October 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts October 2002 Current Issue
October 2002
Short Cuts:The New Concierge

image Need last-minute reservations at the hottest restaurant in town? Dry-cleaning services at midnight? An unusual gift for that special someone? Call the concierge. But if you need something really unusual like a bedtime story or fresh catnip for Fluffy better hope a specialty concierge is on hand.

At the 209-room Benjamin Hotel in New York City (212-715-2500;, Sleep Concierge Eileen McGill helps guests get a good night’s rest. She picks the perfect pillow, arranges in-room massages and deliveries of warm milk and cookies, and more. “I’ve done a lot of reading on sleep,” she says. “It’s sort of been a hobby of mine.”

At the 270-room W New YorkUnion Square (212-253-9119;, extra pampering goes to dogs and cats traveling with guests. The Pet Concierge will arrange to have dogs walked, find a pet sitter or set up a spa appointment for the critter; welcome bags include a small toy, a “wildlife habitat” door sign, assorted treats and clean-up bags.

When the Ritz-Carlton at the Grand Lakes Resort in Orlando (407-529-2255) opens in 2003, it will be staffed with a Citrus Concierge knowledgeable in the health benefits of all types of citrus juices especially those found in the Sunshine State. At check-in, guests will be greeted with an empty glass that quickly will be filled with their selection.

Can a concierge telecommute? The answer is yes at the Westin Santa Clara (408-986-0700; in California, where Virtual Concierge Anna Morris answers questions by videoconference from her home office. Her image appears on a screen behind the lobby’s concierge desk; a hotel desk bell can be used to summon her.


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