Hotel Monaco Concierge Saves the Day

Hotel Monaco Concerige

I pride myself on being a good packer. I should be–I pack and unpack a suitcase about twice a week. This month alone, I’ve logged 26 days (out of 31) on the road. So I’ve pretty much got packing down to a science. Sure I’ve forgotten things before: toothbrush, running shoes (so much for that workout), sunscreen. All things that I can either go without or find a quick fix. But on my most recent trip to Alexandria, Virginia, I wasn’t so lucky. Thank goodness for an understanding concierge at Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco.

The quandary…

As soon as my flight landed at BWI, it hit me that I neglected to pack a rather essential wardrobe item. An unmentionable item. Something to keep the girls in check, if you will. You might be wondering why I didn’t just stick with the underpinning I was wearing. But you see, I had chosen a sundress for my flight (I don’t subscribe to the sweats-and-t-shirt approach to airplane attire). And certain sundresses take care of that sort of thing for you. The idea of wearing that same sundress for the next four days…well, vanity aside, it just wasn’t practical. For starters, I’ve got a bike ride and a four-hour kayak trip in the upcoming days. That dress just wasn’t going to fly.

To the rescue…

With four days full of back-to-back meetings, interviews, and excursions, I knew I didn’t have a spare moment to dedicate to solving my not-so-little (ahem) predicament. So I called on the one person I hoped could help me. The hotel concierge.

With more than a few stories on top-notch hotel service under my belt, I’ve asked many concierges about the oddball requests they get on a daily basis. Everything from theater tickets (not so odd) to a private audience with the Queen of England (seriously?). But until now, I’d never been the one making such a request.

As I pressed the button on my phone to connect me with guest services, I was a little nervous. Was I really about to ask a total stranger to procure said unmentionable for me? Luckily, a woman answered. As I explained my predicament to her, she calmly listened and told me "I’ll be happy to take care of that," as if lingerie runs are part of her daily duties. I placed a call to a nearby Victoria’s Secret and asked them to put an item on hold for me, then gave my new BFF in guest services the store address.

In the nick of time…

When I got back to my room in the evening, just in time to change before dinner, a bright pink box was waiting for me on my desk, along with a copy of the receipt (turns out it was on sale!) and an advance copy of my hotel bill. The hotel had paid for the undergarment for me (Victoria’s Secret retail stores don’t accept payments over the phone) and just added the cost onto my hotel bill (a nice discreet line item charge: Miscellaneous). And all without any extra fees or service surcharges of any kind.

It’s no secret that stellar service makes a good hotel great. But it’s nice to experience a little reminder that there are people out there who take the term "guest services" seriously. And it’s good to remember that concierges are there to help you; they are more than just a resource for area restaurants. So don’t be afraid to make that unusual request.

Hopefully I won’t repeat the same offense anytime soon. But if I’m in Alexandria at the Hotel Monaco, at least I know there’s someone ready to help me outfit my boudoir.

What are some of your most unusual concierge requests? Share them with us.

COMMENTS

  1. Julia

    Been there; done that…what a terrific service.
    Also impressed that you never used the “b” word.
    Great story.

    May 28, 2008 at 3:22 pm
  2. Tanner Latham

    Yes, I might have revealed a corner of my shower in a previous post–pulled back the curtain, if you will–but, Cole, I believe you’ve officially baptized this blog.

    May 29, 2008 at 6:52 am
  3. Matt

    That’s just a great tip.
    I forget stuff all the time (although, admittedly, nothing quite as essential as said “unmentionable”) and it’s good to know there are rock star concierges out there going the extra mile.

    May 29, 2008 at 7:22 am
  4. Jennifer’s Ti Ti

    As usual, great writing–funny, creative, and a wonderful light read. That’s my girl.
    I did that once and your granddaddy found a Sears store in Chatanooga for me. I purchased two, just in case.
    Keep up your unique writings. Much love to you.

    May 29, 2008 at 8:11 am
  5. John Underwood

    I wonder if the “concierge” at the next Best Western I stay at will run out and get me a few top water lures that I forgot to bring? :-)

    May 29, 2008 at 8:41 am
  6. Alana

    A hero to traveling women everywhere!!!

    May 30, 2008 at 8:41 am
  7. Mike

    I prefer females with no “unmentionables”..so I’m disappointed that they helped you. Just kidding JV. Keep up the good work.

    May 31, 2008 at 12:26 pm
  8. Conciant

    This day and age more and more people are using a personal concierge to “buy back” their precious time. A personal concierge works on the most basic of premise: people want things done and just don’t have the time to do them.

    August 22, 2008 at 3:45 am
  9. Concierge

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    October 25, 2008 at 3:52 am
  10. Personal Concierge

    a great post ! hotel concierge is a good source with guest services fulfilling unusual needs .

    August 10, 2009 at 11:44 pm
  11. Personal Concierge

    Hotel concierge is payed for menial tasks for demanding and wealthy guests , it can vary from running errands to reservations .

    September 7, 2009 at 11:19 pm
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