The Penguin Hotel - Hotel Impossible Update - Open or Closed?

Hotel Impossible The Penguin Hotel

In this Hotel Impossible episode, Anthony Melchiorri visits The Penguin Hotel in South Beach, Florida.

The Penguin Hotel is owned by Markus Friedli and his wife Giada.

The Penguin is a small boutique hotel located on Ocean Drive, directly across from the beach.

It’s in the heart of the trendy Art Deco district, surrounded by hip dining and drinking places.

The town is filled with a wide range of hotels.

Markus is originally from Switzerland.

On his way to South America, he stopped in Miami and decided to stay and buy a hotel.

Markus is the general manager.

Giada takes care of the legal matters, plus the design and the look of the hotel.

The Penguin is a charming place to stay at a reasonable price.

Rooms at other hotels in the area cost $2,000 a night in high season.

You can book a room for a tenth of the price at the Penguin Hotel.

The hotel was very successful when it first began but things got tougher as the economy got tighter.

Giada says that the hotel could be doing a lot better than it is.

It’s been difficult the last couple of years.

For travelers, the Penguin offers a great deal and is in a great location.

It should be a gold mine but it isn’t making money.

The owners say that’s because the hotel has a lot of competition.

Giada says that they are an art deco hotel, and most of the art deco hotels are just like them.

Markus and Giada have devoted their lives to the Penguin Hotel.

They moved to a new country and have invested all of their life savings.

Now they worry their dream could come crashing down around them.

Anthony says that the hotel has a beautiful view and is in a great location.

Anthony walks up to the doors of the lobby.

The sidewalk needs to be painted and there are cigarette butts everywhere.

Anthony walks into the lobby.

He asks the lady at the desk about why there was no valet to park his car despite the sign saying there would be.

She says that you have to come tell them that you need someone to park your car for you.

Anthony says the sign is misleading.

The lobby hasn’t been maintained.

Anthony asks for a master key so he can inspect the rooms.

Anthony walks into one of the guest rooms.

The sheets don’t feel clean.

The mattress pads feel worn out, like they need to be replaced.

The bed skirt has hair on it.

The rooms are disgusting.

The floor hasn’t been cleaned in a long time.

The counter is full of ring stains and the bathroom has mold.

Anthony is disgusted at the state of the room.

Anthony meets with Markus and Giada.

Markus says the biggest problem is the lobby because it doesn’t have an identity.

Giada says they want a space that is multi-functional.

Markus says most guests are happy at the hotel.

The online reviews of the hotel say otherwise.

Anthony reads the reviews to Markus and Giada.

Markus is getting upset about the complaints and criticisms.

Anthony says that they have to face reality.

He shows them hidden camera footage from one of the reviews.

Markus says that he is too old to be treated like a little boy.

He walks away and says he doesn’t like Anthony.

Anthony goes to the bar for the complimentary happy hour.

Anthony is trying to find someone to help him find the bar.

The hotel doesn’t have a bar, so they send the guests to another hotel.

This frustrates guests at having to leave and go elsewhere.

Anthony is lost, trying to find the other hotel.

He tries to climb over a fence, but fails to do so.

Anthony is annoyed and asks someone where the President Hotel is.

Anthony investigates why the hotel rooms aren’t being cleaned properly.

He walks into the elevator, which is filled with penguins on the walls.

Anthony meets Chris, who is the director of housekeeping.

Chris has only worked there for three months and her inexperience is showing.

She takes Anthony to the most expensive room.

Chris says that she tries to inspect the rooms every day.

Anthony tells her what he found in the other rooms.

He points out what he doesn’t like about the room they are currently in.

Management isn’t spending enough time in the rooms.

Chris hasn’t been taught how to do her job properly.

Anthony meets with Giada and Markus in the alley.

Anthony tells them about how insane it is that guests have to go to another hotel for drinks and food.

Anthony says that it’s better to offer the guests nothing.

He thinks there has to be another way, but Markus disagrees.

Anthony will have to find a better way to offer the guests food and drinks.

He finds a bar in the lobby but the bar needs to be renovated.

Renovating the lobby will be the new beginning of the hotel.

Anthony meets with his design expert, Blanche Garcia to discuss ideas.

The ceiling in the lobby is falling apart.

Anthony has called a meeting with Chris and the housekeeping staff.

The housekeeping staff needs better supervision.

Anthony talks to Chris about how they can improve.

Next, Anthony meets with Markus.

Markus was surprised that Anthony listened to him.

He still thinks that Anthony has to prove himself to him.

Anthony thinks that they could serve breakfast in the porch, with the gorgeous view that it has.

Markus tells Anthony they need to hire more staff if they’re going to be bringing in a breakfast service.

Anthony checks back with Blanche.

He hates the colors that Blanche chose for the redesign.

Anthony shows the renovations to Giada and Markus.

They now have a better valet system and a new bar to be able to serve drinks.

The porch has also been revamped.

The rooms have been deep cleaned.

Giada says she would’ve never chosen the purple, but she loves it.

Anthony admits that he was wrong about the colour.

Giada says that now the hotel is complete.

Markus says that this is their home away from home.

The guests enjoy the new bar and like not having to go elsewhere.


What Happened Next at The Penguin Hotel?

Since Anthony’s visit, business has increased at the Penguin by over 10%.

The Penguin now serves a “Shake Your Penguin” drink at their new bar.

The Penguin Hotel is open.

The hotel has undergone many changes and has added a restaurant and bar and continued to renovate the hotel.

Reviews after the show are mostly positive with praise for the service and location.

This post was last updated in January 2024.

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