Hotel Impossible Recap: Rethinking the Vermont Inn
Last night, Hotel Impossible headed (way) up North to Vermont, the country's fourth most-popular wedding destination -- and home to the scenic Green Mountains. Located just outside of the ski town of Killington, the Vermont Inn is a cozy B&B that offers solid rates, cozy rooms, and of course, incredible views. But because the hotel had "absentee owners" -- those who are not present on a regular basis -- and those absentee owners just happened to manage their brother-in-law (who lives on property and is employed as its innkeeper), the Vermont Inn was struggling financially and emotionally. But when Anthony, Blanche, and the rest of the HI team show up, they mean serious business -- and more importantly, help the hotel get business. Perhaps the most critical moment of last night's episode is when the owners decided to focus on the Inn as a wedding venue -- after all, plenty of people do get married up there. Find out what we learned about the biz (and loved, of course) the episode after the jump!
1. The entrance to your hotel is your only chance to say "Welcome!"
Before the Vermont Inn's redesign, the entrance was incredibly shoddy -- think unpainted, chipping wooden steps; large, overgrown weeds; no real landscape. The doors needed paint; the trim needed some too. And when Anthony mentioned how critical the entrance is to making a guest feel invited and welcomed, we couldn't help but agree: You've got one chance to make a first impression. Make it right.
2. Fake plants are gross.
Listen, anything plastic can err on the tacky side. But plastic flowers? Always tacky. Especially when they're next to your soaking tub -- and covered in dust. Bottom line, folks: If you're going to do anything that is possibly tacky, we suggest you keep it clean. Literally.
3. One small space can be a super-large selling point.
The bridal suite -- or Suite C, as it was known in its former life -- was quite elegantly redecorated by Blanche and her team. (Blanche, let us in on your vintage sourcing secrets!) The champagne-flecked walls, mirrored vanity, and shabby chic vibe would make any woman want to get ready for her wedding in this very room. And often a bridal suite is what sells a bride on the venue of choice -- and as a bride-to-be, this editor can safely say I'd be thrilled to get gussied up in a Blanche-designed space. She made sense of the tub, ripped up the carpeting, and got rid of those god-awful tree-like murals. The result? The sexiest -- and yet demure -- hotel room we've seen in a long time.
4. Organization saves time.
Um, did anyone else have a panic attack when they saw the original housekeeping closet? It was in such disarray that I literally wanted to jump through my own TV and organize it. Luckily, Blanche was on-site to do that task. But let's get down to the bottom line here: With only *two* full-time staffers (and one specifically as housekeeper) means that everything needs to be meticulous in order to boost efficiency. Even merely folding towels, having an iron readily available, and just packing cleaning supplies into a rolling bag will help the inn team work faster -- in a simpler setting.
5. LOVE the cameo from our friend at Brides Magazine, Travel Editor Jacqui Gifford!
We were so excited to see the fabulous Jacqui make an amazing cameo -- after all, we love our friends at Brides and Brides.com! Most importantly though, Jacqui was able to reiterate how crucial the wedding business would be to making the inn a success. Great job, lady!