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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Just Ask Jeeves: The Rise of Butler Service in the Travel Industry

Walk into the Lanesborough Hotel at London’s Hyde Park Corner and you’re immediately escorted to your room, where you are introduced to your butler, who is there to be your personal assistant for the rest of your stay. He’ll unpack for you, set up your WiFi, make restaurant reservations, draw your bath, make hotel transfers, wake you up with coffee and tea, be a personal shopper, and a whole lot more if need be. 
 
“We’ll do anything as long as it’s legal,” says the Lanesborough’s head butler, Daniel Jordaan. In the past, that has included cutting a businessman’s hair who was late for a meeting; finding reindeer from a farm, little people to dress up as elves, Santa, and a snow machine for an impromptu Christmas party; redecorating a private hospital room in the style of the Lanesborough after a woman had come to London to give birth; and sending a courier on the Eurostar train to Paris to have a confidential document signed urgently.
 
Blame it on Carson, the hard-working butler who runs a tight ship on the popular television series, Downton Abbey, but more and more high-end clientele are yearning for yesteryear when personal service extended from the hotel or cruise line’s concierge to inside the suite. With the addition of butlers, hoteliers now have the opportunity to service their guests behind closed doors. 
 
 
I’m off with my son, Jake, to the first of many college visits this fall. I’ll be back on Tuesday, September 3rd. Enjoy the weekend, and, as always, keep active! 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 08/29/13 at 10:00 AM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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