Ummm....yeah. Photo: Courtesy of Travel Channel
Ugh, you guys: Hotel Impossible Season 1 is officially over. (Tear.) It's been a great season for Anthony, Blanche and the HI team as they've renovated, retched, and then righted thirteen properties along the way. And while each property had its own unique challenges, no hotel proved to be more in need of a straight up redesign and internal restructuring than the Dream Inn in Daytona, Florida. Owned by two Southern families attempting to "live the dream," the Dream Inn was far from celestial -- even the hotel's GM, the owner's son Jody, was unable to make any decisions due to the family drama. But when Anthony comes in, we know he's going to save the day. And for the Dream Inn, the HI team pulled out all the stops to fix the delapidated rooms, disgusting yellow exterior, and the over accessorizing with dolphins. Wanna know what we loved the most? Read on for more.
1. The exterior paint color. (OK, we hated it. But still loved what we learned.)
Wouldn't you normally think yellow is cheery? Well, so did we -- until we saw the ghastly yellow that the Dream Inn had been painted. Not only did I agree with Anthony and Blanche that the color was heinous, but the entire town of Daytona did as well: After its completion, the town ruled no other building within its limits could be painted that shade. And since making a great first impression is key, the HI team knew the exterior had to go. And even though there were epic rainstorms, the team was able to repaint the hotel a gorgeous shade of blue in just four days -- much to the owners' happiness.
2. Anthony's savvy management skills.
Family business are tough -- not only does the work need to get done, but the family also needs to get along -- and be in accord with one another. Unfortunately, although the owner Cindy said she was hands off and that her son, Jody, was the GM and final decision maker, it turned out this was not the case; that Cindy was actually running the joint herself. (Note that early in the episode, Cindy admitted to living with cancer for the past year and a half.) But since a good GM should always put their hospitality foot forward first (and not the other to placate Mom), Anthony drilled it into Jody's head that he -- and him himself -- was to be the only one who made final decisions about the property. And although Cindy was begrudging, Anthony handled the family feud like a champ and worked through the problems Cindy had been creating.
3. The housekeeper's sheer honesty.
Seriously, I gotta say -- that was probably the grossest, dirtiest property I've seen in my eight months here at Oyster.com. And when Anthony wiped down that toilet bowl, well, I don't even wanna talk about it. But when Anthony spoke with the hotel's lone housekeeper, she was nothing but honest: She told him that she does not have time to properly clean each room and thus has to "cut corners." And I mean, cutting corners is just not acceptable. By Anthony's calculations, in order for the one maid to do a proper job, she'd need to clean each of the 25 rooms for a half hour each -- meaning she would have to work a 12+ hour day nonstop to get it done. Unacceptable. But at least she was honest -- by telling Anthony the truth, she helped the hotel get brand-new bedding and a deep (DEEP) clean of everything from the air conditioners to the carpets.
4. The dolphin collection.
OMG OMG OMG! Now I know the effects of having one too many tchtockies (honey, I'm looking at you), but Blanche helped saved the day from Dolphin Overload. (Or as Blanche said, the Dream Inn is "where dolphins go to The sheer amount of these knick-knacks featured takes a hotel from kitschy-cool to kitschy-lame when overdone. By minimizing the collection and using the dolphins as accents, rather than as focal points, Blanche was able to weave in Cindy and the owners' collection (and passion) without gutting it completely.
5. Anthony's clear -- and spot-on -- definition of what a "Boutique Hotel" should be.
Although the owners considered their property (and advertised it) as a boutique hotel, we'd probably classify it beforehand as a motel that's seen better days. And even though their location was great -- as Blanche said, "people come to boutique hotels for pools near the ocean" -- the hotel was in no way a boutique. Anthony's definition: "A boutique hotel is a smaller property offering a higher level of service." Considering the front desk manager had the personality of "a cold sore," we can't believe they thought they were meeting the service bar. But now that they're aware of what -- and designed to look like -- a boutique property, they've hired a happy front desk staffer, added chic seating to the pool area, and cleaned up the dirt, they fit the bill perfectly. We'll miss you Anthony -- but we can't wait for Season 2!!!