The Secret Life Of A Butler At The Plaza Hotel

by Stephanie Maida · August 16, 2017

The Plaza Hotel has glittered with glamour and grandeur for a century, and its fascinating allure doesn't seem to be wearing off. Then again, anything that attracts royalty, the wealthy, and real-life Eloises will always be interesting, and, of course, full of secrets. 

With its high teas, gilded accents, and impeccable reputation, the Plaza is known for upholding that old school sense of luxury - and what's luxury without (duh) a butler? Last week, a journalist from Bloomberg went undercover to join the ranks of the Plaza's on-demand team of butlers and his findings were as deliciously bizarre as one would imagine (and then some!).

A few of our favorite takeaways? 

-Super annoying VIP guests are put on their own list, dubbed SA or "Special Assistance." So even if you have enough dough to complain a lot, know that you are still being judged.

-Guests really love having butlers around for bath time. Not only do they request that their bath be drawn for them, they also prefer to have their butler stick around during all the sudsing. Sometimes people ask for oysters - no, not to eat, but to soak with. OK!

-Cultural preferences really come into play. Butlers know to send an electric kettle up to the room for Asian guests who typically cook their own noodles or a tray of dates, dried fruit, and nuts to Middle Eastern VIPs. Americans, obviously, prefer to clear out the mini bar.

-One time a Middle Eastern prince ordered lobster at every meal, then disposed of the shells by throwing them out the window. They all landed in the fountains of the interior courtyard.

-After hours, butlers are equipped with plenty of condoms. Occasionally, guests won't even get up from bed (or get out of position) in order to retrieve them. Rude.

-Sometimes people request tarantula for dinner. Guess what? They get it.

-Apparently, Eloise isn't just for kids. At their request, one butler spent 90 minutes reading the book to four thirty-somethings in bed together inside the famous pink suite. With a straight face, no less.

-It's not, thankfully, all work and no play for these consummate service professionals. Come 5:30 pm, the team gets to indulge in all the leftovers of high tea at the Palm Court. No, they're not scraping lipstick off cucumber sandwiches - it's all food that's been made but not plated.

Hey, I'd scrub some rich lady's back in the tub if it meant free sandwiches.

[Photos via @theplazahotel]

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