Keepers of the Keys
by Laura Kusnyer and Jonathan Zeller, 02/23/2009
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In French, their title means "the keeper of the keys," and few can open more doors in NYC than these hardworking men and women.
Concierges—and all those who staff the front desks at New York City's hotels—are part personal assistant, part secret agent and part magician. For them, scoring great seats at a Broadway show or scouting the perfect spot for your big dinner is just another day at the office—but they often take it to the next level. Gilmar Scantamburlo of the W New York – Times Square, for example, has arranged a last-second helicopter ride to Albany and covertly investigated whether a hotel guest's girlfriend wanted to marry him (she did). "I kind of know almost everything," he says with a sheepish grin. The thing is, he can back up that statement.
Although their powers go beyond those of mere mortals, in some ways these hotel heroes are just like all New Yorkers. They hail from around the globe—specifically Sweden, Brazil, Hong Kong and Cuba in the cases of the St. Regis New York, W New York – Times Square, Hotel Le Bleu and Trump International Hotel & Tower, respectively. Click on the hotels at left to find out these gatekeepers' favorite hotspots, biggest-ever requests and why they love pulling off the impossible.