Rob Rinder is new presenter on Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby

Sunday: Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby (BBC2, 8pm)
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Travelling across the world, checking into some incredible hotels – it sounds like a dream job. So, when it was announced that Giles Coren was stepping down as co-host of the series Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby, there must have been no shortage of presenters lining up to throw their hat into the ring.

Admittedly, if they’d ever watched the show, they’d know it wasn’t all about living it up in five-star luxury.

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Instead, Coren and his co-presenter Monica Galetti could be found rolling their sleeves up and joining the staff at the establishments to find out exactly what goes into delivering a luxury experience, and to learn the tricks of the trade that the guests normally never see.

Monica Galetti and Rob RinderMonica Galetti and Rob Rinder
Monica Galetti and Rob Rinder

Luckily, that didn’t put off the new Amazing Hotels presenter, Rob Rinder, who is clearly a man who likes to take on new challenges. He was working as a criminal barrister when he was picked to host his own reality courtroom series, Judge Rinder.

Since then, his TV CV has taken in a stint on Strictly Come Dancing (he finished a highly respectable fifth), as well as the powerful documentaries My Family, the Holocaust and Me, and The Holy Land and Us.

It seems his latest role suits him down the ground. Rob has plenty of experience of staying in hotels but occasionally they’ve been extraordinary for all the wrong reasons. He says: “[The worst] was when I was travelling as a student. I once stayed in a hotel which had previously been a prison and they hadn’t changed the décor during that time…”

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Luckily, he’s encountered nothing like that on Amazing Hotels, saying: “It’s been the ultimate gift. It has to be the best job in the world and I keep pinching myself.

“I’m obsessed with detail, as anyone will tell you. But when I check into a hotel, it’s more than a meticulous attention to detail, it’s the stories of the people, which is why I love making documentaries. It’s the people who gift us these places which enables us to completely understand the purpose of luxury travel and what it brings to communities and even the world. It’s human stories allowing people to be the absolute best and feel seen.”

He’s also excited for viewers to come on the journey with him, saying: “You can expect just about everything from castles in Morocco to Paradise Island to the furthest reaches of the North Pole. You think you’re just seeing a façade of a hotel, but in some cases they’re like entire countries, in others they breathe life into local communities.

“These places aren’t just hotels. It’s what these places mean to their communities and for the guests that come that’s special. A hotel isn’t just a place people come to stay. It’s an entire universe of things, all of which we explore in Amazing Hotels.”

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Their journey begins in Morocco, where Monica and Rob are checking into Richard Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot. They’ll be working alongside the 100% Moroccan team to discover the significance of Berber hospitality, food and culture to their guests.

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