The World's Quirkiest Concierges
There's a concierge for that.
A good concierge can book a massage or find a limo for you, but some specialized concierges take service to the next level. These one-of-a-kind pros will direct you to amazing urban art or introduce you to music you've never heard before. Ask for one of these cool concierges the next time you visit their hotels, or look for other guest attendants who can make your stay extraordinary.
The Bird Whisperer - Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino
Get some feathers in your selfie when you join the Bird Whisperer, Victor Hernandez, at the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort and Casino. This avian expert has been handling his winged friends for 27 years, and he gives daily educational talks about the 11 exotics who live on this property in Aruba. The birds include flirty Laura, a blue and gold macaw; Rolita, a green-winged macaw who loves to dance and sweet, friendly Pepe, a cockatoo. The birds don’t perform, because Hernandez doesn’t believe in tricks and training. Instead, he lovingly introduces them to visitors and lets them spend a couple of hours each day climbing the trees around the resort or walking in the garden, where they can mingle with guests and pose for pictures.
Masters of Magi - Great Wolf Lodges
After your kids enjoy the pools and slides at any of the 13 Great Wolf Lodge resorts, give them wands and wizard hats and let them battle dragons in a lively game of MagiQuest. This combination video/live-action role playing game takes them on scavenger hunt-type adventures they can do alone or with mom and dad. They may not even realize the fun encourages them to also solve problems, think critically and get some exercise as they run around to earn the coveted title of Master Magi. At each resort (there are 12 of these indoor water parks/hotels in the U.S. and one in Ontario), special concierges known as Masters of Magi are on hand to help the players and make sure no one gets stuck along the way.
Robert Nowell/Great Wolf Lodge
The Graffiti Concierge - Hotel Indigo Lower East Side
New York's Lower East Side is considered the birthplace of street art, and the Hotel Indigo's Graffiti Concierge points guests to the area's most striking, vibrant and iconic urban works. Travelers can see sculptures, pasted posters, sticker art and stencil graffiti created by locals and international artists; video projections and yarn bombings (a kind of urban art in which yarn is attached to public objects) are also coming onto the scene. Ask the concierge to tell you where to find work by Lee Quinones, Bansky, Olek and other street art masters. While their work is periodically removed by city officials, you’re sure to see something new each time you go. “Spray Can,” shown here, is a sculpture created by Mr. Brainwash that stands at the entrance to the hotel.
Hilton Indigo/Lower East Side New York
The Jazz Cat - JAZZ at KITANO
One of the best spots for jazz in New York City is JAZZ at KITANO, an intimate supper club where Gino Moratti serves as the resident Jazz Cat. Moratti, a pianist and saxophonist, draws on his extensive background in classical and jazz music to direct the hotel’s musical program. Bookings often feature world-class performers, including Marlene Verplanck, Fred Hirsh and Frank Kimbrough. Guests praise Moratti for his hospitality and attention to their needs as much as for his passion in presenting the best music.
The Coffee Curator - Costa Rica Marriott San Jose
Concierge Lorelli Chavez doesn’t just curate the coffees from the 30-acre coffee plantation at the Costa Rica Marriott San Jose, and she doesn't merely explain how the beans are harvested and processed. She also teaches guests how to swirl the foam in their cups into ornamental designs, so you can sip a latte with a flowery flourish or a cappuccino topped with a frothy bear or monkey. Costa Rica is internationally known for coffee, Chavez says. “We are producers; however not everyone knows what good coffee is. I love to have that one-on-one contact with the guests and bring them joy and satisfaction though my art.”
The Running Concierge - West La Paloma Resort & Spa Tucson
Grab your running kicks and head out for a healthy jog with Westin La Paloma’s Running Concierge, Ashley Rae. She is one of two concierges at this resort in the foothills of Arizona’s Santa Catalina Mountains. On the property, these concierges offer a 1.5 mile run through the grounds, where you'll drink in the beautiful mountain scenery and pass through a serenity garden ornamented with stone and metal sculptures and lots of flowering plants, cacti and succulents to attract the local butterflies and hummingbirds. If you want more, follow the concierges off property for a 3-mile run that takes you into a quiet neighborhood. If you’re still going strong, add another 2 miles to your jaunt and continue onto scenic Campbell Trailhead. It offers “a breathtaking view through dawn or dusk and sits on the border of the Coronado National Forest with unobstructed views of Pima Canyon and Tucson,” says Rae.
Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa
The Retail Therapist - Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino
You don't have to shop till you drop. The Retail Therapist at this Puerto Rico property helps save you time and energy by sharing insights on the best buys around. Plan a visit to the Mall of San Juan, where you'll find Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and other fine stores. This concierge can also direct you to the best local shops and provide a customized itinerary, shopping maps and even a curated list of artisanal markets.
One tip to get you started: the therapist recommends making the 45-minute drive from San Juan to Puerto Rico Premium Outlets, in Barceloneta, where you’ll find “shocking discounted prices provided on stores such as Michael Kors, Armani Exchange, Coach and many more. Wear comfortable shoes.”
The Musical Ambassador - Aria Hotel Budapest
You'll hear one-of-kind playlists when you stay at Aria Hotel Budapest, thanks to Musical Ambassador Kornel Magyar. You might catch the strains of Franz Liszt, or an Austro-Hungarian folk tune, or the latest hip hop release, depending on what part of the hotel you’re in. Magyar, a multilingual Hungarian who also teaches world music at the Indonesian Embassy of Budapest, says “overseas guests are often fascinated with the 'old-fashioned atmosphere of the opera.'" You can reserve tickets to performances, or for tours of the opera building, through the hotel’s concierge service. Other typical requests, he adds, are for “Hungarian jazz, and Gypsy jazz in particular is something (guests) discover in the clubs of Budapest with a true excitement.”
Aria Hotel Budapest