Here goes with some of the weird Concierge requests I’ve received in my working life!
Working at the Concierge Desk, there is never a dull day! There is always something new, something unheard of that a guest wants to get done. And this is what makes the job so dynamic and interesting.
When you’re staying in a hotel, where do you go when you need a restaurant recommendation, a flight ticket rebooking, a package to be mailed, something to be delivered?
Of course, none other than the original “one-stop-shop,” the Concierge Desk!
Guests and hotel employees alike know that when you don’t know the answer, you can always “Ask the Concierge!”
We may not know everything, but our years of experience allows us to get to the answer faster, using our connections and acquired speedy and comprehensive research abilities. As we always say, impossible only takes a bit more time.
And we just never know what weird requests or questions we are going to get on any given day! Sometimes you will get some very weird Concierge requests!
I’ve had my share of funny, unusual, sometimes heartwarming, often weird Concierge requests coming from guests in my years working in 5-star hotels. But, no matter how crazy the request seems, you always need to keep a straight face and maintain your professionalism. After a while, nothing fazes you anymore!
So I’m sharing with you some of the most unusual and weird Concierge requests that I have received in my career as a Concierge.
Weird Concierge Request 1: The couple asking me to direct them to the nearest live sex show.
As a new employee fresh out of college, this was one request that totally threw me off!
It was a slow afternoon at the counter when this Caucasian couple approached me and I found out they were in the country for their honeymoon. It didn’t really surprise me since they were all over each other!
However, they then mentioned that they saw online that our country had live sex shows, and asked me to locate a place where they could go and watch one!
Now, we all know hoteliers should always try to accommodate guest requests but we should also tread carefully when it can be considered illegal, immoral or can cause harm to the guest or to the property. So I just directed them to the nearest red-light district to the hotel and hoped they found what they were looking for!
Weird Concierge Requests 2: The Reunion
There was a Japanese guest who approached me one morning with a name and a vague address. He wanted me to locate a person he hoped to meet again, after 20 years. Apparently, the guest used to live here in the Philippines and was taken in by a doctor whom he lost touch with after returning to Japan.
With only a name and the location where the doctor used to live, he asked if I could try to find him so that they could meet and he could say thank you.
This was a time when there was still no Facebook and social media sites were not yet as established as they are now.
But with only Google and several phone calls, I was able to trace his hero doctor and after 20 years, the two of them were happily reunited!
Weird Concierge Requests 3: The Language Barrier Guests
One of the challenges of working in a 5-star hotel is having to deal with communication issues that stem from speaking different languages and having different accents.
There are guests who ask for “lechon” but you direct to a technological part of the mall because you heard “electron.”
Guests who ask for “powpy” and who you have to play charades with for several minutes because you can’t understand what they are saying. Until they mention it’s “where you eat blekpas” and you realize they are asking where the “buffet” is.
Or, guests who ask for toilet paper in their own language. And then have to act out wiping their behind, in the lobby, for you to get what they’re asking for.
Eventually, you get really good at figuring out what guests are asking for, by reading their body language, gestures and by using context clues.
But every now and then, there are still those that stump you and make you scratch your head!
Weird Concierge Requests 5: The “What is money really? It’s just paper” type of guests
Every now and then we come across guests who seem to have unlimited money and no problem using it. For me these include:
A guest who tipped a hundred dollars for ordering flowers from the flower shop, which was just a few steps away from the Concierge desk.
A guest who gave a Php300 ‘errand fee’ for us to buy a Php70 bottle of gin.
The guest who handed out Php1000 bills to all the staff he saw in the lobby.
We can only wish we had these guests every day!
Weird Concierge Requests 5: The kidney transplant guest.
There was one guest who always came by the Concierge Desk after breakfast to chat. I found out he was undergoing dialysis at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and that he was waiting on a kidney transplant.
He was staying by himself in the hotel since his family would only be coming to the country once his transplant was scheduled.
For the next few months, I became his adopted family. I helped him by scheduling his dialysis appointments, making transportation arrangements and any other requests he had since, at that point, he was already very weak.
Happily, his transplant was a success and I got to meet his family who were all very thankful for how I had taken care of their father.
Before he left and went back to the US, he left a shakily-handwritten card thanking me for taking care of him when his family couldn’t.
It’s times like these that remind me why I love working as a hotelier!
Being a Concierge is indeed a challenging role that tests your resourcefulness and creativity. But, ultimately, it is also very fulfilling when you are able to solve problems and make life easier for the guests!
Have you ever encountered any unusual or unforgettable guest requests? What weird Concierge requests have you had or heard about? Share it with us in the comments!
Check out The Concierge: A Modern Day Hero for more stories