Hotels always have a front and a back of the house. You can compare the back of the house with going backstage at the theatre. As the traveler you will never see the back of the house. This is where you find the employee entrance, the employee hallways (at the Fontainebleau Hotel the employee hallways consisted of a fascinating labyrinth in the hotel’s basement where I often got lost), the employee elevators, the employee uniform room, the employee locker room, the employee cafeteria, the laundry room, the loading docks, offices and lots of storage areas. My favorite storage area is where Housekeeping keeps its soaps, shampoos and body lotions. This area always smells so good. In the employee hallways you will further find all types of message boards with postings celebrating the employee of the month, employee schedules, shopper report results, announcements of upcoming trainings to hotel rules and laws.

Canang Sari, a collection of daily offerings for sale at the Pasar Badung in Den Pasar. Bali has changed so much in the ten short years since I have been there last. There are more motor bikes, cars and hotels. But the Balinese people still have their customs and rituals. Daily offerings are made to express gratitude and to honor the gods, the ancestors and the underworld creatures. It is a serene undertaking and clears the mind and heart. Photograph by Andrew Kaufman.

Canang Sari, a collection of daily offerings for sale at the Pasar Badung in Den Pasar. Bali has changed so much in the ten short years since I have been there last. There are more motor bikes, cars and hotels. But the Balinese people still have their customs and rituals. Daily offerings are made to express gratitude and to honor the gods, the ancestors and the underworld creatures. It is a serene undertaking and clears the mind and heart. Photograph by Andrew Kaufman.

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Asia, Bali, Beyond Miami, Body Mind Soul, Concierge ABC, Indonesia, Tipping, Travel Etiquette, Travel Tips

The Ladies of the Back of the House

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Body Mind Soul, Concierge ABC

Nina’s ABC

Once I had a guest who requested I make him a hotel reservation in the Bahamas. Of course, we meet many guests from all over the world. Some visit Miami from China, Japan, France, Germany, Indonesia, Thailand, or India. Guests with German names do not cause me any difficulties. My native language is Dutch and Dutch and German are quite similar. Indonesian names are fine as well. In the past, before I became a Concierge, I used to live and work in Jakarta. Chinese names are difficult because I do not speak any Chinese. Japanese names too. Sometimes I struggle with the correct pronunciation of Spanish or Italian names. Giselle speaks both languages fluently, so I usually ask her how to get the pronunciation right. I also noticed that most guests from Latin America have very long last names and then there can be a lot of a’s in Indian names.

Exuma Bahamas Children

Exuma Bahamas, Photo by Andrew Kaufman.

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