José Luis started as a bellboy at the hotel over 40 years ago. He later became a night shift operator and today we can find him attending, with a big smile, at the reception. In all this time, José Luis has been dedicated to providing the best service to our clients, allowing him to witness historical moments, meet celebrities and sometimes suffer some clients’ quirks and odd requests. Today, he will share some of his memories with us…
From his beginnings as a bellboy, he remembers the ring of the desk bell. The concierge would ring it and say, “Child, come quickly” and he had to run to follow concierge’s orders as quickly as possible. This bell is an item that, although isn’t currently in use, is preserved because for many years it has been part of the daily life of the hotel. It has even been given as a gift to some of our customers.
When he was still very young, newly transferred to reception, one day his boss told him “José Luis, you’re going to debut.” The arrival of a recognized English writer was expected, who had requested special requirements, such as a tropical fruit basket waiting in the suite. But upon arrival, when he received the key for suite 319, the writer said: “I don’t want that room”. Totally nervous about such an illustrious client, he didn’t know what to do. Fortunately, the client explained that it was a matter of superstition, as the number summed “13” and so he wanted a different one.
In those days, the work was done manually with large books in which all movements of inputs, outputs, number of rooms, prices, etc. were recorded. José Luis can’t forget the long hours they spent trying to find the mistake when there was a mismatch in the accounts.
Numerous clients have stayed at the Wellington Hotel but, out of all of them, he remembers the comedian Miguel Gila with special affection. “He left the famous black phone that he used in his performances in the reception, so when he used to go to pick it up, we all had a great time at the reception desk staff with his jokes and pranks”. This phone still remains stored at the hotel in his memory.
Another client that he especially remembers is Matt Damon because he requested a private room to train, even though the hotel has a gym and a spa. So one of the lounges on the first floor was prepared. “We had to be very discreet so our female staff wouldn’t creep in to see him training,” José Luis recalls with a mischievous smile.
To conclude, our protagonist of this post tells us that what he really likes about his job is having a face to face relationship with everyone. “I’m proud that my contribution has served to make the stay of our customers more pleasant,” he says. And he adds “I love being part of the big family that makes the Wellington Hotel”.