Caribe Playa Beach Resort - Puerto Rico - Recap

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Anthony heads to the Caribe Playa Beach Resort in Patillas, Puerto Rico, near San Juan. The Caribe Playa is on the beach and has 32 rooms, and was purchased by George Engel in 1987. Business slowed down in 2006 and if Engel can't make his overhead then he'll go bankrupt.

As Anthony tries to drive to the resort, he discovers that the directions make no senses. He finally spots a small sign for the resort and drives into the parking lot... an hour and a half late. The view is spectacular but the beach isn't maintained and there is garbage everywhere. The garbage can is falling apart and the patio is filthy, and Anthony figures there are no systems in place.

Next, Anthony checks out the front desk and goes up on the porch, which has another beautiful view. The ceiling fan is covered in rust and falling apart. The front desk clerk, Meghan, greets Anthony and explains that it is also their gift shop and library. The towels are stored there as well and Anthony points out that it is way too cluttered.

Anthony goes Room Number 9 to check out the deluxe room, which goes for $135. The door has no security latches, which means the AAA won't give it a rating. The paint is bubbling, the dust is caked on so thick it can't be scraped off, and the pillows don't have pillow cases so they can't be washed. There are hairs on the pillow and Anthony says that will cost them residency. One thing he doesn't find is a phone, and he goes to the window and yells for help. No one answers.

The owner, George meets with Anthony and calls in his GM, Frances. Anthony is surprised to learn that George has been in the business for decades. He explains the problems that he's seen and asks what they're doing, and George claims that it's complicated. Anthony doesn't buy it and says that they've been ignoring all the problems. Frances says that they know what they have to do but they don't know where to start. Anthony is surprised that the general manager doesn't know because it's her job.

Anthony shows them a report from a company that ran an undercover check on the hotel. The company man confirmed all the problems that Anthony saw and a few more. Frances says that she wasn't there and that the staff in charge gave him the basic introduction to the hotel. Anthony asks if she knew what went on and Frances says that she does, but he says that she's in denial. George finally explains that Frances is his wife, and Anthony figures that George may be giving her a pass because of their relationship.

Decorator Blanche Garcia arrives and Anthony shows her the front desk. She agrees with his assessment and says that everything should be neat and functional. Anthony wants to open the space up and Blanche finds a concealed door. Anthony goes out and confirms the door is there, and says that he wants the front desk there. Blanche says that she'll work on it but knows Anthony well enough to ask what else he wants. He gives her the key to Room Nine and tells her to turn it into an inexpensive model room. Blanche is shocked to learn that there are no security latches and she'll tell Anthony that she'll be bring in a crew to handle it.

Next Anthony goes to the pool and is impressed by the first-class amenities. However, there is no bar to utilize the amenity. George admits that they have no service in the pool and Anthony tells him that he's missing a big opportunity. The owner boasts about the view and Anthony explains that the bar supports the pool and the pool supports the rooms, letting George raise the average rate. George admits that he's making bad decisions and agrees to reopen the bar. Anthony gives him three days to get the bar up and running.

As Anthony tracks down Frances, he gets a call from Jonathan's son inviting him to meet off-site. Jonathan explains that he was the general manager until 2005 and Frances made it impossible for him to do his job. He finally resigned but figures that Frances doesn't have the energy or the expertise to keep the hotel running. When Anthony wonders why he's doing it, Jonathan says that he's trying to help his father and even Frances.

Back at the resort, Anthony sits down with George and explains that he talked to Jonathan. George knows that Frances interfered with Jonathan when he was GM but didn't do anything about it. The owner admits that it's his personal life that is messing the resort up, and Anthony says that he has to have a system in place. George agrees but says that Frances won't allow it because she isn't system-literate. Anthony has George rehearse firing Frances as a GM, insisting it's a necessary decision.

Anthony and George sit down with Frances and George hesitantly explains that he's decided to ask her to step aside as GM. Frances insists that it isn't her fault and George assures her that they're just looking for a solution, not for blame. Furious, Frances gets up and walks away, telling George that it isn't nice. Anthony goes after her but she runs into the office, crying and yelling. He talks to her through the door and she agrees as long as the cameras aren't present. Anthony goes in and Frances rants about how she does everything and George doesn't appreciate it. George comes in as Anthony explains that he's doing it for the hotel. He assures Frances that George loves and respects her but it's killing the hotel. George says the same thing and hugs her, and Anthony leaves them alone.

While George and Frances spend some time together, Anthony checks on Blanche and her crew from Orlando Carlo Construction. She's opening up the front desk and then takes Anthony to check out the room. They're using a liming treatment on the wall but Anthony isn't impressed despite her assurances. He's not sure things will come together but admits that it's premature and he'll trust her. Blanche assures him that it all can be easily recreated.

Anthony next calls in Bob Murphy from DCI to find a solution to the lack of a communication system. When he learns he has two days, Bob nonetheless gets the crew in place to do a five-star communications infrastructure... no matter how many people it takes.

George and Frances come out and they tell Anthony that they're doing better now. He tells them that it's time to move forward and find a general manager that can help both of them. Anthony has a company pre-screen some candidates and then meets with the company choices. He has set up a room with easy problems to spot and takes each one in and gives each one two minutes to find as many problems as they can. Two of them, William and Ronnie, identify the most problems.

Next, Anthony asks the two candidates what the two most important things that have to be done. Ronnie's priorities, remodeling and staff, are too expensive. William's are getting the pool service up and cleaning the place. Anthony figures William understands that he has to work with what he has, and George agrees. They give him a 30-day trial period and then Anthony tells them that he's invited guests for a party. He wants William to help George get the reception going with the proper menu and drinks.

On Anthony's last day, everyone rushes to get the remodeling and the infrastructure done. Anthony checks out Room Nine and is shocked to discover that it's nowhere close to being done in five hours. Blanche assures him that it will get done even though it looks like she's on the first day. Anthony figures that Blanche will do her best and checks with Frances as she comes back to the hotel. He's glad that she came back and apologizes in Spanish for hurting her feelings.

The deliverers bring in the alcohol for the party and everyone finishes their work. Come sundown, Anthony shows George and Frances their new front desk. They're shocked and pleased at the new elegant setup. Blanche comes in with her contractor and the couple thanks them for their job. Next Blanche shows them the new library that she built next door.

Anthony and Blanche next show off the new room, which is brighter and cleaner. The American Hotel Register donated bedding for the entire resort and Blanche assures them that it's easy to implement her remodeling technique. Anthony asks them to call for some extra towels and they realize they have a brand new phone system that DCI donated. The last thing Anthony shows them are the two extra locks on the door.

The group heads to the pool party and Anthony is proud that George and William have set it up like a resort. William serves a grouper cerviche that he's created. Finally, Anthony shows George and Frances their new website, complete with directions from the airport, and the trio share a toast.