In the highly anticipated series 5 of BBC Two’s “Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond The Lobby,” viewers will be thrilled to see the return of Monica Galetti, who is now accompanied by the charismatic Rob Rinder. This dynamic duo embarks on a remarkable journey behind the scenes of eight of the world’s most extraordinary hotels.
Throughout the series, Monica and Rob immerse themselves in the daily operations of these stunning hotels, gaining firsthand experience in what it truly takes to deliver once-in-a-lifetime experiences for their guests. Their exploration goes far beyond the conventional spaces of the hotels, delving into hidden corners and lesser-known areas that the public rarely gets to see.
Through their hands-on work, Monica and Rob unravel the exceptional level of attention to detail and dedication required to uphold impeccable service standards in these luxurious establishments. Along the way, they forge connections with the hotel staff, getting to know the passionate individuals who make these magical experiences possible. Beyond the hotel walls, they also discover heartwarming stories about the surrounding communities that these extraordinary hotels are a part of.
In a recent interview with Bradford Zone, Rob Rinder shared insights into their captivating adventures throughout the series.
What can viewers expect to see on the show?
You can expect just about everything from castles in Morocco to Paradise Island to the furthest reaches of the North Pole. You think you’re just seeing a façade of a hotel, but in some cases they’re like entire countries, in others they breathe life into local communities. These places aren’t just hotels. It’s what these places mean to their communities and for the guests that come that’s special. A hotel isn’t just a place people come to stay. It’s an entire universe of things, all of which we explore in Amazing Hotels.
What was your highlight from this season?
The sunrises and sunsets in every single place. I met a person in every single hotel who gets you to think about the world in a new way and what more is there. I particularly loved Sri Lanka. I’ve been to some of these countries before but this time I have the gift of seeing communities who have been working alongside each other to help have a conversation about what their country and community can be, all around amazing service. I was truly moved.
What 3 key things make for an Amazing Hotel?
It’s all about dedicated people, meticulous breath-taking attention to detail and a unique thirst for every single guest to go away feeling like they’re not in a hotel but in the home of a family member.
What has it been like joining the show? And what were you hoping to bring to the show?
It’s been the ultimate gift. It has to be the best job in the world and I keep pinching myself.
I’m obsessed with detail, as anyone will tell you. But when I check into a hotel, it’s more than a meticulous attention to detail, it’s the stories of the people, which is why I love making documentaries. It’s the people who gift us these places which enables us to completely understand the purpose of luxury travel and what it brings to communities and even the world. It’s human stories allowing people to be the absolute best and feel seen.
Has being on the show been different to what you expected?
A little bit! My last big prosecuting job involved staying in these hotels for long periods of time and you often make assumptions.
What surprised me is how talented, dedicated and invested the owners, employees and everyone we spoke to were. It was not just a hotel, but a community. Such as an Atoll that was destroyed by an El Nino, or speaking to a Berber community in part of the Atlas mountains who, before the hotel opened, were on the edge of economic catastrophe. Now, it’s an epicentre of community. What surprised me is how these hotels can forge part of a community and alter how not just a community runs, but who a person is.
What’s one of your worst hotel experiences? (without naming the hotel)
Mostly when I was travelling as a student. I once stayed in a hotel which had previously been a prison and they hadn’t changed the décor during that time…
Was there a particular hotel that stood out to you this season? And why?
I loved the different detail in every hotel so I wouldn’t want to pick. They’re all totally different with different personalities, so I couldn’t compare. Some you’d go to for a weekend like the hotel in Morocco, or being alongside people who are creating a fishing village on the edge of the world which is usually a one night stay. Each hotel was so different and the whole point of the series is to explore not just luxury, but incredible places that although in the reach of the ultra-privilege, explore what they give back beyond the lobby.
If you had to run a hotel with Monica, what role would you assign her? (aside from Head Chef!)
I would wait to be assigned a role by her. The best thing about Monica is that so many people in media wonder ‘are they really like that’, artistically gifted, demanding perfection of everyone around them and themselves. The answer is yes in Monica’s case. I wouldn’t have a hope in hell getting my 5* hotel off the ground. I’d be her assistant. I’d be curating the art… and doing breakfast service.
What do you hope audiences take away from this season?
First of all, the delicious heaven of what television can do which is just wonderful escapism. I’m so mindful of the limitless privilege of staying in these places. I hope people feel they can disappear into that world and get a sense of what goes into creating these extraordinary spaces from the people to the art to the local culture. These aren’t just hotels, they’re so much richer and so much more. You may just think you’re on a desert island and enjoy the journey of the programme, you may learn a little bit along the way too, and that’s why I’ve loved being part of it.