The grand hotels of Europe are suddenly doing their part to help the European Central Bank (ECB) to pull the Common Market out of its lethargy. Consider the call I got this morning from one the legendary concierges of Europe.
“Mr. Regardie, it’s Louis from the Ritz in Venice. How are you.”
Louis was one of the great concierges of Europe. Aloof, born to the job, and could fix anything but a broken heart. The wife and I loved the Ritz and worshipped Louis.
“Louis, how nice to hear from you. I thought the hotel was closed for another year of renovation.”
“Mr. Regardie, the government has asked us to put on triple construction shifts so we’ll reopen May 15th. And we wanted you to be the first to know.”
“Why that’s wonderful!”
“And we’re offering seven nights for the price of four,” Louis said, a little too breathlessly. Then, he paused. “We’ll even upgrade you to the Idi Amin suite. And the Euro has dropped to just $1.13; why I bet by May, it will 1:1 with the dollar.”
“Louis, Louis, we love the Ritz, but we’re planning to go to Asia in May.”
“Oh, Mr. Regardie, the ECB has asked everyone here to help, and everyone is! Every fine restaurant is two for one, including wine! Every night! All the museums, free to non-ECB residents. Every major attraction, too.
“Very attractive, wouldn’t you agree, Mr Regardie.”
“It certainly is, Louis. And I didn’t know you were such a good salesman. You really missed your calling. But we have been looking forward to Thailand and so forth.”
“Why, thank you for the complement. We had to take a three day sales training course. They said Europe’s future depended on us doing our part.
“But, Mr. Regardie, there’s more.
“The ECB made a deal with all the European carriers. Just transfer 50,000 miles each — and we’ll fly you business class to any major European city, with unlimited transfers. We’ll also throw in two first class rail passes for $25.00 each.”
“Louis, for the first time, since I was student, I’m feeling real love from Europe. Hey, one question. Are all the other hotels in Europe offering similar deals or is it just the Ritz because you’re just reopening.”
“Oh, Mr. Regardie, it’s all the fine hotels in the ECB. We all have to do our part in this economic war. Europe depends on it.
“Sir, we need you. The Ritz needs you. Italy and Europe needs you. I can handle all the paper work. All I need from you is a ‘Yes.’”
There was the salesman’s pause. Who talked next, loses, I knew that.
I couldn’t help it.
“Louis, I’ll do it. Give me the Idi Amin suite from May 15-23 and another week at your hotel in London. Send me an e-mail with the details. I can fly to Thailand from London. After all, with all you guys are doing to save Europe, the missus and I can do our part, too.”
Bill Regardie founded Regardie’s Magazine