While you may recognize him from Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible, Five-Star Secrets or Extreme Hotels, Anthony Melchiorri has an extensive background and experience in hotel development and operations. With more than 30 years in the industry, a signature no-nonsense approach to business and an unstoppable drive, Anthony Melchiorri is known as the “Hotel-Fixer” and the founder of Argeo Hospitality. Born in Brooklyn, Mr. Melchiorri came out fighting from Day One. His hard-working mother instilled in him a tenacious drive as she worked to take care of her family, inspiring the movie Wisegal starring Alyssa Milano. Anthony joined the Air Force after high school where he discovered his love for hospitality while serving as the Protocol Officer. It was here that he developed a keen eye for perfection and dedicated discipline that quickly became two of his signature traits.
Post-Air Force, Mr. Melchiorri officially entered the world of hotel management, working his way up to General Manager at iconic properties including The Plaza, the Algonquin Hotel, and Nickelodeon Hotel and Resort in Orlando, Florida. As the General Manager of the Algonquin Hotel, he oversaw a $15 million roof-to-basement renovation completed in just 29 days. In addition to completely transforming the property, the hotel regained their Michelin rating and launched a memorable publicity campaign featuring a $10,000 Diamond Martini on the Rock.
After an extremely successful hotel career he was inspired to share his love of the hospitality industry with the world, pivoting his personal brand into the hit Travel Channel TV show Hotel Impossible for nine seasons.
Hotel All-Stars: Making the Cut is his new show, sponsored in part by by the American Hotel and Lodging Association. This all-new TV series will celebrate hotels and hospitality– and the people who make the magic happen — and will debut by the end of the year. The show will take you behind the scenes of some of the country’s most impressive hotels to watch candidates participate in challenges designed to test their attention to detail, customer service, and teamwork skills as they compete to join the team. Hotel All-Stars: Making the Cut shines a light on the hospitality profession and individuals, promoting the many opportunities available in the industry.
Mr. Melchiorri took time out to talk to me, from his home office in New York.
What are your favorite travel destinations?
Hawaii, Europe, and Vietnam. What I love about Hawaii is that on the busiest day, on Maui specifically, it feels like I own the island all by myself. You feel like you have your own private island. I actually like the smell of sugar cane burning. I like to do nothing there – I love going up to Haleakala in the morning like everybody else – the trip up there is wild and you don’t really get to do stuff like that every day. I love bumping into and talking to the native Hawaiians about how much they love their island, tradition and culture and how protective they are of it.
Vietnamese are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.
In Europe, you can be in six different countries in two days.
Where did you honeymoon?
Married 30 years — We went to St. John and on a cruise on Royal Caribbean.
What was your best vacation ever?
Italy with my family – meeting my father’s family – We went to Rome and Florence.
What is the best thing you ever ate?
Definitely not a shark in Iceland – their tradition is fermented shark. I did that. It tastes and smells like you-know-what. Best thing: A simple plate of pasta in Italy.
What is your favorite hotel in the world, and why.
The Palace Hotel in New York, and The Alqonquin, La Residencia in Spain, and one&only Palmilla in Cabo.
Describe your favorite hotel experience.
It’s in Vegas – the Nomad Hotel – they had looked me up and saw that the Coney Island “parachute ride” was important to me. They took down a painting and put up a painting of the ride in my room and put a popcorn machine in my room. And hot-dog shaped candy. My dad passed away, but when he was alive he had been a construction worker and had painted that ride in New York.
Do you typically fly first-class or private jet?
Business Class on Delta, which is my favorite by far.
What hotel has the best minibar?
The Wynn in Vegas.
What brand of luggage is your favorite?
It Was Tumi – but now it’s Briggs & Riley and Samantha Browns’.
What’s the best souvenir you have ever bought in your travels?
The best souvenir I didn’t buy was a $700 tie in Croatia. I should have bought it. The best? My daughter loves snow globes, and any that I bought for my daughter was the best. She has snow globes from around the world.
What do you always order from Room Service?
Chicken noodle soup.
What health/wellness items do you always take with you on your travels?
Hand cream – Burt’s Bees.
What is always in your carryon suitcase?
My steamer. I can’t live without it. I pack like a five-year-old on crack. I do not pack meticulously – everything is all wrinkled.
How do you stay so fit and trim when you travel?
I work out 3-4 days a week but never when I travel. Travel is already kind of exhausting. I eat healthy when I travel. You can always find a salad and grilled chicken.
If you were stranded on an island, what is the one piece of food you would take, which you could munch on endlessly?
Chicken parmesan from Arthur & Sons (restaurant) in New York City. It’s really good.
For more about my Wanderlust and Wellness travels, please Follow me on Instagram at @DebbiKickham.