Remember that Michael J. Fox movie from the 90s, The Concierge? We might have just found the Australian equivalent in Preston Forsyth, Head Concierge at Crown Resorts. He reveals his top five most memorable – and extravagant – guest requests…
Sydneysiders will know all about Sydney’s rapidly changing city skyline, thanks to the addition of Barangaroo in recent years, and come 2021 that skyline will be punctuated with a new looming, sleek and modern tower – the luxurious Crown Residences. The ultra-luxe hotel will be the first six-star international hotel to be built in Sydney, and will be home to 350 hotel rooms and suites, luxury apartments, high-end retail outlets and spa facilities. You can just imagine the discerning clientele that will be walking its corridors, and if anyone knows about the expectations of luxury hotel guests, its Head Concierge at Crown Resorts, Preston Forsyth.
As one of Australia’s most sought-after concierges, he has worked at Crown Towers in Melbourne for the past three years, and from sourcing cashmere socks from Paris to setting up a reptile park for a guest of the hotel, he’s heard it all, so we couldn’t resist asking him: What are your top five most memorable and extravagant guest requests?
Best Christmas Ever
“Last Christmas we had a lovely family of four visiting from England who wanted to create a truly memorable Christmas for their children,” says Preston. “Prior to their arrival we sourced a beautiful eight-foot Christmas tree adorned with festive crystal ornaments, and decorated the room with garlands and stockings embroidered with the names of the children. At the request of the parents, we arranged for a selection of toys and gifts from local boutiques and department stores which we had meticulously wrapped and placed under the tree on Christmas Eve. Later that morning we presented the family with a Christmas Hamper containing a festive selection of freshly baked ham, roast turkey and accompaniments for them to enjoy along the foreshore of St Kilda Beach.”
Romantic Anniversary Dinner
“Recently a lovely couple were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, and the husband wanted to create a special surprise for his wife. The wife only knew she was going for an elegant dinner as the husband had purchased a designer dress she had admired and had it laid out thoughtfully on their bed in anticipation for celebrating their anniversary. We arranged for a limousine to collect her from her home and transport her to Crown Towers, were she was met upon arrival and escorted up to their villa. There, a private dinner was waiting, along with a string quartet playing the couples’ favourite classical music.”
Luxury Scavenger Hunt
“Proposals are a regular occurrence at Crown Towers, and it is always a great pleasure of mine to be involved in such a momentous occasion for any couple. Recently we had an extravagant setup where a gentleman local to Melbourne had arranged for his partner to partake in a scavenger hunt,” Preston says.”The partner’s quest started at their home where a handwritten note sent the partner through Melbourne to the bar they first met, the movie theatre they had their first date at and the couple’s regular brunch spot prior. The last stop was Crown Towers Melbourne where the couple had spent their first night away together. When the partner arrived at the hotel, she was greeted by our concierge team and escorted to a room where her partner was down on one knee with Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” playing in the background. It’s safe to say she said ‘yes’, and we already look forward to hosting the couple for their wedding night later next year.”
Private Jet Art Journey
“A lovely couple visiting from overseas only had a short time in Australia and wanted to visit the acclaimed MONA in Hobart but were short on time. We were able to liaise with a private jet company to chauffeur the couple out to Hobart and through our connections in the industry were able to arrange for a private viewing of the museum in enough time to get the couple back to Melbourne for their flight home.”
Private Jazz Concert… In Your Room
“We have guests who come to stay at our hotel on a regular basis and these guests become like family to our team. We have a guest who frequents jazz bars, and on one trip they were coming to celebrate their birthday, so with the assistance of the guest’s friends we arranged for a baby grand piano to be placed in the guests room and for a local jazz band to perform a private concert for the guest as a gift on their birthday.”
Check out a sneak preview of the new Crown Residences, One Barangaroo below: