Concierge services have come a long way over the past few years. While it was once enough to hand out maps, make restaurant suggestions, or book tickets to a show, concierges today know that modern travelers expect much more. Many top hotels have responded to new demands by adding concierge services that are a little more, shall we say, solicitous. Here’s a small sampling of just how far hotels are willing to go to make sure you have an unforgettable stay.
A Personalized Ale Trail
Hotel Vermont, Burlington
Beer concierge Matt Canning’s sole purpose is to steer brew-loving guests to the best suds in the city. Canning, a craft beer aficionado, can do everything from arrange a tour of Burlington’s microbreweries to offer suggestions on beer pairings during a meal at one of the hotel’s three restaurants. For guests planning a pub crawl, Canning also keeps an updated list of what’s on tap at local bars.
Vinyl on Demand
Goodland Hotel, Goleta, CA
The Goodland Hotel is made for music lovers. Lea Sindija is the hotel’s director of programming, but she’s better known (to guests) as the vinyl concierge. She oversees VNYL, Goodland’s record store, which features vinyl selections that range from the 1960s to the ’90s. Each room has an old-school record player, and Sindija will devise a personal playlist for you based on your favorite songs and musical genres and have those records delivered to your room.
St. Regis, Mexico City
St. Regis ups the ante when it comes to zealously zeroed-in service. The hotel’s concierge can arrange a variety of shopping indulgences (such as an organized tour of the city’s fashion districts or a private, in-room showing of designer gowns and accessories), or a traveler can request a curated cultural service. The St. Regis offers three categories of cultural experiences: kids and family, history and culture, or art and architecture. Each adventure features a variety of monuments, events, sites, and exhibits that will highlight the guest’s specified area of interest. It’s especially useful for time-crunched travelers who want to squeeze all the city’s showstoppers into their stay.
The Perfect Proposal
One&Only, Cape Town, South Africa
How do you feel about a threesome? While a marriage proposal to your beloved would have once been considered among the most intimate of acts, now there’s a concierge for that, too. The wedding concierge at the One&Only comes to the rescue of nervous fiancé wannabes with suggestions on how to pop the question. Based on a couple’s unique interests and personalities, the wedding concierge can arrange for a yachting cruise, hike, picnic, or dining extravagance, carefully crafted to elicit the coveted “yes!”
Graffiti on the Go
Hotel Indigo, New York
This hotel, located in Manhattan’s street-art rich Lower East Side, bolsters its oh-so-cool cred with its very own graffiti concierge. Christian Ribeiro, who’s also an artist, can answer questions about the graffiti that peppers the neighborhood and provide guests with a tailored map to explore some of the latest and greatest work from both local and international artists.
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Sandra MacGregor I am an internationally published travel, food and wine writer (who also writes about finance and fintech). My work has been published in a variety of publications, including National Geographic Travel, CNN Travel, Brit + Co, the New York Times, AFAR, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the UK Telegraph, the Toronto Star, the New Zealand Herald and the Montreal Gazette.