A while back we posted a piece called Secrets From People Who Work At 5-Star Hotels. It was an interesting mix of comments from all sorts of people who claimed they worked at top-end hotels. Bartenders. Housekeeping. Front desk. You name it. The Reddit thread I quoted in the post had over 13,000 replies that eventually went from the “secrets” of these hotels to the people (especially the celebrities) who stayed at them.
Not to be outdone, another interesting thread popped up on Reddit not too long ago. It was started by a Redditor named /Rinsetheplates_first. They claimed they were a concierge at a 5-star hotel. They said they deal with the rich and famous every day and their job is to answer any request the guest might have. They offered to answer any question other Redditors might have about their job (with the understanding that they might not be able to answer some, due to discretion, safety, etc.).
The conversation that followed VERY long! In the interest of space, I picked out the questions that seemed particularly intriguing, or that provoked an interesting extended conversation.
Conversation edited for adult language only.
Q: We travel quite often and have access to concierge services. We rarely use the concierge, but what are some things we can use your services for without being a-holes? (asked by JT0223)
A: Great question! We can literally do anything! Don’t feel like you’re being an a-hole we are there to make your stay as effortless as possible. The best way to utilize us is restaurant recommendations, theatre tickets and taxis. We will get you the cheapest prices with VIP service! Also if you want something different to do ask about local walks. We know all the local hidden treasures you wouldn’t find otherwise.
Q: How do the guests act if you have to say no to a request? (Synikey)
A: Most guests understand if you have to say no or can’t come up with the goods as it were. Sometimes you get a bit of push back… ‘well why not it’s a simple request’ when you politely explain the whys and wherefore’s they don’t mind… and if they do just send them a bottle of vino!
Q: Do you guys have “training” for all the hidden stuff or are you hired specifically for your knowledge of the area? (ProjectSnowman)
A. No we learn as we go. It does help if you’re local! But more often than not it’s just experience. We have endless files on our computer though we don’t work entirely from memory! Don’t be too impressed!
Q: How did you get into the business? how long did it take to work up to 5 star service? (anon_200122341)
A: I was really lucky tbh. I did all my training in the hotel I currently work at so I didn’t build up to it as such. I was barman in a different hotel before that. I’m currently working towards my golden keys though which will be a proud moment for me (Note from Sharon: Click here for more info about golden keys)
Q: So if I need some hash can you help a guy out or just hotel/travel stuff? Movies make it seem like you can ask you guys for seriously whatever they wanted. (EthiopianKing1620
A: No we can’t put you in contact with anyone but we will facilitate delivery
Q: Worst thing a famous/rich person did? (Borischeekibreeki)
A: One couple paid to stay in two separate rooms. The excuse ‘he’ gave was that his wife snored… the two nights they were there I showed three different women to his room, all at least half his age!
Q: What’s the craziest thing someone’s requested? (2020grilledcheese)
A: I had to get an elderly gentleman a toupee. He had never worn one before but decided he wanted one to go to dinner that night… not an easy task but we did it! (And he actually looked pretty good!)
Q: Real talk: have there been times when you wanted to smack someone for being an a**/petty? (Jody_MmBby)
A: Yes! We hosted an Aston Martin car show a few summers ago. One guys Aston broke down on the hotels driveway. We called a local garage and left them to it. About an hour later he called the hotel and asked me to meet him at the garage… which I did. He expected us to pay for the repairs and when I told him that wasn’t possible he gave me a proper dressing down infront of everyone. I just had to suck it up and politely nod but I could have quite happily nutted him! Money does funny things to people
Q: Wtf? In what would would the hotel be paying for that? Thats litterally your car (deleted)
A: His car broke down on our property so in his mind we owed him! P***k!
Q: Do you ever, in situations like these, roll your eyes at the other ‘common’ people surrounding you when the guest isn’t looking? (om_te_janken_mooi)
A: You have to pick your moments but yes it’s nice to share pleasant peasant moment with another pleb!
Q: What’s the best way a regular person can enjoy things at the hotel only the rich and famous get? (Argyleskin)
A: Simply just ask! Always speak to the concierge not the reception staff. Reception can only do so much but the concierge team can get away with a lot of things. When you arrive ask us about upgrading your room. If we can we will. If you’re eating in one of the hotel restaurants ask us if we could recommend a table, we’ll get you on a great table and make sure the wait staff look after you well. My best tip, though, to really feel like a VIP is call down from your room and ask us to run your bath! You might feel daft but we’ll run an awesome bath and we’ll bring you a bottle of wine to enjoy on the house! Do it! Just ask!
Q: How does tipping work? I live in a country where tipping is not the custom. So if I ever go to the US and stay in an expensive hotel: should I tip the concierge and is it different than tipping other service personel? (om_te_janken_mooi)
A: Yeah it’s a bit different. We are built in with the price of your room. You wouldn’t tip us same as you wouldn’t tip reception staff. Save your tips for the bell hop and or wait staff. Of course it’s always nice to receive a tip and we appreciate the gesture but it isn’t expected like it might be in other roles in the hotel
Q: Have you been put in the situation of doing something clearly against the law in order to perform your duties? (zoopest)
A: Yeah great question. Some of our more affluent guests arrive at the nearby airport in their private jet or helicopter. We go and pick them up. Obviously airports have certain rules regarding security and passport checks etc… 90 percent of the pick ups I’ve done we drive them straight out off the airfield without any security!
Q: Hello, private jet traveller here. This is possible when passengers are cleared ahead of time by landing customs. Private airport / terminal customs permit this or on landing – what you don’t see – is customs / passport control board the aircraft (if needed) to check any paperwork.
I gather you’re in the U.K. also. Most handlers will allow clearance ahead of landing as long as people on board have been able to have had all paperwork cleared beforehand, including any visas. Security only needed on departure.
Airfield departure is only possible if you had your driver cleared by airfield on time though which is the toughest part 🥲 (peachpie_888)
A: Ah thank you for the clarification. I assumed some paperwork would have been dealt with ahead of time but from my POV I just drive the guest straight off the airfield! Always feels a bit illegal to me! 😂
Q: Are any of these people actually embarrassed or sheepish about some of their more outrageous or outlandish requests or demands? Examples? (Edman70)
A: Nope. The regular money just don’t care they ask for what they want and expect to get it.. the young couples who have saved up for a treat or the elderly couple coming in for afternoon tea.. they get embarrassed making the simplest request, because they don’t want to make work for anyone, they don’t want to be a pest! I’ll do everything I can to make their visit special! It’s a one off for them
Q: Any surprising sex-related thing you can share about a celebrity (without naming them, unless you want to give a hint)? (indyo1979)
A: Not a celebrity but after one particular guest checked out house keeping found half the ceiling was all over the floor in their room… it turned out they had tried to anchor a sex swing to the plaster!
Q: You ever get drugs for them? (Username_Check_Ins
A: No I haven’t ever been asked personally but i was rooming someone once when a bag of white powder fell out of their pocket. They didn’t notice and I didn’t know what to do! When he turned round I just said ‘I think you dropped that’ bit awkward!
Q: whats your least favorite part of the job? (deleted)
A: Booking theatre tickets or calling taxis
Q: You just told someone else that this was the best thing they could do to utilize your job. Is it just because it is boring? (Shevchenkojeanie)
A: Yeah it’s laborious and we do it allllll day for a million people! We do it well and it’s what we’re there for but it’s the least interesting part of the job
Q: I’m not impressed with the restaurant and quite fancy a Gregg’s Sausage Roll or four, but all the local Gregg’s are all closed for the evening. What do you do? (AlDu14)
A: Find the nearest Iceland store and buy the frozen greggs sausage rolls. Get the kitchen to bake them in the oven (not the bloody microwave) and send it to your room!
Q: Night porter for 14 and a half years here, in a five star just outside of London. Been there, done that got the t-shirt lol. (Rapturesjoy)
A: A doth my hat to all night porters! You guys see it all!
Q: Amen brother, but equally so do porters and concierge! The Concierge get the brunt of the force. For me, I personally support those in house keeping. Having to clean up, p**s, s**t, vomit and s***k and I ain’t kidding. I have thick skin but some of that did me in. I’m not surprised Housekeepers don’t have PTSD. (Rapturesjoy)
A: House keepers are worth their weight in gold! In our hotel they always come to us after cleaning and offer to put the chocolates and gifts in the rooms to save us a job! They go above and beyond!
Q: Very much agreed and some of them really give a s**t too, what’s horrible is how much people look down their noses at them. Don’t forget Housekeepers are the one’s that have to clean off peoples s***k after valentines night. Think on that for a moment. (Rapturesjoy)
Q: Probably a crazy question: if I am not staying at the hotel, but still want to have excellent restaurant recommendations, could I just walk in and ask? Or would I be filtered out and whisked away as not a guest? (polski71)
A: Yeah that’d be totally fine! We might recommend our own restaurant though! 😂
Q: Saturday night about 22:30.
I call down and request the following
2 ladies minimum 8/10, 1 asian about 5′-1″ 110 lbs, with a great butt and a blonde, blue eyes, 5′-6″, 120lbs, 2 bottles of champagne, 4 hotdogs with mustard, and a picture of Nicolas Cage.
How quickly can you get this done? (2_from_the_night)
A: So I can’t comment here about the first part of your request but by 23.30 you’d be drinking champagne eating hot dogs looking at a SIGNED picture of Nicholas Cage!
Q: How does the bill work for that? Like, I’d assume normal room service charges for champagne and hotdogs, but do you charge for the photo? (Unicornbum)
A: Well we might charge whatever it cost us to get but usually something that obscure would be gratis for the simple fact it’d look cheap on our part adding ‘Nick Cage photo’ to their bill plus we do enjoy weird requests
Q: I had a friend who worked reception at a fairly upscale American hotel.
Everyone was sleeping with everyone else, lots of drugs and drinking on the job (I think she was offered coke within an hour on her first shift), and they occasionally had to kick porn shoots out of the establishment. She said “that’s what happens when you work in a building full of bedrooms”.
Any similarity to your experience? (Yawehg)
A: Wow that’s crazy! I have worked in restaurants and hotels where coke is the chefs herb of choice! But I don’t see it among staff where I am now. There’s always something going on between the odd member of staff but I’ve never known of anyone using a room on shift. That’s a boring answer sorry!
Q: What is the protocol for handling the wife, when the husband is already checked in with his mistress? Asking for a friend. (mywifeslv)
A: Haha! Love that! So we never share that information. If the wife turns up and says ‘which room is my husband John smith in’ we say ‘sorry I can’t confirm that we have a John smith staying here tonight’ inevitably she says ‘ I know he’s here’ we say ‘have you tried calling him?’ And on it goes. We will never tell another soul that you’re in our hotel we wouldn’t tell your own mother. We won’t even put a call through to your room unless you’ve ok’d it
Q: What is the biggest tip you have received? (someguyfromky)
A: £200 for walking a guests dog for no longer than 10 minutes! 😂 🐶 💰
Q: How do you stay on top of what services/places to recommend? (kippy236)
A: Another great question! We have an extensive directory of restaurants, bars, cafes. We update it accordingly with popularity etc we have contracts with chauffeur companies and theatres etc so we can give you the best prices whilst maintaining a 5 star experience. I do find it a challenge to match a guest with a restaurant sometimes. It doesn’t come naturally to me.. however if you’re looking for evening drinks and a bit of knees up I’ll sort you right out!
Q: For soemone who sometimes has to travel for work, what can be done to make your work easier? or maybe the cleaning staff’s work less hard? (ColaDeTigre)
A: Do you mean something you could do as a guest to make our job easier?
Q: yes. I’ve read horror stories of people who work at hotels and have to deal with guests, and you seem to go out of your way to make guests feel great. What can be done the other way around?
A: Ahh ok. Love that question. For me it’s simple. Be polite and patient with us. Sometimes we might be physically unable to solve your problem at that moment. But trust us and give us time. Housekeeping wise leave any plates outside the room and put your towels in the bath! Say hello to staff as you pass them it does cheer us up…. Although we should say hello to you first anyway!
Q: How do you act? Are you all seriousy or are you nice and smiley while doing your job? ignore my childish word choices it’s 5am and I have no concierge to bring me coffee /hj (sourcoated)
A: Haha no problem! One on one I’m fairly casual and once you get to know the guest you can kind of just be normal.. but people to expect a bit of pomp so it’s just about reading the room. For example if you called down for one single post it note I’d bring it up in a silver tray held at shoulder height. (And present the tray to you to retrieve it we never take it off the tray to hand it to you!)
Q: What’s your uniform like? (sourcoated)
A: It’s a 3 piece suite. We must wear our tie with a Windsor knot and we wear a kerchief in our breast pocket. In hot weather we can remover our jacket… but the hotel’s definition of hot weather is very different to mine! Our head Concierge wears a jacket with tails. And if we have an event which requires us to direct cars from the drive to the valet/car park we wear bowler hats and white gloves!
Here’s a link to the entire thread, if you’d like to read it. Heads up that there is some adult language, so it may be NSFW.
Feature Image: New York-New York Hotel & Casino – MGM Resorts
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