Fish Valet? Hot Cocoa Butler? Weird & Wacky Hotel Jobs
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
Do these pups look happy?
As the hotel industry changes, so do positions, roles and titles. There’s the traditional valet, bellman, front desk attendant, concierge, housekeeper, chef and operations roles.
But the effort to offer new guest experiences and services – especially in the luxury sector – is leading hotels to recruit for offbeat positions such as a fish valet, canine surf instructor, pigeon chaser and hot cocoa butler. Say what?
Hotels Magazine says these quirky positions help hotels execute their goals of creating memorable guest experiences while also showcasing the culture, DNA and, unique interests of a property.
Here’s a sampling of weird & wacky hotel positions:
The vibe manager is a critical role at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando in Florida, as the employee works from a music catalogue consisting of more than a million songs to select and program all music needs on site including the state-of-the-art underwater sound system at the resort’s beach pool.
Guests at the Baccarat Hotel New York have an opportunity to meet one of three crystal and glass attendants. That’s right – expert individuals tasked with the care of the hotel’s massive collection of crystal, a position that requires the attendants to know each of the 40 types of stemware, dozens of designs and their value.
Barbecue is big in Georgia, so the Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, employs a barbecue butler. The butler assists guests in selecting their meats, sauces and smoking woods, then prepares the meal personally at the guest’s cottage.
The Montage Laguna Beach in California employs a licensed falconer to assist in controlling “pest birds” that naturally feed and nest on the property. Owls and hawks are also trained by the falconer to chase away problem birds, and he is also available to answer questions from guests about his role in caring and training them.
The Four Seasons Resort in Lanai, Hawaii, employs a sunglass doctor who cleans, maintains and repairs dings and scratches averaging approximately 80 pairs of glasses daily. Loaners are also available.
The Loews Coronado Bay Resort, a San Diego, California, property known for its surfing culture, employs a canine surfing instructor to help teach your dog to ride a human-sized surf board. Taking pet-friendly services to the next level, the resort’s “Su’RUFF Camp” is located at a local dog beach.
The Viceroy Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, sends a soap concierge to guest rooms after check-in to help guests to select from a variety of organic, handcrafted, local soaps formulated to Mayan traditions. The most popular? Cinnamon in the winter, melon in the spring and lime, lemon and chocolate year-round.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.