Anthony travels to Palm Springs to the Curve Hotel, a two-hour drive from Los Angeles. Dozens of boutique-style hotels have moved into town and the 150-room Curve Hotel is one of them. The owners, Allan Yadgari and Robert Kashefi, bought the property in 2008 when it was a budget motel. Now they plan to cash in on the retro-boutique craze. However, occupancy has dropped since then and they're losing money.
When Anthony gets to the hotel, he thinks that it still looks like a budget motel. There are arrows pointing nowhere painted on the parking lot and the sign has taped-over lettering. Anthony goes to the lobby, seeking out something cool, comfortable, and unique. The front desk clerk, Jessica, greets him and he points out that he can't see her over the computer monitor. She doesn't have name tags and hasn't received her uniform yet.
Jessica gives Anthony a key to a standard king-sized room. As he goes, he discovers that the breakfast area is economy hotel standard and the décor is a mixture of cheap furniture and Frank Lloyd Wright lamps. The business center is in a cramped dead-end hallway, with a nail in the wall to eventually hold a picture.
Anthony finally gets to the room and discovers that it smells damp. The design is just as confusing as the lobby and he starts with the bed. The bedspread is torn and stinks, and Anthony rips it so that they can't use it. There's a urine stain on the duvet that housekeeping didn't catch. When he checks the box spring, Anthony finds a caterpillar inside. After tossing the caterpillar outside, Anthony checks the bathroom and finds it covered in mold and rust. The drain is filled with hair and the showerhead is only about 5'2" high. There are pubic hairs on the toilet and yellow stains around the rim.
Joaquin, the director of housekeeping, hears the noise and comes in. Anthony confirms that the room was for sale the previous night and tells Joaquin all of the problems. Joaquin says that the room isn't acceptable but admits that they don't have a training program. He accepts the blame and walks off, but Anthony figures he doesn't have the supplies to do his job.
Anthony meets with Allan and Robert and confirms that they're real estate investors. They explains that they feel in love with the property but then the recession started. They're now into the hotel for a million dollars and will soon be in trouble. Anthony confirms that they'll put in another $1 million, but then they say that they're almost 100% satisfied. He asks what they're vision of a boutique hotel is, and they explain that they want guests to leave and want to come back. Anthony tells them everything that he found and they explain that they're the ones who designed the décor. He tells them that they're going to focus on giving guests a clean room and friendly service, and warns them that it's going to get worse.
Casey Noble comes in and Anthony shows her the lobby. She's surprised at how every part of the lobby is different from every other part, but concedes that the outside has authentic 1960s architecture. They tug at the chandelier and it comes apart, and Casey says that it rates an F.
Anthony checks the rest of the property starting with a perimeter check. He sees a one-way sign with graffiti on it and writes it down for later. He checks the maintenance closet and the door practically falls off in his hands. Anthony pulls it off and breaks it so that someone will have to fix it. The pool area is very clean but the owners put beds next to the pool. At the second pool they have old plastic chairs and canopy beds. The mattresses are filthy and there's vomit on the underside.
The GM, Janet, is experienced but is shocked and surprised when Anthony points out the vomit-stained mattresses. She admits that she's had a lot of things on her plate but Anthony tells her that she can't let things like that go on. While she cleans up the mattresses, Joaquin finds Anthony and complains about how he's tearing up the place and making things more dangerous for the customers. The housekeeper says that Anthony is very wrong and walks away, and Anthony figures that he needs to give Joaquin time to calm down.
Anthony has the owners bring in the GM as well as the directors of housekeeping and engineering. He tells them about what he found on the perimeter check and commends Joaquin for his passion. Anthony says that Joaquin is right about the safety concerns and shakes his hand, telling him that he cares more about the hotel than the owners do. Joaquin breaks into tears and Anthony apologizes, explaining that he wanted the owners to understand that their employees are passionate. Anthony then turns to the owners and asks what the number-one priority is for them. They say that it's to make money and Anthony realizes that they don't get it. He sets out to show them what is important.
Next, Anthony has the department heads make a list of what they need. The next day, Anthony collects the lists and give them to Janet to work out the total cost. Janet figures she needs $200,000 a month to keep the hotel running. Anthony goes to the owners and says that they have to commit to providing $200,000. Robert and Allan hesitate and finally explain that they got their money from Robert's mother's business. Anthony realize that they're reluctant to go to Robert's mother. Both owners lost their fathers a few years ago and they're determined to make a go of the hotel, and agree to ask Robert's mother for the money.
When Anthony goes back to the lobby, he meets with Casey and George Gutierrez, the general contractor. The painters are painting the wall brownish-yellow and Casey admits that it is the first coat. She insists that it will work with the 60s riff that she's doing and Anthony accepts that she knows what she's doing. Anthony wants the lobby to look memorable but doesn't have any specific ideas, and tells Casey to come up with a few ideas.
Robert comes back from his mother and Anthony calls a staff meeting. Janet confirms that the owners have gotten the $200,000 and Joaquin accepts that the owners care as much as him. Now they need a vision, and Anthony tells them to have fun and suggests that they use the slogan, "The Curve--lean into the fun." Anthony then tells them to meet him at the pool in five minutes. When they get there, they discover that Anthony has brought in bubble rollers. The staff get into the bubble rollers and get into the spirit of fun.
As the staff starts cleaning up, Joaquin retrains the housecleaning staff and gives them the supplies they need. Anthony checks in with Casey at the lobby and discovers that she's putting up separations. Casey is putting in what will eventually be a service bar and Anthony tells her that the owners are committed so they have to deliver for them.
On the fourth and final day, the staff is pulling everything together while Casey and her crew rush to finish the lobby renovations. It isn't done but Casey has finished another project. Anthony takes the owners to see the new hotel sign, complete with the slogan. He then takes them to the lobby, which has been completely redesigned. Casey has put up photos of their fathers and put in fun elements like a hairdresser's chair. Anthony then has Jessica come out in the new hotel uniform with a name tag. Finally he offers them a toast with a new drink, which has an ice ball so that they can serve curveballs. Share this article with your friends