November 01st 2022

Masters of Etiquette

Masters of Etiquette

Until recently, the impeccable attention of a personal butler was a limited, albeit exclusive offering for Four Seasons guests. But today, rising demand has seen an expanded team of hotel personnel trained by the famed British Butler Institute to offer more patrons this white-glove service.

Think of butlers, and chances are Batman’s stalwart companion, Alfred Pennyworth, comes to mind. The latter’s discretion, meticulousness and impressive problem-solving powers are ever at the superhero’s disposal, helping him surmount challenges with creativity and high-tech know-how. Today, while they may not wield the technologically-advanced gadgetry available to Alfred, the Four Seasons’ exclusive and expanded team of butlers are putting their own brand of impeccable skills to work for guests.

For almost a decade now, the hotel has been offering patrons this highest-level service, with the Four Seasons’ first two stewards trained for the role nearly 10 years ago by the British Butler Institute - the world’s premier school and certification organisation for butlers. Upon finishing their training, the butler duo thereafter took sole care of VIP guests staying in the Royal and Prince Suites, or those requesting such exclusive service for an additional fee.

Fast forward to recent years, and, with more guests keen to retain a butler during their Four Seasons stay, it became clear the hotel would need to train more of its staff to offer such gold-standard service. “Three years ago, demand for butler services at the Four Seasons grew quite rapidly, and we saw this as an opportunity to expand our offerings in this area for our guests,” explains Executive Director Nick Aristou. “So, we once again reached out to the British Butler Institute to set up a specialised training programme for those interested employees.”


In March 2022, an Institute instructor flew to the island to train 13 handpicked and fully-vetted staff members to buttle for guests at both the Four Seasons and its sister hotel Amathus. The intensive, week-long training introduced the hotel’s new team of butlers to everything they need to know about this elite profession, including how to approach and talk to guests, how to deal with difficult clients, proper etiquette and good manners, as well as providing valuable, bespoke information. Participants also enhanced their skills and knowledge on topics pertinent to high-flyer clientele, including oenology, shoe-shining, flower arrangement, cooking, and coffee mastery.

The level of detail and range of services covered during the tailored training were endless. From how to place a wake-up call, to how to open and close a door, to how to pack a suitcase… the hotel’s budding butlers were equipped with the many skills needed to keep their VIP guests pampered, contented, and with plenty of time to make the most of the amenities available to them.

And there have been additional benefits to the Institute’s preparation for the trainee butlers: the experience has motivated them to upgrade their professional standards and level of service, as well as advance their hospitality industry careers. For example, some of the hotel’s sommeliers also chose to become certified butlers, as the skills passed onto them during the British Butler Institute’s training translate exceptionally well to a restaurant dining room and the wine-tasting world.

Most importantly, trainees who underwent the Institute’s challenging butler certification programme cherished learning proper etiquette and relating to guests in a friendly yet efficient manner.

“The requirements of being a butler—things such as having good manners around guests—are very important to me; they have helped me stay one step ahead in the hospitality industry and better myself, as both a person and a young professional,” says George Nearchou, one of this cohort’s newly-minted butlers.


Besides relating to their guests in a cordial, warm and respectful manner, the Four Seasons butlers are equipped with an arsenal of related skills, such as packing and unpacking a suitcase, preparing personalised beverages, garment pressing, and running a complete service desk, covering requests and answering queries at any hour of the day.

These unique skills and services have already been put to the test with great success. On one occasion, a VIP guest, who had dropped his mobile phone and shattered its screen, asked the butler assigned to him to fix it before having to catch a flight back home the following morning, it was 10pm on a Sunday night. Quick on his feet, the butler leveraged his local connections, resilience and resourcefulness to get the device repaired within a few hours - to the elation of the guest. This story, one of many similar moments of outstanding service, has already made it into the hotel’s rapidly-growing butler lore.

Unsurprisingly, demand for the hotel’s butlers remains steady, with plenty of room for growth. As more VIP guests discover this Mediterranean island paradise, the need for experienced and skilled gloved assistants will rise, and the Four Seasons is confident it is well-equipped to provide each of its patrons with their own ebullient, well-mannered and inventive Alfred. Fancy, high-tech gadgets not included.


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