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AS A professional concierge, Preston Forsyth is used to getting wild requests from the world’s elite, reported news.
Like the time a client requested a native Australian reptile exhibition be set up in his room, for example.
Or the guest who demanded a pair of cashmere socks be flown out from an exclusive Parisian boutique.
Or the one who ordered a giant cardboard cut-out of Sigourney Weaver from her movie Alien holding a cat, to be set up in his room.
Mr Forsyth is one of Australia’s most sought-after concierges and has worked at the prestigious Crown Towers Melbourne for the past three years.
He started his career at the Hyatt Regency Coolum resort on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast before heading to the Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel in Canada.
After a stint working for Apple in London, Mr Forsyth returned to Australia and the luxury hotel industry, and it’s safe to say he has a wealth of experience when it comes to catering to the whims of the world’s rich and famous.
“The first thing any good concierge does is get to know their guest — they spend a long time getting to know them prior to their arrival, with emails and phone calls to find out their expectations for their stay and what they would like to experience,” he said.
“They take their vast knowledge of the city and hotel and create the best, most luxurious experience. It’s all about those two things: knowing the guest and knowing the city — and bringing them together.”
Mr Forsyth said a concierge’s role was to organise anything a guest needed to make their stay more comfortable and enjoyable.
“The main things concierges organise is luxury transfers to and from the hotel and airport or off-site to wineries or other destinations, via vehicles, boats or helicopters,” he said.
“We have excellent connections with the best hotels in the city and can get guests the best table in the house.
“We also set up rooms for guests if there’s a special occasion, such as proposals, wedding anniversaries or birthdays. We set everything up from champagne and roses to filling the room with 1000 balloons — we do the lot.”
But he said there were a few requests that he would never forget.
“One of the funniest ones happened recently — a guest wanted a large printed-out photo of Sigourney Weaver from Alien holding a cat to be set up prior to arrival. I’m not sure what the joke was and it was a very specific request but it was funny to facilitate it,” he said.
“Another guest who had a very special pair of cashmere socks that he loved — he got them from a little boutique in Paris and wanted another pair.
“None of us spoke French so we connected with colleagues in the hotel industry in France who went to the store on our behalf, purchased a pair and sent them to us and we had them here within four days.”
He said concierges sometimes had to come up with compromises for guests with difficult demands.
“Another guest loved native Australian wildlife and wanted a reptile exhibit set up in his room. We couldn’t facilitate that but we organised a personal zoo tour where he got all the information he could ever want about reptiles and even got to hold some of the non-venomous ones,” he said.
“Not so long ago a guest wanted to land an airbus at Essendon airport — they were about to fly and realised they couldn’t land there because it was too large. We worked quickly and came up with a solution, getting clearance to land at Tullamarine and getting access for vehicles to get on the tarmac and greet the guests — we had to think out of the box for that one.”
Mr Forsyth said an outgoing personality was a must for someone in his line of work.
“You’re speaking with guests all day so you have to be a people person, and you have to be passionate about the city and country you live in and be active.
“You need very fine attention to detail and a passion for high levels of service.”
Read more at news.com.au
show source http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/careers/helicopter-trips-parisian-cashmere-socks-concierge-dishes-on-bizarre-demands-of-highflying-clients/news-story/edfe51c82f1495d448e71a8b20e61beb