Five star hotels make you feel important. They make you feel posh and pampered.
But, like all establishments, hotels tend to keep secrets.
Bruce Claver, who has worked over 25 years in the hospitality sector, shares some of the things five star hotels don’t necessarily want you to know.
1. Five-star hotels do not want you to know anything concerning anybody famous or otherwise.
Currently staying in the hotel
Who has ever stayed at the hotel, no matter how “juicy” the story or facts are.
In fact, the employees themselves are required at many upscale hotels to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement prior to employment agreeing to not disclose anything about anybody and that includes after employment has been terminated. In fact, employees will rarely speak to each other about what they learn because they risk immediate termination if management finds out staff have loose lips. While they do speak to their immediate co-workers because many times it is necessary to ensure everyone is on the same page in order to maintain service standards, they will not share detailed information with other departments unless there is a need-to-know circumstance in order to maintain that service consistency.
2. They have a duty to maintain supreme secrecy in order to continually attract and maintain their designated market, the affluent guest.
Affluent guests are wealthy business people, families, and well-known famous people such as athletes, movie stars, musicians, and politicians to name a few. They have money to spend and usually friends and family who also have money to spend and are potential guests.
If the public really knew what these celebrities were up to, it would not only be a PR nightmare for the celebrity, but the hotel as well because it would highlight the lax security celebrities and affluent guests depend upon. Anybody in this group is a target of the media and the media reaches millions of people. An affluent married person (a judge, Senator, movie star, musician, business owner, etc.) having an affair in a hotel room is risking millions and millions of dollars in addition to his/her reputation, family reputation, and business. Divorces at this level are legendary and always played out on the front pages of the tabloids. But it is not just shady activity that is protected, it is safety as well.
3. Famous people never stay under their real name
For example, if Taylor Swift were staying at the hotel and someone came up to the front desk and asked, “Is Taylor Swift staying here? I’m pretty sure I just saw her!” The standard answer would be (after looking in the computer), “I’m sorry, I do not have a guest registered under that name” which would be the truth since famous people never stay under their real name and we allow people to be registered under an alias or as an NRG, non-registered guest, so their name does not pop up on the computer screen if the front desk agent types it in.
Here is what happened when a celebrity was outed after he stayed at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in the early 1990’s. This celebrity, who was married at the time and is still active on TV today, had a mega-suite, ordered room service, made phone calls to escort services, and partied with “dancers” in his suite. Some idiot in room service decided to make some money and sold the information to the National Enquirer who then published the story along with details including the name of the suite and the tower where the suite was located. His picture wound up on the front page of the tabloid along with a detailed story inside. At the time, we pulled up his folio and called the phone numbers he had called from his room (this was pre-cell phones) and sure enough, they were ‘adult’ oriented. The story appeared to be true and someone breached the guest’s security. There was an investigation and we were all questioned at the front desk but the culprit was believed to be someone in Room Service.
4. Calling up the hotel with a lie, no matter how good, still won't give you the information you want
Another time, a woman called me and informed me that she had a one-night stand with a man ten months ago and knew his room number and what country he was from but not his name and had no contact information. She asked for his home phone number so she could inform him that he now was a father and thought he would like to know he had a child. That request was denied. She then asked if WE could call him and give him her contact information. That request was also denied. Why? We did not know if he was married or if his wife (if he had one) even knew he was in Las Vegas. Nope, he never found out - from us, anyway - that he had fathered a child.
Another time, at the Four Seasons, a college professor left behind his large garment bag which was packed full of his belongings. He apparently forgot he checked it with the bell desk and we found it at the end of the day. His luggage tag was attached with his business card on the handle so we knew who owned the bag. The bag sat in lost and found for months and was eventually destroyed because we could not know his reasons for staying in the hotel or being in the city and his privacy was entrusted to us. PRIVACY IS PRICELESS and goes hand-in-hand with the safety and security of all guests.
All the five-star hotels compete to have celebrities and affluent guests stay with them, and considering they have the financial means to choose any hotel they want to, trust with one’s security/privacy and impeccable service go hand-in-hand to maintain a healthy and long-lasting relationship.
Therefore, it is the secrets and names of guests that five-star hotels do not want you to know.
5. Even the best-maintained hotel kitchens have some roaches.