Hotel concierges reveal their most over-the-top guest requests
In the high-end luxury hotel market, celebrities, VIP’s and wealthy guests are used to having grand experiences and are accommodated by the fabulous concierge staff who cultivate long-term relationships with all manner of vendors. Some of the requests are for very special occasions such as proposals or milestone birthdays and some are simply “just because they can.” Below are some examples of what remarkable feats are accomplished by a concierge who can think outside the box.
At 1 Hotel Central Park in New York City, Concierge Briana Davis Greer, has been able to provide some very special accommodations for her guests. She mentions marriage proposals as one of the top requests since the hotel is located near Central Park. Guests request everything from lavish picnics in the Park to hiring a personal violinist and professional photographer to capture the moment when the gentleman pops the question.
At 1 Hotel Central Park, the concierge often knows ahead of time why the guests are coming to stay (special occasion? birthday celebration?) and what they might require. They are in contact with the guest before they arrive so they are prepared to provide superior service to them.
Other requests include backstage passes to Madison Square Garden, tickets to the highly sought-after Broadway play Hamilton, entry into exclusive night life venues and setting up experiences that are “best of the best” in New York City.
One very special request involved a couple who arrived in New York at the Long Island Airport. They requested a driver to pick them up and provide a leisurely drive all around the Long Island area. Then they wanted a helicopter to transport them to the hotel in the city. Done and done.
She also recalls a guest who requested a yacht and a private chef for the evening. The couple enjoyed a very special evening on the water, just the two of them, with multi-course gourmet dining and very personal service.
During Fashion Week in New York, it’s not uncommon for a guest to request a private shopper to accompany them to special boutiques offering champagne, personal attention and privacy. Those guests often want to go out with the shopper one-on-one, but if they prefer, a shopper can be dispatched to select certain styles to bring to the hotel, where the guest can try them on in the privacy of their room.
At the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, Concierge Angela Benedict, also receives special requests to assist with planning the perfect marriage proposal. She recalls one guest who wanted to propose at sunrise at a special location overlooking the Bay and needed some help planning it. Angela arranged for an early morning limo to pick them up and take them to the special spot for the proposal and afterwards, they went to Muir Woods where they had a romantic walk among the ancient redwoods.
Because the Fairmont is a well-known, 5-star hotel in the heart of San Francisco, they often get high-ranking military and government guests. Angela helped make it a very special evening for a General and his wife who loved a little restaurant located near the hotel. He wanted white roses on the table (his wife’s favorite flowers), but the restaurant wasn’t able to do it. So Angela went out and bought the roses herselfS and had them delivered to the restaurant to be placed on their table.
The concierge at a luxury hotel is not merely handing out restaurant recommendations and suggesting things to do in the area, they also use their local relationships and expertise to share relatively little-known hot spots, arrange special perks and know the best of the best nightlife and entertainment. They can arrange nearly anything to create a truly memorable guest experience that builds loyalty that guests depend on time and time again.