Is there really anyone out there who doesn’t enjoy a nice, relaxing stay at a hotel? A comfortable bed, free housekeeping, one-call room service, delicious buffet breakfast, and just all-around excellent service – what’s not to love?
As with a lot of businesses in the service industry, as guests and customers, we have no idea what really goes on behind the scenes that allows us to have these amazing experiences. I mean, do any of us really know what it takes to run and manage a hotel? I know I don’t!
And what about the dozens of other guests we encounter during our stay? We’re practically sharing the same experience with them, but we know nothing about them – except maybe their cooking preference for their breakfast eggs and how many sugars they like in their morning coffee.
No time to read the full article? Check out our video on the top 10 TV shows about hotels instead:
In this article, we’re exploring several shows set primarily in hotels that cover pretty much every aspect of the business!
Want to know the ups and downs of managing a hotel? Grand Hotel, Magic City, and The Golden Palace have got you covered.
Want an idea of how different a hotel’s guests can be? Room 104 it is!
Want to be forever traumatized out of staying at a hotel ever again? Well, American Horror Story: Hotel will do that for you.
So let’s kick off this list of the best TV shows about hotels!
Hotel, ABC (1983 – 1988)
We’ll begin this list with a blast from the past – the ABC series Hotel which aired on the network during the 1980s.
Set in San Francisco, the show follows the lives of the staff and guests of the elegant St. Gregory Hotel as they navigate love, power struggles, and personal triumphs within the opulent setting.
Led by hotel manager Peter McDermott and general manager Christine Francis, Hotel weaves together a compelling narrative of love, ambition, intrigue, and drama.
Gran Hotel, Antena 3 (2011 – 2013)
Set in the first decade of the 20th century, this Spanish series follows the staff of the luxurious hotel named Gran Hotel.
At the center of the story is a working-class man named Julio Olmedo who arrives at the hotel in search of his missing sister Cristina, the hotel’s maid turned floor manager.
As Julio delves deeper into the secrets and scandals of the hotel’s aristocratic guests and staff, he becomes entangled in a web of deceit and forbidden love with the captivating Alicia Alarcón, the hotel owner’s daughter.
Grand Hotel, ABC (2019)
In 2019, ABC premiered Grand Hotel, a series based on the aforementioned Spanish series.
While the Spanish show aired for three seasons, sadly its American adaptation was canceled by the network after just one.
The Riviera Grand Hotel is the last family-owned hotel along Miami Beach.
It’s owned and managed by Santiago Mendoza and follows his attempts to keep his business successful while his second wife, their children, and the hotel’s staff just seem adamant to cause as much scandal as possible.
While their guests are living in luxury at this resort hotel, all the secrets brewing beneath the surface constantly threaten to spill over.
Hotel del Luna, tvN (2019)
Speaking of TV series about hotels that aired in 2019, we also have the South Korean hit supernatural drama Hotel del Luna.
Hotel del Luna tells the story of Jang Man-wol, a beautiful and mysterious woman who runs a hotel for ghosts called the Hotel del Luna.
The hotel is located in Seoul and is only visible to ghosts and those who are about to die.
Together with a new manager, Goo Chan-sung, Man-wol oversees the hotel’s ghostly guests and helps them resolve their unfinished business on Earth.
As the series progresses, Man-wol’s past is slowly revealed, and Chan-sung becomes more and more involved in the supernatural world of the hotel.
Hotel King, Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (2014)
Another captivating South Korean series about hotels is Hotel King.
This Kdrama revolves around Cha Jae-wan, a talented and ambitious hotel manager seeking revenge for a past injustice that haunted his family.
As he rises to power at the renowned Hotel Ciel, the only seven-star hotel in the nation, Jae-wan becomes entangled in a complex web of love, betrayal, and corporate intrigue.
Amidst the opulence and luxury of the hotel, he crosses paths with Ah Mo-ne, the hotel owner’s feisty and spirited daughter, leading to a passionate and tumultuous romance.
King the Land, JTBC (2023)
Similarly to the aforementioned K-drama, in 2023, JTBC released King the Land.
This brand new series follows Gu Won, the heir of a luxury hotel conglomerate named The King Group, who is suddenly thrust into an inheritance war over the family business.
During all this, Gu Won meets Cheon Sa-Rang, one of the King Hotel’s best employees. And the two fall in love, all while trying to change the standard of service at the hotel they both love.
North Shore, Fox (2004 – 2005)
Before Jason Momoa was Khal Drogo and Aquaman, he played a supporting character in Fox’s primetime soap opera set in Hawaii, North Shore.
Sadly, North Shore was canceled after one season, with the plot ending on a major cliffhanger!
Jason Matthews (played by Kristoffer Polaha) is the manager of the Grand Waimea Hotel, a high-end resort on Oahu’s North Shore. He’s great at his job, at least until the sudden reappearance of his former flame throws that into chaos.
The show follows the ups and downs of their professional – and later personal – relationship, as well as the lives of the hotel employees, their families, and even those of the business owners nearby.
The White Lotus, HBO (2021 – present)
Tourism is one of the largest industries in Hawaii, which means that it houses many touristy places, including hotels. So, it’s no wonder that we have another Hawaii-set TV show on this list of best TV shows about hotels.
HBO’s The White Lotus depicts the lives of a group of guests and staff of the White Lotus Resort, a tropical resort in Hawaii.
Since it is an anthology series, the six episodes of season 1 of The White Lotus unraveled the lives of the vacationers and personnel of the White Lotus Maui location.
While season two will delve into the stories of travelers and employees at a different White Lotus property, this time one located in Taormina, Sicily.
Hotel Babylon, BBC One (2006 – 2009)
Hotel Babylon is a British drama series based on a novel of the same name that aired for four seasons (or series, as they’re referred to in British television) on BBC One.
It was canceled after the fourth series, which sadly ended on an unresolved cliffhanger.
The show dives deep into the inner workings of a bustling five-star hotel, going beyond the glitz and glamor we all see on the surface to show us the chaos that’s always brewing behind the scenes.
It closely follows the lives of the hotel’s employees, including the owner, general manager, receptionists, concierges, and the various department managers and their teams.
American Horror Story: Hotel, FX (2015 – 2016)
Likely one of the best horror anthology series ever, the American Horror Story franchise never fails in taking a common horror genre trope and turning it into a whole season’s worth of nightmare fuel.
AHS: Hotel, the fifth season in the anthology, takes an even darker turn and even has its setting based on various real-life, sinister hotels like the Cecil and the Murder Castle.
Killers and supernatural threats are a common theme in the franchise, with AHS: Hotel as no exception.
The Night Manager, BBC One/AMC (2016)
A modern reimagining of the 1993 book of the same name, the six-episode British series aired in the UK on BBC One and in the US on AMC.
A slightly different take on the genre, The Night Manager instead focuses on one of the employees: Jonathan Pine, who is not only the night manager at a luxury hotel but also a former British soldier.
He soon gets recruited by an intelligence agency to infiltrate the inner circle of an international businessman who’s in the middle of the illegal arms trading business.
Fawlty Towers, BBC Two (1975 – 1979)
A more comedic take on the hotel genre is the 1975 British sitcom Fawlty Towers.
This comedy series revolves around the misadventures of Basil Fawlty, the eccentric and irritable owner of the fictional Fawlty Towers hotel.
Set in the quaint seaside town of Torquay, the show follows Basil’s comical attempts to run the hotel, often leading to chaotic situations, misunderstandings, and hilarious misunderstandings with his quirky staff and the eccentric guests.
From communication breakdowns to comedic mishaps, Fawlty Towers offers a masterclass in farce and physical comedy.
Whites, BBC Two (2010)
Speaking of British sitcoms, we also can’t forget to mention BBC Two’s Whites.
While it’s primarily set in the bustling kitchen of a traditional English country hotel, the show still gives us a good idea of what goes on in a hotel, and more particularly, in a hotel’s restaurant.
Focusing on Roland White, the show follows the talented but disorganized head chef as he struggles to maintain order in his chaotic kitchen.
With an eclectic team of staff, including ambitious sous chef Bib and witty waitress Kiki, the show presents a blend of workplace humor, culinary mishaps, and romantic entanglements.
Groom, YouTube (2018)
Another comedy about hotels is the French series Groom.
This YouTube Original focuses on William, the spoiled son of a wealthy hotelier, who has never worked a day in his life.
But after injuring a bellboy in one of his father’s hotels during his 30th birthday party, his father cuts him off financially.
Now the only way for William to reclaim his inheritance is to take the place of the man he hurt and become a bellboy himself.
So, over the 10 episodes of the show (which you can watch for free on YouTube), we follow the misadventures of William and the hotel’s staff who more often than not end up putting the welfare of the hotel’s guests last.
The Halcyon, ITV (2017)
The titular Halcyon Hotel is a five-star hotel located at the heart of London. And despite a war raging on outside the hotel’s walls, inside it, London’s elite enjoys a refuge from the real world.
But before long the staff and guests of the Halcyon, too, have to face the realities of the war. Because after all it’s 1940 and nobody can escape the ramifications of a world at war.
Magic City, Starz (2012 – 2013)
Then there is Magic City, a show starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan. It follows Morgan’s character Ike Evans who’s forced to strike a deal with a Miami Jewish Mob boss to keep the Miramar Playa, one of Miami Beach’s top resort hotels, afloat.
While the two-season, sixteen-episode length will allow you to binge the whole series fairly quickly soaking up all the glitz of the Miramar Playa.
Hotel Portofino, BritBox (2022 – present)
Yet another period drama that takes place in a hotel is BritBox’s Hotel Portofino.
Set this time in the 1920s, the show follows a British family, the Ainsworths, who run a hotel in the beautiful Italian resort town of Portofino.
Operating a hotel in the aftermath of World War I is not easy, what with the political turmoil that Italy dealt with during this time.
And it is made all the more difficult by the fact that the hotel is meant for wealthy clients which comes with its own set of expectations.
The Grand, ITV (1997 – 1998)
Speaking of the end of World War I, here is another British hotel TV series that’s set in this time period.
This time located in Manchester, The Grand, which is also the name of the prestigious hotel itself, follows the lives of the hotel staff and guests as they navigate love, ambition, and secrets within the changing social landscape.
More particularly, the series delves into the lives of a few key characters, including the hotel’s headstrong owner, Lady Hamilton, and the ambitious chambermaid Susan.
Midnight at the Pera Palace, Netflix (2022)
We’re moving to Turkey with this next series – Netflix’s Midnight at the Pera Palace.
Inspired by the historical non-fiction book Midnight at the Pera Palace: The Birth of Modern Istanbul by Charles King, Midnight at the Pera Palace follows Esra, a young journalist who is assigned to write an article about the upcoming 130th anniversary of the Pera Palace Hotel.
Little by little she finds out more about the history of the hotel and soon enough she’s pulled into a full-blown time travel adventure when she discovers that one of the hotel’s rooms is a time-traveling portal.
Endgame, Showcase (2011)
Another more unique take on TV series about hotels is this Showcase drama Endgame.
The show centers around Arkady Balagan, a brilliant and eccentric chess master.
After a tragic event leaves him unable to leave the Huxley, a luxury Vancouver hotel, Arkady becomes a consultant to the police, using his extraordinary analytical skills to solve complex mysteries.
As he immerses himself in the world of puzzles and crime-solving, Arkady battles his own personal demons while forming unexpected connections with the hotel staff and guests.
Room 104, HBO (2017 – present)
Remember when we said you never really know anything about the guests staying in the hotel you’re in?
Well, HBO’s anthology series Room 104 might just inspire you to create your own imaginative stories for your neighbors the next time you’re staying at a hotel.
Room 104 takes place in just that one, eponymous room at an American hotel, but each episode tells the story of a different guest who passes through the room – from their background story to their specific oddities and quirks.
Ranging from comedic to slightly horrifying, Room 104 is privy to everyone’s secrets – and now, so are you.
The Golden Palace, CBS (1992 – 1993)
And to end this list on a lighter note, CBS’s The Golden Palace is a one-season spin-off and sequel to one of the most iconic sitcoms even to this day – The Golden Girls.
It picks up immediately after the end of its parent series, with the original Miami house setting being sold and only 3 of the 4 original Golden Girls remaining.
Sophia, Rose, and Blanche are now the owners of a Miami hotel! With only two employees, the manager and the chef, the three women are left to pick up the slack.
Throughout its single season, the show follows the Golden Girls’ interactions with guests, current and previous hotel staff, and some characters they encountered in the original series.