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Leave it to those wacky publicists to figure out new and unique ways of getting their clients a plug. So hats off to the one who came up with the “quirkiest” travel jobs. We’ve listed a few of them below. And, as you might have guessed, we’ve also added a few of our own that we’d like to see.
Our friendly flack suggests these off-the-wall travel gigs will get a gaggle of giggles. The Retail Therapist at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino offers shopping suggestions and maps. The Engagement Concierge, also called the Love Doctor, at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa arranges all engagement and other romantic needs (OK, OK, not ALL of them). The Popsicle Man at the Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort (currently closed for repairs) strolls the beach and pool deck handing out free ice pops at 3 p.m. daily. And the Tequila Sommelier at the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa hosts tasting sessions, explains the history of tequila, and administers hangover cures (we wish). But enough of that. Here are the 10 travel jobs we’d really LIKE to see in 2015…
WiFi Doctor: Too cheap to pay for internet at your hotel? Just call on the Connection Concierge. No, he won’t give you the password to get free WiFi from the hotel next door. Instead he’ll justify to you why even though you’re paying $250 a night for your hotel room you should still be willing to shell out an additional $19.95 a day for authorized hotel WiFi. Also, he’ll explain why the charge is $19.95, and not $20 or $19.
Remote Controller: A common guest problem is figuring out how to use your television’s remote control. That’s why an increasing number of properties are adding Remote Controllers to their customer-service teams. These professional technicians will come to your room at a moment’s notice, even at 2 a.m. after you’ve had five mai tais at the swim-up bar, and explain to you how to a) turn on the TV, b) select a channel, and c) turn off the TV. Problems solved! For an additional fee, your experienced and friendly TV tech will also instruct you how to set the room thermostat to 68.
Hair Inspector: You know the feeling when you find a stray hair in your hotel room. Your first thought is, “Yuck.” Then you think, hopefully, “Is it one of mine?” And then you say to yourself, “The room’s not clean! Aarrgghh!” Not to fear. That will never happen again at those hotels with a trained Hair Inspector, whose sole task, BEFORE you enter your room, is to locate, collect, and discard those oddly disgusting stray strands that one occasionally finds on a pillowcase or in a shower or in worse places and which subsequently ruin an otherwise perfectly satisfactory hotel stay.
Restaurant Mom: It’s a dilemma. Should you order the Continental breakfast for $15.95 or go all-out with the full buffet for just $10 more? We know, we know, you were about to choose the buffet, with all its glorious but empty calories, greasy goodness, and needless but oh-so-delicious fat content. True, you would never eat this stuff at home, ever, not in a million years, but you just can’t help yourself. And besides, you’re on vacation! Enter Restaurant Mom, to the rescue. As you scan the menu, a guilt-inducing matron will approach you with a weary shake of the head and ask, “Do you really NEED all that food? How about just some OJ and toast? Do you want to end up looking like your Cousin Larry, the one from the reality show? Think about it.”
Bathrobe Curator: Ever notice that most hotel bathrobes are too short in the arms and too narrow in the waist? Excuse me, do I look like Selena Gomez?! But now, a certified robe expert will take your measurements upon check-in and deliver a perfectly sized garment that won’t embarrass you when you wear it down to the pool and, more importantly, will close properly and decently.
Hotel Slipper Curator: See above; substitute slipper for robe.
Ambien Valet: This new-age employee doesn’t give YOU Ambien; he gives it to the “mandatory valet parking” parking valet just before you pull into the hotel lot and say to yourself, “There’s a parking space RIGHT THERE! Why do I have to tip a guy five bucks when I could just as easily park the dang rented Chevy Aveo myself and avoid being sneered at by some part-time college student for not driving a Beemer, or at least an American-made full-size sedan?!”
Bar Porter: You’re on an out-of-town business trip. After a long day of meetings you go for a late-night drink at the hotel lounge. You know, to wind down. Chill for a bit. Hey, nice crowd. Say, that is one good-looking person over there. Ooh, eye contact. Well, well, well, you never know… Enter Bar Porter, with a really loud voice, standing right next to you: “Imagine seeing you here! How’s the wife and kids? I bet your little guys are getting big now, aren’t they? You still go to mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Motion? By the by, don’t you and the missus have a big anniversary coming up? Ha, ha, thought so. Go to bed now. Go to bed. Now!”
Gratuity Steward: Many hotels now have Gratuity Stewards, who follow guests everywhere they go and whisper to them the amount they are expected to tip for services. “Maids get $5 a day!” “Give that bellhop $3 per bag, more if he shows you how to work the remote control.” “Towel boy by the pool–give him a couple of bucks a day, you cheapskate!” “Hey you, tightwad, you forgot the parking valet, and I don’t care if he was asleep!”
Beach Appreciator (Caribbean resorts only): Doesn’t matter what you look like. So what if you didn’t start that diet three months before your vacation, like you had planned? Maybe you have an extra few pounds, maybe you had to buy a larger, more modest bathing suit, and maybe you felt compelled to ask the front desk clerk to please remove the scale from your bathroom. Step onto the resort’s sandy beach and the Beach Appreciator goes to work: “Looking good over there!” “Want me some of that!” “Is that an angel, or just the devil sent to tempt me?” And after all, isn’t that what we want from a hotel stay–feeling like we belong.