On Tuesday, July 26, 2016, Landoll’s Mohican Castle was the featured hotel for the season three finale of Gordon Ramsay’s Hotel Hell on FOX. Co-owner of Landoll's Mohican Castle, Marta Landoll, has spent years building and maintaining a hotel and dining business. So, the opportunity to have someone of Gordon Ramsay's caliber on-site was too good to pass up. She, and co-owner, James Landoll, spent years investing in the development of a unique Ohio tourist destination.
Since the Castle opened in 2002, it has featured luxurious suites and a restaurant. After the first restaurant was lost to a fire in 2008, the Castle added another restaurant, The Copper Mug Bar & Grille, and an Event Center for weddings and banquets. The Castle hotel features eleven suites in the Castle, four suites in an adjacent building called The Highlands, and two free-standing cottages.
In reflecting on the benefits of the Hotel Hell filming experience, Landoll’s Mohican Castle general manager and son of the owners, James “Jimmy” Landoll II said, “Now, we have the blueprints to run this place properly. We learned so much and are still implementing the changes and recommendations we were given. Today, we are are totally different. It is night and day. We have made most of the changes that Gordon Ramsay and his production team have recommended to us. We have improved what we can and are planning for the future.”
Since the show filmed, Gordon Ramsay and his team hired hotel consultant, Dave Brewer, of David A. Brewer & Associates, to come on board for a month to help with the food service and get the team on track. During this time, Jimmy was also given a three-day intensive internship course at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Pittsburgh International Airport, where he shadowed the General Manager, and other key hotel staff, to study their best practices. Jimmy was able to learn firsthand how to manage a hotel, taking a deep dive in everything from accounting, engineering, reservations and sales, housekeeping, catering and food service, and advertising.
In early 2016, Jimmy hired an executive chef, Kyle Elsasser. Jimmy observes, “This is the first time we have had a trained chef to operate our kitchen. It has made a big difference in the kitchen, but an even bigger difference with our customers.” Also, Jimmy has hired staff and invested in promoting the Castle and adding more weddings, special events and corporate retreats. All these changes are in addition to some facility improvements that the production team suggested.
Jimmy has served as the Castle general manager for the past few years. He came back to the family business after some years spent in the corporate world. He knew that he wanted to help his parents, co-owners of the Castle, to continue the dream of having a unique Castle hotel in the woods. So, the opportunity to be on Hotel Hell was too good to turn down.
Also, Jimmy has hired staff and invested in promoting the Castle and adding more weddings, special events and corporate retreats. All these changes are in addition to some facility improvements that the production team suggested.
When asked about what she has experienced with the filming of Hotel Hell, Marta said, “Gordon really wants us to succeed. He was impressed by our work ethic. But, he wanted to provoke us to see the best and worst in us. We could see our strengths along with our weaknesses. Now, we are improving because of it. We are having our busiest year so far. I am thrilled with the changes, but eager to finish out the rest of our improvements.”
Landoll's Mohican Castle has completed renovation on the Event Center and The Copper Mug Bar & Grille. Other renovation projects underway include the Pool & Fitness Center, various grounds projects, and the construction of a new executive conference and banquet room. The Castle suites continue to see improvements in furnishings and upkeep on the custom-built walls, trim and floors.