Ask Anthony: Opening a Hotel

Anthony Melchiorri, host and creator of Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible and Five-Star Secrets, loves dishing out advice. From sharing best practices to tackling operational issues, he’s here to answer your questions.

What pointers would you give someone about to open a hotel?

There are many, but ultimately, the most important is to remember that first impressions count. You also need to truly understand what the “theme” or “purpose” of the hotel is. Once you know that, remember that internal first impressions count more.


You also must always keep in mind that cleanliness can never be discounted and no matter what size your hotel is, preventative maintenance is always key. Management must be engaged and the sales staff has to close the deal.

Guest service must also be above the quality of the property. If you have a two-star hotel, be the best two-star hotel. If you have a three-star hotel, be the best three-star hotel.

Next, think well into the future with regard to rates. Hoteliers who don’t understand that setting rates is not a simple task are setting themselves up for financial downfall.

Finally, one consistent issue that concerns me is our industry’s lack of focus on life safety. Hotels typically have some spot training in place, maybe a manual collecting dust on a shelf somewhere, but it seems this area gets put on the back burner when it should be at the forefront of every hotelier’s mind.

If you keep these things in mind during the opening process and well after the ribbon cutting, you will be on the right track to maintaining a successful hotel that you, your guests, staff, and ownership will be proud of.

Got a question?
Send it to