Sep 2, 2014
10:04 AM
Connecticut Today

Gordon Ramsay Rescues Connecticut’s Curtis House Inn on ‘Hotel Hell’

Gordon Ramsay Rescues Connecticut’s Curtis House Inn on ‘Hotel Hell’

A logo from the "Hotel Hell" Facebook page.

Connecticut’s oldest inn, the 1736 Curtis House in Woodbury, was featured in the new episode of “Hotel Hell” on FOX Monday night, and anyone familiar with the Litchfield County landmark might have been shocked with the state of affairs that celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay encountered when he arrived around Mother’s Day this past May.

See the history of The Curtis House
And a remembrance of family patriarch Chester Hardisty
 

Long in the stewardship of the locally prominent Hardisty family, the inn was falling apart at the seams; current owners, TJ Brennan and Chris Hardisty—sister and brother—weren’t on speaking terms after three years of animosity, the staff was disenfranchised and at the breaking point, guests were reporting unpleasant experiences (like stains on pillows and sheets that hadn’t been changed), and the food coming out of the kitchen wasn’t made fresh-to-order and was called “institutional” by one guest.

(Below, members of the Hardisty family, including TJ (second from right) and Chris (behind her) at The Curtis House in a photo from the "Hotel Hell" website.)

In an early scene, Ramsay found everything he ordered, including crab cakes and a burger, too unpalatable to eat. (The "Hotel Hell" Facebook post with a photo of the burger is below.)

 

Over the course of the hour-long show, Ramsay—who stayed for five days, according to a source at The Curtis House—was able to repair the relationship between the siblings, restore pride in the inn among all involved, foster a new passion for running it well, and create a new menu of Hardisty family favorites that the kitchen now makes (lovingly) to order.

“We’ve served the same pot roast forever; he brought in this braised boneless short rib [and] it’s a much better product,” executive chef Mike Trudeau told FOX CT News, which aired a segment on the “Hotel Hell” visit to Connecticut on the news show that aired at 10 p.m.

On top of all that, Ramsay oversaw a décor makeover to the inn’s main entrance areas and its guest rooms.

That makeover included the room where Ramsay stayed; it became a running issue on the episode that there was a problem with the hardware on Ramsay’s door and he often couldn’t get out of the room—a room that’s said to be home to a ghost.

As the crowning touch, Ramsay  brought in a paranormal investigator, who confirmed that spirits do haunt the inn, and a ghost does haunts the guest room where Ramsay stayed—a designation sure to bring new business to the oldest inn in Connecticut.

(Left, Gordon Ramsay with TJ Brennan and Chris Hardisty, in a photo from the "Hotel Hell" Facebook page.)

A source at The Curtis House said Tuesday morning that things continue to go well at the inn following Ramsay’s makeover.

For more on The Curtis House, see its website.

 

 

Gordon Ramsay Rescues Connecticut’s Curtis House Inn on ‘Hotel Hell’

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