Butler Services at Resorts
By Teresa Plowright, About.com
"The Butler Did it": it's a classic line from the world of murder mysteries, and for most of us, our closest encounter with a butler has been in a whodunnit or a Victorian costume drama.
But now a spate of resorts are offering butler services, which leads one to wonder: what exactly will the butler do?
Quite a lot, it seems.
Take, for example, the 24-hour Butler Service available at the luxury Las Casitas Village at the El Conquistador Resort1 in Puerto Rico - a noteable place for families, by the way, because it has its own waterpark. Here's a sampling of what the butler can do for you:
make sure your suite is ready with the details you want
greet guests on arrival, and register guests in-room
unpack luggage (and pack it again, for departure)
concierge-type services: arrange for tours, spa appointments, golf, transportation
special arrangements such as birthday celebrations
help with check-out, escort guests to lobby, look for anything left behind in the suite
The butlers are trained by the Guild of Professional English Butlers, so we can expect a veddy good standard indeed and probably an excellent cup of tea.
Who gets the butler?
Butler service is typically available as part of an elite level of service at a resort. Sometimes, this elite level is only available at an exclusive luxury area within the larger resort. At the "El Con" resort above, butler service is available only to guests at the Las Casitas Village, who get a range of other niceties too.
Meanwhile, at the all-inclusive Hotel Marina El Cid2 resort on the Mayan Riviera, butler service isn't tied to elite accommodation, but rather is part of a premium Platinum service that adds perks onto the usual all-inclusive array of food, drinks, and play at an AI beach resort.
Reportedly guests sometimes feel awkward about having the butler unpack their clothes on arrival, but by departure time have gotten very comfortable with the whole butler thing.
Over on the Caribbean island of Jamaica and also in Turks and Caicos, the popular Beaches3 brand of family all-inclusive resorts has Butler4 service, too, available only at highest level of suites. Again, training is provided by the The Guild of Professional English Butlers (who must be seeing an excellent growth curve of late.) .
Where Else to Find Butlers
While their appearance at sun'n'sea resorts is a novelty, butlers can also be found at other vacation spots: at London hotels, for example, where they can nicely fulfill a visitor's fantasy of English upper-class life. Less expectedly, butlers can also be found on cruises, in Las Vegas.... see a range of places with butler services5.
Keep in mind, however, that not all butlers are equal. At one end of the spectrum, a family may have its own exclusive butler, available 24/7: as at the El Conquistador, above, where "Each butler’s sole responsibility is ensuring the satisfaction of the guest to whom he or she is assigned throughout their stay." At the other end of the spectrum, the term "butler" is used rather loosely; for example, there might be a "pillow butler" or a "bath butler"6 who performs a specialty-service role for all hotel guests in general.
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