How Hotel Hell almost prevented Meson De Mesilla’s sale

Cali Szczawinski was unhappy with the changes that Hotel Hell made to Meson De Mesilla and the show almost got in the way of her sale later on.

Hotel Hell certainly showcased a variety of kooky characters throughout the course of its three-season run.

But few of the show’s struggling business owners come close to the Cher-loving Cali Szczawinski from the Meson De Mesilla hotel in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Unfortunately, though, this aspiring singer and former hotel owner seemingly felt like she wanted to ‘turn back time’ once the Hotel Hell episode made it to air.

When Szczawinski welcomed a silent partner to take over part of her failing business 2016 (just a few years after Gordon Ramsay’s Hotel Hell intervention), she shared with the Las Cruces Sun-News that “when that man was here he didn’t do anything I could keep”.

The lasting Hotel Hell impressions

And while appearing on Hotel Hell is never a guarantee that a business will start thriving, it seems as though this reality show kept haunting Meson De Mesilla and its owners long after the filming crew departed.

Szczawinski eventually went from a 50/50 split-ownership deal, to selling Meson De Mesilla entirely in 2017. But, once again, the show almost ruined her plans.

According to what the new owner of the now-renamed Hacienda De Mesilla told KFOX14 in 2019, he watched the Hotel Hell episode just a few weeks before the deal to buy the hotel was finalized and it “almost” made him change his mind completely about buying the establishment.

Thomas and his wife, Jerean Hutchinson, eventually ended up going through with the deal to purchase the hotel from Szczawinski, but seeing the Hotel Hell episode did encourage them to rename and rebrand the entire business straight away.

The Hutchinsons even approached a third-party company to help them scrub any false reviews from the old business once they took over.

The Meson De Mesilla after Hotel Hell

The old Meson De Mesilla has gone through so many changes in the last few years, and it can be difficult to keep track of it all.

But the following timeline does help to place the most important events from the last few years in chronological order:

Date Event
June 2013 The Hotel Hell episode is filmed.
July 21, 2014 “Meson De Mesilla” Hotel Hell episode first airs.
February 2016 Cali welcomes a silent partner and separates the hotel from the restaurant. The hotel continues to operate simply as Hotel Mesilla and the new restaurant is renamed NM Grille & Bar.
2017 Thomas Hutchinson and his wife, Jerean, purchase the hotel and rename it to Hacienda De Mesilla.

What happened to Cali Szczawinski after she sold Meson De Mesilla?

While it is a pity that Szczawinski ultimately had to sell her beloved hotel after so many attempts to turn the business around, it does seem like she was not forced to give up on all of her dreams, at least.

Szczawinski, who was so very keen to show off her musical impersonations to the guests who stayed at Meson De Mesilla, continued with her music career after selling the hotel to its new owners.

And if you are in the United States, you may even be able to catch Szczawinski, who goes by the stage-name Cali McCord, performing live all over the country.

All about the new hotel

Thomas, Jerean and their son, Christopher Hutchinson, certainly changed a whole lot about the old Meson De Mesilla when they took over, but this was not the couple’s first venture into the hotel and lodging business.

Thomas and Jerean had actually been voted the New Mexico Restaurant Association’s Restaurateurs of The Year in 2013 for running La Posta, their other Las Cruces-based eatery.

This couple’s new plans for the renamed Hacienda De Mesilla included turning the hotel into an Old West-inspired getaway with buckets full of charm and personalized elements.

The Hacienda Inn, Grille & Cantina endeavors to offer guests a relaxed atmosphere in which  they can enjoy a casual dining and a great getaway.

What the reviews have to say about

It seems as though Thomas, Jerean and Christopher have managed to succeed with the Hacienda De Mesilla where the old Meson De Mesilla failed.

Hacienda De Mesilla’s most recent 2023 Yelp review states, “This place is fabulous!” and the hotel has earned an incredibly good rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars, overall.

The same can be said for the hotel’s TripAdvisor reviews, where Hacienda De Mesilla has landed a spot in the top ten restaurants in Mesilla, the top two bars in Mesilla, and has earned an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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