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Director plans to be granter of wishes at Four Seasons condos

Helen Anders
An electronic database of residents' preferences, a tunnel to keep the workers' bustle out of sight and a hand-picked team of staffers will help Lorley Musiol take care of the people who have paid $475,000 to $2.5 million to live in Four Seasons Residences.

The word "no" does not exist in Lorley Musiol's vocabulary.

As a hotel concierge for 23 years, 16 of them at Four Seasons hotels including Austin's, she has dealt with the most persnickety of guests. Never, she says, has a request gone unfulfilled. She has thrown a birthday party for an 18-year-old Saudi prince at 2 a.m. at the Los Angeles' Beverly Wilshire Hotel on short notice. She has spelled "Marry me" in rocks outside Las Vegas so a skydiving couple could see it. She has enrolled as a student at the University of Las Vegas in order to check out architecture books that Michael Jackson wanted.

"I always find a way," she says over coffee on the terrace outside the hotel's Trio restaurant. "There is no intimidation."

If Musiol, 56, sounds like she has a Superwoman complex, it's because her job has required it. And she'll soon need to ramp up the can-do attitude, if that's possible, because sometime around Memorial Day weekend, Four Seasons Residences will open and she will be its Director of Residences. She'll manage the building and staff and make sure that every resident's wish is granted.

"I'm already bonding with them," she says. "I know what they want, and I'm going to be able to exceed their expectations."

Musiol has been chief concierge at Four Seasons Austin since 2006, and her ability to anticipate needs and train her staff is well-known, to the point that the W Hotel and Residences tried to steal her for its own new building in Austin. But Musiol says she's grown accustomed to Four Seasons standards and wants to stick with the brand. In fact, she has selected only Four Seasons employees to staff the condo building.

"It takes a good three years to mature an employee to get them to give that level of service," she says. "This is only a building. It's going to take personality and a staff I'm hand-picking to make that building come to life."

Musiol was born into a world of celebrities and power people, with a Radio City Rockette for a mother, a musician for a father and a music sound man for a brother. She remembers talking to Paul McCartney on the phone, taking a message for her brother. So big names don't scare her.

It also has been helpful in the service business, she says, to be a woman because "you have a maternal side, so you like to take care of people."

Her new extended family, as she likes to call it, will be composed of people who have paid $475,000 to $2.5 million to live in Four Seasons Residences. Most are 50 or older.

"Privacy is the No. 1 thing they want," she says. "We'll never be able to say who's in that building." All of the hotel's services will be available to the residents. Housekeepers and room service workers will move around in a tunnel connecting the buildings. The condos will have their own pool, library and media room.

Where service is concerned, she says, "we're going to raise the bar." She says she wants the residents to get to know their doorman and other staffers. She has sent the building's staff to Four Seasons properties in Dallas and Houston as guests to pose challenges to concierges and see how they respond. That, she says, will give them a better idea of how to make sure every need is met.

"I always tell my staff, 'Put yourself in the guest's shoes and you'll know what to do,'" she says.

An electronic database will include information about all Four Seasons residents' preferences, such as whether they'd rather be contacted by phone or text message, and will include photos of frequent guests so that they, along with the resident family, can be greeted by name.

There will be a concierge staff for the residents, but Musiol knows the business — and herself — too much to think for a moment that she'll be able to sit back and just manage.

"You can never take the concierge out of me," she says. "I'm still going to be the person they come to for miracles."

handers@statesman.com; 912-2590