Let’s be honest — we’re not all this artistically gifted when it comes to sand. (Photo: iStock)
No family beach vacation is complete without the customary sand castle building session.
In reality, though, the process of piecing together a halfway decent looking sandcastle, the kind that looks great on Facebook, is actually much harder than it looks.
Now one clever company is attempting to take the effort out of building an Instagram-worthy sand sculpture by launching the first-ever sand castle concierge service.
Oliver’s Travels, a U.K.-based vacation company providing luxury villa rentals across the globe, introduced the new VIP service at several of its European properties this summer.
From cartoon characters and farm animals to actual castles that would put Disney to shame, these highly skilled sand sculptors are able to create pretty much anything a guest’s imagination can come up with.
Your very own sand castle butler will build the sand castle of your dreams. (Photo: Oliver’s Travels/Twitter)
“Our Sandcastle Butlers are specially trained to make sure your family is the talk of the shoreline,” boasts the company’s website.
The process begins after a reservation is made, with a brainstorming consultation where the family can discuss ideas and designs with their butler, who will then put the concept down on paper in a drawing that the family can keep.
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Following that, the butler will choose an appropriate location on the beach, where the sand is just right, to begin the creation.
The entire family is encouraged to get involved and help bring their ideas to life.
“Families spend a lot of quality time together building sand castles on their holidays, but sometimes no matter how hard you try, they just look like big mounds of sand that then get washed away by a big wave,” explains company co-founder Oliver Bell.
Kids can request whatever they want, even a Minion hanging out with some dolphins and an octopus. (Photo: iStock)
“Now you can realize your sandy dreams with a butler who can help build anything your imagination can conjure up. We’re expecting the most popular choices this year to be the Minions, dinosaurs, and Peppa Pig.”
The company has even devised a specialist training program for its butlers to ensure they are capable of crafting the most intricate and complicated of requests. The program involves an education on sand, including how to choose sand of the correct consistency and how to create the ideal sand-water mix to ensure your castle stays put long after it is built.
Sand castles, however, are just the beginning when it comes to travel companies and hotels going that extra mile for their guests.
Many vacation destinations are now jumping on the same bespoke service bandwagon and are offering up specialized services to visitors in order to separate themselves from the competition.
The Viceroy Hotel in New York offers its VIP residents the use of a private champagne butler, whose single task is to ensure that your glass is never empty, while the Rosewood Hotel group has a fragrance concierge, who will bring a selection of perfume and cologne to your hotel room.
Overdo it in NoLa? No worries! The recovery concierge at the Ritz Carlton will bring you Bloody Marys and help you to feel good as new. (Photo: iStock)
Some of the Ritz Carlton properties are now offering a BBQ butler, who for $245 will provide grilling lessons and cook you a private alfresco dinner. And if you over do it while out on the town, the group’s property in New Orleans offers a recovery concierge, who will come to your room armed with a strong Bloody Mary and other fixings to help ease the pain.
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For those with a love of the outdoors, the Montage Deer Valley in Park City, Utah, gives its visitors access to a constellation concierge, whose team will take you on a tour of the night sky above the Wasatch Mountains and even let you play with their advanced Celestron SkyScout equipment.
Or if you fancy learning more about your ancestry, the Trump International Hotel in Clare, Ireland, has two genealogists on staff who will research your family tree and even help you locate other living family members.
We’ve come a long way, baby. Free Wi-Fi and a chocolate on the pillow seem like the vestiges of yesteryear.