Now Hiring: Hotel Duck Master

"I was an equal opportunity tanning butler," Vincent said. "For me, a guest is a guest. I was just there to make sure they didn't get that nasty sunburn."

It's not only the ultimate in pampering but also a great story to take home.

"I can't tell you the hundreds of photo albums the tanning butler must be in worldwide, from Stockholm to Tokyo," Payer said. "He's a hit, and a service that guests expect."

A few years ago, a girl even called and asked the tanning butler to be her prom date.

The ideal candidate for the job, Payer said, is outgoing, gregarious, well-spoken, a true people person who enjoys engaging in conversation and understands his role as an ambassador of a luxury brand.

School of Falconry

Across the ocean, we found a very different type of job.

Weighing hawks does not play a huge, or indeed any, part in the average hotel employee's day, but Emma Ford is not your average hotel employee. She is director of the British School of Falconry, which is located at the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland. Her morning work routine begins with weighing her precious Harris Hawks.

"A fat hawk won't fly," Ford explains, so the morning weigh-in is crucial and gauges how much food and exercise the bird will have that day.

The school offers two kinds of falconry sessions. Guests can chose between a short, 45-minute introductory session, at $100 per person, or a longer half-day hunt with the birds out in the wild for $350 per person.

"I have probably one of the best jobs in the world. The reaction from the guests is incredible," Ford said.

In both sessions, the bird flies off and then returns to a glove worn by the guests.

"We aim to get a falcon on a guest's hand within five minutes," she said.

For most people, it's the first time they've had such close contact with any bird, let alone a hawk.

"They discover they aren't as scary as they thought," Ford said.

She has been a falcon fanatic every since she first locked eyes with one aged 8 when a new neighbor moved in next door. She looked over the wall into a hawk's eyes and was hooked. And through falconry, Ford has also found love. At the age of 14, she met another keen falconer, now her husband, who helps her run the school at Gleneagles.

They have never had any accidents with the hotel guests and the birds. "They're not vicious creatures. They love being in the company of humans," she said, but did offer one word of warning: if you turn up in a fur coat you'll be asked to take it off.

"You don't want to look like a very large rabbit" when around falcons, Ford said. They might just get the wrong idea.

Other amazing hotel jobs include:

Sleep Concierge: The Benjamin Hotel in New York takes its guests' sleep very seriously. In fact, they guarantee a good night's sleep or your money back.

To this end, they have hired a sleep concierge. Anya Orlanska contacts guests prior to their stay, e-mailing them the hotel's pillow menu. Once they arrive, she is on hand, always ready to give sleep advice to guests.

They offer a selection of 12 different kinds of pillows, including the Snore-No-More, Lullaby, and Gelly Neck Roll. "The Swedish Memory [foam] is the most popular," Orlanska said. "It's a space-age design by NASA. It even keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter."

She'll also talk guests through how best to prepare for a good night's sleep.

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