Ivan M. Frutos
Argentinean Flavor: On Friday nights, the hotel holds tango lessons in one of the hotel’s three restaurants and I serve an Argentinean Malbec. At the end of a stay, we send travelers home with maté and dulce de leche kits, which include handwritten time lines of the products’ history. Doubles from $480.
Going the Distance: The hotel doesn’t have a taxi queue, so over the past four decades I have run thousands of miles to grab taxis for travelers. That’s only one of the ways I try to make visitors feel well cared for. For example, a guest returned to the hotel many years after his last stay. Not only did I welcome him by name but I’d tucked away the gloves he’d left behind on his last visit—he’d moved, and we didn’t have the new address. They were already waiting for him in his room. Doubles from $364.
Server, Miyuki restaurant, Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Chinzan-so
Years on the Job: 6
Cultural Immersion: Throughout the year, Miyuki restaurant offers sushi-making classes. Guests can also borrow kimonos, and I help them put the outfits on in an authentic way. Travelers can then pose for snapshots in our in-house photo studio. Doubles from $458.
Into the Wild: Sometimes we host dinners in a surprise location in the mountains of the Bushmans Kloof reserve, and I tend bar with an edited-down selection—it would be impossible to bring all of our wines to the mountain! Our staff performs gumboot dancing and African drumming while guests mingle before dinner. Doubles from $481.
Planning Ahead: If a guest is headed to Pink Beach or the 800-year-old Kauri Tree, I pack a bag with towels, bottled water, and a two-way radio in case of emergency. I also use the nightly cocktail hour to find out what everyone wants to do the next day: horseback riding? Clay shooting? And I introduce guests to other guests. Many end up having dinner or playing tennis together. Doubles from $842.