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Las Cruces-area Hotel Featured in Season Two Premiere of ‘Hotel Hell’

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World-renowned celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay ventured into Las Cruces, New Mexico on the season premiere of “Hotel Hell,” which focuses on poorly run hotels with problems ranging from bad food to bad management. In this instance, Ramsay’s mission was to try and revamp Meson de Mesilla in the tourist town of Old Mesilla, where the owner seemed more interested in her singing career than in managing the property.

His unhappiness was immediately evident after he was asked to sign a damage waiver upon arrival. (Apparently one time, someone threw red wine all over a wall and stained the expensive Venetian plaster.) The star of “Kitchen Nightmares,” “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Master Chef” was also not satisfied with the food (he thought it looked like vomit) and the menu (it lacked of any local fare). But mostly, Gordon had a problem with owner Cali Szczawinski, whom he referred to as a “nutjob” and “a wanna-be Cher” for her propensity to subject her clientele to her own Cher-inspired lounge act — or as Ramsay put it, “Cali-aoke.”

After a large dose of his patented brutal honesty, some drama, and a few tears, Ramsay fixed up two of the hotel’s bedrooms and pool area, and changed the menu to incorporate more New Mexican type food (I’m guessing that probably meant green chile this and green chile that).

So did he get Meson De Mesilla back on its feet and save Cali from herself? Of course he did. All bad managers and owners whose business is on the verge of bankruptcy or closure can’t wait to take his candid advice. Just kidding!

According to a report on KFOX 14, “there’s little evidence left that Chef Ramsay was ever there.” Szczawinski told the TV station she undid pretty much every improvement he made except for a couple of menu items and his idea to highlight New Mexico architecture.

If you have time and don’t mind sitting through commercials, you can watch a few clips HERE. If you’re a customer of a participating cable provider, you can watch the entire episode HERE. But be warned, you might end up with “If I Could Turn Back Time” stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

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