The Ottawa Citizen describes some of the ‘crazy’ concierge requests that Fairmont hotel properties have received (and fulfilled) in a story supposedly based on a leaked “internal Fairmont Hotels document obtained by Postmedia News.”
I always love these sorts of stories, reported straight-faced as inside scoop when clearly a hotel chain is providing a list in hopes of getting free publicity for what kind of great service they provide and the lengths that they will go for guests. It’s brilliant marketing I suppose, but a bit cheeky for a news reporter to suggest cloak and dagger stuff in getting the real goods on a hotel’s concierge offerings.
Granted, asking for help securing pig eyes and requesting that the concierge sub in for you on a blind date make for pretty funny stories.
At The Plaza Hotel in New York, a guest who’d had a falling out with his daughter requested that a Native American reconciliation ceremony, complete with feathers and peace pipe, be performed in his room by a chief — who, incidentally, had to be tracked down in neighbouring New Jersey by the concierge.
That same hotel had a guest ask for a dinner of roasted tarantulas.
In San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square, the Fairmont Heritage Place had someone request a hyperbaric chamber.
And the concierge at the Copley Plaza in Boston located a pair of velvet-lined handcuffs at 11 pm, at the urging of a female guest — a bizarre request that nonetheless paled in comparison to the time the hotel was asked to track down a highly specific model of incubator in time to save a guests’ ostrich eggs.
I’ve never placed much in the way of extreme demands on a concierge, booking local restaurants mostly (to avoid language barriers). And even at upscale properties folks don’t usually go to such lengths to fulfill even my mundane requests.
At the Prince de Galles Paris they made a reservation I had requested, but didn’t re-confirm that the restaurant was even open when I’d be arriving. I showed up and they were in the midst of renovations.
At the W San Diego, while staying in the hotel’s ‘Extreme Wow’ suite, the “Whatever, Whenever” line couldn’t even get me ‘coffee’ (what) at 5 a.m. (when: too early).
If you believe what’s implied in this article, I should be staying at Fairmonts more! Just probably not the Royal York in Toronto…
What’s your luck been? What have you asked a concierge for, and were you successful in obtaining it? I’d love some ideas how to better utilize hotel services, after all!