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Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby

Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby

Amazing_hotels_life_beyond_the_lobby_241x208
  • Premiered: 
    March 27, 2017
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: BBC2
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Reality
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter:
  • Tags: travel, hotel

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Plot Synopsis

From a remote island inn to a hotel boasting a sky-high floating infinity pool, Giles Coren and Monica Galetti roll up their sleeves to work alongside staff in some of the most extraordinary hotels across the globe. With wonder, curiosity and humor, they learn tricks of the trade and discover what it takes to offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences in awe-inspiring locations.

AMAZING HOTELS: LIFE BEYOND THE LOBBY had its U.S. premiere on Thursday, April 18, 2019 from 10pm-Midnight ET/7-9pm PT, as Ovation debuted back-to-back new episodes:

"Marina Bay Sands, Singapore" (10pm ET/7pm PT): In the first episode Giles and Monica join the 9,500 thousand-strong workforce in one of the world's biggest hotels: Singapore's Marina Bay Sands. This epic hotel caters for one million guests every year, cost 3.5 billion pounds to build and was created as part of a government plan to triple tourist income to Singapore within 10 years. The jewel in its crown is the longest elevated infinity pool in the world, the size of three Olympic swimming pools. As pool attendants, Giles and Monica discover the marathon laundry process that cleans tens of thousands of towels per day. One of the most surprising places unearthed is its high-tech uniform store, which supplies 160,000 pieces of uniform with 600 different designs. Giles and Monica explore extraordinary places beyond the lobby that the public never sees. Giles smartens up and joins the butler's team, led by an ex-Singapore special forces officer, while Monica helps prepare an eight-course tasting menu for 1,400 dinner guests. They also spend time with their new co-workers at home, uncovering moving stories about their lives beyond the hotel walls.

"Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador" (11pm ET/8pm PT): Giles and Monica head to the Andean Cloud Forest of Ecuador to work at Mashpi Lodge, a $10 million modernist hotel featuring an extraordinary gondola cable car that 'flies' guests one mile through the jungle canopy at a dizzying height. Built by a former mayor of the capital Quito, on the site of what was once a logging station, 70 percent of its staff are locals who used to be loggers or hunters but are now proud conservationists. Gloriously remote and perched 900m above sea level, guests are surrounded by one of the last remaining biodiversity hot spots on the planet. Giles and Monica reveal the challenges of delivering the highest standards of guest experience in the midst of teeming wildlife, mud and moisture, doing battle with the hotel's main enemy, mold, thanks to 90 percent humidity; abseiling through the jungle canopy for a safety drill; and preparing a unique local delicacy -- guinea pig. They also spend time with the hotel's resident biologist, who has captured on camera a species the area has not seen for 30 years. Going beyond the lobby, Giles and Monica unearth a story of luxury in a surprising place and pioneering eco-tourism that is saving thousands of species. They also spend time with their new co-workers at home, uncovering moving stories of how local people's lives have been transformed by the arrival of the hotel.

On Thursday, May 9, 2019 from 10pm-Midnight ET/7-9pm PT, Ovation aired the U.S. premiere of the second season of the series, debuting back-to-back new episodes
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Tonight (Thursday, May 16, 2019) from 10pm-Midnight ET/7-9pm PT, Ovation airs the U.S. premiere of back-to-back episodes of AMAZING HOTELS: LIFE BEYOND THE LOBBY:

"Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Switzerland" (10pm ET/7pm PT): Monica and Giles head to the foothills of the Swiss Alps to experience a very different type of travel - health and wellness tourism. This luxury hotel houses not only multiple restaurants, spas and golf courses but also Olympic-standard sports facilities -- and a high-spec clinic boasting 80 medical staff, who offer guests everything from sleep therapy to dietary advice and surgery. Grand Resort Bad Ragaz lies in the shadow of an ancient gorge, the thermal waters of which have lured visitors for centuries. Giles and Monica discover that these days the mineral-rich H2O, known locally as 'blue gold', is piped down to the hotel grounds to fill pools, pour out of drinking fountains and even to appear in the hotel's own beer. Monica becomes 'chief hugger' in the spa, Giles sees the nerve centre of the thermal water system and the hotel's water sommelier gives both presenters a master class in 30 varieties of mineral water. Monica has a stint as a pillow butler, offering 14 different types of pillow, fishes with three Michelin-starred chef Andreas Caminata, and creates one of the hotel's carefully-balanced menus, a three-course meal containing less than 600 calories. Giles heads across the valley to pick grapes and paint wine bottles at the Donatsch winery, scrapes through service as a waiter at Andreas's theatrical plate-sharing hotel restaurant, and has his first stint as a hotel nurse.

"Ashford Castle, Ireland" (11pm ET/8pm PT): Giles and Monica hop across to Ireland to scale the imposing and ancient ramparts of Ashford Castle. Set in 350 acres, it was founded 800 years ago by the Anglo-Norman De Burgo family, and much later became the family home of the Guinness family. With the help of hotel historian Fintan, Giles discovers that the castle has had a rollercoaster journey through the centuries, sporadically reaching moments of real jeopardy, only to be saved by a turn of events or new owners. As recently as 2011, the hotel went into receivership but was bought in the nick of time and, after undergoing a 50 million pound restoration, has the ambition to be the best hotel in the world. Giles and Monica soon learn that the secrets of the castle's success are the people who work there and the hotel's strong, long-running community ties. The hotel swarms with local family members co-working, some of whom have ancestors who served here too. They are given a crash course by estate manager Thomas in how to greet guests with Irish charm. They both take up their posts with gusto and have varying degrees of success with gatehouse-to-lobby communications. Thomas also deploys Giles and Monica in the clay-pigeon shooting range, where they clean guns, stack clays and take potshots for themselves. Monica adds some new hotel strings to her hospitality bow by wrangling the hotel's falcons (part of the on-site school of falconry), assisting a hotel supplier and local oyster farmer, as well as accompanying hotel forager Brian to a secret location to track down pepper dulse for the kitchen. Meanwhile, Giles crashes his way through silver service in the George V restaurant, taking comfort from maitre d' Martin's assurance that his charm makes up for his lack of table skills. Although charm doesn't help Giles pass the four-poster bed-making test in housekeeping, he does impress a colleague with his prowess at vacuuming the intricate and expensive fabric wallpaper adorning the castle's bedroom walls.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by BBC Studios