World's Best Job: Beach Tanning Butler

"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.

"We advise them not to eat a heavy meal before bed. No BlackBerry or computer in the bedroom," she said. "We encourage guests to keep the bedroom for sleeping."

Orlanska's secret weapon? A peanut butter and jelly sandwich made with banana bread which, she claims, spurs the production of sleep-inducing melatonin. The role is clearly a rewarding one for Orlanksa, although it was not one she sought out, having originally interviewed for a regular concierge job.

"I like my job very much," she said, adding that she enjoys helping people sleep. "You feel useful."

Coin Washer: The Westin St. Francis in San Francisco has employed a coin washer since the mid-1930s, when women always wore white gloves and hats to come downtown. The story goes that a hotel general manager noticed that the ladies attending the weekly fashion shows in the Mural Room were soiling their white gloves on the change they were using to pay for lunch.

So to keep gloves clean, the hotel started washing all its coins. For the last 10 years, Rob Holson, who today also runs the hotel's business center, has been washing the coins.

"It's a side job, basically," he said.

Each week he washes about $700 to $800 in coins in an old manually operated machine once used to polish the hotel's silverware.

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