Hotel Hell - Monticello Hotel - CLOSED

Hotel Hell Monticello Hotel

In this Hotel Hell episode, Gordon Ramsay visits the Hotel Monticello in Longview, Washington

The Monticello Hotel is one of the oldest buildings in the town and was built in 1923.

The owner Phillip Lovingfoss first came to the hotel when he was 8 years old and his mother worked there.

He was a bartender in the hotel in his early 30s and fell in love with the owner Annabel Jewel who was in her 60’s.

He inherited the hotel after she sadly passed away. He now runs the hotel with his girlfriend and General Manager Ginger, who is also 30 years older than him.

The hotel has just four suites available because the rest of the rooms are filled with Philip and Ginger’s possessions.

As many of the rooms are unavailable they make use of the Motel and call this ‘the North Wing’.

Gordon arrives at the hotel and is impressed by the hotel’s size, noticing the small motel beside it, an advertisement for help and an assortment of cars in what he assumes is a car show.

He meets the receptionist, Vanessa who tells him of the cars in the car park belong to the owner.

Whilst glancing around the hotel he notices that the employee of the month board hasn't been updated for 3 years.

Gordon is first shown to his room which is in the motel and not the hotel. He refuses to stay there and is taken to one of the suites in the main hotel.

He finds the room hideous and finds out the decor and furnishings including the mattress came from Phillip and Ginger’s home.

Vanessa shows him the other rooms that are used as storage for the owners and he is shocked at the state of them.

Gordon meets with the owners Ginger and Philip and he is amazed that the two are a couple.

He notices Phillip’s diamond accessories and sits down with them in the lounge.

Gordon learns the building is worth $3-5million and he inherited $10million in total from the passing of Annabel.

Phillip explains to Gordon that the hotel is losing $30,000 - $35,000 a month, around $400,000 a year.

Ginger and Philip both believe the staff are taking advantage of them and they would hate to lose the hotel.

Gordon goes for lunch in the restaurant and Debbie is his server. She tells Gordon that she has been at the hotel for 12 years.

In the kitchen Chef Dan reveals that everything is canned, frozen or pre-packaged because they don't get enough resources to stock the kitchen.

Gordon can tell that the food isn't cooked fresh upon tasting the meals and sends them back to the kitchen.

Debbie tells him that Dan has no control over the menu or the food shopping for the kitchen and that it is taken care of by Phillip.

She also reveals Philip has a drinking problem, he got a DUI just the day before and it was in the day’s papers.

In the kitchen, Phillip and Ginger are happy Gordon gets to see how bad the food is; oblivious to their contribution to the problem.

Gordon meets with the kitchen staff and owners. Chef Dan tells Gordon his assistants don't work long enough to prepare fresh ingredients and he only gets pre-packaged ingredients to work with.

Philip said he made that decision because he thought it was better for the hotel.

Gordon tells Phillip that the minimal hours he has given the kitchen staff has impacted the quality of the meals and the food served from the restaurant.

Gordon speaks with the owners alone to find out the true extent of the drinking problem and Philip tries to deny that he has had a drink that day.

Gordon watches the front desk activities and finds out that there’s no room service, sees guests are disappointed being sent to the motel and the restaurant guests are mostly over 70.

Philip makes a show of serving guests and looking busy. Gordon is not buying the act and talks to the bartender Grant who tells him that Philip has between 5-8 drinks a day.

Gordon confronts Philip and he insists he has always helped with the dinner rush and calls his staff liars.

After the dinner service, Gordon has all the staff and the owners to gather in a room and they all deny Philip usually helps them out in the service.

The staff tells Gordon that they are understaffed and overworked.

Debby speaks about Philip’s drinking affecting the staff’s work and Philip everything including mixing his own drinks after hours.

Gordon takes them all to his suite and shows them around him room. He gets out his black light and shows them bodily fluids and cigarette burns in his room.

They are all disgusted, especially with knowing who owned the mattress previously. The staff get emotional about their poor wages, long hours and their fear of losing their jobs.

Gordon is upset by the owner’s flashy lifestyle while the staff are struggling to keep the hotel alive but Philip is unbothered by this.

Gordon sleeps in the bathtub instead of the bed that night based on the findings from the earlier blacklight test.

Gordon takes the owners outside the next morning to meet with the guests from the hotel and to hear their feedback.

Their complaints include issues with cleanliness and they feel the hotel experience is a waste of money.

They also feel duped into staying in the motel when they have paid for a hotel due to the bad advertisement.

The decor isn't popular either and not one of them said they would come back to the hotel.

Gordon speaks with Ginger privately and she admits that she is scared and upset about Philip’s drinking problem.

She is happy when Gordon promises to get Philip help. Gordon plans an intervention with the staff for Phillip in order to help stop his drinking.

They are heartfelt in their speeches, but he walks out without acknowledging he has a problem.

Gordon follows him and finally gets him to admit he needs help and commits to getting treatment for his alchol problem.

Gordon’s team works all night making over the hotel. The sign has been taken down and four new suites have been freed up in the hotel with new furniture from Overstock.com.

They now have room service with a new menu created from dishes inspired by fresh, local ingredients.

They book guests in the new suites and they are delighted with the changes.

Dan reveals that he has been sober 9 years and volunteers to be Philip’s sponsor on his journey to recovery.

Gordon leaves the owners with a new Employee of the Month plaque and reveals the current employee of the month is all the staff and they should be paid well.


What Happened Next at Monticello Hotel?

Sometime later, The Monticello is busy and with the increased revenue the staff are paid better while Philip has been registered in a program.

In January 2014, the lounge and restaurant in the hotel was closed by the owners so they could pursue other endeavours.

Reviews since Gordon's visit are mostly mixed on Trip Advisor.

Although some are disappointed about the closure of the restaurant and lounge.

Philip was sentenced to 90 days in prison in July 2016 for threatening a District Court judge.

In September 2016, the property was listed both for sale and lease online after the owners got into debt.

It appears that Philip is no longer the owner as of early 2017 and the new owners have recruited new staff.

There was a large multi million dollar remodel of the hotel in October 2017and the restaurant planned to reopen.

Monticello Hotel closed in August 2019 and was converted in studio apartments promoting communal living with shared facilities.

Monticello Hotel aired on July 28 2014, the episode was filmed in June 2013 and is Hotel Hell season 2 episode 2.


Read About More Hotel Hells

Next episode - Applegate River Lodge

Previous episode - Meson De Mesilla

This post was last updated in June 2020.


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5 comments:

  1. He should have sold off the hotel in the first place. He's remarkably incompetent as an owner.

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  2. I live in Longview Wa, and the episode represents Longview pretty well. Not the greatest place

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  3. Such a shame. Seemed like great employees and just some work could have made that hotel a wonderful place.

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  4. Feel sorry for all the workers they wanted to make it work...pity the new owners didn't keep them on...

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  5. I had been there for a Christmas party with my National Guard unit in 2000 and some friends from high school. Being 17 at the time (Yes you can join the Guard but need to be signed off by your parents), I was unable to do a lot of the stuff the other members did. The place seemed big and I would pass by it when I'd have drill at the armory there. Sad to see it go but Longview/Kelso duopoly isn't one of the best areas in Washington.

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