What do the butlers do?

Mar 3rd, 2006, 11:10 AM
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What do the butlers do?

I have to say I never expected to be posting this question, but needs must.

My wife asked me what the butlers do at safari lodges/camps (we're staying at Elsa's Kopje in Meru in December in case butler duties vary from place to place) and after a bit of manly beating around the bush I had to admit that I do not really know (very hard for me to do).

Surely they do more than just serve drinks as we request and wake us up? I used to imagine they kept nocturnal visitors out, but that doesn't make sense if they are on hand all day. Can anyone enlighten us? I remember someone mentioned "bath butlers" and "pillow butlers" in a post once and made the mistake of telling my wife about that - it was a joke but her mind is working overtime and I need to clarify - either that or I'm on "butler watch" every time she goes to the bathroom.

kimburu is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2006, 11:23 AM
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Butlers, butler!

Almost anything you wish, within reason!

They'll bring your morning coffee or tea; beverages when you wish; run your bath; be sure your laundry is laundered - pickup and return; pack and unpack your bags; iron if they have one available and you need.

Having never been, but it's probably like a room steward, on a cruise.

Doesn't everyone here have their own Jeeves?
Mar 3rd, 2006, 01:24 PM
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No Sandi,

Butlers don't butler, they buttle

waynehazle is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2006, 01:28 PM
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Why, they do exactly what your butlers at home do, kimburu.
Leely is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2006, 06:09 PM
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Actually, we had to let the butler go so that we could afford to go to Meru
kimburu is offline  
Mar 4th, 2006, 04:40 AM
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I had a tent steward at Samburu Intepids, but Id say he did some buttling, like folding my toilet paper into a v every time I was away from the tent and smoothing out the almost invisible depression when I had sat down on the bed. This made me think the depression was too big and I started using a chair instead.
Nyamera is offline  
Mar 4th, 2006, 08:08 AM
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I find it easier to take my own butler on long trips, he's well acquainted with all my needs and I find the whole idea of training a stand in butler for a few nights altogether too tiresome.
napamatt is offline  
Mar 4th, 2006, 08:16 PM
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Thanks Sandi and Nyamera (I forgot about your tent steward, which must be similar of course). Things are becoming clearer now.
kimburu is offline  
Mar 5th, 2006, 01:06 AM
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Hello Matt,

Of course you take your butler -- but how ever do you get by without the remainder of your staff? I find my valet indespensable for the proper maintenance of my pith helmet and boots, and cannot do without at least three stewards to keep my camera, lenses, and binoculars close at hand. Finding enough room for the fan-bearer can be a trial, but does go such a long way towards making those long game drives more pleasant...

jasher is offline  
Mar 5th, 2006, 08:07 AM
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I found that when I moved to the less class conscious, more egalitarian US that it was really unseemly to have quite such a large personal staff, so now I just make do with a butler.
napamatt is offline  
Mar 5th, 2006, 11:33 AM
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Matt, I must say I agree Napa is one of the least class concious places in the US. I mean everyone is so "nice" to their butlers. If only they's stop trying to unionize!
welltraveledbrit is offline  

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