Lessons in Luxury

David Fazekas
Up For Anything

It’s something most of us think only the rich and famous can enjoy… lapping in the life of luxury.

Locked behind the walls of one of the world’s most prominent five-star luxury hotels, lies the secret to luxury service. No task is too impossible for The Waldorf Astoria Hotel’s 1,400 employees. If you want a chocolate fountain in your room, you'll get it.

“Luxury is the best. So we’re trying to put the best food, best customers, best atmosphere. That’s how we define luxury,” said David Garcelon, director of culinary at the Waldorf Astoria. “You should be able to ask for just about anything and our motto is the difficult immediately. The impossible will take a few moments longer.”

The hotel’s 120 cooks, 400 waiters and 100 dishwashers are constantly kept busy in the kitchen’s massive New York City block sized area. The hotel serves on average, 600,000 meals a year and they will accommodate you with anything your stomach desires. Chicken fingers and fries? Yep. Lobster tail with white truffles and caviar? You bet. A unicorn burger? That might take a little bit longer.

The kitchen staff are not the only ones making the impossible happen for The Waldorf Astoria’s 2,200-plus nightly guests. The hotel’s 460 housekeepers must maintain over 1,400 rooms, including 26 presidential-style suites in The Waldorf Towers.

“We do everything and some,” said Hazel Davis, director of housekeeping at The Waldorf Astoria. “If you want a silk robe, we'll go to Bloomingdales and get you a silk robe.”

Providing luxury isn’t easy, but it doesn’t just have to be for the wealthy, or confined to 5-star luxury hotels, first class cabins, and Rolls Royce dealerships. Providing luxury can be found in the subtleties of a simple gesture or in how we speak.

“I don't think luxury has to be expensive at all,” said Bill Wackermann, executive vice president and publishing director at Condé Nast Traveler. “I think if you walked into McDonald’s and someone had a big smile on their face and said, ‘hi, how can I help you?’ and they really meant it, I think that would go a long way in wanting you to come back to that business.

ABC News' Sara Haines, David Fazekas, David Miller and Maurice Abbate contributed to this episode.