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In the hospitality world, many key jobs ensure the operations of a hotel run smoothly. You always have a general manager, for example, and usually front desk staff. A hotel typically employs a catering department, doormen, bellmen, housekeepers and more.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, nearly 10% of all jobs globally are supported by travel and tourism. And with the industry projected to grow steadily over the next decade, there continue to be plenty of new (and sometimes unexpected), job opportunities.
Whether you’re searching for a wild dream job or are simply seeking hotel inspiration, these are some of the most unusual hospitality jobs in the world.
Sommeliers are common at luxury properties. But a water sommelier? Not so much. Yet that’s an actual position at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz in Switzerland. Yes, the woman who holds the title is certified by the Doemens Savour Academy (the only recognized water sommelier program in the world) and presents mineral waters to guests to pair with dishes, wines and more. They also introduce guests to the nutritional value of water. For example, water high in magnesium is good for your heart, muscles and brain, while water with a lot of bicarbonate can be great for hangovers and sore throats.
This butler won’t assist with your bags or get you settled in your room, but he will help you track down your ancestors. The Shelbourne in Dublin, Ireland has an on-staff Genealogy Butler who guests can work with to trace their Irish ancestors. Helen Kelly is one of Ireland’s leading genealogists and a member of Accredited Genealogists of Ireland. He develops personalized research plans, genealogical tours throughout Ireland, assessment reports and hosts trips to Dublin’s various genealogical repositories.
Making the perfect s’more is hard work. That’s why the Paws Up Resort in Montana has trained butlers and culinary staff to become master S’moreologists who can help guests perfect their roasting, toasting, melting and assembly skills. S’moreologists knows all the essential s’mores-crafting techniques, such as the optimal chocolate-to-marshmallow ratio, achieving the ideal caramelization of the marshmallow and developing the perfect amount of char. S’moreologists also understand flavor profiles, helping guests assemble unique concoctions with local ingredients (think: fresh fruit, crispy bacon, salted caramel and smoked salmon). Sounds like a pretty sweet job.
New Orleans is supposedly one of the most haunted cities in the country, and Hilton New Orleans Riverside takes advantage. They have a resident Spookmaster whose job it is to essentially scare guests. How? The Spookmaster tells guests where around town they can go to spot a spirit; sets up local ghost tours and visits to haunted houses such as the Voodoo & Cemetery Tour; and lets guests check out ghost stories for a spooky night in. A key prerequisite for the role? You must be, er, spirited.
Residential Bath Butler
Butlers exist to make lives easier. But there’s one butler gig that’s all about helping travelers destress to the max. Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences in Florida now has a Ritual Bath Butler who will work with Amrit’s Wellness Advisor to determine your optimum sleep time and adjust the room’s lighting to ensure the dimming cycles are perfectly synchronized. From there, a bath will be drawn at the optimum temperature and infused with select aromas and botanicals to ensure you have the most restful night ever.
In Peru, it’s not hard to find archeologists or astronomers. But finding someone that’s an expert in both? That’s a challenge. So, when Mountain Lodges of Peru heard about Andres Adasme — an architect and design consultant with a passion for astronomy — they knew he needed to be on staff. Now, he’s their chief archeoastronomy expert. Adasme leads tours and conversations with travelers, where he shares his knowledge of Andean wisdom and explains the foundation for sacred sites such as Machu Picchu and their relationship to the skies above. He’ll even teach you how to read an ancient sundial.
Chief Flamingo Officer
All hotel brands have a CFO. But the CFO at the Baha Mar resort complex does not need any financial training. Instead, the position requires a degree and experience within the field of zoology. The CFO, or Chief Flamingo Officer, is charged with leading and maintaining the “Flamingo Mansion,” and educating guests about the role flamingos play in the ecosystems and natural environment of the Bahamas. The job sounds great, but the colleagues can be a little flighty.
Everyone has the jitters on their wedding day. That’s why couples employ planners, florists, stylists and more to handle all the day-of details. Well, Asheville’s newest boutique hotel, The Foundry, decided to add a position that specifically takes care of a particular groom need: tying a bowtie. The property employs a Bowtie Butler who can share proper bow-tying techniques and provide quick lessons to the groomsman on how to master the art of a bowtie on his wedding day. You’re guaranteed to have no lopsided bowties in your wedding album.
Kār t̄h̀āy P̣hāph Insiders
Getting that perfect FOMO-inducing selfie is key when traveling. Tower Club at Lebua, in Bangkok, recognized that need and hired photography experts to snap the best pics from 820 feet above the city at The Dome rooftop. The staff will help you capture the best lighting, angles and sky-high views with precision and ease, guiding guests through different poses. The Lebua team even takes it one step further by providing hand-held lighting (for those must-see lifestyle and foodie shots) as the evening progresses, since The Dome’s fine-dining establishments ban flash photography.
Featured image by Francesca Saraco via Unsplash.
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