We've already dished on Hotel Impossible's host, Anthony Melchiorri, but last night we finally got the see the hotel executive in action during the show's season premiere. Boy, we were not disappointed -- the man knows how to shape up a hotel and its staff, fast. The host's first task was to take on the legendary Gurney's Inn of Montauk, Long Island -- a close neighbor of the Hamptons but with a far more relaxed vibe. And Gurneys is practically an institution: On the tip of the island since the 1920s, Gurney's Inn is symbolic of luxury travel -- despite its recent signs of wear and tear. Thankfully, Melchiorri and his team of experts cleaned up the place, gave the staff strict instruction on service improvement, and gave the lobby a renovation that has worth far beyond its outright costs. Check out what we loved most about last night's episode after the jump!
1. Anthony's no-bullsh*t attitude.
It becomes clear within the first five minutes of the program that Melchiorri means serious business -- and knows exactly what he wants, too. He's pretty quotable, as well, telling the Monte family (the proprietors/owners of Gurney's Inn) that the competition nearby will "eat [their] lunch" and "clean [their] clock" provided the family doesn't step up their game. Loves it.
2. The hotel staff's inability to stop touching themselves.
There were at least three separate occasions in which both Melchiorri and I noticed various staffers (front desk clerk, bellman) blatantly rubbing their eyes or noses before touching guests or guests' things. I'm sorry, but we're in the age of Purell here, people. That kind of behavior is just not acceptable. But at least it was duly noted -- and hopefully stopped for good.
3. Anthony's genius point about throw pillows...
While investigating the cleanliness of one of the rooms at Gurney's Inn, Melchiorri made a fairly genius point about throw pillows -- and I'm a serious fan of the decor. Melchiorri demonstrated what we all do with throw pillows -- throw 'em on the floor at night -- and remake the bed with them every morning. Same applies at a hotel: Not only are they put back on the bed after each cleaning, but the same pillows are used for the next guest -- likely without being cleaned. Shivers. Melchiorri doesn't stock them in the hotels he works with -- and I'm seriously considering ditching the last one I have left in my apartment now.
4. ...and his step-by-step tutorial on how to check for bed bugs.
Melchiorri's got a point -- bed bug outbreaks are rampant these days, with bugs being spotted at some of the most elite hotels including the Ritz-Carlton New York. So he showed viewers exactly how to spot the mini-beasts, including one of the hallmark warning signs: Blood stains, as the creatures feast on the red stuff.
5. The re-purposing of the hotel's vintage, non-functioning phone booths.
In gutting the lobby, the hotel GM requested to save one feature -- the three phone booths. While quirky and cool in their own right, they were not working, and frankly, rather delapidated -- making it unclear exactly what their use was beyond "decorative." For the reno, the interior designer on call and Melchiorri came up with a fantastic idea -- to use each of them as multi-media stations. Our favorite was the booth with the brand-new tablet, but maybe that's because the home page was set to Oyster.com
Did you miss last night's episode? Watch the highlights now on TravelChannel.com!