RTE Television

The Shelbourne

At the exclusive five star Shelbourne Hotel, the prevailing ethos is about attention to detail. Whether it's a demanding bride, an international celebrity, a head of state or the entire Irish Rugby team, the staff are trained to please with panache and a smile.

Now, for the first time, the exclusive 190 year-old Dublin institution has allowed cameras access to the front and back of house. The series captures what it takes to deliver five star service to some of the worlds most demanding clientele. Staff at all levels - including VIP managers, concierges, doormen, executive chefs, florists and cleaning staff - are followed by RTÉ cameras as they deal with crises, prepare for grand events and gear up for the arrival of celebrity guests and world leaders.

The result is an insightful, entertaining and sometimes hilarious six-part observational documentary series that reveals the skills and hard graft that go into the making of a five star luxury hotel experience.

Episodes

Episode 1

In the first episode, staff receive training in etiquette and grooming, there's a celebrity arrival and the kitchen prepare a fine dining banquet for 120 food experts.

Episode 2

This week the hotel security team prepare for the arrival of European Head of State, Angela Merkel and The Irish Rugby Team check in to prepare for match day. Everyone wants a win and staff get emotional knowing it is Brian O'Driscoll's last home match.

Episode 3

This week focuses on history and tradition, as the iconic Dublin hotel celebrates its 190th anniversary. The hotel has a small museum and concierge and history buff Dennis O'Brien tells some visitors about the most important meeting ever held in the Shelbourne Hotel - the drafting of the Irish Constitution in 1922. Head Chef Gary Hughes plunders the hotel archives for inspiration to launch a historical tasting menu, and the staff get excited about a visit from Holywood legend Omar Sharif.

Episode 4

This week focuses on history and tradition, as the iconic Dublin hotel celebrates its 190th anniversary. The hotel has a small museum and concierge and history buff Dennis O'Brien tells some visitors about the most important meeting ever held in the Shelbourne Hotel - the drafting of the Irish Constitution in 1922. Head Chef Gary Hughes plunders the hotel archives for inspiration to launch a historical tasting menu, and the staff get excited about a visit from Holywood legend Omar Sharif.

Episode 5

It's love and romance this week at The Shelbourne, as a guest requests some help with his wedding proposal by asking hotel staff to fill a room with white roses. Will his girlfriend say yes? The request sparks intense activity across hotel departments, from the in-house florists to the guest relations team. Love is also in the air as the hotel's wedding coordinator rolls out the red carpet for another young couple and their 150 guests.

Episode 6

The hotel is starting a multimillion refurbishment of the bedrooms. The builders have five days to completely gut and refit eight bedrooms ready for a Friday afternoon inspection by pernickety hotel managers Alan Mahoney and Agnes Keogh. 5 star approval is not easy and everyone is feeling the pressure. It is also staff appreciation week - JD Flynn and the front of house team are on a team building day trip to a tree top obstacle course.

The Shelbourne
  • RTÉ One, Thursday, 8.30pm