Where Do Hell's Kitchen Contestants Stay During Filming?

If you've ever imagined yourself appearing on a prime-time reality television show, it's likely that you have also envisioned yourself spending your downtime in the lap of luxury. Whether you had images of a posh hotel room or an upscale apartment dancing in your head, the daydream you painted for yourself was a glamorous one. What is it really like when the lights go down and the cameras stop rolling? Do reality TV show contestants get to rest their weary heads in style? 

It all depends. The LA-based "MasterChef" puts competitors in an undisclosed hotel during the duration of their stay. Distractify explains that this is necessary as they can be summoned to the show as early as 3:00 a.m. and can work up to 12 hours per day. According to People, "The Great British Bake-Off" has contestants reside in a hotel as well and transports them to and from "the tent" using a minibus. And, the participants on "Top Chef: Houston" were able to live in a luxurious apartment boasting a pool table, marble countertops, bright hues, comfy couches, and fun wall art (via Distractify).  

So where do the contestants of "Hell's Kitchen" spend their downtime? With long hours and high stress levels, one would hope that they each have ample personal space to decompress. 

Hell's Kitchen contestants endure cramped dorms

The show isn't called "Hell's Kitchen" for nothing. After working a lengthy service filled with Gordon Ramsay rants and in-team sniping, these contestants likely dream of heading to the privacy of their very own hotel room. In reality, Fame 10 reveals that they traipse back to a cramped dormitory that they share with three or four other people who start off as strangers. And forget about privacy. Reality Blurred explains that these competitors are being filmed all day every day. 

In a YouTube video, a production designer for the show affords viewers a tour of the season 18 set. Here he reveals that the mirrors shown in the shared kitchen are, in fact, "camera aisles" that enable camera operators to film scenes in the dorm. On one wall is a drawing of a screaming Ramsay to serve as a reminder of the chef's omnipresence. The bedrooms have an industrial motif surrounding what looks like snug single beds. Contestants can relax in either the indoor or outdoor patio, depending on the weather. This is likely the favorite area as it boasts a jacuzzi, a fire pit, and workout equipment. 

The real star treatment comes once a competitor is eliminated. According to The Things, once someone is asked to hand over their chef's jacket, they are whisked off to an incredible house where they are treated to a manicure, back rub, hair styling and more. It almost makes you want to lose.