Share This Article
Five Star Secrets – Series Synopsis
Double-bills on Saturdays from 10 September at 18:00 (8×30’)
In Five Star Secrets, Anthony Melchiorri goes behind the scenes of the world’s most luxurious properties, from Manhattan’s Palace Hotel to Las Vegas’ Aria Resort and Casino. He meets the staff, decides which employee impressed him most and surprises them with a $5,000 tip! This series, Anthony visits the world famous Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, the pet-friendly Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, and the historical Winvian Farm in Connecticut, where homemade honey is harvested on site every day. Experience the sweet taste of luxury in this brand new series!
Five Star Secrets – Series schedule and episode synopsis
|DATE||TIME||SERIES||EPISODE||EPISODE NAME||EPISODE SYNOPSIS|
|2016/09/10||18:00||1||1||Royal Treatment & Secrets||Anthony visits the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. The top-of-the-line service, attention to detail and rich hidden history make the resort a five-star destination, and Anthony rewards an employee with a $5,000 super tip.|
|2016/09/10||18:30||1||2||Good Dog Day Afternoon||Anthony visits the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, a historic property that’s also a pet-friendly establishment. The amenities, excellent service and beachfront location make a winning combination for a world-class destination.|
|2016/09/17||18:00||1||3||Palace of Spirits||Anthony is at The Palace Hotel in Manhattan, where the staff regularly serves world leaders and celebrities. He enjoys a $25K suite with million dollar jewels on display and samples a 100-year-old rye whiskey.|
|2016/09/17||18:30||1||4||What You Get for the Honey||Anthony visits Winvian Farm, an idyllic countryside inn located in Connecticut. This historical resort features a luxurious spa and a farm-to-table restaurant, but the real sweet spot is the homemade honey harvested on site everyday.|
|2016/09/24||18:00||1||5||Vegas VIP||Anthony visits the state-of-the-art Aria Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. His stay includes a night in an invite-only VIP Villa, featuring three bedrooms, a massage room, a workout area and a butler.|
|2016/09/24||18:30||1||6||Wet and Wild in Atlantis||Anthony goes behind the scenes of the world-famous Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. This mega-resort boasts breathtaking architecture, luxury accommodation and one-of-a-kind aquatic adventures.|
|2016/10/01||18:00||1||7||One and Only Cabo||Anthony visits the ‘One&Only Palmilla Resort’ in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. This high-end luxury resort provides one-of-a-kind service and amenities that make every guest feel like royalty.|
|2016/10/01||18:30||1||8||Wowie Maui||Anthony visits the stunning Four Seasons in Maui, Hawaii, one of the standard-bearers in guest service. During his stay, he gets a lesson in hand-crafting ice cubes and visits an award-winning Kona coffee farm.|
Anthony Melchiorri – Profile
In the 20 years Anthony Melchiorri has been in the hospitality business, he has a proven track record of understanding a company’s vision and its individual parts and figuring out how to make those parts work together to complete the whole picture. Knowing that attention to detail and making each part of the operation functional and strong are key to profitability, Anthony has developed and repositioned some of the finest and highest-profile properties in the United States, including the first Nickelodeon Hotel and Resort and the landmark Algonquin Hotel. He takes on clients in need of development or immediate repositioning, applies his experience and ability to assemble teams specialized in hotel management, and adds value for the owners and developers to ultimately increase their bottom line.
Anthony brings his expertise as the “hotel fixer” to Travel Channel’s original series Hotel Impossible. In this weekly 1-hour program, he helps turn around the business of a struggling hotel fighting to survive.
Anthony was put on the fast track to success early on at the landmark Plaza Hotel as director of front-office operations. This led to several operation positions at such hotels as the Embassy Suites and Millennium Hotels. By age 29, he had become a seasoned professional and was selected to be the general manager of the Lucerne Hotel in 1997. Under Anthony’s management, the Lucerne developed into one of the top-ranking hotels in New York City and was selected as the New York Times Travel Guide’s best service hotel.
After 7 years at the Lucerne, Anthony was appointed general manager of the world-famous Algonquin Hotel. At the time, the Algonquin had seen better days. Anthony and his team closed the hotel for a month and oversaw a basement-to-roof renovation, including all the restaurants and back-of-house areas. Not only did he complete the project on schedule and on budget, but he and his team repositioned the Algonquin to become a highly rated Michelin Guide hotel. In addition, the hotel’s public relations campaign won a best-of-show award from the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International for marketing.
After the Algonquin was repositioned, the hotel owner sold it for a significant return and asked Anthony to be senior vice president of the first Nickelodeon Hotel and Resort. There, he oversaw the 25-acre, 800-room resort, helping it to become one of the most sought-after travel destinations in Orlando. Anthony successfully made the transition into the asset management side of the business, becoming the first vice president of Tishman Hotels and the asset manager of the Westin Hotel in Times Square.
As senior vice president of New York Hotel Management Co., Anthony helped develop a 310-suite hotel in Times Square, overseeing construction, design, pre-opening, opening and post-opening operations. When his work was complete, the TripAdvisor guest satisfaction score for the hotel had reached 96%, putting the hotel in the top 2 percentile of all hotels in New York City.
Anthony has an unmatched ability to break down problems and find solutions that generate profits. In addition to being the host and lead in Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible, he also runs his own company, Argeo Hospitality, consulting on hotel projects for private owners and investors. Argeo Hospitality has the ability to create a plan, market and promote a company, and turn its staff into a well-oiled machine.
Anthony served for 5 years as a protocol officer in the US Air Force. He currently resides in New York with his wife and 3 children.
Anthony Melchiorri – Exclusive Q&A
- What, in your opinion, are the most important factors in creating a top-notch hotel?
A good product that people want, in the right location, at a price point people are willing to pay; are basic tenets of the hotel business. In order to stand out and elevate itself, a property has to consistently deliver on its promises, exceed expectations and the staff has to be acutely aware of their guest’s needs in an effort to personalize each and every stay. If the guest feels taken care of and has the impression they are truly valued, then the surroundings, location and price come together and create value, build loyalty and will make the hotel stand out from the crowd.
- What are the most common mistakes that hotel owners make when it comes to their businesses?
Owners get confused about the value of their hands. They are either too hands on or too hands off. On one end, they squeeze every cent, reduce services, don’t incentivize their staff, skimp on maintaining the facility and make decisions that seem to strangle the business financially in the pursuit of making it work. On the other end of the spectrum, some owners leave the operation up to others and then at the end of the month look at the financials and wonder why they aren’t making a profit. Escalating costs, spiraling service and people trying to comp or compensate at the owners expense. There is a balance between running the business and working with a team you trust and communicate with to be successful.
- If you had to live in one hotel for the rest of your life, which one would it be and why?
La Residencia, or ‘La Res’, located in Mallorca, Spain would be my choice. Once four separate mansions, they were combined and became a luxury hotel under the direction of Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin Companies. Staying there feels like the entire property is your own personal villa. There is even an artist in residence and staying there makes you want to become an artist too. Surrounded by beautiful mountains, the service is unpretentious yet elegant and the food there is some of the best in the world.
- Not everyone can afford a high-end luxury hotel – how can mid-range and budget hotels still create a memorable experience for guests without breaking the bank?
A hotel should focus on being the best it can be. If it’s a three star hotel, be the best three star hotel, if it’s a two star hotel, be the best two star hotel. Anything that creates a personal touch becomes memorable. Sending hand written thank you notes to the top frequent staying guests. Spend a hundred dollars or so a month on fresh flowers and seasonal decorations for the lobby. Few hotels in the midrange or budget selection do this and it makes an impression when a guest walks into the lobby. If the hotel is primarily a business clientele establishment, invest in the fastest upload and download capabilities possible. A good, well-appointed and nicely presented breakfast that’s free goes a long way. Have some basic items at the desk to give to families with children when they check in after a long trip. Have some spare umbrellas to hand out during rainstorms. Simple things that seem to anticipate guest’s needs. Above all, remember that a clean and comfortable hotel with a caring staff will be successful.
- How much stock should hotels put in reviews on review websites?
If a hotel doesn’t put a serious focus on the value of online reviews, it will see its market share and profits literally plummet and disappear. There were those who thought that Trip Advisor would be a fad and ignored it and then there were owners and managers who knew that this was an evolution in the travel industry. Comment cards in guestrooms became irrelevant overnight and hotels had to improve their operation because everyone could now read the experiences others were having at the hotel and reputation management became even more important than before. The era of instant guest feedback isn’t going away and a hotel’s reputation on these sites is a key factor in booking business.
- What are some of the worst things you’ve seen in hotels?
Every hotel has their share of challenges. What differentiates the performers from those that struggle is indecision. Good hotels identify a problem, choose a course of action to correct it and implement those changes into their daily operations to try to prevent the issue from recurring. Others allow issues or problems to go on longer than they should and indifference and apathy soon follow. Life safety and preventative maintenance aren’t negotiable and must be a focus. Having your hotel’s fire alarm turned off for years, ignoring a gaping hole in the ceiling that is actively leaking water, knowing of a rampant bedbug problem in a majority of a hotel’s rooms or tolerating uncaring and rude staff are all controllable issues. Indecision is a decision unfortunately, and doing nothing about these kinds of issues is unacceptable.
- Do you have a favorite among the makeovers you’ve done for the show?
Much like having children, you appreciate and adore each one without one being favored over another. Each hotel was important to me and was done with an open heart. Seeing the owners satisfied is a major source of pride for my team and I and I hold each one in equal standing.
8.What kind of accommodation do you like to stay in when you’re travelling?
Personally, I like limited service hotels when I travel. Complimentary parking, bottle of water at check in, internet, breakfast and a staff with a smile touch all the key points for me. Limited service properties are the new 4-star hotels because they have found the right balance between providing what families want and also being able to meet the business traveler’s needs when on the road without charging them for every single amenity. A guest doesn’t bring their home with them while on the road, but a good hotel makes the road a home for its guests and limited service hotels are doing a great job on that front.