Matt Canning, beer concierge at the Hotel Vermont in Burlington, helps guests gain access to the region’s exclusive craft beer scene. He keeps tabs on the rotating tap lines of local watering holes, and befriends bar managers and beer buyers. The majority of guests want Canning to score a case of the elusive Alchemist’s Heady Topper, rated the number one beer in the world by www.beeradvocate.com. Only four packs of cans are delivered to retailers in Burlington on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and are sold out in a matter of hours. “It’s my personal goal to see that no inquiring guests leave Hotel Vermont without Heady Topper,” Canning says. “Sometimes, this requires clandestine maneuvers.”
Welcome to the world of today’s specialized hotel concierge. Old-school concierges are fine for handing out maps and making restaurant reservations. But today more and more luxury hotels are offering niche specialists. There are romance and honeymoon concierges, sleep concierges (with pillow selections), recovery concierges (with hangover help), fragrance concierges (who bring personalized perfumes and colognes to your room), running concierges, ski and golf butlers, bath and fireplace butlers — and more.
Book the Presidential Suite at the Dream Downtown hotel in New York and the in-house sneaker concierge will come to your room with catalogs of the rarest and most limited edition sneakers in the world, and then work his network to get whatever kicks you’ve selected. You can also meet with the hotel’s resident DJ sommelier. During a private, one-hour consultation, the song wizard will curate a personalized playlist and deliver a signature USB.
Guests at the Montage Deer Valley, Utah, have access to their constellation concierge. “We have several concierge team members who have worked with the Celestron Skyscout instruments for several years and are comfortable with the technology,” says Dan Howard, director of public relations. The star experts take guests on a nighttime tour of the sky, pointing out constellations and major planets, and telling stories about their history and characteristics.
The barbeque butler at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, in Greensboro, Ga., provides lessons on selecting the best woods and cuts of meat for perfect grilling. The grill master then prepares a made-to-order, private cookout for you. At the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans, the recovery concierge helps you out after a night on the town. The hangover specialist will bring you a glass of Cure Royal (Kir Royal) along with other hangover remedies. They also have a crayfish concierge who teaches guests how to cook, peel, and eat the Louisiana specialty.
Guests staying at the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel in Doonbeg, Ireland, are
often of Irish descent and interested in learning about their ancestry while visiting the area. The resort has two genealogy concierges, local genealogists who are well-trained in tracing Irish ancestry. Guests are encouraged to contact the specialists in advance so that they can research your roots and compile a report that’s presented when you arrive. They will also help coordinate and conduct tours to villages where your ancestors once lived, or relatives may still be living.
But our all-time favorite specialty concierge is right here in Boston at the chic XV Beacon boutique hotel. Heidi, a Bernese Mountain Dog, is the hotel’s canine concierge. She greets dogs and their two-legged companions as they receive a “Paws on Arrival” kit, including a list of pet-friendly establishments and walking routes. Heidi’s arriving furry friends also get a plate of peanut butter treats and can get special dog beds, hotel-made dog biscuits, and turn-down service that includes fresh bottled water. This special canine concierge is available for play too. Just head to the roof deck where Heidi often hangs out.
DIANE BAIR AND PAMELa WRIGHTDiane Bair and Pamela Wright can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Correction: Because of an editing error, a caption with this story misidentified a Boston hotel with a pet concierge.