Series 9 - The Oakland, Essex

The Oakland, Essex

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Alex travels to Essex to help the Dolbears, a family who seem to spend more time at each other’s throats than behind the reception desk.

The Oakland is a two-star, 36-bedroom hotel and nightclub in the town of South Woodham Ferrers. Dad Jeff and mum Marilyn bought the struggling business nine years ago, investing their life savings in the hope of providing a rosy future for their children, Andy and Shelley.

But for the Dolbears, running the Oakland has been far from a game of Happy Families, as no one can agree on who's in charge. Alex soon detects a battle of the sexes as father and son shout down the mother and daughter in all the decision making. Alex believes the Oakland’s nightclub exterior puts off more guests than it attracts, and that Jeff’s bright orange and green bedroom designs are not helping matters.

Despite the family’s huge investment of £800,000, the hotel is struggling to pull in the punters. The reviews do little to help the bottom line, with one suggesting the Dolbears change the ‘t’ in ‘hotel’ to a ‘v’.

Jeff's family have called in Alex against his wishes, causing him to vow that he will ignore her advice. With the nightclub drowning out hotel business at the weekend, Alex has to get creative in finding a solution to the Dolbears' financial struggle. If she can just get the family to work together as a team…

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