QCOSTARICA TRAVEL – Most nicer hotels have a concierge, a doorman, bellmen, and the like designed to help improve the guest experience.
But a lot of properties, like the Marriott San Jose, are taking it to the next level these days, adding quirky, over-the-top positions like a coffee curator.
Set on a 30-acre coffee plantation, the Costa Rica Marriott San Jose, San José, Costa Rica, named by Condé Nast as one of the best hotels in Central America, features its own on-site coffee curator, who not only provides insight on how local coffee beans are harvested, but also hosts latte design classes in which you can learn to fashion your foam into clever shapes like monkeys and flowers just like the baristas at those fancy coffeehouses.
Here are a handful of other examples:
Aqua Butler — Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Guests of the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman have the pleasure of luxuriating on one of the hotel’s relaxing aqua beds or aqua lounges, which float in the surf just off Seven Mile Beach. They can also enjoy the services of a dedicated aqua butler, whose job is to deliver them everything from cocktails to sunscreen to sunglasses so they never have to leave their watery respite.
Duckmaster — The Peabody, Memphis, Tennessee
Sporting a spiffy red uniform festooned with gold braids, the staffer deemed the duckmaster at this landmark hotel is charged with taking care of the property’s resident ducks. Twice daily, in a tradition that dates back some 80 years, the duckmaster marches the flock from their $200,000 rooftop coop, down the elevator to the first floor, and then across a red carpet to a lobby fountain, where they paddle around for several hours until it’s time to head back up to their lofty aerie. The current title holder, Anthony Petrina, is only the fifth duckmaster in the Peabody’s history.
Musical Director — Aria Hotel, Budapest, Hungary
Budapest has a rich musical heritage and culture, and Kornél Magyar, the current musical director at this five-star property on the Pest side of the Danube, is on hand to make sure guests hit all the right notes on that front. Not only will he arrange experiences for them at neighboring venues (from acquiring tickets to arranging transportation to making dinner reservations before or after the show), he also curates the hotel’s musical library. Even the Aria’s rooms are inspired around themes like opera, classical, and jazz.
Fairy Godmother — Barnsley Resort, Adairsville, Georgia
Denise Webb, the woman holding the title of fairy godmother at this lush 1,400-acre retreat just outside of Atlanta, was given the moniker—and corresponding crystal-encrusted wand—more than 15 years ago by none other than a Bavarian prince, who once owned the property. Her duties include everything from setting the scene for a perfect proposal (like preparing a romantic candlelit dinner in the secluded bamboo garden) to sneaking champagne and caramels into a guest’s villa for a special birthday treat. She even takes it upon herself to pamper visiting pooches.
Sources: Marriott.com; Examiner.com