Can We Talk About The Fortune Hotel?

Theories, predictions, strategies and more for ITV’s addictive The Traitors rip off.

The Fortune Hotel cast
Photo: ITV

Call it a cynical copy of The Traitors all you like, but The Fortune Hotel makes for entertaining reality game fluff. In it, couples stay in a luxury resort in the Caribbean where each day they must compete in a physical challenge and an indoor “room service” challenge to win better odds in the game of pass-the-parcel that is part of the elimination process in the Lady Luck Bar. Information is power, allegiances are key and if you’re good in a dinghy you’ve got an advantage.

Presenter Stephen Mangan is no Claudia Winkleman but he’s charming and affable (and coincidentally he won champions week of Richard Osman’s House of Games this week, so… errr… he’s good at Answer Smash).

The show airs every evening Monday-Thursday and Thursday’s ep ended with quite the cliffhanger. Secrets and lies are about to be exposed and one of the favourite couples is about to be sent home, smashing the competition wide open. There’s no new ep til Monday so here are our theories ahead of the finale.

Why do I recognise Louie?

Louie, who with partner Chloe, went home in the first episode due to being so unfathomably bad at the selfie treasure-map challenge, may be familiar to reality game connoisseurs. That’s because he appeared in Channel 4 show Josh Must Win (and not “Josh Must Die” as we keep accidentally calling it). He was Josh’s bestie in the house and so made it right to the finale and was something of a fan favourite. Less so in The Fortune Hotel.

Ad – content continues below

Why do people hate Claire and Dan?

They’ve been kicked out at the end of ep four, but they became targets from almost the word go. These two are well off already – he’s a lawyer, her family owns a hotel and from the moment they introduced themselves as such you could feel the ripples in the house, which largely includes people who look like they could use the money.

Claire and Dan are clever, physically fit, posh, white and ever so slightly smug. They are also cursed with being lucky, getting to choose the order of swaps in episode three through a game of chance (although to be fair, they probably won the can task anyway). Cherish and Jae assume they have the money (when they don’t) and decide to kick them out even after they believe they no longer have the money (when they do). They’re not even especially egregious people, with Claire pausing during a water-based task to help Jo-Anne, being insistent on transparency when they had the early check out card and largely speaking trying to be fair when they end up with an advantageous position. But they don’t half go on about it. It’s not clear what this couple could have done differently other than be slightly less good at everything but it’s an interesting bit of psychology. We wonder whether this would be different if the show was made with American contestants airing in the US. After all, one of the key differences between Brits and Americans is that a man in a flashy car in the US is a legend, while a man in a flashy car in the UK is a wanker…

The tragic tale of Gary and Lesley

Early on Gary and Lesley were one of our favourite couples purely because they were guileless and funny. When they got the early check out card Gary was so very obvious going on about how unlucky he is, it’s a wonder he got away with it. It also amazed us that after Abbie’s big diva exit they didn’t choose to look in Jo-Anne and Will’s case. The leaving proclamation from Gary was to call himself a loser. That’s the spirit, Gar! If there were ever to be the argument that you make your own luck, this would be it. They were the opposite of Dan and Claire and they were never long for this game.

On the subject of Abbie’s big exit – don’t be so rude to Jo-Anne! There was something distasteful about having a pop at someone’s mum in front of your own mum.

Adam and Michael’s reign of power

These two were in pole position but that could be all over come Monday’s episode though this will depend how smart the other contestants are. Their allegiance with Will and Jo-Anne is the hinge. Technically no one knows that they gave Jo-Anne and Will back the money in their clandestine exchange. However the last case exchange in public was between W & J and  M & A. If that was the exchange that left the money in J & W’s care, that would mean that A & M know where the money is. It is reasonable to assume they won the building task and therefore would have no advantage in peeking into someone else’s case, why wouldn’t they swap and get the money back? Or even if they didn’t win, why on earth wouldn’t they get the money back from J & W if they’d taken it off them? So it would be possible for people to work out what actually happened.

The trailer for the next part of the show does not reveal that, but it does show Cherish and Jae being super cross with Jo-Anne and Will, which implies they think that W & J gave them the early checkout card. 

Ad – content continues below

If A & M can maintain cheeky chappy status, don’t let it slip that they’d been pulling the strings and continue to be good at the tasks, they have a shot at winning.

Cherish and Jae – it’s your move!

These two were underdogs who absolutely rose to the challenge in episode four saving their own skin in spectacular fashion and suddenly becoming serious contenders. The boys had given them the early check out card assuming they would perform poorly in the task, but instead they won, giving them complete power. Then their irritation with Claire and Dan led them to choose vengeance over wealth, and inadvertently brought them the money. So they have £10k, a load of valuable information and the early check out card to give out. And what’s more, W & J know this. And Cherish and Jae know they know… (and might suspect Adam and Michael know as well).

So what will they do with the power?

A defensive move might be to give the early checkout to Ayesha and Samm since they’re generally not great at the tasks and don’t definitely know Cherish and Jae have the money. The thing is, Cherish and Jae clearly have a taste for chaos and they have no beef with Ayesha and Samm. 

They could give it to Jo-Anne and Will in revenge but that is dangerous for them since Jo-Anne and Will know they have the money. If Jo and Will beat Cherish and Jae in the next task they’ll be going home. The same is true for Adam and Michael, and even if Cherish and Jae don’t know that Adam and Michael had the money, they can safely assume Jo and Will would tell them.

So that leaves Scott and Tommy, who are nice lads and pretty good at the tasks so would likely have the chance to pass on the checkout card. Then there’s Jen and Susan. The Scottish pair are average at the tasks, don’t seem to be enjoying themselves especially and wouldn’t necessarily suspect Cherish and Jae, but Cherish and Jae don’t have any issue with them personally so if that was the root, Ayesha and Samm would be a better bet. It’s your move guys!

The Fortune Hotel eps 1-4 are available to watch on ITVX, new episode air on ITV from Monday at 9pm.

Ad – content continues below