(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 3 | View All Season 3 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: June 7, 2016
Town's Inn Address: 179 High St Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
Town’s Inn was a Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia hotel featured on Season 3 of Hotel Hell.
Though the Town’s Inn Hotel Hell episode aired in June 2016, the actual filming and visit from Gordon Ramsay took place in late 2015.
It was a two-part episode that spanned Season 3 Episode 3 and Episode 4 of Hotel Hell.
Town’s Inn is located in Harpers Ferry, WV.
Harper’s Ferry is a pretty historic place, as it played a big role in the Civil War and was the site of John Brown’s raid.
John Brown’s raid would later be immortalized in a Showtime series called The Good Lord Bird.
It’s located right where the Potomac River and the Shenandoah River meet, which gives it a beautiful location.
It’s also right on the border of Maryland and not that far from Washington DC.
In 2007 the owners Jason and Ana Townsend bought Town’s Inn, which means they’ve owned it for a little under a decade at the time of the Town’s Inn Hotel Hell episode.
The idea was that Karan Townsend, Jason’s mother, would manage/run the hotel after she retired from her original career.
She is a former teacher who wanted to work at the hotel to stay busy.
Gordon Ramsay later finds out that Karan has been staying in the office overnight, and her son is concerned about her.
When Gordon arrives at the Town’s Inn, he discovers creepy decor for sale and expired loaves of bread.
Karan doesn’t want any changes made to the hotel, so it has been in a cluttered state for some time.
On the way to his room, Gordon passes a collection of wicker baskets for sale that is covered in dust and bugs.
It’s like an episode of Hoarders, to be honest…
Gordon is staying in the Potomac Room.
The Potomac Room is named for the local river, but the state of the room is disgusting.
The ceiling has a crack, and the owner stores her clothes in a locked cupboard in the room, which is super weird.
Karan agrees to remove half of her clothes from the dresser so Gordon can unpack his luggage.
Gordon also takes things into his own hands to do a little decluttering…
After clearing out his room, Gordon Ramsay is hungry and decides to head down to the restaurant to eat.
He orders mac and cheese, fiesta stew, and trout.
The mac and cheese have been microwaved, the trout is watery, and the stew was cooked days ago.
Sarah is a friend of the family who volunteers her time by working at the hotel.
Sarah keeps telling the staff what to do and that annoys them.
Karan sits in her office while Sarah bosses everyone around.
The team gets mad because Karan nitpicks at everything, but she doesn’t help.
The walls have been painted in the kitchen, but Karan and Sarah stuff the holes in the walls with brillo pads, which had rotted the wall.
Gordon heads into the kitchen and sees that the cooks are boiling pre-prepare burgers.
Boiled burgers?!? No thank you!
When Gordon confronts Karan, she denies how the burgers are cooked a problem.
Customers are brought into the kitchen and are shocked at how the burger was prepared.
The kitchen staff is made to tell the customers the origin of their food, including a chicken that was six months old.
After this, Gordon shuts down the kitchen.
Karan denies giving up after Gordon calls her out.
He keeps on inspecting the kitchen to see what else he can find.
The walk-in fridge is filled with fries sitting in dirty water and fish sitting in blood.
It’s so disgusting…
Karan tells Gordon that due to debt, she can’t replace any of the broken equipment.
Gordon uses a bacteria testing kit to test and see how dirty the hotel is.
He begins his test with his bedroom.
Gordon’s hotel room floor reads 803 when an acceptable reading is 30.
Gordon decides to leave the hotel after Karan blames bikers and hikers for the mess in the room.
Karan cries and tells Gordon she is done being in denial and is ready for his help.
Gordon makes Karan pack up her things as she will no longer be sleeping in the office.
Jason meets with Gordon, and Gordon informs him about the state of the inn.
He also tells Jason that he found a home for Karan and will pay the rent himself for the first two months, which is a super nice thing for Gordon Ramsay to do.
The idea is that having the apartment for two months will at least give her some space to think about the current situation.
Once Karan agrees to move out, Gordon Ramsay and his team get to work packing up all of her things and moving them out of the hotel.
Once the clutter is out, the Hotel Hell team gives the room a contemporary makeover.
As is usual, they didn’t renovate all the rooms – only a few of them.
The restaurant’s menu has also been reduced to simplify things.
Gordon makes Karan promise to relax and take time off to spend with family.
So was the Town’s Inn Hotel Hell episode a success?
Keep reading our update to learn what happened next and if the hotel is open or closed in 2023 and beyond.
Town's Inn Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Town’s Inn Hotel Hell visit from Gordon Ramsay, let’s talk about what happened after Gordon and his crew left historic Harper’s Ferry, WV.
For a time, Karan stayed in the house Gordon had found for her.
Jason also took a more active role in Town’s Inn.
Unfortunately, this would not last and Karan would eventually move back into a room in the hotel.
Karan also seems to have had some issues with the Hotel Hell experience.
I found these comments from her in a response to a TripAdvisor review:
The Townsend Family lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in our effort to follow Chef Ramsay’s advice.
I ended up going back to the country-style cafe, shopping, & lodging that had won us the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence in 2012 (i took over the restaurant in 2011), 2013, 2014, & 2015.
We’ve not gotten that Certificate since Ramsay came & made unhelpful changes,
She says that Ramsay’s changes were “unhelpful” and cost them thousands of dollars.
So, it seems like she didn’t feel like they got value from the Hotel Hell Town’s Inn changes.
Despite that, the hotel has survived so far…
Is Town’s Inn from Hotel Hell still open?
As of 2023, Town’s Inn is still open and serving patrons in Harper’s Ferry, WV.
Reviews are for the Town’s Inn Harpers Ferry hotel are mixed but generally OK.
Town’s Inn has a 4 star rating on TripAdvisor, which isn’t bad.
It also has a 3.9 star rating on Google Reviews. Again, that’s not bad, but it’s also not exceptional.
A lot of people seem to compliment it as “cozy”, but seem people also view the “cozy” atmosphere as a negative.
For example, consider this review excerpt:
The charm of in the inn is supposed to be the age but not enough has been done to the property to give it modern amenities.
The renovations are uneven & under funded
This makes sense, because Gordon Ramsay and Hotel Hell only renovated some of the rooms. So it would be kind of luck of the draw whether people got a good room or an old room.
A lot of people seem to book the hotel thinking they’ll get one of the rooms that Gordon renovated, even though those are only a small portion of the rooms.
Here’s another example of a TripAdvisor review that was written after Gordon Ramsay’s visit, including a lengthy response from Karan Townsend (direct link here):
And here’s a more average review that also got a response from Karan.
This is the response that includes the quote from above (direct link here):
If you’re in the Harper’s Ferry area and you want to see what the Town’s Inn Hotel Hell episode was all about, you can book a room.
You can book via the official Town’s Inn website or one of the many third-party booking platforms.
Rooms at the Town’s Inn West Virginia hotel seem to start at just around $70 on third-party booking platforms.
On the official website, rooms start at $80 per night and range up to $180 per night for the 1820 suite.
If you want to stay in the Potomac room that Gordon Ramsay stayed in, that will currently run you $145 per night.
Here’s a screenshot that shows some examples of the rooms and their prices:
With that being said, Bistro 1840, the restaurant at the Town’s Inn Harpers Ferry location, seems to have closed as of 2018.
It seems like only the hotel is still doing business at the location, though I’m guessing the hotel has its own restaurant.
Here’s what the Town’s Inn Harper’s Ferry WV location looks like in the most recent picture from Google Maps street view:
Next, let’s talk about what happened to Karan from Town’s Inn.
What happened to Karan Townsend after Hotel Hell?
According to her Facebook page, Karan Townsend is still involved with Town’s Inn as of 2023.
She’s also listed on the hotel’s business registration, as well as a separate registration for High Street Development, LLC (which is headquartered at the Town’s Inn building, so I assume it’s the same thing).
I can’t find much more than that because I don’t like digging into people’s personal lives, but I hope she’s happy and healthy.
Overall, the Hotel Hell Town’s Inn episode seems to be a success as the hotel is still open and doing business under the same ownership as of 2023.
If you want to see some updates for other nearby Hotel Hell episodes, you can check out these posts:
- Brick Hotel in Newtown, PA
- River Rock Inn in Milford, PA
- Landoll’s Mohican Castle in Loudonville, OH
And if you want to share your thoughts on the Town’s Inn episode, you can do so using the comments section below.
Thanks for reading!
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And don't forget to check out the full Hotel Hell open and closed list.
Last updated: 2023-05-21 04:00
29 thoughts on “Town’s Inn Hotel Hell Update – Still Open in 2023?”
All comments are the sole opinion of the commenter and are not endorsed by RealityTVUpdates.
This was an extremely difficult show to watch. I’m the same age as Karan. I’m distressed because I don’t feel as if her son was monitoring her at all. I thought she had the beginnings of Alzheimer’s. She just wasn’t living in the real world. Very painful. Broke my heart.
She’s right back to living in the Hotel again now. She actually hates Gordan Ramsay now, she is unappreciative for the help and advice he gave, and thinks their old way is the way to go, because doing things right costs money and effort. That horrible disgusting way they did food, she thinks that was all good and fine. Along with letting her friend go around bossing around the employees and painting on the walls like a child, posting a bunch of business cards over walls that need real re-plastering done to them.
She is pissy that they stopped their dangerous and disgusting food practices and hired a good chef and that things didn’t take off in the food department when they did so. We all saw how she thought what they were doing with the food was just fine. She regrets that they stopped doing those sickening practices.
She thinks as long as she can hide the issues from people, that’s great and how she will operate. She doesn’t understand that historic buildings still need to be upkept and cleaned. She hasn’t learned her lesson, yet is still around somehow.
Hoarding is a serious mental affliction, and so is complacency with filthy surroundings and pretty awful food. All I could think about while watching the episode is where is the nearest McDonald’s, Mac and Cheese from a box is better and Motel 6 is cheaper and cleaner.
Hopefully Karan will step aside and let someone actually run the place for her. If she can tidy up her appearance they can let her sit in a corner and greet people.
This woman is obviously mentally ill. I felt like her responses were very weird, and as if she just could not comprehend what was being said. I’m surprised Gordon didn’t pick up on that. I thought her “turn around” was unconvincing. I don’t think she had an epiphany at all. She was just saying what everyone wanted to hear from her at the end. I felt sorry for her but she has no business running that place.
Watching almost all episodes of Hotel Hell and especially this one, I’m convinced that many people need help (not with business management). A lot of personal issues going on, from bad attitudes, anger to trauma. I wish Gordon would have sent people for personal counseling instead of “fixing” their business. But at the end, it’s all about the show.
The Hotel is still open as of June 2022 and now has many excellent reviews and several Trip Advisor awards. And yes, Karan is still there. Apparently somebody listened to Ramsey and turned things around. I felt badly for Karan who was a very naive or perhaps even delusional and had no business running a hotel. Nice enough elderly lady with zero background in hotel management or any type of business. Literally every episode of this show is people who think you can just run a hotel and restaurant with no training. You wouldn’t try and be a doctor without going to med school – why would you open a hotel without hospitality training or a restaurant without culinary training??
Kitchen Nightmares meets Hoarders. This was a sad and really insightful episode. This poor lady has a mental illness, and it is sad to watch her be oblivious to the fact that her standards are far, far below the rest of modern society. It’s hard to believe her son thought it was a good idea to buy her an inn and restaurant to manage alone. Surely there were warning signs of this kind of behavior? Maybe he just hates vacationers from D.C. and he uses her as his weapon. That’s what I would do. But, I’m a super villain.
This was a case of the patients running the asylum and it was terrifying to watch. This was so bad that it wouldn’t matter what Mr. Ramsey did to fix this place. After what I seen of how they ran both the Inn and the kitchen and just how bad they let things get before he got there. The fact that everyone went along with it and the owner believing there was nothing wrong with it, I would never stay there, and I definitely would NEVER eat there. People like that don’t change and any cook that didn’t immediately walk out, but who continued to serve up that crap I would not trust ever.
Sooooooooo right !
Oh we stayed there. My done got us a gift card fir a two night stay for a Christmas present in 2018 and we booked it for February 2019.
It was the scariest night of my life. I couldn’t wait till morning to get the hell out. The shower, sink, toilet was disgusting. I felt as if bugs were crawling on my at night. Our bed was near the door, mind you the door had cracks all around that left air in and ya could see outside.
Karen was scary as well. I went upstairs to her office in the morning to get a refund for the second night and she refused.
We had no idea this was a Hotel Hell or no way would I of even thought of staying there. My husband is a big Coal Miner and he was just as anxious to get out as I was. I can’t believe people actually give it anything above a one star!!!
I agree. I was thinking the same thing. These people had no problem “scamming” people for YEARS.
The one to blame for all this is the son. I don’t see him eating or staying there at all. This never should have happened. What was he thinking?
The son is irresponsible and the cook is full crap.Those people working for her didn’t care.They just wanted to collect a pay check
I managed popular large restaurants, microbreweries for over 20 years and I want to know how even one health inspector conducted a single inspection without shutting down the kitchen immediately and didn’t allow it to reopen without gutting the place. Serving a chicken that was in a freezer for 6 mos, you can’t freeze any proteins for that long, then they microwaved them? I guarantee every guest who ate that would have become ill, if not severe food-poisoning. OSHA would have shut them down for storing food outdoors, piles of microwaves run with an extension cord that ran into the ceiling? Major fire hazard. Pathetic.
Harper’s Ferry, WV: population 269
It’s probably a town where everybody knows everybody, the inspectors are probably her friends.
Disturbing episode. Karan clearly displayed mental health issues. Not out of place as an episode of Hoarders, as has been said in other comment. More going on than that though. Uncomfortable viewing. TV show if course, but if that bad Ramsey’s producers should have had place fumigated top to bottom instead of humiliating a vulnerable woman. Ghastly to hear about her loo problem.
Karan has been running this business for years and it is still open. Apart from the hoarding, I don’t think she is mentally ill, I think she is just eccentric. I wonder if she was on mood altering medication though? Hoarding is a mental illness and she’s obviously a hoarder but it is well known that many (not all) hoarders are extremely intelligent people.
Having worked in hospitality for many years, I would be very surprised if there have been any health or council inspections on that property as that kitchen was very much illegal and a death trap. Fridges and freezers stored outside/ near a dumpster would never have passed inspection. I really question whether or not she received those awards and if she did, they obviously did not inspect the entire premises.
Even a kid would be well aware that the chicken has been frozen then heated in a microwave. The chicken would have been dry, the skin would not have been crispy… It would be obvious that it was not just cooked in the oven that day.
The chef should be ashamed himself dishing up that muck to paying clients. I can only assume that jobs in that area are very scarce because no chef who actually cares about their reputation would put their name to the food served up in this episode.
I really don’t know what to think about this episode. There is so much that just does not add up.
Hospitality 1990 -2004
Clinical Psychologist (specialising in Hoarding Disorder) PSYD. MA. BAAP.
2004 – 2019
Hospitality: 2020 – present
You included your CV in a comment? Lol.
Haha I was wondering the same ! Like did she really put up her cv in a comments section on a website !! It’s is funny 😄
The comments sections here are serious business 😉
I feel ashamed for the son that enabled Karan and the situation. I wonder how often he visited, any loving son with some backbone should have stepped in earlier.
And the chef i feel acted and didnt take responsibility. Just seeing the black water they soaked the french Fries in shows he didnt care at all. Many things could be blamed at Karan but hardly not changing water.
This was a very disturbing episode. I seriously think that Karan IS suffering from some mental illness other than hoarding. This goes beyond being eccentric.
Her son should be made to live in and run that inn himself for a week….maybe he would get his head out of his ass and help his mom get the help she needs. If there was ever a time when no one was there, someone should burn it down.
You can NOT tell me that there have been any rewards won by this place…….not honestly anyway.
I am not from the united states, but I have heard that people who are that delusional can be committed without their consent, and that’s what should be done with Karan.
Someone is going to end up getting very very sick having anything to do with that place.
Gordon should have made some discrete calls……instead of doing renovations to enable Karan to keep the place open.
Where are all the health inspectors??? Haven’t any ever inspected this place??
I felt sick to my stomach after watching this episode….not only by the filthy disgusting rooms, or the expired,rotten, freezer burnt food…..but because of all the people who participate in enabling this disturbed woman to continue……..
American chiming in — she’s not even close to out of touch enough to be involuntarily committed. She’d either have to be actively a danger to herself or completely incapable of routine activities (and I don’t mean “having floors that aren’t disgusting” I mean “eating food” kind of stuff).
Being committed without consent is incredibly traumatizing. In this case, placing blame on the son seems more fitting – where the hell was he? How is this a retirement plan?
Agreed wondering where the health inspectors were but America, they’re often understaffed and overworked as hell. I don’t blame folks trying to make a living – the waitress and the 17 yo staff seemed like they absolutely knew but just doing their best to get by. But the actual owner, the son, should’ve had better damn sense. And actually taken care of his mother. Buy the property have a fun thing for her to do? Fine, you’ve got the money for that, hire a proper manager to let her have fun but keep it – and effing food safety – in check.
I’m not really sure why they thought that Gordon suggested a gourmet bistro menu (unless he did so behind-the-scenes). He only suggested a small menu that could change over time, focusing on fresh ingredients.
apparently a burger that’s not boiled is “gourmet”. Freaking McDonald’s is gourmet.
My grandmother passed when I was 18 years old due to Severe Cognitive Decline, and my Mother is now going through the same symptoms of Cognitive Decline. I have worked with the mentally impaired and Developmentally Disabled Community for years now, until I had to quit my job to care for my mother.
Watching this episode I notice little things Karen would do that are some of the hallmarks of Cognitive Decline. Now, I am not saying that is what is going on nor am I diagnosing her just pointing out that there are similarities there. Denial being chief amongst them, due to the fact that this is typically a coping mechanism for loss of Cognition. “If I think positively things will go back to being alright again.”, “This is just a bad day.”, or “Everyone forgets things, everyone has problems.”
Hording is connected with this affliction as those that suffer from it “horde” items because they fear if it is not there with them they will forget about it, or worse they will lose the only thing that will help them remember; such as bills, important documents and other sentimental items. Food items because they fear they may not remember to purchase the things they need while out, or worse they forget they have already purchased them while out and purchase more which adds to the horde.
They have difficulty keeping track of all the minutia of the day to day as it becomes increasingly more difficult for them to focus on one task at a time. My mother will start a project then her mind will wander and the task her mind wanders to becomes the task at hand and so nothing is ever completed and tasks begin to pile up without constant help and refocusing.
For the individual suffering from Cognitive Decline they become defensive of others trying to help because they are frustrated by the fact they can no longer do what needs to be done without assistance. I understand Karen’s frustration but her Son should truly be managing the business and allowing Karen to simply put minor touches here and there and greet guests.
Cognitive Decline or not a Lady of Karen’s life experience should be enjoying her retirement and not having the weight and burden of finances, expenses, and life altering decisions being placed squarely on her shoulders. Retirement should be an achievement and reward for years of hard work and dedication. She should be enjoying the hotels, inns, and B&B’s of America, not trying to run one.
how did no one mention the fries and that liquid, man. absolutely disgusting. one of the few times I’ve physically retched looking at a show.
I am watching this show now.
I can’t believe this place is still open! OMG!
This woman has such a bland affect and they way she replies to Gordon without any emotion is bizarre. I thought it was weird when Gordon mentioned her having a spa day and she made an off-hand comment about being Mennonite or some such. Maybe in her mind she thinks of herself as a Mennonite and that’s the reason for wearing only two outfits?
By the way, I have no problem wearing a sort of uniform. Most of the clothes people have they never wear.
This woman’s son letting her live in a closet is pathetic.
As far as this woman she claims to have lost 100s of thousands of dollars? Yeah, right! The little gift shop Gordon created and the minimal menu were simple fixes but too much for this place to continue?
How in the heck do places like this stay in business? I would have given this place 1 star or a minus star, if possible.
Delusional son and owner.