Honeymoon Secrets: Butler etiquette

Honeymoon Secrets: Butler etiquette

Honeymoons are the time to invest in a holiday upgrade – to add on extras you'd never usually dream of. And one of those extras might be a butler...

Some plush hotels now offer couples a personal butler, a discreet and knowledgable individual who will be at their beck and call, to help make their break extra special.

But most of us don't live in Downton Abbey and have no idea how to deal with 'having staff'. What can you feasibly expect of them? And is there anything they absolutely won't do?

We asked Robert Wennekes, Chairman & CEO of the International Butler Academy and Chairman of the International Guild of Professional Butlers, and Dean Culpan, Operations Manager at Guoman's Grosvenor Hotel, London to explain how a good butler can enhance your honeymoon. 

What can you expect from a modern butler in a luxury hotel?

Today's butlers are executive managers who cover everything from security to human resources. The kind you'll get will depend on where you stay. Robert Wennekes explains: "The true five-star hotels offer superb butlers who can assist guests in enjoying themselves and are great organisers who can simply get things done."

What are the advantages of having a butler service when you're on honeymoon?

Simply, whatever the wish, a good butler will take care of it.

"A butler takes away your worries. From day trips and organising transportation to special requests for breakfast or lunch or dinner the butler will say 'Of course that's possible, I'll gladly do this for you'," explains Robert Wennekes.

Dean Culpan elaborates: "A good butler will always appreciate the correct formality in terms of the culture and demographic of the client - for example, being aware of specific religious customs such as praying at certain times of day or only eating blessed meat - and will make the necessary arrangements for these requirements on behalf of their client."

Will they really do absolutely anything?

Basically yes, within reason. Dean Culpan's rule of thumb is: "Do not ask your butler to do anything that you wouldn't be comfortable with doing yourself."

Robert Wennekes' advice is: "Don't be afraid to ask. Whatever your request might be, they've probably heard it before. They don't make any judgement on what it is that you wish. If you do prefer to eat your breakfast on the beach at a small table with white linen, then why not?"

Whatever your request is, don't expect to shock your butler - they've heard it all before! Dean Culpan still remembers his most unusual request: being asked to wax a client's back! He also has regular clients who "produce a list of requests, such as being picked up from home and taken to the hotel by a young male driver in a white Bentley, or having special ingredients imported to the hotel for their meals."

Robert Wennekes recalls a gentleman staying at a London hotel who had some suits made in Asia. He didn't want them to be shipped, so he sent one of the butlers to collect them in person.

Breakfast in bed doesn't sound so unreasonable now, does it?

How should you treat your butler? Tips from the experts:



Let your butler make your honeymoon extra special:

Interviews by Clare Wilson


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