At the B Historic hotel in Savannah, the hotel manager doubles as a "ghost bouncer," orchestrating ghost tours and haunted pub crawls for guests. Hilton Los Cabos employs a popsicle concierge to distribute icy treats and towels by the pool. And The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans not only has a snowball sommelier on its payroll, but also a crawfish concierge and an oyster butler. Yet, believe it or not, these cool hotel jobs aren't even the kookiest and most unconventional we've encountered. Read on to discover 13 of the most surprising gigs in the hotel industry. Who knows, maybe this will inspire you to apply!
1. The Gig: Rummelier
The Deal: When you’re a high-end Caribbean resort, your rum program had better be on point. So it’s little wonder that Malliouhana, an Auberge Resort, in Anguilla has had local rum expert Albert Lake onboard since the resort opened in 1984. He began to emphatically develop the resort’s rum offerings, traveling throughout Caribbean and Latin and South America to discover exotic and rare rums to bring to the resort. Today, Malliouhana’s Sunset Lounge has more than 50 rums on offer — one of the largest assortments in the Caribbean — including hand-casked rum from Trinidad & Tobago and 23-year-old Guatemalan rum made with virgin sugar-cane honey.
2. The Gig: Naturalist
The Deal: Mohonk Mountain House is a magnificent Victorian-era lodge that sits on a pristine mountain lake in upstate New York. Not only does the Hudson Valley nature retreat offer 85 miles of hiking trails and activities like tomahawk-throwing and archery, it also has an on-site naturalist to ensure that guests can make the most of the idyllic setting. When asked if he had any especially fond memories from his decade in the role, Michael Ridolfo responded, “Fun stories? Where do I start? Standing in a circle with 20 guests as a sharp-shinned hawk flew by and brushed the arm of a guest, tracking two coyotes as they followed a deer, witnessing the release of two rehabilitated Peregrine falcons from Skytop [a stone mountaintop tower on the property], snowshoeing by moonlight in -5 degrees, lying on the athletic field with about 30 guests watching meteorites streak overhead followed by the International Space Station…” But it’s not the once-in-a-lifetime natural events that thrill Ridolfo the most: “One of my great joys is to see the transformation in an urban guest’s demeanor after a simple stroll through the woods, breathing in the clean air, smelling the forest plants, observing the dance of the animals, and hearing the songs of birds — and getting the feeling that they’ve returned home.”
3. The Gig: Duckmaster
The Deal: You’d think that being where Elvis had his senior prom would be the Peabody Memphis‘s big claim to fame. But the grand ol’ luxury property is probably even more famous for its twice-a-day duck parade. Overseen by Memphis native Anthony Petrina, the Peabody Duck March is a quirky tradition that dates back to the 1930s in which a group of trained ducks are paraded through the lobby to the large marble fountain.
4. The Gig: Running Concierge
The Deal: Pool-lounging and beachside margaritas are undoubtedly a big part of a trip to Cabo, but visitors who also want to factor in some fitness might do well at the luxurious Esperanza, An Auberge Resort, which has an on-staff “running concierge.” Seasoned runner (and one-time Ironman competitor) Barbie Alvarez leads guests on runs throughout the property and beyond, as well as teaches appropriate pre- and post-run stretches, provides training tips for outdoor and treadmill running, and suggests local routes for runners ready to go out on their own. She even supplies loaner items to guests who didn’t think to pack running gear.
5. The Gig: Marine Biologist
The Deal: As with most Maldives resorts, the best activities at One&Only Reethi Rah are in — and under — the water. “Everything is so different under the surface,” says the resort’s resident Marine Biologist, native Australian Kylie Merritt. “The weightlessness, the ability to hover over big drop-offs, the close contact with both small and big underwater creatures. Every dive is extraordinary.” She leads One&Only Reethi Rah’s diving and snorkeling expeditions, and says that one of the most popular reefs among guests is nearby Turtle Reef. “Just a 25-minute dhoni [a Maldivian sailboat] ride from the resort, Turtle Reef is teeming with fish and corals, and is also one of the best reefs in the Maldives for snorkeling with the critically endangered Hawksbill turtles.” Merritt also helms One&Only’s , which aims to protect and develop surrounding coral.
6. The Gig: Beer Concierge
The Deal: San Diego’s craft-beer scene has blown up over the past few years, so much so that created a “beer concierge” position in 2015. The beer concierge suggests beer and food pairings, and helps brew-happy guests navigate the 100-plus local breweries by making recommendations, even providing a brewery map.
7. The Gig: Guacamologist
The Deal: Afternoon snack receptions and wine happy hours are great hotel perks, but The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas kicks it up a notch with an in-house guacamole-maker. Every evening, the Guacamologist™ rolls into the lobby with a cart loaded with all the fixins’ for killer guac — avocados, jalapeños, Roma tomatoes, red onions, chopped cilantro, sour cream, roasted garlic, salt, pepper, and limes — which he mixes on the spot and serves with warm, freshly fried tortilla chips, as well as mini margaritas and tequila samples from the hotel’s new Tequila Vault. (Hotels everywhere, take note: hotel “tequila vaults” should definitely be a thing).
7. The Gig: Aloeologist
The Deal: The Ritz-Carlton South Beach is known for its direct beach access, beautiful beach-facing infinity pool, and superb service. The resort has combined these assets to launch #AprèsBeach, an afternoon event during which a hotel Aloeologist offers guests aloe-based drinks, as well as a topical “After Sun Elixir,” a handmade blend of calming aloe gel and lavender. The Aloeologist applies the soothing mixture to guests’ skin and lets it soak in for 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
8. The Gig: Stargazing Guide
The Deal: Built into the cliffs of Big Sur, the Post Ranch Inn is one of the most beautiful hotels in the United States — if not the entire world. The 39-room eco-resort offers abundant free amenities that take advantage of the gorgeous natural surroundings, such as garden tours, escorted nature hikes — and stargazing on clear nights. The amateur astronomer shares his knowledge of the night sky and shows guests how to use the powerful celestial telescope (when they’re not sipping on a glass of California cabernet, that is).
9. The Gig: Archivist
The Deal: Few hotels anywhere in the world rival The Waldorf Astoria New York‘s history and charm. The tallest and largest hotel in the world when it was built in 1931, the Waldorf is an Art Deco masterpiece that has hosted every President since FDR. Resident archivist Deidre Dinnigan collects and cares for hundreds of hotel records and historical objects — museum-worthy china and silverware, photographs of famous guests (including one-time Waldorf resident Marilyn Monroe), and more — that tell the hotel’s dazzling backstory.
10. The Gig: Beekeeper
The Deal: Miraval Resort, a peaceful all-inclusive wellness resort in southern Arizona’s Santa Catalina Mountains, installed 20 beehives last summer. A few months later, local wine and honey expert Noel Patterson began leading a few beekeeping sessions to guests. By November, he had left his job as a wine salesman to be Miraval’s resident beekeeper. Today, Patterson teaches three classes on bees, honey, and wine, including a field workshop where beesuit-donning guests get to actually go into the hives (which have a population of up to 80,000 bees). “Guests have the opportunity to learn how bees live, why they are so important to our food system, and to taste fresh honey right out of the hive.”
When he’s not teaching, Patterson takes care of the bees and hives. “We are very close to out first harvest, which I expect to happen next week. This first-year harvest will be small, but our goal is to use the honey in as many different ways as we can. We plan to use it in our culinary programs and in spa treatments, and will experiment with making beauty products, like a body salve, from the wax. I would also like to experiment with making jun, a kombucha-like beverage that uses honey for the fermentation rather than sugar. Part of the fun is that this is a young program, and we will have the opportunity to evolve and explore what we can do with the various gifts of the hive. The possibilities are almost limitless.”
11. The Gig: Fragrance Butler
The Deal: Thanks to TSA’s strict liquid restrictions, air travelers often have to leave their beloved signature scents at home. Enter: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts’s 24-hour Fragrance Butlers, who, upon the press of a button, will bring a silver tray line with 10 in-demand, designer fragrances — five perfumes and five colognes — to guests’ doors. Fragrance selections vary from property to property; each Fragrance Menu is special to its Rosewood location. For example, at the Carlyle in New York, the perfume options include Chanel Chance and Tom Ford Black Orchid, two sweet-but-super-sexy florals that are borderline brooding, while Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas offers the uber-feminine Prada Candy and the powdery Givenchy Dahlia Noir. The fragrance tray at Rosewood Sand Hill in California includes the light and airy Guerlain L’Instant de Guerlain for women and the bergamot-based Creed Citrus Bigarrade for men.
12. The Gig: Director of Flora and Fauna
The Deal: Groundkeeping is a garden-variety hotel job, but Trisha Shirey at Lake Austin Spa Resort really takes the role to the next level. She has been growing organic flowers, herbs, and vegetables for more than 30 years at the Hill Country wellness retreat, where she oversees the eight-person garden staff, leads garden tours, and teaches classes on crafting, aromatherapy, and making herbals oils and vinegars. “We have herbs of all sorts — including more than 30 different basils this summer alone — and we encourage guests to cut them to incorporate into their home cooking and into their own gardens. Mint is very easy to grow from cuttings and we have some flavorful varieties: Kentucky Colonel, Chocolate Mint, Double Mint and more. Guests may also collect seeds from our gardens — like poppy seeds, larkspur, cerinthe and nigella — to plant at home.”
Shirley’s gardens — sanctuaries for birds and butterflies — grow many of the flowers used for the hotel’s indoor arrangements (“We make about 100 arrangements a week, and are using zinnias, Gomphrena, basil flowers, Lion’s ears, and blooms from parsley, artichokes, cardoon, and fennel in our current flower designs”), as well as edible flowers, microgreens, and vegetables for the on-site restaurant. “The chefs develop specials based on what we are harvesting. We just harvested potatoes and they will be incorporating those into the menu, as well as squash, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and okra.” Many of the herbs that Trisha cultivates — including the resort’s signature lavender — are used in Lake Austin’s spa treatments.
13. The Gig: Surf Ambassador
The Deal: Located right across the street from Huntington Beach, the Shorebreak Hotel has a laid-back, surf-inspired atmosphere. Beach toys and equipment, surfboards, and bicycles are available for rent in the lobby (which features surf-related art and photography), but the hotel also has a crew of “surf ambassadors” who can recommend surf spots and provide expert insight into the area’s infamous surf culture.
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