IN his continuing search for the more weird and wondrous in this world, David Ellis says every hotel Concierge has a tale to tell of odd-ball guest requests, but probably few as odd-ball as one thrown up to Michael De Cozar who over the past 43 years has heard them all as Concierge at London’s swanky The Ritz.So forget such requests to other hotels’ Concierges as the fellow who asked for a dozen pillows to fill his 5-star room’s bathtub so he could sleep in that rather than his queen-size bed, the lady who wanted two walking machines in her room – one for herself, one for her dog – the Australian millionaire who demanded a gas-fired barbecue for his luxury LA hotel suite, and of course countless requests to slip lady “companions” un-noticed up to 5-star rooms via dimly-lit back-entrances…
Because the weirdest request Michael says he’s ever got was from a guest who asked could he buy him a battleship.
And not a toy one, but a fair-dinkum, one-time Royal Navy fighting machine.
Being the epitome of Concierges that he is, Michael of course agreed, and while the guest flew back home to America, Michael went in search, ultimately finding a decommissioned 1,200 tonne corvette languishing in Newcastle upon Tyne, and with the Royal Navy happy to sell.
So he clinched the deal, and had the old warrior towed across the Atlantic to the guest’s home on Lake Michigan, where it’s still moored today as the ultimate in grandchildren’s adventure playgrounds, complete with onboard sandpits, basketball court, TV room and sleep-over.
Didn’t we say Michael De Cozar was the epitome of Concierges?