Come and stay at Fawlty Towers, a lovely seaside hotel on the Torquay coast. The hotel is run by Basil Fawlty and his wife Sybil; the hired help includes Polly, the maid, and Manuel, the waiter/bellboy who doesn't speak much English, unfortunately... he's from Barcelona. There's Terry the cook to round things out, and some permanent guests to make conversation with.
Things never go quite the way they're supposed to at Fawlty Towers, and that's probably because Basil finds that the one thing he really despises about running a hotel is having to deal with the guests; and he doesn't take much trouble to hide that fact. Constantly sparring with Sybil over money, the help, the guests, and her telephone habits, Basil is always trying to come out on top, but never quite manages it. Each week brings a new hilarious problem for Basil to face; often these problems are of his own creation. His biting, sarcastic manner isn't always the best way to deal with these difficulties, but it's the way that Basil chooses, often with disastrously funny results.
Manuel has a pet: a Siberian Hamster; Basil, however, believes that the pet is not a hamster, but a rat, and orders Manuel to get rid of it before someone sees it... someone like the hotel inspectors who are coming around. Manuel loves his hamster though, and can't bear to lose it; unfortunately, this is exactly what he does. The hamster is loose in the hotel, and both Polly and Manuel rush to find him before either Basil or the hotel inspector sees it.