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Meet the Neighbours: Alex Polizzi, The Hotel Inspector

Alex Polizzi is best known as The Hotel Inspector, but now she is about to appear in a brand new series: Spectacular Spain with Alex Polizzi. She shares her passion for the country, culture and people, making new discoveries herself along the way.

In this month’s Meet the Neighbours, Alex reveals her love of London, three desert island luxuries and the hotel she would most like to review.

Q: How did you get started?

A: I wanted to be a ballerina for a brief moment when I was nine. I thought it was one of the best careers in the world. But decided to follow my family into the hotel business. They say that ‘an apple does not fall very far from the tree’ and that’s where I ended up.

Q: What attracted you to hotels?  

A: It is the perfect job. Hotels fit my personality as I have lots of energy and enjoy multi-tasking. I like the busyness of the hotel industry.

Q: If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you take with you? 

A: That’s a good question. I would take a bottle of vodka, something to read, a book that would last me a while: London – The Biography by Peter Ackroyd. Plus one more thing: a photograph of my beloved.

Q: Who or what inspires you in life? 

A: It might sound boring, but my mother is inspiring. She is incredibly hard working, very hospitable and very kind. I like that combination. I often find women are more inspirational than men.

Q: What do you like about London?

A: I like everything about London – the choice is ridiculous. I know it is busy and there is lots of traffic, but so what! I love it. There is so much to enjoy here. I know people who go to the country at the weekend. That is my ideal of hell. Why would you leave London?

I love lots of different places and cities, particularly Madrid. It’s artistic, vibrant and its striking differences make it standout as the capital and centre of Spain.

I enjoy Grenada, too. I have visited three of four times. It was one of those inheritance destinations that you want to show to your children.

Q: Tell us a little about your new programme?

A: I have been working on two programmes: The Hotel Inspector on Channel 5 and Spectacular Spain.

I have been doing the Hotel Inspector for nine years. Whenever I start a new programme, I am full of hope at the start. I enjoy imparting information and growing as a person at the same time.

In Secret Spain, I explore many interesting things about Spain, from eating, drinking and the importance of socialising, as well following your dreams. Its remote villages and bustling cosmopolitan cities, palatial hotels and restaurants are some of its best kept secrets. The series is set against the backdrop of a land rich in history, culture and natural beauty.

Q: If you could review any hotel in the world, who would it be? 

A: How exciting! I would quite like to review one of those bonkers hotels in Turkey with a huge swimming pool, and prosecco pouring out of the gold taps. Somewhere that I would not visit myself.

Q: Describe your perfect home?

A: My perfect home is where my family are. I love my London home. I have a Cornish home, which my sister says is just like London. I enjoy books, lots of books, lovely art and my home is incredibly comfortable. Not full of clean lines, but homely and very tidy. Everything has its place.

Q: Have you had any home disasters over the years that you can reveal? 

A: So many! I was renovating a flat in London when the ceiling fell into the next door room – it was pretty agonising. And when I bought the place in Cornwall, it was full of damp from tip to toe. We had to remove the pain. When my husband suggests we move, I always think it’s like giving birth, you need time to recover.

Q: Do you have any favourite architects or designers?

A: I am a huge fan of Frank Gehry. I loved seeing his work in Spain at the Marques de Riscal ( – it’s one of the most astonishing buildings surrounded by miles of vineyards. I like Antoni Gaudi’s work, too.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone who wants to break into the hotel business? 

A: The truth is everyone should have a proper job. I started as a waitress. If you have the money, go to one of the hotels in America or Switzerland to gain invaluable experience.

  • Alex Polizzi is Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, and her brand new series of Spectacular Spain airs on Fridays.
  • Twitter: @alex_polizzi_