Now Hiring: Hotel Duck Master
Meet the people with the most unique hotel jobs in the world.
June 14, 2010— -- Forget that job as a bellhop, housekeeper or concierge. The Peabody Orlando is looking to fill one of the most unique jobs in the hospitality industry: duck master.
The lucky new hire will be in charge of overseeing the hotel's five mallards, parading them through the lobby twice a day and informing guests about the duck's daily lives.
It sure beats putting mints on pillows.
There are only two other duck masters in the world; one at the original Peabody in Memphis and one at the Peabody in Little Rock.
The tradition of the famous Peabody marching ducks began in 1932, when the Memphis hotel's general manager Frank Schutt and his friend Chip Barwick returned empty-handed from a weekend hunting trip. As a prank the men put their live duck decoys in the fountain in the hotel's lobby. The reaction from hotel guests was nothing short of enthusiastic.
Since then, every day at 11 a.m., the ducks are led by the duck master down the elevator from their "Duck Palace" on the roof to the marble fountain in lobby. The ceremony is reversed at 5 p.m., when the ducks march back down the red carpet through crowds to retire for the evening.
"We're looking for a captivating and talented individual with a love for animals and passion for working with people," said Alan Villaverde, managing director of The Peabody Orlando. "Our Duck Masters are known and loved around the world."
If you think looking after hotel ducks is an odd job, here are some others that will also amaze you.
The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach in Miami Beach, Fla., employs a "tanning butler" who is paid to essentially to walk around the beach all day, chatting with beautiful people basking in the Florida sun.
That's right. The luxury hotel actually has somebody on the payroll whose sole responsibility is to help you get lathered up in sunscreen. The service has been in place since the Ritz opened six years ago. The high-visibility butlers, however, usually don't last too long -- the first was discovered on the pool deck and moved to Milan two months later for a modeling career.
"The tanning butler patrols the pool deck and beach in an effort to ensure every guest returns home with a golden South Beach tan," said Michelle Payer, the creator of the program and a spokeswoman for the hotel.
The tanning butler is just one of the unique hotel jobs we found around the globe. From coin washer to peacock manager to fireplace butler, ABC News sought out some of the most unique jobs in the hospitality industry.
The Ritz Carlton's tanning butler wears a custom-made holster filled with sunscreens of varying SPFs. Not only is the lotion free, but he also offers to apply it to hard-to-reach back, shoulder and neck areas that easily burn.
"His holster also contains a cool water mister and sunglass cleaner for the ultimate in multi-tasking service," Payer added.
Malcolm Vincent held the job for nearly three years and still calls it today "a phenomenal experience." He was born and raised on Maui and said, "I was just a natural at it."
"I just tried to provide a really over-the-top experience for the guest," Vincent said.
He got to meet celebrities staying at the hotel and says he enjoyed providing the service, which was a pleasant surprise to countless sunbathing guests.
So, was it more enjoyable to apply sunscreen to some people than others?
"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.
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