Living: Those Magicians at the Desk

More women are joining the ranks of concierges in U.S. hotels

The job description includes the ability to find a dentist who will pull a tooth late on a Saturday night, round up a photographer to shoot a corpse, book a flight out of a city shut down by snow, arrange blood tests for a wedding, deliver 24 rolls of dental floss to a rock band at midnight -- with no questions asked. Welcome to the world of the modern-day hotel concierge -- part detective, travel agent, secretary and magician. In medieval Europe, concierges were simply doorkeepers. Today's concierges are polished executive servants who are called upon to fulfill a traveler's every...