You’d have to get really clever to catch a concierge off guard; they’ve seen it all. From marriage proposals with 100 cupcakes to requests for monochromatic meals, hotel concierges come up with creative solutions to guests' every whim.
More than just asking for soy milk with your coffee or securing a near-impossible restaurant reservation, the most memorable guest requests are way outside the box — like all-green-foods-all-the-time outside the box.
Around the world, concierges take on guests’ wants and needs that range from the charming and exciting to the truly unexpected.
The Stanley Hotel, which inspired "The Shining", hosts ghost tours, has storytellers who recount (true) ghost tales, and employs a paranormal investigator, but their concierge will never forget when a couple requested to have dinner with the ghosts of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley in the Cascades Restaurant and were dead serious.
Then there are requests that border on the downright bizarre. One couple at the Four Seasons Resort in Whistler took a helicopter tour to a glacier and came back with an enormous ice cube that had to be shipped to their South Carolina home, intact.
What’s so great about these requests is how the hotel staff reacts to them. Ask a concierge what their favorite request has been or how they feel about taking care of some of the more taxing orders and they’ll (usually) proudly recount the clever thinking and resourcefulness that went into accommodating their guests.
The staff at the DUKES London Hotel won’t ever forget one woman who required all-white foods. Not just white bread on sandwiches and white sugar instead of brown, literally everything had to be the color white. And the concierge at the Charleston Place learned that lavish, pampered requests aren’t only for adults. They accommodated a family last year for their son’s birthday with an opulent feast from Kushi oysters to grilled kangaroo. It was their son’s seventh birthday.
Here are some of the more unusual requests:
Four Seasons Resort Whistler After taking a helicopter tour to a glacier, this very excited couple came back carrying a large cube of ice in a brown box. He requested that we ship it back to South Carolina, perfectly intact. So, we went to work finding a freezer box to hold the huge cube and arranged pickup of the box (with military precision) to make sure Vancouver was the cube's last stop before South Carolina. The guests called to say it arrived in perfect condition!
— Hana Lynn, Chef Concierge at Four Seasons Resort Whistler
Travaasa Austin There is one guest that none of us will ever forget. She couldn't have been lovelier, but she was very particular about eating — she only ate green food. Like the color green, not just healthy, leafy greens. Our chefs got really creative, serving everything with green sauces. Thank goodness for herbs! If we'd had green plates, we would have served her on those.
— Tricia Freeman, Guest Services Coordinator at Travaasa Austin
XV Beacon: Boston One guest requested we make 100 vanilla cupcakes for his marriage proposal. He asked that we cover the king-size bed with the cupcakes so that they spelled out "Will You Marry Me?" with a big heart in the center. We accented the cupcakes with beautiful white rose petals and the proposal went off without a hitch.
— Michael Fay, Concierge at XV Beacon
MGM Grand: Las Vegas We had one guest who requested Ossetra caviar to be delivered to his room. We scoured the Strip to find this specific type of caviar and finally recalled that Mix at THEhotel at Mandalay Bay had it on their menu. We got the caviar and promptly served it to his room on a block of ice.
— Casey Pursell, Concierge Supervisor at MGM Grand
Charleston Place We have a family that comes to stay every year for their kids' birthdays and they throw elaborate dinner celebrations. Did we mention that last year marked their son's seventh birthday? His menu included Kushi oysters, curried mussels, fried rattlesnake, grilled kangaroo, and he specifically requested that the cake was not mundane. (They made a Spanish vanilla cake with chocolate hazelnut mousse.) His sister's ninth birthday spread included foie gras, squab, and Chilton County Alabama peaches (her favorite) were flown in.
— Michelle Weaver, Executive Chef at Charleston Place
Vail Cascade Resort A sheik was undergoing knee surgery in the area and stayed with us, with his large (30-plus) entourage. Since his stay was during Ramadan, he requested to use our kitchen and asked that no one else use that kitchen. The staff all pitched in, procuring a whole lamb and much more. We then found out another sheik was staying in Beaver Creek nearby, so we proceeded to have a "cook-off" of sorts with our staff running back and forth with the ingredients.
— Steve Trombetta, Director of Guest Services at Vail Cascade Resort
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