perfect, it’s far more relaxing to be in. It needs to be completely tidy and ordered – there’s nothing worse than piles of junk, which should be shut away elsewhere.”

Her first project is The Crown Inn in Lewes, a hotel with an illustrious history that stretches back to 1675. But since owner Karen Lloyd took over two-and-a-half years ago, the historic inn is failing dismally and unhappy guests are spreading the word over the internet.

Desperate, she turns to Polizzi for guidance, but even the inspector is shocked by what she finds. Maddened at the squalor she discovers in the hotel’s interior – from the filthy toilet to the rubbish in the hallways – she turns her fury on Karen and instructs her to shut the hotel for two days.

This season, Polizzi’s inspections will also take her to an Edwardian hotel, run by an inexperienced and feuding family; a B&B in Blackpool on the edge of bankruptcy; a historic hotel that appears to have no hope of survival; a floating hotel that is rapidly sinking; a Swiss dream that quickly turned into a nightmare; and more.

Polizzi trained at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Hong Kong and has worked at Marco Pierre White’s London restaurant Criterion, and runs the award-winning Hotel Endsleigh in Tavistock, Devon.

“Too many people go into the hotel business thinking it’s going to be an easy option, but it is the toughest job to get right and make money,” says Polizzi. “For me, great service should start with the first smile you get when you check in – and that costs nothing.”

7:30pm Saturday, September 26 on TV One

A new series of The Hotel Inspector starts tonight at 7.30pm on TV ONE, with a new look, and a new host. Renowned hotelier Alex Polizzi is the daughter of Olga Polizzi, the granddaughter of Lord Forte and niece of Sir Rocco Forte, and an award-winning hotelier. She has all the industry experience and authority needed to turn flagging hotels into profitable ventures.

Polizzi trained at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong, worked for Marco Pierre White at the Criterion, and has done stints at Rocco Forte hotels in Cardiff, Rome, St Petersburg, as well as setting up her mother’s hotel, Tresanton in Cornwall. Her mission remains the same for this well-established format – casting fresh and expert eyes over a number of failing hotels and bringing them up to her impeccably high standards of excellence.

“Too many people go into the hotel business thinking it’s going to be an easy option, but it is the toughest job to get right, and make money,” Polizzi says. “For me, great service should start with the first smile you get when you check in – and that costs nothing.”

She brings a practical intelligence and fiery Italian temperament to bear on every level of the hotel trade. With her straight-talking and practical advice, Polizzi hopes to turn them into successful and profitable ventures and use the experience gained through her current role as proprietor of the Hotel Endsleigh in Devon (recently voted the best rural retreat in the UK) to advise these ailing businesses.

Polizzi can’t believe some of the hotels she visits. From staffing to menus, from décor to hygiene, no stone is left unturned in her desire for improvement.

Frustrated by the foolish mistakes owners make, Polizzi says she was surprised at how the hoteliers took her advice. “It fascinated me because all these people have asked me to come in and give them a hand, and actually I do have quite a bit of knowledge, but nobody likes being told that they’re doing something wrong. They have a million excuses for why they’re doing it their way.”

Episode one sees chaos and confusion bring a once grand hotel to the brink of disaster. Reputedly the oldest hotel in Wales, The Castle of Brecon was once a glamorous destination for the rich and famous. Neglected for decades, the 43-bedroom hotel is now owned by Leon Ricci and his Russian wife Natasha. With no previous experience in the hotel industry, the couple bought the hotel on a whim. One year later, The Castle was costing them £40,000 a month to keep open; had lost almost all its staff; and was receiving reviews so bad that Leon likened reading them to a knife being plunged into his heart.