Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Name: Anthony Melchiorri
Occupation: Creator, Co-Executive Producer and Host of Hotel Impossible
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Residence: Queens, New York
College: Park University, Parkville Missouri
College major: Business
Facebook: Anthony Melchiorri
Short bio: Born and raised in Brooklyn. After serving in the US Air Force, I spent 25 years in the hotel business. I helped to turn around New York’s iconic Plaza Hotel, put the Lucerne on the New York Times list as one of the very best-run hotels in the city, and worked to recreate the magic of The Algonquin, the literary haunt of the famous “Round Table.” From there I went on to develop the Nickelodeon Hotel and Resort in Florida, became first vice president of Tishman Hotels and served as senior vice president of New York Hotel Management Company.
After 25 years in the hotel business, I decided to share the passion of hospitality and the challenges hoteliers face with viewers on television by creating and hosting Hotel Impossible. Now in its sixth season, we focus on failing hotels with near-fatal problems, and especially the families who own those businesses. In addition to television, work progresses on the completion of my book about running a successful business like a five star hotel.
How often do you fly? With few exceptions over the course of a year, I am typically in the air on a weekly basis heading to a location or returning from one.
How many countries/continents have you been to? Four continents and many countries too numerous to count.
Earliest travel memory: The earliest memory of travel I have was being outside of my house and my mother had our luggage sitting near a fire hydrant. I remember the luggage and the hydrant vividly. I recall getting in the car, going to the airport and then boarding a Delta plane and, once onboard, the stewardess pinned wings on my brother and I. It is still a very visual memory for me.
Favorite American city: New York City. Every neighborhood is its own world, its own culture, and almost as if it has its own economic system and each stands by itself. Whether a vibrant one or one navigating its own challenges; when you are in New York, you know you are alive.
Favorite international city: Because of its history, its culture, the people, the food, and any other reason anyone ever tells you about, Rome would be my choice. Also, because of the ties it has to my father’s family. Whenever I travel there, it’s truly like visiting a second home.
Friendliest people in the world: I have heard nothing but good things about Japan’s culture and the dynamic there, which has resulted in them being considered one of the friendliest places in the world for tourists to visit.
Aisle or window: Aisle.
Favorite U.S. airport: Charlotte. The facility is easy to navigate and the people who work there always seem to enjoy their jobs. From the bathroom attendants who smile and wish you a safe journey on to the jacketed personnel who are smiling, ready to answer any questions or just help you find your way from one gate to the next; the folks there make Charlotte special.
Favorite international airport: Berlin. When you are there, it feels like “Europe” to me. It’s a combination of the food and the people and overall it just feels very cosmopolitan.
Favorite hotel: The Algonquin Hotel. It’s intimate lobby, the Blue Bar, the vibe, the location, and the people; it just feels like you’ve walked into the era of the Round Table with Dorothy Parker, Wilcox and Robert Benchley. Their spirit is there even today in the 21st century.
Favorite travel credit card: American Express
Favorite island: Illa de Tagomago. Located on the east coast of Ibiza and part of Spain, if you find yourself on that island, you are probably one of the luckiest people on earth.
Favorite beach: Rockaway Beach, Queens New York.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Nobu 57 in Manhattan and Gramercy Tavern on East 20th Street.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Capizzi’s on 40th and 9th. Ask for Sal for the best pizza in the world.
Favorite food: If I were having my last meal ever, I’d want to be at Delmar Pizzeria in Sheepshead Bay.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Smartwater.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Lodging Magazine, Travel & Leisure magazine, Time magazine, People, and The New York Times.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! TripAdvisor.
What do you always seem to forget? I don’t typically forget anything because my life is so busy that if I have to take time to look for something or buy something, it delays things and takes time away from the production team and a hotelier unnecessarily.
What do you like least about travel? Being away from my family.
Favorite travel app(s): Passport.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Anytime that I’m “that guy”; meaning if I have to take time to look in my briefcase for something and hold anyone up or if I’ve dropped a bottle of water and have to chase it down the aisle.
What’s your dream destination? To visit and experience the culture of Japan.
Favorite charity: Wounded Warrior.
Best travel tip: “Stay in your lane.” What I mean by that is don’t get caught up in delays; don’t let rude people influence your travel; don’t worry about someone eating next to you. Instead, enjoy the fact that you are able to travel, appreciate being alive and don’t let the hassles of travel get in your lane.