Day in the life: Charles Green, butler, Sandals

Day in the life: Charles Green, butler, Sandals

From cocktails to Usain Bolt, guests’ requests are all part of a day’s work for this Sandals Over-The-Water Suites butler. By Ben Ireland

I get up…
At 5am if I’m on the early shift. I start the day by reading a few verses from my bible.

The first thing I do when I get to work is…
Pick flowers for my guests’ rooms, check my phone and read my log.

I’ve been a butler for…
Ten months, but I have worked at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort & Private Island, in Jamaica, for a year and 10 months. Before this, I worked for a year as a concierge.

I became a butler because…
It was my dream job. You need a winning smile, great personality and the right character to do well. All butlers at Sandals are trained to the standards of the Guild of Professional English Butlers, which has some of the best mentors in the world. The training is tough and not everyone makes it through.

I feel very fortunate to be here doing what I love and meeting fantastic people every week. The life of a butler is not easy but it is definitely worth it.

My daily duties involve…
Anything and everything to make sure that my guests are having the best holiday possible. Guests staying in our Over-The-Water Suites have a 24-hour butler service, split into shifts. Each guest with a butler gets a ‘butler phone’ so that they can request things during the day, such as their favourite cocktail on the beach.

Couples fill in a form before their visit to let us know what they like at various points through the day, whether it’s a full English breakfast on the balcony at 8am or a gin and tonic in their room before dinner, so we can organise things without asking.

We try to surprise our guests once we know more about their specific tastes, so we might source certain food for them even if we don’t have it on resort. We also do simple things, like dinner reservations and booking excursions.

The most rewarding thing is…
Creating a real ‘wow’ moment for guests that they will remember for years to come.

The most challenging part is…
Saying goodbye to guests when their holiday ends. Some cry, which is bittersweet because it’s sad to see them go but great to know that I had such a big impact.

To relax I like to…
Play football or spend time with friends.

What one thing would you take to a desert Island?
A butler, of course, but only if they are as good as me.

Do you get to know your guests or do you keep your distance?
I like to get to know my guests as it helps me to better serve them. I share my likes and dislikes, which helps them to relax and trust you. Some guests are more reserved, so then you need to be more observant. Guests are all very different and it can be strange when you have a guest who doesn’t utilise you as much as others.

How do you know when to give guests privacy and does it get awkward?
We tend to know when couples want to have privacy, especially on their honeymoon. I haven’t had any awkward moments myself. If I notice a guest needs their space I’ll step back and only give them a call every now and then.

Away from work I like to visit…
Negril, Jamaica. There is so much to see.

The worst thing that can happen is…
When something outside of your control makes a guest unhappy – like the weather.

The strangest request I’ve had from a guest…
Was when someone asked to have Usain Bolt visit while on vacation.

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