When planning any hotel stay there are certain things you just expect -- clean rooms that are ready when you check-in and a competent staff who can provide the basic needs. And then there are those little extras that make a hotel stand out in your mind -- fleece bathrobes, complimentary wine and cheese delivered nightly right to your room or even a simple mint on the pillow.
But some hotels are really, truly thinking outside the box, creating energy and interest far beyond the usual elements of what a hotel should provide. These are what have us telling anyone and everyone who will listen about the "amazing hotel" we just stayed in. I'm talking private butlers to draw you a bath, latte art consultants or jogging concierges who will recommend the most scenic routes in town.
Here are some of my favorite quirky hotel jobs I've come across in my many, many hotel stays as a travel writer.
Director of Romance: The Director of Romance at the impeccable Rosewood London strays away from cookie cutter weddings and brings to life over-the-top romantic ideas for couples at this near-perfect hotel; plus it's the only one with its own zip code!
Coffee Curator: Set on a 30-acre coffee plantation, Costa Rica Marriott San Jose features an on-site Coffee Curator who hosts latte design classes - from monkeys to flowers - and provides insight on coffee harvesting.
Community Projects Manager: Hilton San Francisco Union Square's Community Projects Manager supervises the hotel's award-winning community involvement programs, finding the perfect match for extra food, materials, and services for those in need in the community. This ensures that excess hotel supplies never go to waste.
Run Concierge: The Westin Austin Downtown employs a dedicated run concierge -- someone who leads group runs and advises guests on the best places to jog based on difficulty and ideal scenic routes.
Aromatherapy Alchemist: The professional alchemist at Well & Being at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess helps guests create their own customized essential oil blends from more than 10,000 varieties, which can be used for Well & Being Spa treatments and combined with Shea butter, body lotion, body oil or exfoliating scrubs as a take-home gift.
Professional Hydrating Doctors: At Hilton West Palm Beach grab your sunglasses, set your playlist to Billy Joel's "Big Shot," pull up a lawn chair and allow these meals created by the "PHD team" aka "Professional Hydrating Doctors" to help hangovers fade after a day of sipping Prohibition-style craft cocktails under the Florida sunshine.
Naturalist: The Weekapaug Inn, a quaint and charming 27-guestroom property in coastal Weekapaug, Rhode Island, has an on staff Naturalist, Mark Bullinger. Mark is an expert of the Weekapaug area and offers complimentary daily classes for guests including beach walks, beach stone jewelry workshops and birding by van. New this spring, Mark will be launching a nature-inspired Note Card Workshop.
Bath Butler: At the Skaneateles-based Mirbeau Inn & Spa, guests have access to an on-site Bath Butler that is available to draw the perfect bath right in your room utilizing the ZENTS' body care product of choice.