6. Reader in Residence at Andaz London
Though he hasn’t put in an appearance for a while, every time we’re in London, we hope to get a bedtime story from the Andaz London’s Reader in Residence. Times UK journalist Damian Barr filled the position for a few weeks after the Andaz London opened, then again during the London Book Fair last year, providing guests with a little bedside “bibliotherapy,” as he put it…all in snazzy Paul Smith pj’s. He was available to guests upon request for an hour, and would read from the book of their choice from a menu of novels and other materials he had gathered—nothing dodgy, though! And if the confines of the bedroom were too intimate, he’d read to guests in other parts of the hotel as well.
5. Fish Valets at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport
British Columbia is fishing country, and the Fairmont Vancouver Airport’s “prize catches” are its on-staff Fish Valets, who are charged with picking up travelers from the airport as they arrive from their fishing vacations, and keeping their catches in perfect condition before the flight home in the hotel’s special fish freezer: a 575 cubic-foot freezer kept at -15 degrees Celsius right on the Departures level of the hotel. That way, when the guests are ready to board the flight home, the fish they brought with them will be packed and ready to go as well. Guests hoping to enjoy at least some of their trophies while in Vancouver, however, can opt to have it cooked up by the hotel’s Executive Chef, Kamal Silva, like his specialty seared halibut with warm fingerling potato salad.
4. Chocolatière at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth in Montreal
Carole Proulx is an unapologetic chocaholic who craves a daily dose of the dark stuff. That’s why she’s perfectly suited to be the Chocolatière at Montreal’s Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel, making truffles for hotel guests, and playing around with the intense, aromatic chocolatey flavors. Her sweet wares are available throughout the hotel, including at the Beaver Club restaurant and the Gourmandise Boutique. If you happen to be passing through Montreal, stop by the hotel to try some of her specialties like the chocolate milk truffle with Québec maple liqueur.
3. Whisky Sommelier at the Athenaeum Hotel in London
In addition to a bar that boasts the largest collection of whiskies outside of Scotland (270 and counting), the Athenaeum Hotel in Mayfair also has a trained whisky sommelier on staff—one of only two in London. Even more interesting, the sommelier’s name is Angelo Gobbi, and he hails from Italy originally, so he’s super passionate about his job, and by the time he’s done guiding you through one of his private whisky tastings—available at the bar or up in your private guest room—which cover Scotland’s different regions and distillers, he’ll make a convert out of you too.
2. Ocean Butler at the St. Regis Princeville in Kauai
St. Regis properties are renowned for their signature butler services, but the one in Princeville on the island of Kauai employs a trained marine biologist on staff as an Ocean Butler who leads snorkeling and scuba tours of the famous coral reefs of Hanalei Bay. In addition to his title of Ocean Butler, Paul Clark is the Director of the resort’s Young Voyager’s Club for guests’ children, and the President of Save our Seas. Before coming to the resort, he taught high school. Nowadays, he leads guests on educational snorkeling forays off the reef, where they help monitor the area for community scientists. Clark can also arrange nighttime snorkeling expeditions, and family tours, in addition to the kids ones he sets up through the Young Voyager’s Club. Bet science class was never this interesting.
1. The Director of Romance at Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Cabo
While soaked up the sun (and the luxury) at Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Cabo last month, we had the chance to speak with the resort’s coolest staff member, Esmeralda Silva, the Director of Romance. Not only does this Esmeralda help would-be grooms plan the perfect engagement scenario—options include moonlight movies on the beach, singing mermaids swimming through the surf, and all manner of spa and bath menus—but she’s also already implemented one of the hotel’s most popular new services since she started in August: Sleeping With The Stars. Guests who opt for it can enjoy a night under the open sky on their own private terrace overlooking the sea, with full furnishings and bedding included. And you can bet Esmeralda has seen to all the finishing touches herself.