Some luxury hotels contain restaurants with award-winning chefs and over-the-top gourmet mini-bars. Others boast amenities such as royalty-grade mattresses, top-of-the-line thread counts and state-of-the-art sound systems. And still others are raising the VIP bar even more by providing unique concierges who strive to make their guests’ stay as memorable as possible. Here are five hotels that are changing the meaning of the phrase “hotel concierge.”
Critter Concierge at Hutton Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee
Why should humans get all the luxurious fun? At this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel, guests’ four-legged friends are just as pampered by an onsite pet concierge. They are welcomed with a special treat (think bandanas and rubber balls), bedding and food and water bowls. Hutton Hotel’s Happy Tails Pet Program also provides an organic in-room snack menu. The dedicated Critter Concierge can make Fido’s stay in Nashville as enjoyable as yours with recommendations ranging from the best local grooming spots to top veterinarians. To secure a room on the pet-friendly fifth and six floors, you’ll have to pay a one-time, $50 pet fee, but, if you ask us, it’s worth it — especially when the staff offers to keep an eye on your restless pup in the front office while you’re out exploring Music City.
BBQ Butler at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, Greensboro, Georgia
Since visiting the South without experiencing a proper barbecue is blasphemous, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation takes its grilling quite seriously. A BBQ Butler is on hand to teach the art of open-fire cooking to those staying in one of the Lakeside Cottages or the Presidential House. Geared toward both grill-masters and beginners alike, the BBQ Butler can do as much or as little as guests prefer, from the grilling itself to simply assisting in the selection of type of meat and cut — whether saucy ribs, moist smoked chicken, or anything in between. The butler can also answer any questions guests may have about outdoor cooking, suggest types of firewood from the complementary wood menu and expertly pair specialty sauces and sides, creating a deliciously personalized culinary event.
Fireside Butler at The Carneros Inn, Napa, California
Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Carneros Inn, situated in California’s picturesque Wine Country and only an hour from San Francisco, is the ideal setting for a weekend getaway for two. Book one of the Harvest Cottages, and the romantic experience is only enhanced by the hotel’s Fireside Butler, who will prepare a toasty fire in the firepit or arrange a s’mores setup on the outdoor deck. Guests may also order a steamy soaking tub for two on the cottage’s private patio, with a bottle of bubbly or vintage pinot noir and glasses. To ensure the perfect timing, you can contact the Fireside Butler via the Fireside Hotline, so your fire and bath are at the ideal settings when you arrive at your cottage after a long day of wine tasting.
Apothecary Concierge at Hotel Matilda, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Guests of Hotel Matilda can visit the Apothecary Concierge at Spa Matilda and receive handmade, personalized beauty products in a rustic setting (it’s modeled after a traditional Mexican herbaria, with a modern twist). The experience begins with a skin consultation to establish the guest’s needs and goals before entering the apothecary bar, which is stocked with local, artisanal ingredients such as sea salts, spirulina algae, sage, rice powder, and white and gray clays. Guests peruse a menu of products such as face oils and masks, body oils and butters, scrubs, bath mixes, and hair treatments. Once items are chosen off the menu, the Apothecary Concierge blends them while the guest watches, then packages it in classic apothecary bottles and jars for use at the hotel or at home.
Soap Concierge at Viceroy Riviera Maya, Riviera Maya, Mexico
Guests arriving at Viceroy Riviera Maya are greeted with a Mayan blessing and personally escorted to their villa. The Soap Concierge presents them with a menu of choices — some relaxing, some invigorating, and all made in local Mayan communities using ancient Mayan traditions and natural and seasonal ingredients. Just a few of the available choices include tangerine and marigold, mint and rosemary, anise, lavender, and coconut, which is reminiscent of Xcalacoco, the Caribbean beach upon which the resort rests. The butler explains the significance of the herbs and botanicals in each soap, and makes suggestions for specific occasions before cutting personalized slices from large soap blocks. And for a truly unforgettable experience, guests can enjoy the aromatic, handcrafted soaps in their villa’s private outdoor garden shower.
Photos Courtesy of David Martinez, Ray Stanyard and Hotel Matilda