Chef's 'Hotel Hell' will take on Applegate River Lodge

APPLEGATE — Cue the yelling. Action.

Gordon Ramsay, famed chef and spitfire host of reality TV super hits such as "Hell's Kitchen" and "Kitchen Nightmares," is headed to the Applegate Valley to film an episode of his ongoing series "Hotel Hell." The show's film crews will be at the Applegate River Lodge to film an episode June 2-6.

"I really have no idea what they have in store," said Applegate River Lodge co-owner Joanna Davis.

Davis and her ex-husband, Richard, have owned the property for the past 22 years. It began as a restaurant in 1992, but they eventually converted it to include seven guest rooms.

After the Davises divorced in 2004, the lodge remained a family-run business. Their sons assist with the entertainment and in the kitchen. Weddings are the lodge's mainstay, with more than 30 on the books for this season.

But it has had its share of struggles, Joanna Davis said. There are disagreements on how the business should be run.

"I look for more details," Davis said. "Things that are not really critical but to me are really important. We're just trying to come together and find some middle ground."

Davis hopes Ramsay will show them new ways to boost marketing and use of social media, especially to better fill the rooms during the winter months, their slowest time of year.

"It'd be nice to have a little shot in the arm now," Davis said. "The last five years have been pretty tough for everybody."

Past episodes of the show provide a basic blueprint of what's on the way. According to the show's website, Ramsay's usual culinary focus shifts to lodging accommodations at struggling hotels, motels and bed-and-breakfasts.

"In 'Hotel Hell,' Ramsay will endure hotels at their worst — from filthy bedrooms and mold-ridden bathrooms to dreadful room service and incompetent staff — all so unsuspecting guests don't have to," the site reads.

And if the blueprint for his "Kitchen" shows holds, he'll do it with gusto: blunt, no-nonsense tactics, sometimes red-faced and screaming to get his points across. It's tough love, but often beneficial.

Ironically, Davis half-wished for the treatment a few years back after seeing an episode of "Hell's Kitchen."

"I even commented at the time, 'God, wouldn't that be cool to have him come and redo your whole place,' " Davis said.

It's a style she hopes she's prepared for.

"I'm definitely a little anxious, I guess, would be the word," Davis said. "I'm just going to be who I am."

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at

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