You know you can ask the concierge to arrange a jeep tour or recommend a local restaurant. But did you know they’ll also hunt down the perfect souvenir or replace those dress slacks you forgot to pack while you lounge by the pool?
Most concierges want to do whatever it takes to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable. The best part is that the concierge's time and expertise is usually complimentary, though you'll of course be charged for items and services purchased on your behalf. Gratuities aren't mandatory but are always appreciated (a simple thank you in person or a sincere email when you return home go a long way, too).
Here, some surprising requests that you can ask of your concierge:
Do your shopping: Forget your dress slacks? Let the concierge know where you prefer to shop and the specifics (brand, size, and color), and he or she can purchase and deliver a replacement. He can also refill prescriptions or locate that bottle of wine you want to bring home. Of course, you’ll have to pay for the item and any courier fees.
Remedy a difficult situation: You know how it is sometimes -- if something can go wrong, it will. The concierge might be able to solve the problem. For example, Pooja Sharma, who provides Club guests concierge services at Sheraton Gateway Hotel Toronto, once drove to a store to get the bulky security tag off a newly purchased jacket for a guest who didn't have time to make the trip himself before catching his flight.
Stock the room with your favorite snacks: Does your spouse love Goldfish crackers? The concierge can make sure she never runs out. Or, would your boyfriend prefer fresh vegetable plate to chips? That can be arranged, too. Special treats, like chocolate-covered strawberries, can also be brought in.
Play a prank: We all have a prankster friend, coworker, or family member. Next time you travel together, one-up them with the concierge’s help. Alexandra Dragomir at Le Centre Sheraton Montreal says one guest asked her to “short sheet” another’s bed, who in turn asked her to prank call the prankster. Both guests had a good laugh and memorable time.
Recommend local services of all kinds: Yes, we all know to g to the concierge for food and sightseeing tips. But suppose your car develops a clanking sound that needs to be checked before your drive home. Where do you find a reputable mechanic in an unfamiliar city? Or, suppose you crack a tooth. Do you want to spend your vacation researching dentists and calling for appointments? Let the concierge handle it.
Locate that elusive something: Fifteen years ago, you tasted the best wildflower honey ever, but now you can’t find it anywhere. Or, maybe, you promised to bring your daughter a book about wildebeests and have come up empty handed. Don’t worry; if it’s out there, your concierge will be able to find it for you.
Write a personalized note: You can take advantage of concierge services without actually staying at a hotel -- if someone you know is. For example, a spouse, offspring, or friend might check in for an event like a sales meeting or marathon. The concierge can send over a good luck or congratulatory note on your behalf.
Make holiday memories: Room decorations and special treats aren't just for proposals or romantic retreats. If you're timing your vacation to a holiday, concierges can help you get into a festive spirit. At the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, for example, the Easter Bunny has delivered goody-packed baskets to vacationing kids with the help of the concierge.
Create the ultimate romantic retreat: You might think you're familiar with this concierge service, but flowers and candles are just the beginning. Concierges can get much more creative in the romance department, from elaborate scavenger hunts to a live violinist during a private dinner.