ITB 2022 Special Reporting
More Than A Butler: Create Niche Specialties In Diverse Landscapes.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Wednesday, 17th November 2010
Every destination has its own personality and ambiance, which is why Fairmont boasts an array of unique jobs for colleagues who bring out the best in their locale. 

In Kenya, on-staff Naturalists can answer any and all questions about the savannah and its inhabitants, while in Barbados a Beach Butler will help guests create a serene oasis for a relaxing escape.  In California, a Forager is on staff to take advantage of the state's legendary culinary bounty, and in China a Tea Sommelier guides guests through a range of options at the historic Jasmine Lounge in Shanghai. 

Whatever the destination calls for, Fairmont will find the perfect colleague to highlight it for guests.

Bustling Butlers

The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel, which reopened its doors on October 10, 2010, is introducing the world's first Green Butler. In addition to providing all the traditional ‘butler' services such as unpacking and packing (using recycled tissue paper, of course), serving morning coffee and arranging receptions, The Savoy's Green Butler will also have an in-depth knowledge of ‘all things green' around London.   Nicolas Ollivier, the newly appointed Green Butler, is superbly placed to make sure that a stay at The Savoy opens guests' minds to a different side of London. He will advise guests on the areas of the city using cutting-edge sustainable technologies, eco-restaurants, eco-bars, environmental architecture and eco-retail.  Butlers are available for suite guests and prices for suites start from GBP £1100 per night.

Even when lounging on the beach, guests at The Fairmont Royal Pavilion in Barbados don't have to worry about getting hungry while enjoying the surf, sun and sand – the property's Beach Butlers are poised to cater to guests' every seaside whim. Available from dawn until dusk, the hotel's four beach butlers provide guests with much needed beach essentials, including frozen fruit kabobs, towels, and mineral water. The butlers are also available to look after possessions while guests take a dip, deliver tropical cocktails and nibbles, fetch items left in the room, buy camera film, make a spa, dinner, or golf reservation or even change a flight home.  For an extra special treat, they can arrange a Sunrise Picnic on the scenic East Coast of the island.

The Pool Butlers at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess make sure all guests at the resort's pool are cool, refreshed and able to snag the perfect spot to lounge during busy times of year, including holidays, spring break and all summer long.  Whether they're recommending a Cactus Colada to sip poolside or providing water, a chilled face towel and chilled grapes to sunbathing guests, the butlers are always ensuring the perfect pool experience.  Pool Butlers can also perform many additional services, including making dinner reservations and recommending local activities.

Decades ago, visitors to the Hawaiian Islands were intrigued by the aloha, charm and warm hospitality of the Waikiki Beachboys. Their cultural knowledge, ocean skills and storytelling talents are legendary. This tradition, and the spirit of old Hawai‘i, thrives at The Fairmont Orchid through the resort's Beachboys program.  Beachboys lead kayaking and snorkeling adventures right off the hotel's white sand beach, teach local and Hawaiian shoreline fishing techniques from  an outrigger  canoe and love to show novices surfers how to Hang-10.

From April to October, the Fairmont Monte Carlo makes it easy for guests to experience one of the 5 glamorous private beaches in the Principality. A dedicated multi-lingual Beach Butler, located in the hotel lobby all day long, ensures that guests are specifically taken care of and that any last minute requests are met. A beach shuttle service is offered during the entire period for guests and the Beach Butler goes along with them to the beach to make sure they are properly settled, and will come to pick them up when they're all done. Guests will also receive a complimentary Fairmont Beach bag with beach towels and fan to enjoy during their day by the water. 

Expert Epicures

As Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth's Chocolatière in Montreal, Carole Proulx has a passion for Valrhona Grand Cru chocolate and admits to needing her daily dose. She appreciates the creativity and freedom her work allows her and continuously strives to create the finest truffles with lasting taste, intense and aromatic flavors. Available throughout the hotel's outlets, including the legendary Beaver Club restaurant and the Gourmandise Boutique, her exclusive truffles and chocolate showpieces are always in high demand. A few of her most popular creations are chocolate milk truffle with Québec maple liqueur, chocolate-covered caramels with fleur de sel and sugar-free dark chocolate squares with creamy ganache.

In California, Chef Ray Garcia of FIG Restaurant at Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows uses the help of Official Forager Kerry Clasby to find delicious additions to his ever-changing menu. Kerry and her team head out into California's countryside from San Francisco to San Diego to gather produce from local farms that are then featured in the restaurant's delectable dishes.   A forager for many years, Kerry is a master of finding the tastiest organic and sustainable food that highlights the best of the region.

Nowhere in Shanghai serves a finer selection of green, black estate, herbal, fruit and specialty teas from around the world than the Jasmine Lounge at Fairmont Peace Hotel. This rich tradition was established by the historic hotel's founding owner, British tycoon Sir Victor Sassoon, who personally selected and imported the tea leaves served in the hotel. Today, the tea selection is sourced from exclusive estates by the lounge's professional Tea Sommelier, who readily guides guests through the hotel's famous tea ceremony experience.  Just as it was in the past, Jasmine Lounge serves its legendary tea sets from morning to evening, with selections tailored according to the different times of day.  Also being brought back to the lounge are Tea Concerts, including daily musical and dance performances, which will provide a classic segue into elegant evenings on the Bund.

At the new Fairmont Beijing, food takes center stage.  Lunar 8, is a chic Asian Fusion restaurant featuring interactive, open kitchens.  At the Noodle Station, a dedicated Noodle-Maker twirls and whirls fresh noodles before diners' eyes.  With many years of noodle-making experience, these specialty chefs have their own special recipes for selecting the perfect powder to produce delicious dough.  There are several styles of twisting the dough, but they all employ the same concept: a piece of dough is repeatedly stretched and folded onto itself in order to align the glutens and warm up the dough for stretching. The process includes many steps, and only a master knows when the noodles are just right.

At ten Fairmont hotels around the world, Beekeepers are actively maintaining apiaries that pollinate local plants and provide delicious, local honey for onsite restaurants and bars.  Whether they are chefs, local farmers or qualified staff members, Fairmont's Beekeepers have been tending their hives with great care, and created a sweet ingredient for cocktails, desserts and more.  Currently, hives are being maintained by The Fairmont Washington, D.C.; The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto; The Fairmont Algonquin in St. Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick; The Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver; Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec; The Fairmont Yangcheng Lake in Kunshan China; Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club; Fairmont San Francisco; Fairmont Dallas; and The Fairmont Vancouver Airport.

All guests' fish stories are safe with The Fairmont Vancouver Airport as are all the prize catches with the hotel's unique Fish Valets. When anglers arrive at the airport from their favorite fishing destination, they are picked up and whisked away to the hotel, where their fish will be kept in pristine condition until their flight home.  Guests can be assured that their "Big One" is properly stored in a 575 cubic foot fish freezer kept at –15 degrees Celcius on the Departures level of the hotel. It's not that unusual to see a 100 lb. halibut come through the door and find its way for a chilly overnight stay.  The valets never tire of hearing stories about that "big catch" or "the one that got away", and guests who are in the know make sure to ask for Executive Chef Kamal Silva's signature recipes for Seared Halibut with Warm Fingerling Potato Salad and Wild Salmon with Fresh Herbed Risotto.

The first of its kind in Egypt, Noble House restaurant at Fairmont Heliopolis and Towers offers a taste of China by adding an exclusive welcome ritual and ceremony performed by Tea Master Tao Qiang from Shanghai.  Tao puts on quite a show by demonstrating his exceptional skills of pouring hot green tea from a long-necked teakettle into tiny teas bowls from the distance of a meter and half. His graceful performance beautifully reflects the Chinese tea culture and is not to be missed.
Highbrow Historians

The newly reopened Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai has seen decades of history pass through its doors.  Jenny Liang Peach, the hotel's Resident Historian, is an expert in Cultural and Art History, particularly the "Internationale Moderne" and Art Deco periods of the 1930s - the decade in which the Fairmont Peace Hotel opened its doors.  Jenny works in the Peace Gallery - the museum, gallery and heritage center of the hotel, and while she grew up in Australia, her family comes from Shanghai and can boast of "four generations on the Bund". 

James Sherwood is a curator and author with an in depth knowledge of London's fashionable past and present.  In anticipation of the reopening of The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel on October 10, Sherwood worked with the hotel on an archive, exhibit and nine personality suites created in honor of past guests.  His tasks have included hunting down photos of Lena Horne, who frequently performed at the hotel, and organizing materials from luminaries including Coco Chanel, Jean Cocteau and more.

Green Guardians

Lyn Santos is the Ecology Manager and Green Team leader at Fairmont Mayakoba in Mexico's Riviera Maya. With a Bachelor's degree in Biology and Master's Degrees in Marine Biology and Sustainable Tourism, Lyn is passionate about nature and environmental protection. Lyn has been with Fairmont Mayakoba since the resort's pre-opening stages, when she was a member of the environmental protection team who made sure the ecosystems were left in better condition than they were found.  She also works with many non-for-profit local communities, including Señores D'Zula, who are preserving ancestral Mayan medicinal knowledge, and Flor de Tajonal, a local project that protects a rare species of bee, which is in danger of extinction. One partnership in particular she has developed is with Community Tours Sian Ka'an (CTSK), a community-based Mayan tour operator that works to protect environmental and cultural heritage inside the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve.

In the enticing woods of Quebec, Bill Nowell, a biologist by training, is Fairmont Kenauk's Manager of Recreation and Fisheries.  The resort is set on 65,000 acres of protected wilderness domain, originally granted by the King of France in 1674. One of North America's largest and longest-established private fish and game reserves, the preserve boasts more than 70 lakes within its borders, 25 of which Bill helps manage for fishing three species of trout, two species of bass and northern pike. Bill's many other responsibilities include keeping populations of deer (1,500), moose (65), bears (60 to 80) and wolves (a pack of 6 to 10) healthy.  Because Kenauk spans a variety of ecological zones, the forest is unusually mixed, supporting about 200 bird species.

At Fairmont Mara Safari Club in Kenya, guests who come for safari will be treated to evening lectures and guided walks with the resort's Resident Naturalist, Jonathan Ledama.  Whether they go on a guided bushwalk where they can learn about the plants and animals of The Mara firsthand, or simply accompany him on a walk around the resort grounds to learn more about Masai culture and local ecology, the fascinating talks captivate visitors and provide an in-depth look at the world around the lodge.  At nearby Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, Simon Mureithi is also a Resident Naturalist.  Guests can walk up into the Forest Reserve with Simon, who is a fount of local information as well as highly knowledgeable about birds and trees.  Qualified as a professional guide, Mureithi has done a course with Nature Kenya and participated with bird-ringing projects in the Rift Valley.  He also offers evening classes in Kiswahili to Club guests and has trained many Club drivers to be naturalists.

In 1899, Canadian Pacific Hotels introduced professional Swiss Mountain Guides to the Canadian Rockies. For over 55 years these Swiss climbers taught thousands to ascend mountains safely, making over 250 first ascents in these mountains, the majority of them accompanied by novice guests. Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise revived the time honored guiding tradition in 1997.  The guides, who are award-winning naturalists, offer adventures for all skill levels and continue the legacy of the Swiss guides.  In winter, The Mountain Heritage Guides take guests for ice canyon hikes or snowshoe walks during the day or by moonlight, and teach about the magnificent geography of the area.  Resident Naturalist and Heritage Guide Bruce Bembridge worked as a schoolteacher and specialized in outdoor education before making full-time guiding his career, and has lead the hotel's program for many years.

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