- The Athenaeum
- Jim Gardner Burns has been a doorman at The Athenaeum in London for 26 years.
- Over his years at the luxurious Mayfair hotel, he has met the likes of Samuel L. Jackson, Steven Spielberg, Natalie Portman, Denzel Washington, and Gary Oldman.
- However, Burns told INSIDER there’s a simple way to ensure you too are treated like royalty: simply be nice to the staff.
- “If you’re nice to someone, they want to be nice to you back,” he said.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
We all know those people who seem to get treated like an A-lister wherever they go: extra chocolates on their pillows, complimentary upgrades, and free bottles of Champagne are the norm for some.
But what’s their secret? Dazzling good looks? Irresistible charm?
According to the long-standing doorman of a luxury London hotel, it’s actually much more simple: just be nice to the staff.
Jim Gardner Burns, 58, has been a doorman at The Athenaeum in Mayfair for 26 years, and he explained to INSIDER that the secret to getting extra great treatment when you stay in a hotel isn’t really a secret at all.
- The Athenaeum
“The aim of the hotel is to give the best service to everyone all the time,” he said.
“But it’s true, the genuinely nicer the guest is to the staff, the more they would want to be of service to the guest.”
With over a quarter-century of experience at The Athenaeum under his belt, Burns has met high-profile guests including Samuel L. Jackson, Steven Spielberg, Natalie Portman, Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Billy Connolly, Steven Fry, and Margaret Thatcher.
However, he has to treat them like any other guest.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re an actor or not,” Burns said. “You get the same treatment.”
However, he says it helps to be polite and friendly.
“I would recommend to anyone coming to a hotel, be as nice as you can to all the staff,” Burns said.
“The waitress, the chambermaid, it doesn’t matter. They will then want to be of service to you, rather than just be of service. It’s human nature.
“If you’re nice to someone, they want to be nice to you back. That would be my recommendation.”