David Canas, head concierge at the Langham Place, New York, got a call one day from an incoming guest who wanted to propose to his girlfriend in style. The only thing the groom-to-be had planned was going to see The Phantom of the Opera—a show his girlfriend liked—but he had no idea of what else he could do. “He wanted to go to a special restaurant, and I thought of the Skybox at Daniel,” Canas said. “At the same time, he had ordered a ring from one of the jewelry stores in New York City.” The guest did not want to carry a ring box, however, lest the girlfriend notice it and ruin the surprise. Canas came up with a solution: He hired a car for the evening and had the driver meet the guest in the hotel’s restaurant, Ai Fiori. The guest gave the ring to the driver and the driver—minutes later—drove the couple to Daniel, where the maitre d’ knew to go downstairs to get the ring from the driver. A hostess at the restaurant then brought the ring to the table at the designated time, and the bride was suitably surprised. (After all that, we hope she said yes.)
Canas also got a call from an assistant in Dubai whose boss was en route to New York, and would want a haircut when he arrived…at 11pm. “No one is open at 11pm,” Canas said, “but you can always find someone to come and do a haircut.” The guest’s haircut cost $950, Canas noted. At the same time, the guest had problems with his suit, but was too wrapped up in meetings to get to a store. Canas called a contact at Saks, and the luxury store sent over a van filled with suits that fit the guest’s measurements. “They have a very good private shopper service, and we have a good relationship with them,” Canas said.
Canas has also organized last-minute helicopter tours to the Hamptons, and to Niagara Falls. (The latter trip costs approximately $10,000.) “If they say ‘I want to go to Niagara Falls in three hours,’ we have to prepare that as quickly as possible,” he said. “Once again, the money is not an issue, so if you tell the companies, ‘I have to have it done,’ you get it done.”