Would you believe that today's requests can be even more demanding than Eloise's? I’ve checked out several hotels around the world to see how far they are willing to go to satisfy the desires of guests.
"In our vocabulary, there is no 'no,' " said the general manager of the Beverly Hills Hotel, famous for pampering celebrities. One night the hotel received an urgent call from a regular client on the East Coast who had a craving to celebrate his birthday with cracked crab served exactly as it is in the hotel's famed Polo Lounge-and by a hotel waiter, no less. By midnight, that waiter was on the red-eye to New York with a delivery of cracked crab for twelve.
Over at Claridge's, in London, the head concierge was asked to produce a pair of flamingos for a Middle Eastern king. The gentleman wanted them shipped to his palace back home posthaste. Did the hotel employee roll his eyes and moan, "Where am I going to get flamingos?" No. He got them tout de suite. "We assumed he wanted them for his zoo," says Claridge's spokesperson matter-of-factly.
The Paris Ritz caters to those who like to travel light. The hotel will store your wardrobe and personal items, which will magically appear in your room-every thing from furs and teddy bears to your favorite sheets and pillows.
No demands are too onerous for the Plaza Athenee in New York. When a couple said they would be arriving with a third person but wanted to stay in their usual one-bedroom suite, the hotel responded by knocking down a wall, putting in a door, and adding a second bedroom!
Eloise drawings by Hilary Knight
All this sounds terrific, but, like Eloise, I have a few requests of my own.
I have always wanted to order a real "milk bath" from room service (it might be wasteful to see all that vitamin D go down the drain, but I hear they're so. . . soothing).
And I would like a string quartet dressed in tuxedos to play Mozart on the beach at sunset while I swim.
And can I get the chef of my favorite hotel in France to cook for me one weekend-in Los Angeles?
And...charge it, please! ﭢ