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Series / Hotel Impossible

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He's Anthony Melchiorri. When hotels are in trouble, they call him.

Hotel Impossible is a reality TV show on Travel Channel starring Anthony Melchiorri, a hotel consultant, who visits hotels that are in a bad state and need help. He gives the owner(s) and staff the tools necessary to fix their problems, and renovates a room and/or another area of the hotel.

Hotel Impossible contains examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: The general manager of the Simmons Motel in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Also see Screw This, I'm Outta Here!
  • Amusement Park of Doom: One episode featured a badly-neglected indoor waterpark.
  • Bad Boss: Several of them.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Carnival Inn in Myrtle Beach was a tiny hotel in among absolutely massive ones in the major tourist destination of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The bankrupt previous owner had essentially scammed a well meaning but inexperienced family into purchasing it, and the stress of the hotel's failure was tearing the family apart, to the point that Anthony legitimately feared for the elderly patriarch's life. After running the books, Anthony realizes that even with his help the hotel will almost certainly fail due to the stiffness of the competition, and he encourages the family to sell to a land developer to build a larger hotel, which would net them millions and allow them to pay off their debts and the father to finally retire. Eventually, they agree, with the episode ending on the note that while Anthony couldn't save the business, he did manage to save the family.
  • Catchphrase: Especially in the later seasons, expect to hear Anthony say, "What the hell is this?" at least Once an Episode. "What the hell is that" also counts.
    • "This is ridiculous" is common, sometimes heard multiple times an episode.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When checking into his room at the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (Season 8, Episode 3), Anthony finds a can of wasp and hornet spray on a table right outside his door. The very next morning, he uses the spray on the wasps that began to swarm just outside his room, all the while pointing out how wrong it is for the hotel to expect the guests to take care of the wasps on their own.
  • Downer Ending: The Thunderbird Motel (Season 3 Episode 11) is Anthony's first complete failure - he comes to restore the hotel after it was damaged in Hurricane Sandy, but spends the entire episode feuding with the extremely stubborn family that runs it, including being called a liar to his face, accused of fabricating fake drama for the show, and even receiving death threats. The episode ends with Anthony deciding to leave entirely after catching the owners in a string of very large lies - in particular, the family patriarch lets it slip that he's actually a real estate multimillionaire, when he'd previously told Anthony that the family was completely dependent on the hotel - he could've fixed it at any time himself, he just didn't want to spend any of his own money on it.
  • Failure Is the Only Option:
    • Anthony admits he isn't magic, and the best option may be to close the hotel if things are bad enough. This actually happens in one episode, where the hotel is so small compared to the other hotels that even if they always had rooms filled they would barely make enough money. He says that in two years the land will be worth a huge amount of money, so he fixes the hotel but says they have to sell it.
    • It happens again at the Anice Inn, which was filled with all sorts of health hazards (bedbugs, mold, killer bees) that the owner didn't care to fix. When she didn't pay $250,000 to have these hazards fixed, Anthony decided that that was the last straw and walked out (according to the epilogue, the show reported the state of the hotel to the local health authorities who forced them to fix/clean up the place).
  • Formula-Breaking Episode:
    • This show also has some half-hour episodes where, instead of fixing struggling hotels, Anthony goes to five-star hotels and goes behind the scenes to see how the hotels are run so well (along with presenting a $500 check to the employee who he thinks goes above and beyond with their service).
    • In a slight subversion, the episode "Lions, Tigers, and Wasps, Oh, My" had Anthony coming to the rescue of a hotel that also served as a big cat and bear refuge. The hotel side of the business was being neglected in favor of the wildlife refuge, which was costing its owners donations as well as guests.
    • The Season 5 episode "Fix Your Kicks on Route 66" features three separate properties along Route 66 in Arizona: one motel which was typical for the show, one combination hotel and bakery, and—in a first for the program—a combination motel and RV park. Anthony loved the hotel/bakery but felt they needed marketing help; the other two received the usual makeover help. He also brought out his inner Guy Fieri at a snow cone stand, hopping over the counter to make his own snow cone.
  • Gross-Out Show: Sometimes, because some of these hotels' rooms, kitchens, etc. are downright disgusting.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: Oh, yeah. This often happens when Anthony uses technology to determine how clean or dirty an area of a hotel is. It also happens when he mentions the bacteria and viruses that can breed in dirty environments; real-time examples of said breeding are shown.
  • Hell Hotel
  • Incompetence, Inc.: Oh boy, Many of the hotels are run like this.
  • Ms. Fanservice: For whatever reason, the designers Anthony calls in to fix up the hotels are almost all unbelievably gorgeous women. In particular, there's the most recurring one, Blanche Garcia, a busty brunette who usually appears in noticeably low-cut shirts.
  • Nice Guy: Although Anthony is serious, he isn't nearly as intense or screaming as Gordon Ramsay or John Taffer.
  • Oh, Crap!: Anthony in a helicopter. Something he volunteered for during one of the episodes in Alaska, even though he really prefers not to fly.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite how abrasive he can be, Anthony notably shows compassion for animals. At the Glacier Bear Lodge in Alaska, he dissuades a guest from shooting a real bear that had wandered onto the property despite the danger it posed to guests, and in another episode, when he discovers a caterpillar in his bed, he's grossed out but gently picks it up and takes it outside rather than killing it.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Anthony at the Thunderbird Motel. Almost happens again at the Missouri Flats. Anthony doesn't like rescuing hotels that apparently don't have money issues or whose owners have other buildings or money to help.
    • He did this at the Anice Inn, but for a different reason: the owner wasn't going to pay $250,000 to repair the hotel (and with a leaky roof and infestations of mold, bedbugs, and killer bees, the hotel seriously could have used that money).
    • This also occurred in the episode "Rotting Woodstock." After Anthony spent days trying to rehabilitate one of the worst hotels he'd ever seen, the owner basically told him to get out, which he did.
    • Nearly happened in the Season 8 episode "Fire Island Meltdown" because the owner of Clegg's Hotel kept accusing Anthony of lying/staging things, when in fact the hotel was in dire straits (and the owner was paying employees to write untrue positive reviews). Eventually though, the owner came around—right before Anthony hopped a ferry back to New York.
    • The front desk clerk at the Simmons Motel is revealed to have done this immetiately after The Alcoholic general manager failed yet another attempt to get sober.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Anthony runs into a lot of hotel owners who use all caps and excessive exclamation points to communicate, often on poorly made signs. They also often use bold or italic print unnecessarily. Examples include "NO PETS", "NO CHILDREN ALLOWED IN THE ELEVATOR WITHOUT AN ADULT", and "DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! NO!" (on a non-functioning toilet). Anthony will often read these aloud, switching from his usual calm voice to absolute screaming, in order to show how jarring and rude the owners sound when they do it.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The end of every episode features a brief update on what's been going on at the episode's hotel since Anthony's visit.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Anthony has this reaction in "Fire Drill Flame Out" when he realizes why none of the fire alarms were working properly: they were, but the control panel was turned off.