The hotel is 1 of 83, 15 star (5 star spa, 5 star dining, 5 star rooms) properties in the world. The cheapest room is $680 a night and the most expensive suite is over $11,000. Most of the clientele is part of the 0.1% or is staying for business. AMA

Comments: 772 • Responses: 47  • Date: 

bishopazrael168 karma

I help run a small 5 room b&b. What are some tips or things we can do to be on a service level more like you guys? What are some nice amenities? etc...what makes a guest go .. "Wow!"

topman213260 karma

A big thing we are told is what people always want is more time. Our goal is to do anything save you time so you can do stuff you want to do on your vacation. For example, if someone asks about shopping nearby we don't just tell them or send them down from their room for a map. We will program in the destination on the GPS for their car if they have one and bring a brochure up to their room while they get ready. That's kind of a bad example for a B&B because I would never expect that to be done, but you can get the idea. You would be surprised how memorable an experience can be for someone if you went out of your way and took your time to save them time. Maybe if you saw someone was running low on toothpaste and you had a new tube waiting for them when they got back. Or if a little girl has a stuffed rabbit and you bring her a plate of carrots and celery. It might sound weird, but you just did something the parents will think is adorable and you bought the parents some time because the child is occupied playing with the rabbit.

bishopazrael86 karma

Yeah my wife and I already do this.... we do try to find ways to make the stay better. We bring iced water carafes up on check in. We provide small stuff like cotton swabs and such. I think we should be putting in more like wet wipes, maybe small chocolates or something.

topman213140 karma

I love when places do the chocolates on the bed, a hotel I stayed at as a kid did that and I still remember it for that reason. Sounds like you guys get it though, hope it's doing well!

Pthaos155 karma

Who was "that guy" and what will you remember him for?

topman213306 karma

One time I was working on the outdoor restaurant during the summer and one man asked me if I could turn off the space heaters (we have them for the winter, but just leave them there off in the summer). I had to tell him that he was experiencing the warmth from the sun and there was nothing I could do about it. After about 30 minutes I noticed him yelling at our hostess because the food was taking so long (The average wait time is about 30 minutes for lunch). When I brought the food over he started telling me he deserved free drink refills for the wait, which I denied him. He asked to see the manager and she said the same thing. In the end, no tip and I will remember as the douche bag of all douche bags

-888-284 karma

A thousand dollars a night and no drink refills?

topman213492 karma

Sorry that was a bit unclear, if it had been iced tea, soda or water sure refills are complimentary. But he was having wine and obviously can't refill those for free haha

Tiggarenstal127 karma

  1. What are the most famous people you've meet at work?

  2. The most awkard thing a celebrity done? (You don't have to name them obviously)

  3. What is the most tip you've got?

topman213280 karma

  1. Taylor Swift, Conan, Honey Boo Boo, Senator Blumenthal and lots more
  2. The property is on the beach and looks out at the ocean, someone once asked what lake it was
  3. $200 on a $1200 ticket

Mattsterman77 karma

What was Taylor Swift like in a not so public setting? What boyfriend was with her?

topman213162 karma

She was with her parents and brother and was surprising nice. She looked just like on TV with all her makeup and stuff which was cool. She didn't seem to turn to many heads in the restaurant because most of the people were to old to know her, but the staff was going nuts.

inept_guard29 karma


topman21342 karma

I would say the average tip is 20%, but it's not uncommon to see 18-25% whether it's 1 person or 16

Nick183391 karma

Was it difficult to secure a job at such a high class place? Did you have to go through extensive background check?

topman213126 karma

Luckily I happened to know the owner which helped tremendously, but surprisingly they didn't seem to do to much of a background check. From what I can tell people send in applications and either they are picked or not. However, they make sure you don't have any visible tattoos and you can't look outlandish in any way.

Overall, not really

PDaviss34 karma

Can you still have tattoos, though? Is it just on areas that customers will see?

topman21397 karma

You can, but you cant have any on your knees down, arms or neck up that can't be covered with one bandaid maximum. Also no hair can touch your shoulders for boys, no piercing, no "colorful" hair dye and no nail polish for girls, one ring and pearl earrings.

Agamemnon323160 karma

And you have to be attractive.

topman21322 karma

although they would deny it you are 100% correct


Are there a lot of businessmen who come in with high class escorts? Can you always tell despite their efforts or do they not try to hide it?

topman213169 karma

Lots of CEOs of companies come though and celebrities that we have to keep hush hush about until they leave because many of them look at the hotel as an escape from paparazzi and such. So we treat them like regular people, but there are definitely people who come through with guards and such that are rather obvious

HashtagWhoa73 karma

Have you ever served any celebrities? If so, who was your favorite?

topman213171 karma

Conan was really cool and chill and he said the restaurant is really impressive. I found it odd he didn't have his red hair though, it is a lot darker in person

johnwaynegraham58 karma

What's your favorite filling for a sandwich?

topman213121 karma

Lobster. We sell lobster rolls (if you'll count it as a sandwich) for $26 and they are very good

feijoada54 karma

How much you get paid?

topman213128 karma

depends on tips, but around $40/hour

Luken_Puken33 karma

all the tips are pooled and divided equally by hours worked. I would say I make $30 an hour, but we lose money to valet (valet does not accept tips), laundry, maids and dish pit.

I'm confused.

topman21356 karma

Basically we take all the tips earned that day and split the money based on your department. People in the back of the house only get like 5%, Server Assistants 30% and Hostess 15%, but it's done to keep everyone in the hotel motivated to do well so guests tip better. Also it allows the hotel to get away with going under the minimum wage because the tips make up for it. I would make more if I kept all my tips, but it is what it is. Hope that makes sense!

InnocuousUserName17 karma

I'm pretty sure he was confused by the ten dollar difference in your two estimations.

topman21369 karma

ya $7.50 base pay + tips ($30) = about $40/hour

branlmo51 karma

As someone that works at a Forbes 4 star hotel (which the management team made a huge deal out of), I imagine that your standards are probably similar to that of a 3 Michelin star rated restaurant.

What kind of unique amenities does the hotel provide to guests? How much do your top tier suites generally go for, and how often do they get trashed?

topman21375 karma

There are 13 suites that go for 8k-12k a night, but most are one bedroom honeymoon suites so they don't get trashed ever that I have heard of. The spa is what brings most guests (3rd in the world), the guests never have to lift a finger because we have 5:1 staff to guest ratio

mayonuki19 karma

Does staff to individual guest change depending on that guest room cost? Five to one is pretty cheap for a 6-800 dollar room.

topman21336 karma

We get a new sheet every morning of the guests along with what they are paying and marked with VIP, VVIP and such so we definitely treat people differently on what they pay. However, we only have that 5:1 ration during peak season in summer and drops to maybe 3 or 4 in the winter.

enferex50 karma

How can I get an upgrade at your hotel? Do you have any funny/odd situations where a guest tried way too hard to get an upgrade, and is it common for them to try to mooch out a free upgrade?

topman213103 karma

The thing to keep in mind at a hotel like this is the guest is always right. If you stay at any 5 star property you could probably get an upgrade just complaining about 2 things in the same day. 1, say you don't like the room (too small, bad view, anything really) if the hotel is booked they will apologize and probably not move you, but they will note that you are unhappy. Now if you eat at a retraunt and complain about stuff (even if you're wrong ie: put hair in food, complain about the wait, drink your water fast and say you never have any) again the hotel will note how unhappy you were and give you the food for free and move you to a suite.

vinuash41 karma

How much do things in the mini bar cost?

topman21363 karma

The mini bottles of booze are $9 and most snacks are $8

vinuash83 karma

Less than I expected, honestly.

topman21359 karma

yeah it's not to bad, but all cocktails start at $15 and you would be surprised how fast those add up

Ardenarden35 karma

What is the most money somebody has spent in one night?

topman21370 karma

We do a lot of wedding that cost in the 7-8 figures range which is crazy, but in terms of a table I would say the highest I've seen is $2400 for 7 people. I'm sure there has been higher though.

SoftViolent42 karma

8 figure weddings? Holy shit. What could possibly cost that much?

topman21374 karma

The only weddings that can get to be that much are ones that rent out the beach and the entire hotel. There's a minimum charge of $500 per plate for the people they invite and the room charge plus open bar gets crazy expensive fast. Not to mention they have to tip at the end, which is why the banquets department makes better tips than I do as a server.

squishysalmon31 karma

1) What was your best customer experience or night on the job?

2) What's your favorite part about working there?

3) Do you think the customers get what they pay for?

topman21395 karma

  1. It's hard to say just one good customer experience because I like anyone who acknowledges me as a human and not just a robot server that has not life. Anyone who treats a server like a human earns my respect!
  2. The other employees are all really nice and fun, but the best times are when banquets like weddings have left over food and we get to take 5 star quality food.
  3. The customers definitely do. A two person table could easily cost over $400 and the dinner will take 2-3 hours, but it is an extravagant event. Depending if you have light or dark color pants or a dress the server assistant will lay a white or black napkin on your lap for you. Everyone gets a free spoonful of a speciality food that day before the appetizers, entree and deserts. The servers know every ingredient of every food and tells everyone what it is exactly they ordered when it is placed. Wine is only poured by sommeliers who know everything about wine. I wish I had pictures of some of the plates of food, it's some of the most amazing food I've ever seen

feralstank30 karma

What's the craziest story/thing you've seen in your hotel?

topman213107 karma

i didn't serve these people, but i've heard the story. One time 2 men and women came in to eat and were already looking tipsy. After being seated one man asked, "bring me your finest bottle of red wine." Little did he know the bottle was $1,580 as you can see here (price on the right). He seemed to sober up and look rather pale after seeing the check at around $1900 before tip

perche28 karma

How much of a discount can you get me?

topman213175 karma

Just say you know this guy on reddit and they should give you the Penthouse Suite free of charge!

hockeyrugby14 karma

I worked in a well known restaurant and it was par for the course that when friends or VIP's came that we sent out a free dish, or a glass of wine etc... what are comping practices like in the restaurant? Are there any innovative ways that you are taught?

topman21324 karma

usually when family of employees come to eat we give them a 20% discount which they always appreciate. Other than that just probably the same stuff as other places like a free desert for anniversaries and birthdays with the writing of their name in chocolate.

ad54me25 karma

  1. How long have you been working there?

  2. I assume it's busy year round, so how often can you get vacation/how many vacation days do you have a year?

  3. Funniest story?

Thanks for doing an AMA! I would love to read your responses.

topman21344 karma

  1. 2 years
  2. Servers get 2 weekdays off a week and often hit OT. 50 week years. pretty average and boring. I know our executive chefs sometimes work 96 hour weeks which seems crazy to me. They are there before I get in at 7 and long after I leave at 5.
  3. I'll follow up if I think of one, sorry!

Thanks for asking!

Teddy_Raptor24 karma

I work at a nicer restaurant too, of course nowhere near yours haha. I was curious as to your view on people being picky with their food and orders.

topman21344 karma

Making the food isn't to difficult for picky eaters because every order is prepared to order individually so anything can be removed. The real hard part is we have to memorize orders and it sucks when they want 4 things taken off because it just creates more to remember and I might have to go back to double check, which is embarrassing for them and me

Hu_dat18 karma

Where is the worst place you have found poop left by a guest?

topman213111 karma

Never found poop anywhere while working there haha but one time my friend walked out of McDonalds barefoot at 2AM and stepped right in someones nice warm poop in the parking lot and went up in between his toes. It was magnificent. "Nah I don't need shoes, it's just McDonalds" he said before going in.

ccnova17 karma

How does your Executive Chef treat the wait staff, and is it different from the way they treat their kitchen staff?

topman21335 karma

We have 3 big Executive Chefs around the hotel who move around looking over all 4 of the dining locations. The head one though I would describe as a Chef Ramsay personality where he will yell and and is very short tempered because most dishes cost around $55. The other two are rather nice and together the kind of play "good chef, bad chef." However, that said most chefs have good experience and don't need to be yelled at often.

Jennifer032517 karma

Do you get a discount on any of the services? Have you ever stayed in the hotel?

topman21347 karma

i believe once a year we can dine there with a discount (not sure of the percent, maybe 60% excluding drinks), but it's not encouraged because then guests wonder why the person serving them the day before is now eating in the same room as them. I've eaten at our nicest restaurant, but never stayed the night at the hotel. They would never let us do that as long as we work there. :(

hockeyrugby5 karma

Does this apply to other franchises or forbes hotels?

topman21310 karma

not sure, but I think each hotel individually chooses on allowing it or not. I'm sure some of the hotels in Asia looked at at Forbes won't allow employees to do this.

Omal-14 karma

Do you like your work?

topman21340 karma

It's always tough working with people who are paying so much and have such high standards, plus I'm on my feet for 8 hours straight, but in the end its fun and I enjoy it

radiodog13 karma

How did you come to work there?

topman21321 karma

The hotel was just reopened after renovations in 2010 and they were looking for anyone really and I knew the owner. At the time it was a 4 star property, but I saw the potential and joined in.

Luken_Puken12 karma

Have you tried everything on the menu? What is your favorite item?

topman21326 karma

we have an extensive tasting every time a new meal is put on the menu, so yes I have, but only in small portions of course. Personally I'm a sucker for risotto so I love the seafood risotto but the lobster mac and cheese is a close second!

HotelValetDesk11 karma

It's nice being able to reddit at work!

any idea how often your valet damage cars?

topman21328 karma

I don't, but I don't think it's often. However, I have heard lots of stories of people stealing weed they've found in the cars and change.

needletubes10 karma

What are the tips like?

topman21319 karma

all the tips are pooled and divided equally by hours worked. I would say I make $30 an hour, but we lose money to valet (valet does not accept tips), laundry, maids and dish pit.

chicken_nugs9 karma

do you guys serve chicken fingers

topman2139 karma

yep, it's part of the kids menu. They give them to us in the cafeteria to and are my favorite lunch day

aim6749 karma

Is it worth all the money to spend one night there?

topman21323 karma

Since most of the guests who stay here have money to burn I would say yes, but if you don't have a grand to just toss around without feeling it I would say no.

Diptura5 karma

What do you plan to do after your life working in a hotel? I mean, what do you dream of.

topman21311 karma

working to be a finance major and do something with that haha, still working it all out haha

ChaiHai4 karma

Do you get a free meal to eat during your shift?? I would sooooo take advantage of that if you did!

Read your replies and saw the $1500 bottle of wine. Ever tried it or seen a table order it??? It's unicorn blood, right???

Ever met Jim Carrey? He's my favorite comedian. How about Hugh Laurie? House is my favorite show, and I'm sad it's over. :(

topman21312 karma

We normally get just cafeteria food at lunch breaks, but thursdays and fridays we can get the leftover seafood (clams, oysters, lobsters, little necks, you name it) from the clam bakes. We also get pastries and stuff left over from the day, which are really good.

I've seen the bottle when doing inventory, but I haven't had the pleasure of seeing someone order it

Unfortunately I haven't met Jim Carrey or High Laurie, they could have stayed and I didn't know it but I don't think they have :(

brassburn4 karma

How often do you spit in people's food when they are assholes?

topman2137 karma

I was hoping someone would ask this. Although we get a lot of snotty assholes who feel everything must be perfect and make your life hell I have never done it and I have never seen anyone else. It's not that we don't want to, it's just we are so busy I don't have the time and where the food comes out other guests might see me do it.

Firecracker5000 karma

Do the servants get lucky? ;) wink wink

topman2138 karma

hahah I haven't heard of anyone gettin it because it's a couples destination, but there is definitely drama between staff haha

kilroyishere890 karma


topman2134 karma

being verified now

SeekIbiza-37 karma

This is a god damn fraud!

topman21312 karma

how so