Alex Polizzi could be described as the Gordon Ramsey of the hotel industry.
She is the face of Channel 5’s The Hotel Inspector, which has grown in viewership ever since its first episode in 2005 when Ruth Watson was at the helm.
Poplar-born Alex took over the show in 2008 and has visited hundreds of grotty hotels around the country pulling no punches when it comes to criticism.
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She’s a regular dust checker, décor critic and ambiance attacker – if the hotel sucks, she’ll say it right to the owner’s face.
But who is the woman behind the expert hotelier exterior?
Alex Polizzi is actually Alessandra Maria-Luigia O Polizzi Di Sorrentino, who’s grandfather was an Italian immigrant who opened a milk bar in Regent Street in the 1930s which grew into a hotel empire.
Her mum, Olga, also owns a couple of hotels in the UK but their portfolio is widely known as the Rocco Forte Collection and encompasses 14 hotels across Europe, managed by Alex’s uncle Rocco and her mum.
Hotels were Alex’s roots and she never strayed too far from them.
In an interview with Italy Magazine Alex said her how mum ‘begged’ her not to go into hotels, reminding her of the long hours and poor pay.
“But I was keen to make my own way in the hotel world. She was – and still is – a great role model.”
Dirty room? She’ll spot it from a mile away
(Image: TwoFour Broadcast)
Alex has looked up to her mum, who married Count Alessandro Polizzi at 16, but he tragically died in a car accident when she was only nine.
“She went from being a traditional, stay-at-home mum to a top executive.”
When they opened the first hotel, The Trensaton, in Cornwall they wanted it to be the best seaside hotel there was.
Their second, The Endsleigh in Dartmoor, is more of a countryside hotel.
“Design-wise, both share a mix of contemporary and antique. Neither has a fridge or trouser press as we think great personal service is what people go away for.”
Alex, now 49, has been on a whole host of TV shows sharing her hotel knowledge and experience in the industry.
As well as The Hotel Inspector she’s been on The Fixer, where she tries to transform family businesses that are clearly failing, like furniture stores, bridal shops and even funeral directors.
She’s a regular panellist on The Wright Stuff on Channel 5 and co-hosts Peyton and Polizzi’s Restaurant Rescue – following the same theme of turning around failing restaurants.
Alex has a net worth of around £790,000.
She now lives in London with her husband Marcus who is a specialist baker and has two kids Olga and Rocco.
She mentioned how she was a ‘terrible mum’ in an interview with The Sun.
“I’m a terrible mum in that I find it really f****** boring.
“My lovely, adorable, gorgeous boy says to me ‘Mummy, come and play with me’ and I say ‘You know I don’t play’. I’ll take him for a cycle ride, I’ll have a game of football with him – I’m quite physical.
“I’ll construct a huge camp for them, but don’t make me play in it. I’m better at being a hotel inspector than I am a mother.”
Alex is on our screens tonight at 9pm on Channel 5 where she visits a grand Cumbrian country house.
Have you ever stayed in a shocking hotel that Alex would’ve disapproved of? Let us know in the comments below.
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