It is becoming popular among the hotel services, but not all the people knows exactly what has to do the butler offered as complimentary service of the best suites? People who approach for the first time to this service they have not the clear idea about what to expect and what to ask to the dedicate staff member. Maybe it is useful to clarify some aspects.
The number of hotels that propose the butler service up to request or complimentary is increasing and of course generally is paired with special, signature or the biggest suites of the structures. It happens to the mountains, to the sea and as well in the city and to have a butler means to be helped in managing the room and the stay. Of course this professional is properly trained to satisfy most of the needs that a guest can have during the stay in the hotel.
It is important to know that hotels are offering the butler to create a loyalty relationship with the guest and of course the staff has to please the client and not the opposite. So you have to treat them with kindness and they have to reserve to you courtesy and professionality, but you as customer have to use the service and to ask what you need, just keeping in mynd the competences that they have.
The tasks of the butler
Each hotel has different rules and this makes some differences in the service provided, starting from the time: in some cases the butler is available only during the day, in many hotels it is a 24 hours service. Anyway more or less the do the same things. What is common among the different structures are the unpack and pack, draw a bath and reserve a table to a restaurant.
Usually the butler has also the task to superintend to the room cleaning, in order to keep always in perfect conditions the suite. So what a guest can ask (you should follow this indications in case you have a butler service in your hotel room) concern mainly the management of the room, included the organization of an in-suite meal. Sometimes the complimentary service include a chef and a dedicated concierge, so the butler can coordinate the contacts between the guests and those staff members.
What the butler does
The first approach of the butler with the guests is in the room, when she or he welcomes the clients of the suite and show them the different internal ambients and the amenities, explaining as well the facilities of the entire structure. She or he generally tells to the guests also what are the task that the butler has to accomplish to serve the customers in the proper way. In this first meeting what is important for she or he is to understand the people who are in front of her or him. Why? To please them it is necessary to know what they want and need, provinding a customized service.
After that the butler manage the check-in, unpack the luggages and press clothes, if necessary and according to the hotel policy. She or he take care of the room, meanwhile in general the concierge work on external need, as the reservation of a restaurant, the ticket purchase for some events and so on. There is not a precise rule, so hotel by hotel these tasks can be done by the butler as well. For example the task of the butler is also to refill the minibar and the room with drinks and snack or to bring the newspaper, the breakfast and a cup of tea in the afternoon or a glass of wine before dinner.
For any need the guest can call and ask to the butler that will be discretely positioned close to the room or just somewhere else with the mobile phone switch on to answer immediately to the call or to the messages got from the guests. For instance during the late night you can write an sms with some changes or orders about the breakfast and she or he will provide to organize.
Some hotels are using the new technologies and this means that the butler gives to the guests a tablet to manage the room and also to interact with the staff, so the client can ask what he needs by the device and the butler will work to satisfy the request. In many hotels in the night the butler cleans the guests shoes for the day after. During the day or the evening this staff member prepare the bath and aromatherapy, where available.
Details and tip
When you book in some hotels you can find more details about the butler service and in some cases they send to you a paper to be filled with your needs and interests so they can personalize the assistance before your arrival. This will help you also to understand better what the butler will do for you during your stay and if there are other staff members dedicated to support you.
About the tip it is totally up to you. It is of course not mandatory and the service received is included in the room rate, but if you think, at the end of your stay, that the butler was particularly kind and professional or if she or he helped you also in some tasks that were not specificly for him, well a tip is always welcome by the staff. Do not think anyway that the activities depends on it, otherwise it means that the service is not well provided.