Hotel Hell - Applegate River Lodge - OPEN

Hotel Hell Applegate River Lodge

In this Hotel Hell episode, Gordon Ramsay visits Applegate River Lodge in Applegate, Oregon.

Applegate River Lodge is owned by Richard and Joanna Davis but run by them and their family.

The couple designed and built the lodge 22 years ago but since their divorce the hotel, family and the business has started to suffer.

Gordon arrives at the hotel and notices an ugly area near the entrance and a pungent smell coming from somewhere.

He is impressed by the size of the lobby but he finds it almost devoid of furniture and people.

There is a sign directing guests to buzz for an attendant, Gordon presses the buzzer but Richard takes his time responding to it.

Gordon sits on the floor waiting for someone to help him, seeing as there are no chairs available in the lobby.

Richard greets him introducing himself as ‘Pa Butt’ and shows him his back office, which will become a party venue later.

The smell gets stronger and Richard tries to pass it off as incense and cooking herbs but on close inspection Gordon identifies it as Cannabis.

Richard finally admits to it being medicinal marijuana and that he is high.

Richard shows Gordon his room, called the ‘Cattleman Room’ and Gordon comments that it smells like cattle.

The room has a splendid view but Gordon is distracted by the stained furnishings, ugly bed covers and dead and alive insects.

Richard admits he doesn't see the hotel as a business but his ex-wife who runs it tries to keep on top of things.

Gordon meets Joanna and she says she is the one who keeps the books and basically runs the place.

She reveals they owe close to $1 million and are losing between $5,000 - $15,000 a month.

Their sons, Dusty and Duke, run the restaurant and music events but don’t share profits with the profits they make with their mother or the hotel.

Gordon is shocked the hotel isn’t profitable with its location and all of the fantastic views of nature.

Gordon meets with Duke first, who collects $15 as a gate fee but doesn't share the profits with the hotel.

Gordon takes Duke outside but can’t get anything out of him as he is high, having smoked earlier in the day.

Next, Gordon meets with Dusty in the restaurant. Dusty says he makes about $150,000 a year.

Joanna is shocked to hear this as she didn’t know it was that profitable and also he pays nothing back to the hotel or his mother.

Gordon goes for a walk on a balcony and comes across Dusty and Duke in a heated argument with Joanna trying to separate them.

As news has spread that Gordon is at the hotel it is fully booked and is full.

The restaurant is busy but patrons send back dishes and complain about the food. Gordon notices a dog is sitting by the tables.

In the kitchen, Gordon sees kitchen prep staff putting ketchup on a salad trying to make ‘Thousand Island’ dressing.

The restaurant cooks frozen salmon even though there is fresh salmon in the river close by.

Gordon meets with the restaurant staff and tells them they are playing at running a restaurant because their service and food is awful.

By 10pm, a loud concert is started in the lobby while guests are trying to check in to the hotel.

The paying guests can’t relax with the noise and Joanna gives out rooms for free to compensate for the inconvenience.

Richard joins the party as a dancing mushroom and there are other guests of the party in fancy dress.

After midnight, the concert in the hotel lobby finally wraps up and Gordon goes to bed.

He uses a black light and finds bodily fluids on the pillow, mattress, walls and lampshade.

Bringing out his sleeping bag he tries to sleep but Richard starts his own party in the lounge out the back and the noise resumes.

Gordon immediately calls a family meeting and lays into them about the goings on at the hotel.

Both sons made money that evening with their businesses within the hotel but Joanna lost money because of the noise from the party.

Richard is insistent that the hotel is their home first but Gordon reiterates it’s a hotel and business always has to come first.

Gordon tries to make them see they are making Joanna suffer but Richard jumps in asking them not to talk about money or business.

Joanna dismisses him, telling him to go off and to have a smoke. Everyone goes to bed.

The next morning Gordon takes Joanna to meet guests who have stayed in the lodge.

Their complaints include the concert noises, having to clean their own bathroom, finding dirty underwear in their bed and Richard offering guests marijuana.

Joanna takes Gordon aside and shows him the photo history of the hotel and how they built the hotel from scratch with their own hands.

She tells him how much she is invested and how the reality has fallen short of her dream for the place.

This inspires Gordon to try to get her sons to reconcile as they need to be united to keep the hotel in business.

He meets with all three of them and another altercation starts but Gordon makes them see their mother should be their focus to keep their business alive.

They apologise to their mother for the pain she has endured whilst they have been feuding.

Gordon goes for a swim in the river to reflect on the potential of the hotel and what he needs to do to turn the place around.

He calls the family together for a business meeting and asks Richard to excuse them as he is not interested in that area. He leaves gladly.

Joanna asks the boys to help her out in running the hotel so they can turn it around and make it a success.

They both agree, call a truce and hug each other to much tears from Joanna.

Gordon’s team gives the hotel a makeover but reiterates that they need to run all parts of the hotel as one business.

First in the reveal is the reception and lobby, with the addition of chairs so that guests can sit in there.

There's also a new hotel management system run by Lavuu Hospitality for their guests to check-in online. It’s also synced to the restaurant and their music.

Next is the hotel room which has been redecorated and cleaned extensively. The restaurant is not left out and a new simpler, smaller menu is revealed.

The family sit down to sample the dishes and notice they have never sat down to eat together to eat before.

The final reveal is their outdoor area. There are 4 new luxury tent bedrooms and a BBQ area to compliment the festival set up.

At the relaunch, Dusty is busy with the restaurant, while Duke has his concert event outside. It is far enough away for guests to remain undisturbed in their rooms in the hotel.


What Happened Next at Applegate River Lodge?

Yelp reviews since filming are mixed, the negative reviews seem to be about the hotel and weddings and the positive reviews about the restaurant.

Trip Advisor reviews also seem to be mixed, with both positive and negative comments about the wedding service, accommodation, service and food.

Planning a visit to the hotel? Check out their website for further information.

Applegate River Lodge aired on August 04 2014, the episode was filmed in June 2013 and is Hotel Hell season 2 episode 3.


Read About More Hotel Hells

Next episode - Hotel Chester

Previous episode - Monticello Hotel

This post was last updated in November 2020.


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16 comments:

  1. Ever since this aired a friend and I always used the euphemism "going to the butt hutt" for smoking something green!

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  2. Richard is a disgusting creature and Joanna looks so much like my mother that I actually cried for her.

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    1. I agree. To this day I can't watch reruns of this episode because I get too upset! I am baffled that a human being like Richard can even exist. What Ramsay should have done was hire her a good lawyer and had the filthy lout evicted.

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    2. Richard's changed. His ex-wife needs to accept that. Many women stick around men like that thinking they'd change for the better, but they don't, and the responsible partner suffers needlessly. With him still sticking around and not being useful at all, not towards the lodge which is like their home, nor being a proper dad to their kids (who are both selfish as hell leaving her to struggle alone for so long. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree indeed.), it's like she has never divorced him in the first place. She runs everything, the two boys do whatever they like, and that couch potato just leeches off funds and space and provides more stress for her.

      If he truly is to become the man he once was, he needs to seek help. Either she sends him for help or he seeks it himself. Otherwise nothing will change. He is not going to wake up one day, approach her and go "darling, you need help with the business?". He'd only wake up for more weed, then ignore customers who buzz the bell and go to his ex-wife when he needs more money for weed and food.

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    3. Just seen this and totally agree, really felt sorry for the mum and the two brats of sons were totally taking advantage of her but I couldn't understand how one son made £1500 in profit one night and the other said a couple of hundred dollars, the thing is the music shows would only be on at the weekends so he'd only contribute a fraction of what his brother was potentially making, a fair of free loaders if ever I saw them who'd have been sacked years ago if their mum didn't own the business.

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  3. i want to visit this place one day

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    1. Trust me, you don't want to if you've seen the show...
      unless you want to sleep with bugs and on sperm staind pillows, beds, etc.

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    2. Lol did you even watch the episode fully? It was completely madeover... Also you clearly you believe TV too much.

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  4. I was really hoping Gordon was going to tear into Richard but he gave him a full pass... he's a squatter. Sure, credit where it's due building that gorgeous place was impressive but that doesn't entitle you to a life of carefree living when you're losing $20k a month and are $900 in debt whilst making your EX wife carry the full load. That's not what a man does. It was beyond frustrating... I truly felt sorry for that poor mom who had two dopey sons and one leach of an ex husband.

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  5. You can tell Johanna was a very attractive woman at one time but the stress and the years of dealing with these brain-dead morons took its toll. Hope her life turns out well.

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  6. Seen the Applegate on UK TV and WOW what a beautiful setting. I sincerely hope the other rooms have been sorted in the Gordon Ramsey style of "His" room makeover. And that the family really do make the place work as a team. Johanna is an absolute diamond. God bless her.

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  8. We just stayed in the Gold Miners room. It was clean and comfortable. Spent most of the time down the road wine tasting. Brought a few bottles back and had dinner. Food was OK but under cooked leg of lamb. The local tweaker hanging around the front yard was a bit annoying but harmless, I guess there's one in every town these days.

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  9. I felt bad for the mom like everyone else, but I also felt bad for the son that ran the restaurant. For probably never having any training or education in that kind of thing, at least he was making money. We never saw Gordon pick apart the dishes, which is usually the best part.

    The son that ran the music side was probably losing more money for his parents because of the rooms they had to comp than he was making selling tickets for $15 each after paying the bands even a small amount.

    I wouldn't have wanted to pay money into the hotel's general fund (so that his brother and father could just smoke it) either. If Gordon never came they would have gone bankrupt, and that he would have at least had a little saved to take care of his mother and maybe the experience with his girlfriend to open or work at another restaurant.

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  10. We had dinner there last Wednesday, sitting outside enjoying the view. We had a lovely time! The mussels were an excellent starter with our wine and our entrees (trout and chicken) were excellent! The service was timely as well. We had such a great time, we will definitely be going back!

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  11. Anyone who believes this place is that bad spends too much time living in the confines of your keyboard. This place is charming. It's an example of rustic pleasure, riverside, in nature. This place never promised to be a 5 diamond resort casino. It's architecturally beautiful, in a peaceful place, the rooms are nice and clean. Not sure what more you could want in order to take some time out, get back to your soul and spend time with friends and family.

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