Need dinner reservations, theater tickets, or to track down a lost cell phone? Your hotel concierge is the one who can help out. These go-to, in-the-know professionals are the heartbeat of any hotel, the people who work tirelessly to make sure guests’ needs are met.
At the world’s top properties, concierges are put to the test… and handle a whole lot of crazy. They nod, smile, and carry on like total pros — even when tasked with over-the-top requests. We asked 12 hotel pros to dish — mostly anonymously, or course! — on their most outrageous requests from guests.
“Rates at the resort where I work average around $25,000 per week in peak season, with my biggest guest spending $120,000 in one week. We get paid nicely in salary and match that in tips from our VIPs. The most outrageous request I’ve have ever had was from a very well-known actor staying at our resort. He’s known for being eclectic, but this was crazy. He called me and said “It’s [redacted]. I need about 40 rubber bands." I asked what type and why, to which he replied, ‘Big ones. I cut all my shirts to make them shorter and I'm tying them all up with those belly knots.’ I found a bunch of rubber bands and took them to his room where he was in fact showing his belly and knotting his shirts. It was really intriguing.” —Southern California resort concierge
“We once had a guest's reservation notes that included a request for a framed picture of David Hasselhoff. So we found a picture online, printed it out, framed it, and placed it in the guest's room prior to arrival.” —Rebecca Starodub, Guest Services Representative at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago
“A concierge once received a request for 150 merino sheep, the same as those found in Château de Versailles, to be sent as a gift for a prominent royal figure.” —Trianon Palace Versailles, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel concierge
“The concierge was tasked with finding relatives and friends of a guest after nearly 50 years of not seeing each other. The concierge called every similar name in the phone book to find connections and miraculously brought everyone together.” —Athenee Palace Hilton Bucharest concierge
“We had some older guests who were newlyweds, probably in their sixties. During their stay, the husband kept having trouble using his digital camera and finally asked my wife if she could help him. While she was showing him how to use the camera, he asked her if she would like to see pictures of their wedding. Being polite, she said sure and started scrolling. Toward the end, she comes across one of the wife, sitting on the chair in their room at the inn, completely naked and with legs spread. My wife tried to keep her composure and scrolled by, not reacting. It was probably an invitation. We'll never know for sure, but they left a $50 tip in the room.” —Atlantic City, New Jersey B&B owner
“A young American woman asked the concierge if he could find her grandmother’s friend that she met during a war. All she knew was that the woman lived in North England and was the landlady of a pub in the general area. After two days and several calls, the concierge received the phone call with the woman’s contact information. The concierge then helped the granddaughter to plan a surprise afternoon tea to reunite!” —The Waldorf Hilton, London concierge
“On Valentine’s Day, the concierge received a request in the evening for 1,000 red long stemmed roses. Every flower shop had closed by 6 p.m., so the concierge used a personal contact within a flower wholesale company to have the roses arranged, cut, and prepared after closing time. The woman was incredibly surprised to find the roses in the room making for the perfect stay for her and her husband.” —Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam staffer
“A guest asked to have a horse at the front door of the hotel, very soon. Within 30 minutes, another guest requested a pool table be delivered to the Presidential Suite.” —Santa Fe, New Mexico concierge
“A male guest came to my desk a few years ago and acted rather funny. He wanted to buy a girdle — a fancy, sexy, shapely girdle and matching bra for his wife. But, he told me that he wouldn't be comfortable going to buy it himself, so perhaps I could help out. He wasn't sure what size his wife was, but said that she was most likely 10 pounds heavier than me. He told me to use my own imagination — and to remember that the items should be on the sexy side. His wife was 66.” —Santa Fe, New Mexico concierge
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