Hotel Hell at the Town’s Inn, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Hotel Hell at the Town's Inn, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
Hotel Hell at the Town's Inn, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

This week on Hotel Hell, Gordon Ramsay is in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, to help out the owner of the Town’s Inn – a historic landmark consisting of two residences.


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According to Ramsay, the owner is clueless and a hoarder who stores personal items throughout the establishment and displays some of the worst practices he’s ever seen.

The Town’s Inn has been run by former educator Karan Townsend since 2007. According to her Facebook Page, Townsend holds a doctorate in education from the University of Houston and is the owner/consultant at the English House on Capitol Hill.

The Journal News ran a story on Townsend back in 2010, when she ran for school board. Townsend has an extensive background in education, among other things.

A Closer Look

According to its website, the Town’s Inn consists of two historical residences: the Heritage House at 179 High St. and the Mountain House at 175 High St., which were built circa 1840.

The inn also features a restaurant – Bistro 1840 at The Town’s Inn. The Town’s Inn Facebook Page hasn’t been updated since December 2015, however, Bistro 1840‘s Facebook Page is more active with a photo gallery featuring the restaurant’s new look and upgrades. You can also explore the Bistro 1840 website for a look at the menu, wine list, and more.

Bistro 1840 at The Town’s Inn
Bistro 1840 at The Town’s Inn (Facebook)

This week’s episode of Hotel Hell at the Town’s Inn was taped on November 5 – 9, 2015, and will air on Fox in two parts. Part 1 airs on Tuesday, June 7, while Part 2 airs the following week on June 14.

Renovations at The Town’s Inn

Here’s a look at some of the upgrades at the inn.

The Town’s Inn has undergone some exciting renovations that we hope our guests will love! We are continuing to make…

Posted by The Town’s Inn on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Reviews are in

As always, we like to take a look at the online reviews since Ramsay’s intervention. In the Town’s Inn case, we also have to take into account the renaming of the restaurant to Bistro 1840.

Bistro 1840

Positive Reviews

  • Chose Bistro 1840 and it did not dissapoint (SIC). Come to find out the establishment was recently redone and will be featured on Gordon Ramsey’s Hotel Hell on Tuesday!
  • Stopped into this bistro last evening to finish off our Memorial Day Weekend. The chicken caprese and salmon were both amazing and the server was pleasant. This will be one of our go-tos whenever we’re in the area.
  • After walking around town for several hours we chose this place to grab lunch because of its charming appearance. We were rewarded with impeccable service, amazing food and cold beer! We ordered the burger with melty gruyere cheese, sautéed onions and mushrooms.
  • Random day hiking on the AT. Fantastic spot and would not hesitate to come back again!!
  • Excellent! This is the crown jewel of Harper’s Ferry. Recently reopened after an extensive remodel, 1840 Bistro is charming.

Negative Reviews

  • This place has horrible service. I ordered a grilled cheese which was a baguette filled with cheese and heated In an oven, nothing grilled about the bread at all. The tomato soup that it came with was like cheesy thick marinara sauce.
  • Food was fine but service e is a disaster. Lunch took us 1h 45 min. Would not go again.

The Town’s Inn

Positive Reviews

  • Stayed here while riding the C&O. Stayed in the Friendship room. Has a hidden gem on the 2nd floor – cross between a country store and convenience store with food and drinks for purchase and a breakfast/lunch/snacks made to order menu.
  • I thought this place was great. I don’t get the bad reviews. We stopped for lunch while heading back to the car after a hike. Food was good and the service was friendly.
  • Stopped for lunch after reading about the Gordon Ramsey redux, just done last week. The old Inn and pub is so cute. The dining room seats about 20 at most. The new menu is small but has Ramsey’s touch written all over it.
  • Food was great, staff was friendly. Breakfast and lunch menu all day. Very quaint atmosphere in a 200 year old home. I will definitely return.
  • Harper’s Ferry is amazing and the Town’s Inn an integral part of the fabric. You need to know before you stay that this is an old building, so it’s not wheelchair accessible and the floors aren’t level, but so long as you accept that then the place is just fine.

Negative Reviews

  • This place was way overpriced. For the same price we paid for our room at Towns Inn, we got a room at another B&B in town that included parking, breakfast and a TV in the room and a bigger room.
  • “We decided not to stay” Let me say- the owner was very kind during the booking process and when I called to ask about parking. Upon check in the porch was covered with …stuff. Sheets of glass, ladders…
  • This is an very old, rustic, poorly maintained, dirty establishment. We stayed in the Mountain View Room. There were cobwebs all over. Every surface seemed covered with knock knacks with a cluttered feel. The bathroom is awful.

If you’d like to dig deeper into the Town’s Inn online reviews, you can check out Yelp, and TripAdvisor. For the newly renovated and renamed Bistro 1840, you can check out the reviews over at Yelp.

Viewing Party

A viewing party is during each of the two episodes is being held at the White Horse Tavern in Harpers Ferry, where free appetizers and a special Gordon Ramsay Burger will be served.

Happy Birthday Gordon!

Excited fans get to meet Gordon Ramsay during his visit to Harpers Ferry. It just happens to be his birthday, which turned out to be a bonus.

Video Extras

Mighty Inconvenient from Town’s Inn, Part 1

What A Nightmare from Town’s Inn, Part 1

Gordon discovers what the owners of the hotel are hiding behind the DIY paint job.

Images – Facebook, YouTube

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