(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 1 | View All Season 1 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: September 3, 2012
River Rock Inn Address: 210 2nd St Milford, PA 18337
River Rock Inn was a Milford, Pennsylvania hotel featured on Season 1 of Hotel Hell.
Though the River Rock Inn Hotel Hell episode aired in September 2012, the actual filming and visit from Gordon Ramsay took place much earlier in 2012.
It was Season 1 Episode 5 of Hotel Hell.
River Rock Inn is located in Milford, PA.
Milford, PA is in the Poconos and right by the New York border. The closest major PA city is Scranton, if we have any fans of The Office.
Ken Pisciotta, the River Rock Inn owner, is in severe debt.
He now lives at the inn because he was forced to sell his home.
That doesn’t sound like a recipe for success, to be honest.
There is no one to greet Gordon Ramsay as he arrives, just an empty check-in desk.
Karen, the assistant innkeeper, finally greeted him.
Karen gives Gordon a brief history of the hotel, telling him it opened in the 1800s.
Gordon finds dead insects and a live roach when they get to the room, which is about as bad as things can go for a hotel.
The TV is an old tube television, but Gordon tries to watch it without reception.
It’s so weird – it feels like we did a time warp back to the 1990s.
Honestly, I didn’t even realize these TVs still existed, lol.
The owner Ken is also the chef, and the restaurant boasts an American Bistro meal.
Ken reveals he is no longer the chef; he watches over the kitchen.
Gordon comes down to the restaurant to sample the food.
The menu is filled with ethnic dishes and does not have any local cuisine.
Ken does all the food shopping and controls the kitchen.
Gordon’s appetizer dish is bland.
He meets Ann-marie, the bartender who says she is loyal, which is why she has stayed.
Gordon returns his main entrée to the kitchen after another disappointing dish.
Gordon meets with the staff and is informed that Ken doesn’t check the rooms before check-in.
Seth is the head chef with 18 years of experience but follows Ken’s advice.
Gordon uses black light that evening and finds body fluid stains on the bed, so he sleeps in a sleeping bag instead.
What’s worse, a dead cockroach or someone else’s bodily fluids? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!
Gordon goes to shower the following day, but he is too tall to take one.
Gordon then brings the staff to his room filled with other hotel guests.
The guests give feedback to the team, like the bugs in the room and poor drainage in the shower.
Ken apologizes to the guests and Gordon about the state of the inn, which Gordon compares to a brothel. Maybe the Piccolo Teatro owner from Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares could work there. That’s an inside joke for Gordon Ramsay fans.
When Gordon arrives in the kitchen later that day, he finds passive-aggressive notes from Ken.
Ken has trouble communicating with people.
In one of Gordon’s classic movies, Gordon sets up a hidden camera with Ken and watches the staff give feedback about Ken.
Ken is hurt by the feedback but apologizes and promises to change.
Ken and Gordon talk, and Ken reveals there is a lot of pressure on him to run the inn well since he borrowed money from his brother and mother.
He has no personal life because he is too busy running the inn.
To help upgrade the experience, Ramesh Sadhwani, Vice President of Hotel Operations at Caesars Palace, teaches the staff.
A Hollywood stylist comes in to give Ken a makeover to find someone to spend his time with.
Ken and Gordon go out on the town and invite women to the relaunch the following night.
The hotel is revamped overnight with new TVs and mattresses.
The staff is happy with the improvements and Ken’s brother and mother also come to the relaunch.
The ladies from the bar bring a single friend with them to meet Ken, and Ken eventually ends up getting her number, which is another nice bit of the show.
So was the River Rock Inn Hotel Hell episode a success? Keep reading our update to learn what happened next and how the River Rock Inn and Restaurant is doing in 2023 and beyond.
River Rock Inn Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve covered what happened on the River Rock Inn Hotel Hell episode, let’s talk about what happened after Gordon Ramsay left Milford, PA.
There’s a lot to cover, including sale history of River Rock Inn (and why that’s relevant).
Let’s dig in…
Is River Rock Inn from Hotel Hell still open?
River Rock Inn closed for good in December 2014, just around three years after the visit from Gordon Ramsay and the Hotel Hell crew.
The River Rock Inn closed because the original owners of the property foreclosed on it and retook control.
After regaining control over the property, they reopened it as a hotel under their own branding.
I’ll explain this in a lot more detail below. But first, let’s talk about how River Rock Inn was doing at the time of its closure.
While the reviews after Gordon Ramsay’s changes were better than before, they were still mixed.
People seemed to be generally complimentary of the food, which makes sense because that’s where Gordon Ramsay thrives.
For example, here’s a 5 star Yelp review written about the restaurant in December 2012, just shortly after the Hotel Hell episode aired on TV:
Stopped by the restaurant on a whim with my folks, and were really pleasantly surprised. Excellent and attentive service (Timothy was our server – very fast and polite!), and the food is delicious, with generous portions.
Among the three of us, we had the wild mushroom bisque (smooth and flavorful!), split pea with ham soup (very rich and great ham flavor), papardelle bolognese (the sauce was amazing – just enough fresh tomatoes and perfectly infused with meat), mushroom ravioli (wonderful cream sauce), and filet mignon (perfectly prepared as medium with rich sauce and an *amazing* side of sautéed winter veggies.
The ambiance is also wonderful for December – tasteful decorations, nice fireplace, and soft music – soft enough that it doesn’t interrupt the conversation.
The prices are a bit on the high end, but I think it’s worth it. Oh yeah, definitely get half-portions for the pasta dishes – they are huge and filling!
However, there were still some complaints about the rooms, such as weird smells and hot temperatures.
Later reviews of the restaurant also seemed more negative.
There were several negative reviews of the restaurant in 2014, which suggests that maybe the standards had fallen.
For example, this negative 1 star Yelp review of the restaurant from August 2014:
This was an awful experience- I would have to say the worse “first impression” ever.
The restaurant was 80% empty. About 5 table were full.
I stood in the hallway for 15 minutes waiting for someone to help with a table.
Finally asked around, and they said they would be right with me. About 10 minutes later a guest came up to me and said I needed to talk to the bartender.
She then said she would be right with me. 5 more minutes, I asked if I could just seat myself. She said fine, and would be right out.
15 more minutes…even as the waitress walked by me, nothing. No menu. no water. no greeting.
I then went up to her back in the restaurant and asked if I should leave because she was apparently so busy and she said she would ” try to get to me. ”
With that I walked out……….which I have NEVER done.
The experience ruined the night for me……my one night in Milford…..
Overall, it seems like the standards might have fallen, which could explain why the River Rock Inn closed in late 2014.
For a time, the old River Rock Inn Milford, PA location was occupied by a new hotel named Laurel Villa Country Inn.
You can see the new sign in this August 2018 shot from Google Maps street view:
Reviews for Laurel Villa Country Inn were generally positive. For example, it had an overall 4.5 star rating on its TripAdvisor page.
Interestingly, it seems like Laurel Villa Country Inn also owned the property before River Rock Inn and sold it to Ken.
For example, I found a 2011 post on the Laurel Villa Country Inn page that indicates they sold the property to “River Rock Bistro”, which I assume was Ken.
I dug into this in more detail and found a local news article that confirms this fact.
Ken bought the property from the original owners in 2011 and renovated it into the River Rock Inn.
However, the original owners (Janice Halstead and Carl Muhlhauser) still held the mortgage note on the property (not the bank).
The original owners then foreclosed on the property in 2015 and regained control from Ken.
After regaining control over the property, they reopened it as Laurel Villa Country Inn again.
I found a TripAdvisor comment from Carl that confirms this:
However, the Laurel Villa Country Inn changed again in mid-to-late 2021, which means the River Rock Inn Pennsylvania building has changed yet again.
I’m not sure if the Laurel Villa Country Inn owners sold the property or not. But either way, they renovated it into a new restaurant concept.
They posted about this on the Laurel Villa Country Inn Facebook page again:
As of 2023, the old River Rock Inn Milford, PA location is now occupied by a Mexican restaurant named La Posada & Felix Cantina.
There’s no more hotel there – it’s just a restaurant now. You can learn more at the La Posada Milford, PA website.
The restaurant only opened in May 2022 so it doesn’t have a lot of reviews at the time that I’m editing our River Rock Inn Hotel Hell update.
However, the few reviews that it does have seem good as far as it has a 4.7 star rating on Google Reviews and 4 star rating on Yelp.
What happened to Ken Pisciotta?
Ken Pisciotta was the River Rock Inn owner before the hotel closed in late 2014 after it was foreclosed on by the original property owners.
Ken doesn’t have much of an online presence so it’s hard to see what he’s up to.
As far as I can tell, Ken moved down to Florida where he’s working as the Executive Chef at a restaurant named The Salty Shamrock Gastro Grill.
I’m not 100% sure if that’s correct, but I think it is based on my research. If you know anything else about what happened to Ken Pisciotta, please let me know in the comments.
👉 Read other Season 1 updates:
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And don't forget to check out the full Hotel Hell open and closed list.
Last updated: 2023-01-21 06:34