People often think that being a general manager is a glamorous life. It certainly has its moments, but sometimes it’s like having your dream job at Disneyland – in the accounting office. You know you work for Disney because you see the logo on every bill you send out. And you can tell people you work for Disney. But you never actually get to see Tinkerbell, ride Space Mountain or shake hands with Goofy.
That’s Opus to the upper right. My office is located three floors below ground level, which is great if you’re anticipating a bombing, but not so great if you want to have your finger on the pulse of hotel operations. Our guest services staff get to see all the action. They got to see Gwen Stefani come and go and got to chat with Lenny Kravitz. Neither ventured down to P3. Even the minibar attendant knows more about what’s going on in the hotel than I do. But if I ever really want to know what a guest is up to, I ask the housekeeping staff.
Years ago, when I worked at the Sutton Place in Toronto, it was a celebrity magnet. I had the more glamorous role of front desk agent back then, so I got to meet all of them. I stopped being starstruck after a while. Our general manager was so desperate to hobknob with stars it was embarrassing. The second he caught wind of a celebrity he was out sniffing around the lobby. He insisted on meeting all of them. The hotel bar had an entire wall of signed publicity photos of stars.
These days, stars are simply not interested in meeting the hotel manager. They never actually were. At Opus we give star treatment to all guests. Celebrities are treated with extra care, of course, but in a subtle, non-intrusive manner. There’s no giddy general manager waiting in the wings to waste their time. I simply leave an amenity and welcome note in their room inviting them to contact me directly for assistance. But they never call. And I’m not hurt.
I’ve done my share of “meet-and-greets” for stars, and my encounters with “divas” are the most memorable. I waited until 3:30am to greet a certain A-list diva at Opus after her concert. She sailed past me in a post-concert delirium, swarmed by handlers, a pack of yappy little dogs running circles around us. I followed her to the elevator to escort her up to her suite. But she screamed at me to “Close the f**king door!” before I got in. That was the last I saw of her.
Another time I waited until 4:00am to greet Cher. I was nodding off at the front door of Opus when a convoy of tour busses rolled in. Dozens of people spilled out, but no Cher. She decided to forfeit her luxury penthouse suite for the bus.When I greeted Janet Jackson at the Metropolitan Hotel I was pretty nervous. Sources had warned me that she doesn’t like anyone touching her or looking into her eyes. I wasn’t sure how I’d pull off a meet-and-greet given those limitations. But she climbed from her SUV and marched right up to me, shaking my hand. “Hi! I’m Janet,” she said with a bright smile. She stayed with us for a month and was delightful.
I’m a fan for life.
posted by Daniel Edward Craig at 9:32 AM