For the uninitiated, staying at a luxury hotel can be a little intimidating. On top of the exotic amenities and premium services, you encounter shiny people at every turn, like extra utensils at a fancy place setting, ready to do things for you that — no, really — you’d much rather do yourself. Do you tip the doorman? Can you keep the Swiss lotion? What, exactly, is “turndown service,” and why on Earth would anyone ever need it?
Front desk raconteur Jacob Tomsky is here to help. His sharp-witted, candid new book, “Heads in Beds,” demystifies the world of high-end hospitality so effectively that you’ll start looking up rates at the Ritz. (Of course, at those prices, the fantasy might die there.)
Armed with a philosophy degree, which he calls “garbage stuffed inside a trash can of student loans,” Tomsky found work out of college as a valet for a new luxury hotel in New Orleans. He was quickly promoted to the front desk and then became the housekeeping manager before burning out. After a year abroad, he moved to New York for a fresh start. But when he couldn’t get a job outside the industry, he was forced back in, landing a spot on the front desk of a hotel — code-named the Bellevue here — near Times Square.