"We had a lady come to stay that was allergic to the color purple," explains Nathan Brown of the Rees Hotel Queenstown
in New Zealand. "Yes, a color. She emailed prior to her arrival asking that any room amenities, furniture, or fixtures in her room and around the hotel were removed from her sight so she would not feel ill upon seeing them. All of our amenities at the time were lavender scented, we had purple colored books in our library, shades of purple on wine bottle labels, and paintings in our art gallery as well as flowers throughout the hotel. We did it, no questions asked, and she managed to stay healthy her entire stay." Unfortunately, these natural allergy remedies
don't work for color allergies.
Breakfast at Tiffany's
"A couple in their early 70s got married at the Crosby Hotel in the winter, and it was a first marriage for both," shares concierge Todd Hunt. "The groom proposed at Tiffany's, the jewelry store, and he told our concierge, 'Wouldn't it be lovely to have breakfast at Tiffany's?'" The concierge at Crosby Hotel
takes that kind of stuff seriously, and quickly arranged for an actual breakfast on the fifth floor of Tiffany 5th Avenue, which is extremely rare.
A swim with (pet) fishies
"We had doting parents demand some unusual things for their toddlers," says a representative of high-end concierge company Levitiscus Lifestyle
. "They wanted us to fill a bathtub every morning, then add (ever so tenderly) the kids' pet fish; then hand-wash and air-dry the babies' clothes, daily."
The Garden of Eden or a scene out of a nature show?
According to Travel + Leisure
, a guest at the Four Seasons Tented Camp
in Thailand asked for a photograph of his kids with a snake so they could remember their stay. Hotel staff didn't disappoint—they brought a 12-foot python from a neighboring village that was actually large enough for the children to lie down on, and take particularly snuggly photos with. Just imagine holding one of these scary (albeit beautiful) snakes
on your lap!
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Disco naps, anyone?
"We had a VIP family who wanted us to transform our Tata Presidential Suite into a 70s-themed disco for their son's 18th birthday," shares Sanela Mrkulic, director of guest relations at New York's Pierre Hotel
. "Our engineering team brought in a dance floor, we hung several disco balls, removed furniture, used tons of silver foil, and voila! Full success. The guests were so happy they insisted we dance with them."
Serious monkey business
A guest at a luxury hotel in Miami's South Beach requested a professionally trained, camera-ready monkey, and meant it. The monkey was apparently needed to film a commercial, according to this New York Post article.
The original monkey had bowed out, leaving a wide open casting hole just waiting to be filled by the concierge, who then added animal casting to his resume.
Perfect romantic touches
"We had a guest taking the love of his life on a romantic getaway who asked us to arrange for multiple surprises along the way," says Maurice Dancer, chief concierge of the Pierre Hotel
. "He asked for two dozen white roses, one dozen in the limousine for collecting them from the airport, and another in the room upon arrival. Also awaiting them was a silver tray with chocolate covered strawberries (a notorious aphrodisiac
), a large plate of sliced fruit, and two lychee martini cocktails. The finishing touch, greeting them in their room, was a singer and pair of dancers performing the Marc Anthony song, 'I need to know.' All accomplished as a team in Pierre style!"
Long lost relatives
On multiple occasions, Hilton concierges have been asked to find long-lost relatives and loved ones. The concierge at The Waldorf Hilton, London
was asked to help locate a friend of a grandmother of a young American woman (how's that for twisted already?). All she knew was that the woman was the landlady of a pub in North England during one of the world wars. After two days and several phone calls, the concierge located the woman and helped plan a surprise afternoon tea! Think that's adorable? These grade school sweethearts reunited after 75 years apart.
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Lovely to see you, deer
That's not a typo. One guest at Brown's Hotel in London actually requested 21 deer
be sent to his home in the Middle East to celebrate his daughter's 21st birthday. And to think, in some parts of the world people consider deer pests.
Is that a landing pad or are you just happy to see me?
One guest at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa
requested to have his helicopter land on the property. With no landing pad or permission, the concierge had to reach out to the proper authorities for approval and successfully allowed the guest to land his chopper, which if you're familiar with zoning and aviation laws, is no small feat.
Wait, this was just a bet?
"One Saturday morning I received a whispered call from a concierge at the Waldorf Hotel in New York, wondering if I could taxi over immediately at the request of a room that was having an argument about something sexual," shares Eric Marlowe Garrison, a sex counselor at William & Mary
, the famous southern college. "I told the concierge I no longer lived in Manhattan, was a plane flight away, and politely hung up. He called me back 10 minutes later and said the room was willing to fly me there to meet with them. This time, I mentioned a ridiculous fee based on my hourly rate times all the time I'd be gone. Knowing, it would be rejected, I hung up and went on planning my day. He called back ready to book the train. I agreed out of excitement for a free trip to Manhattan, and I arrived at Penn Station by dinner."
But when Eric arrived at the hotel, he was surprised to find a crowd of important-seeming Middle Eastern guests and their wives squabbling over whether or not it is possible to wear too much cologne. Not exactly the most common argument that couples have.
"Yes, it's rather common," Eric explained to the out-of-towners. That's when one of the women smiled, handed him a stack of hundred dollar bills, and thanked him for settling the dispute. He headed back to his home state soon after, proving that just about anything can be requested from a good concierge.
Edward Mady, a longtime manager of The Beverly Hills Hotel, asked the hotel to arrange a $15,000 wedding for her two pooches, including an ordained minister and catering. That team probably wished they knew these dog etiquette rules
to prepare. If that's not weird enough, another guest at the hotel actually requested the entire staff address him in dog language only
instead of English. We're not sure where the accent on the word "woof" goes, but we're assuming the word is meant to be said with a lot of exasperation if you're a hotel concierge.
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Is that a smile or just a pleased aura?
"We had guests who requested a specific room because of the effect the sun at that angle had on their aura," shares Laura Vardon, sales manager at The Eliot Hotel, with SmarterTravel.com
. Let your own home improve your aura with these 5-minute feng shui tips
Fancy a camel ride, anyone?
At the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
in Tucson, Arizona, concierge Victoria Cote was brand new on the job when a guest requested a pair of camels. Victoria told CNN
she didn't want to disappoint a guest so fresh into her tenure, and did her best to locate two perfect-seeming camels within 35 minutes. The guest went to see the camels but opted out of the purchase when he found they were each "missing" a hump.