While the pinnacle of awards season, Oscar week can also mean traffic congestion, reservation headaches and, for guests traveling with kids in tow, restless children. The town’s top concierges have tips to make awards week a more pleasurable experience.
“First, understand where your hotel is versus the awards shows,” says Rob DelliBovi of RDB Hospitality (rdbvip.com). “We have tons of people who want to stay in Santa Monica or West Hollywood, but then get upset when they find out how long it’ll take to get there.” Also, “Make sure hotels know about your need for more space, steamers and rolling racks. Hotels have very limited amounts, and the stylists that act first will get these upgrades and services.”
Confirmed360 (confirmed360.com) specializes in exclusive entertainment events. “If you want to experience the Oscars like a celebrity, then you’re going to want to be talking to somebody like us,” says CEO Matt Ampolsky. “We can help curate and create an itinerary for you where you are basically treated like the star.” In addition to scoring clients access to coveted parties and awards events, Confirmed360 curates experiences. A Lady Gaga concert package came complete with photo op and a private tour of the Lakers practice facility includes a one-on-one game with a player such as Anthony Davis or Dwight Howard.
Clients of In the Know Experiences (intheknowexperiences.com) receive insider perks. Need a celebrity hairstylist or makeup artist? “The best are in high demand and we have magic ways to open up last-minute appointments,” says Josh
Zipkowitz, director of client relations and special events.
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When traveling with kids, hotels can help occupy younger guests. At Shutters on the Beach, kids can take surfing lessons or enjoy unlimited Santa Monica Pier amusement park rides. The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles plans outings to La Brea Tar Pits, Petersen Automotive Museum and Duff’s Cakemix, or meals at the Griddle Cafe and Reel Inn Malibu. Says concierge Adam Schon, “Our team can keep your family well-occupied and happy during awards season.”
The Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel (fourseasons.com) has a concierge team of 12, the largest in California. Even so, extra staffing is brought in over awards season.
“The concierge will stock up on everything from extra clothing racks to double-sided garment tape, extra cuff links, bow ties, men’s black dress socks and more,” says chief concierge Jeanne Mills. Awards week tasks include managing “ticket deliveries galore.”
On Oscar morning, concierges are on hand for last-minute mishaps: “One of our team members had to rewrite an award speech for a nominated actor who had spilled a smoothie on his speech,” says Mills, noting it wasn’t entirely unfortunate. “As she frantically retyped the speech, she noticed that he had failed to list his wife!”
The Peninsula Beverly Hills (peninsula.com) keeps extensive profiles on guests including likes, dislikes and preferences, “so when there is an opportunity to surprise them the team responds by instinct,” says managing director Offer Nissenbaum.
“We take care of their pets, bring in hair and makeup professionals, organize in-room massages and yoga, meditation and other beauty treatments,” he adds. “If they need tailoring, we’ll bring in our top tailors. We organize fittings if needed, or host their media appointments so they don’t have to leave the hotel.”
No task is too great: “We have a guest that had a certain cologne that he always wears but they discontinued it, so we found a chemist who re-created the scent.”
On awards day, the spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles (ritzcarlton.com) handles around 150 appointments . As the number-one concierge request is help tying bow ties, the majority of concierges can, or they’ll provide step-by-step instruction guides for guests who wish to tie their own.
Lighted makeup mirrors, director’s chairs, clothing racks, full-length mirrors and humidifiers are popular in-room asks. On an awards night, in-room dining typically delivers 200 bottles of champagne.
“We pride ourselves on providing exceptional service for our guests throughout the year,” says general manager Javier Cano. “But on award show nights, the allure of classic Hollywood really shines through.”