|Michael Fazio on the Roof of One Times Square|
I don’t usually recommend travel literature for beach reads. Sure a good travel book can get you to the right beach. But once there, folks tend to prefer paperbacks that get their hearts racing: thrillers, romantic novels, the latest New York Times bestsellers.
The exception to that rule may be the surprisingly frank, unashamedly gossipy new memoir by Michael Fazio, “Concierge Confidential”. Starting with Fazio’s days as a talent agent in Hollywood (when he once had to discretely retrieve Charley Sheen’s gun from the diner he’d accidentally dropped it in) and ending in the present day with Fazio as the co-President of a prestigious firm that oversees concierges, the book gives juicy details about what life in the service industry is really like. And yes, concierges are regularly asked by hotel guests to break the law by procuring drugs and prostitutes. They also make the wackiest fantasies come true from filling bathtubs with 80 gallons of Hershey’s syrup to hiring string quartets to play clients off Amtrak trains.
Beyond his adventures, Fazio gives solid advice on how to get what one wants on vacation and in life. Eager to return to the hottest restaurant in town without the hassle of getting reservations months in advance? Ask to meet the chef at the end of your meal, befriend him (aka butter him up) and then call him directly next time you want to get in. Wondering if you can trust the concierge’s recommendations for meals and entertainment? Linger by his desk before you ask your questions. If he’s giving all respondents the same answer it likely means he a)doesn’t know what he’s doing or b) is getting a kickback from the places he’s recommending.
Pick it up. I think you’ll find it to be a quick, fun read.