If you've ever looked across a crowded hotel lobby and could have sworn that a woman wearing sunglasses was Angelina Jolie, don't be so quick to doubt your eyesight. Many celebrities check in at the front desk just like the average Joe. But even if a high profile guest were to slip in through a back entrance, there are other cues that the person in the penthouse is a bold-faced name.
Here, Mark Feinberg, marketing director for the Ames Hotel in Boston, offers some insider tips to suss out celebrities, politicians and other notables staying at your hotel.
|Start in the Parking Lot|
"If you see lots of black cars, SUVs, long buses or other unusual vehicles, those are good signs that something is happening," said Feinberg, whose hotel has played host to various musicians on tour and is a partner for the Boston Calling music festival. "I can't really say who, but someone we are expecting always shows up in a bright Camaro."
|Watch Out for Men in Black|
When a politician is expected at a property, a team is sent sometimes five days in advance to survey the area, said Feinberg, who has worked at hotels playing host to former President Clinton and former Vice President Dick Cheney, among others. "It’s just like you see on TV," he went on. "Men in black suits with dark glasses will be standing in the halls."
|Note Small, Significant Details|
Because politicians are usually kept in private areas of a hotel away from regular guests, staff must be given clearance to get past security details. Once employees have been vetted, they are usually given a little button to wear on their lapel, said Feinberg, signaling to guards that they have been checked.
|Keep Your Ears Open|
Think the valet is talking kind of funny? He or she may be speaking in code. "We have definitely used phrases like, 'the eagle has landed' and 'the duck's on the pond' to communicate when a high profile guest is about to arrive," said Feinberg.
|Follow the Bowl of Green M&Ms|
If room service is delivering a bowl of green M&Ms or something else hard to come by, chances are the unusual food was a request in a musician's rider or came directly from an A-Lister down to the restaurant kitchen. "You have buy 20 bags of regular M&Ms and separate them all," said Feinberg. "The staff ate the leftovers. I think I did too."
|Look Up. Like, Way Up|
If a football player or other athlete is staying at the Ames Hotel, they are typically shown to a top-tier suite called "The Apartment," which is 1700 square feet. "It looks like an apartment, with a living room, dining room, large bathroom, and incredible views of downtown," said Feinberg. "And there is a room next door where we can put the assistant."
|Don't Expect Anyone to Answer Your Questions|
As a rule, hotel staff will never point you in the direction of what room a celebrity may be staying in. "But if they're in the lobby and someone walks up to ask for a photograph," Feinberg noted, "well, that's fair game."