The Hotel People
Genre Factual Entertainment
Format 6 x 60
The Hotel People is a warm and invitational six-part observational series following the team at Northern Ireland’s largest family owned luxury hotel chain as they try to bounce back from some of the toughest times the hospitality industry has ever faced.
After a year and a half of closures, the family run Hastings Hotels, one of Northern Ireland’s most luxurious hotel chains, have reopened their doors. Staff prepare to welcome back guests but in this new world of hospitality the challenges they face are massive. In Belfast, the iconic Europa hotel is gearing up for a series of sold-out exclusive gigs with world famous singer/songwriter Van Morrison, but the event go ahead relies on COVID restrictions lifting in time. The Culloden hotel is trying out a new money spinner with a double decker champagne bus and pastry chef Caitlin has her work cut out as they’ve a full house of afternoon teas in the Grand Central.
The team from Northern Ireland’s biggest family-run luxury hotel chain continue their efforts to win back business. In Co. Down at the Slieve Donard hotel, Eugene, aka ‘Mr Weddings’, is busier than ever with a boom in post pandemic weddings. Today there is a damaged wedding cake to rescue. At the Culloden Hotel, GM Lisa is getting ready for Ireland’s biggest sculpture and art exhibition ‘Art & Soul’. The pressure is on new executive chef Ryan as the event launches with a make-or-break gourmet dinner for journalists. Meanwhile Stephen, GM of the Grand Central, has a major housekeeping crisis to deal with.
There’s a sense of optimism in the air at Northern Ireland’s biggest family hotel group. Bold new ventures designed to claw back the £16 million-pound losses suffered during the pandemic are beginning to play off but there’s a long way to go. At the Slieve Donard, the most important wedding of the season puts Head Chef Hazel under pressure to deliver a sophisticated gourmet menu for the boss’s son. The Europa Hotel turns 50 and is getting a £70,000 facelift and exhibition, it’s a chance to celebrate the hotel’s unique history and the staff who worked through some of the darkest days of the Troubles when the hotel was bombed 33 times. Head chef Kyle creates a bespoke whiskey infused menu for an ambitious dining event and in the Culloden, weddings are a summer staple but some rowdy guests are causing staff a major headache and General Manager Lisa makes a shock announcement.
The long-established Culloden Hotel has a five-star reputation to maintain. New General Manager Andy and his overstretched team are under pressure to keep guests happy. In Belfast, the Grand Central opened three years ago at a cost of 53 million. General Manager Stephen has a name to make and a point to prove. He has been tasked to achieve a five-star rating and he’s got to get his entire team on board to make it happen. An inspector could arrive at any time, unannounced and incognito, they can’t let standards slip for a moment. In a rare trip out of the kitchen head chef Damian and group boss Howard head into the country to meet the farmers supplying local produce for the hotels.
It’s peak season. Bookings are up but the hotels are seriously short staffed. A big recruitment drive gets under way - but can it plug the gaps?. New General Manager, Andy, is thrilled to see that Chelsea FC are booked into his hotel to compete in a European final, but the team rider lists dozens of foodstuffs the hotel doesn’t stock, so it’s a race against time for his right-hand man Sam, to get hold of them all before the team arrive. Chef Kyle is on edge as his cost-saving approach means he faces running out of food during a major event. And James is brought down to earth with a very different sort of hospitality as he goes face-to-face with the evening guests at Belfast Homeless Services.
Big crowds are back and one city centre hotel team has to deal with two contrasting events over the same weekend: an international boxing ringside supper and the annual Miss Northern Ireland pageant. No sooner is that done, than the kitchen must prepare for its busiest night of the year with multiple events taking place in different parts of the hotel. As a drag show kicks off on one floor, a packed and very hot ballroom houses an awards gala hosted by actor and singer Keith Duffy. Will the newly recruited waiting staff be able to take the heat? Meanwhile, along the coast in County Down, manager Richard has a very unusual booking - a living wake: an elderly gentleman wants his funeral to take place while he’s still alive. And this week’s guests include local legend, Liam Neeson, who orders his favourite comfort food– Irish champ.