Hotel Impossible Corpus Christi Bayfront

May 15, 2012

Stuart Smith

Stuart Smith


What happens when a 189 room hotel doesn’t have the staffing, the proper tools and hotel systems in place to be presentable to the public? If you are thinking empty rooms, overworked staff, filth everywhere and a hotel in trouble you would be correct.

Episode Recap – Hotel Disgusting

This week’s episode of Hotel Impossible saw the crew visit the Corpus Christi Bayfront Hotel, a hotel in dire need of direction, training and a cleaning facelift.

The show began with host Anthony Melchiorri trying to locate the hotel which had two different sign names. Upon finding the hotel, his first impression was that it was abandoned as there were very old cigarette butts in a can, no landscaping, weeds everywhere and a window full of childish stickers.

Bad Maintenance and Housekeeping Equals Filth

Upon entering the hotel, things got worse. There was no staff on duty, the chairs were dirty (one actually had blood on it), the lobby smelled, the carpet was stained and the plastic tree in the middle of the atrium was covered in dust. Anthony shook the tree and was immediately covered in dust from head to toe. Clearly hotel maintenance and housekeeping was not being done well.

To correctly set the stage, a discussion with the hotel owner revealed that he had never talked to a guest, was only charging 66% of competitive rates, was losing money and online reviews revealed that hotel guests were scared to visit due to bad odors, stains everywhere and general filth.

To verify the room filth claims, rooms were visited that surprisingly showed the hotel wanting to charge an extra $10 to clean a room. As you can imagine most guest declined and the following is a brief list of the state of the rooms:

  • Musty smells and other odors
  • Very old furnishings
  • Stains on the walls
  • A mold and bacteria measurement of 3,477 (anything over 80 is bad and anything over 1,000 equals a high risk of contamination and huge health risk)
  • Dead cockroaches in the sink, on the floor and in the cabinet.
  • Caked dust on picture frames

“I was going to measure the bacteria level on the handle of the toilet bowl, but really, what’s the point? There are twenty dead cockroaches in the bathroom.”

Source: Anthony Melchiorri

A visit with the housekeeping staff just made matters worse as a demonstration of room cleaning showed the same cloth used to clean the inner part of the toilet bowl was then used to clean the toilet seat. In addition, it was disclosed that half the rooms did not even have toilet paper.

It turns out the housekeeping staff was operating without proper training, did not have a room checklist, and was severely understaffed.

Other Hotel Issues

Maintenance and housekeeping were not the only issues. Three other significant problems were uncovered. The first was that the Director of Marketing was responding to online hotel complaints with jokes and insulting guests and the second was that there was no room service.

However, the third issue and biggest problem was that the owner had no passion for the business. As a result, the hotel simply did not have the systems and tools in place to make a better guest experience.

“Hotels don’t go out of business because of their employees, they go out of business if employees do not have the tools to do their work with”

Source: Anthony Melchiorri

The Fix for Corpus Christi Bayfront Hotel

Resolving the problems at the Corpus Christi Bayfront Hotel was pretty straightforward. First, the hotel owner needed to step up and be concerned about the state of the hotel. This was accomplished by finding his passion in shooting and showing him that the hotel needed this same passion to survive.

The second fix was the promotion of the acting General Manager to General Manager and giving her the authority and confidence to run the hotel with the new systems that were put in place.

The third solution was to institute a working system for housekeeping that included a checklist of action items, new carts and training. In addition, housekeeping was to receive additional staff to reduce the amount of rooms cleaned by individuals from 20 to 15 per day.

Next, the hotel lobby and front were cleaned and renovated. A professional carpet and upholstery cleaner was brought in to remove the filth and smells. The signs and landscaping were replaced out front and the windows were cleaned up. The staff was also shown how to renovate a room for less than a couple of hundred dollars.

Lastly, a deal was struck with the restaurant across the street to provide room service increasing hotel revenues. An intelligent touch was added when the delivery service wished the customers a pleasant stay.

As far as the Director of Marketing was concerned the show only touched on his future which I can’t imagine is going to be very long.

Tell us about the best hotels you have stayed at. Was maintenance noticeable? Come back next week for another recap of Hotel Impossible.

Stuart Smith

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