Running around the city means more than fulfilling special requests to Melissa Andrade. Concierge to The NoMad Hotel, Melissa doesn't just create memorable experiences for her guests, she’s training for the upcoming TCS New York City Marathon which can seen on her Instagram, and has usually completed her WOD before she starts creating her magic at The NoMad. Melissa is absolutely stunning, has a smile as bright as the sun, and somehow manages to add a flicker of inspiration for everyone she comes across. She even moonlights as a ghostwriter for beloved strangers (really, she is, just keep reading). If Wonder Woman had a sequel, Melissa would be a shoe in for the part. This young star won my attention for today’s feature and will undoubtedly save anyone from having anything less than an unforgettable experience.
What would you say is a secret to your formula of bringing the magic that comes with your role? If I were a visitor in NYC, why would I call Melissa first?
The job excites me! I love working with people from diverse backgrounds, having conversations, assessing what they want and curating an itinerary that caters to their particular needs. I try to add that personal touch we see less and less of with technology advancement. I really try my best and look to it that guest expectations are met with satisfaction.
What's a piece of travel advice you can give to a traveler or even a local, who may not be in the habit of seeking a concierge's expertise that goes beyond seeking Yelp reviews for new places to explore?
Websites can't replace the first-hand experience your concierge can offer, as well as their network of contacts. In regards to restaurants, book in advance, most restaurants don't take reservations more than 28 days in advance, but if you try to make a booking on that 28th day, you'll have a good chance of getting in. Take online restaurant reviews with a grain of salt and trust your concierge recommendations, because we are not in the business of setting you up for a bad dining experience, it's our reputation on the line.
What is one of the most memorable or even "craziest" requests (that you can share) that a client has requested of you personally?
It's funny; it's the single most popular question I receive as a concierge. Everyone is interested in the unusual requests, but aside from elaborate marriage proposals or surprise room set-ups with chocolate fountains or palm readers, my guests have yet to stump me. I did have a guest one time ask me to write a heartfelt birthday card for her husband because she couldn't think of what to say.
When did you realize that you were really adding value to people's lives and not just during the few days they were staying at your hotel?
As a concierge I am giving people their time, peace of mind, and minimizing their stress so that they can focus on ways to enhance their quality of life, and that truly brings me joy and satisfaction.
There's something to be said about a person that understand how full circle living a full life is. Melissa is one of the wittiest young ladies I've chatted with this year and am so excited she took time out of her schedule to let me introduce you to her. From everything we chatted about, I can tell you that Melissa knows where to go to find the best places to have fun in the city. If you ever get a chance to talk with her, you'll want to take her with you everywhere!
Check out my Instagram for more on Melissa and how I experience life.