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Well-traveled clients don’t mind paying top dollar for superlative service. To fill the bill, Hawaii hotels have hired some of the finest butlers this side of Buckingham Palace.
That doesn’t mean Hawaii’s butlers are stuffy gentlemen’s gentlemen. As they promise the most lavish service possible, they do so with an aloha spirit that is distinctive to the destination. Here’s a peek at how they go the extra mile to satisfy discriminating island visitors.
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Hawaii IslandThis high-end oceanfront hotel boasts a talented team of butler-style personal assistants called Suite Managers. Dedicated to guests of the top 10 suites in the resort, they act as point people for all manner of requests. For example, they once coordinated an in-suite birthday bash featuring 350 balloons and more than $2,000 worth of flowers.
They also concocted a Super Tuesday party with candidates’ faces on paddles, individualized invitations and red-, white- and blue-themed decor — all assembled in two days. Their everyday tasks run the gamut, whether it’s meeting special dietary needs and customizing island excursions or making sure the perfect pillow awaits each guest.
Four Seasons Resort LanaiBeyond the usual duties such as unpacking/packing and arranging activities, this property’s on-call butlers — dubbed Lanai Ambassadors — have been known to work wonders.
Consider the time a guest requested a luau, which is no easy feat on Hawaii’s smallest island destination. The ambassadors masterminded the event in under 24 hours, complete with hula dancers, costumes, live music and food.
Another guest wanted a private helicopter transfer from Lanai’s golf course to Honolulu. The ambassadors handled it seamlessly, from getting approvals and permits to booking the chopper. Catering 24/7 to clients staying in specialty suites, the ambassadors organize a wealth of complimentary amenities such as golf lessons with a pro and VIP transportation.
Halekulani, OahuAt this Waikiki oasis, nine butlers stand ready to please guests of its premier suites. They address commonplace concerns including ironing clothes, renting cars and engineering personalized dining in the suite or by the pool. Plus, they tackle more extraordinary requests that the staff keeps top secret.
The hotel’s butlers go through intensive training, part of which includes meditation and tai chi to enhance their intuition. The ultimate goal is to anticipate each client’s desires using whatever resources they can find.
According to Halekulani’s guest experiences director Mark Miyashiro, suite guests often say they wish they could take their butlers home with them.
The St. Regis Princeville Resort, KauaiChain-wide, St. Regis has featured a butler program for more than 100 years. Small wonder, then, that its Kauai property lays claim to outstanding attendants. A perk for guests in St. Regis Princeville’s 51 suites, butler service covers all the conventional needs, starting with a morning delivery of made-to-order coffee.
Unexpected wishes are granted with equal aplomb at the north shore luxury resort. Case in point: For one client — a former swimmer who could no longer walk — the butler escorted her to and from the ocean’s edge each day in an accessible wheelchair. Guests can reach their butler by text, email or phone.