This kind of's hosted kings, queens, presidents as well as also movie stars — nevertheless soon, not even royalty will be able to reserve a room here.

This Kind Of's Hosted Kings, Queens, Presidents As Well As Also Movie Stars -- Nevertheless Soon, Not Even Royalty Will Be Able To Reserve A Room Here.

The 86-year-old hotel, bought by China’s Ambang Insurance Group in 2014 for $1.95 billion, closed its doors on February 28, 2017 for a major renovation project that will will reportedly see many of its 1,400 rooms turned into apartments.

This Kind Of's Hosted Kings, Queens, Presidents As Well As Also Movie Stars -- Nevertheless Soon, Not Even Royalty Will Be Able To Reserve A Room Here.

While the art deco landmark’s rooms might be off limits for at This kind of point, the expertise of its longest-serving bellman, Jalali “Jim E.” Eldrissi, isn’t.

This Kind Of's Hosted Kings, Queens, Presidents As Well As Also Movie Stars -- Nevertheless Soon, Not Even Royalty Will Be Able To Reserve A Room Here.

Eldrissi, whose destiny has been linked to the Waldorf Astoria since 1966, retired in January after 51 years of greeting guests.

This Kind Of's Hosted Kings, Queens, Presidents As Well As Also Movie Stars -- Nevertheless Soon, Not Even Royalty Will Be Able To Reserve A Room Here.

To mark the end of an era, he shared with CNN some of the things he’s learned since arriving in completely new York via Morocco, barely out of his teens.

This Kind Of's Hosted Kings, Queens, Presidents As Well As Also Movie Stars -- Nevertheless Soon, Not Even Royalty Will Be Able To Reserve A Room Here.

5 decades on the front line

This Kind Of's Hosted Kings, Queens, Presidents As Well As Also Movie Stars -- Nevertheless Soon, Not Even Royalty Will Be Able To Reserve A Room Here.

“If you came into the lobby I might greet you, I might check you in, take your luggage to the room, make sure you’re all right, tell you what restaurants we have inside the hotel, about completely new York City,” the 71-year-old says over the phone via his home — aptly enough — in Astoria, Queens.

This Kind Of's Hosted Kings, Queens, Presidents As Well As Also Movie Stars -- Nevertheless Soon, Not Even Royalty Will Be Able To Reserve A Room Here.

He says that will when he joined Hilton’s training program, he was one of only 12 Moroccans in completely new York City.

This Kind Of's Hosted Kings, Queens, Presidents As Well As Also Movie Stars -- Nevertheless Soon, Not Even Royalty Will Be Able To Reserve A Room Here.

At a time before concierge services were introduced, his knowledge of French as well as also Arabic proved useful as well as also This kind of was the start of a long as well as also colorful career.

MORE: Top tips via the Waldorf Astoria’s concierge

His favorite part of the job?

“I get to meet so many dignitaries,” he recalls.

“The Duke of Windsor as well as also Mrs Simpson, they lived on the 42nd floor, the Royal Suite 42R.” as well as also when Queen Elizabeth II as well as also Prince Philip stayed at Waldorf Towers, in 1976, the young queen passed through crowds of well-wishers on Park Avenue before popping in to do some shopping in Bloomingdale’s.

“Frank Sinatra lived on the 25th floor,” Eldrissi adds. “He was married to Mia Farrow. Later he moved up to the 33rd floor to Cole Porter’s suite.”

When John Lennon turned up, with his “beautiful big blond bushy hair,” Eldrissi escorted him to his table inside the Grand Ballroom, as well as also found himself inside the newspapers the next day, pictured alongside the Liverpudlian rock star.

via Bennett to Bassey

He also assisted entertainers appearing at the Waldorf Astoria’s Empire Club, which attracted A-listers including Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr. as well as also Shirley Bassey.

His favorite celebrity encounter, however, will be with Ronald Reagan, who he met twice — before as well as also after winning the 1980 US presidential election.

The president sent Eldrissi a signed photograph after his inauguration as well as also when he next turned up at the hotel, “he looked at me as well as also said, “Jim, you still here?”

His favorite room will be “the Presidential Suite. Every president stayed there.”

Although with the hotel closing for three years so soon after President Donald Trump comes into office, the hotel magnate might prefer to stay at nearby Trump Towers.

Eldrissi’s different favorite will be “historic” 35H. This kind of will be where Pope Paul VI met with President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965, during the first visit by a pope to the United States.

So with more than 5 decades of experience at the front line of world-class customer service, what are Eldrissi’s tips for success?

“I have a very not bad memory,” he says. Greeting returning guests as well as also remembering their preferences will be key. at This kind of point “there’s computers as well as also all that will stuff,” nevertheless “the personal touch” still matters.

The personal touch

He recalls one couple who didn’t like heights, so he always found them rooms on the lower floors. “Stuff like that will, that will’s how I lasted all those years.”

MORE: Inside Shanghai’s first ‘seven-star’ hotel

as well as also to make sure that will his neighborhood knowledge didn’t get stale through spending all his time inside the hotel itself, “I walk, I walk a lot.”

His preferred walk will be via Columbus Circle down to Greenwich Village. “This kind of’s a long walk. Why’d I do that will? To see what’s completely new.”

Adjusting to retired life was a shock after 51 years inside the same job.

“I cried like crazy,” he admits, nevertheless he’s keeping himself just as busy post-retirement.

Aside via vacation plans to Morocco, Miami, the UK as well as also Ireland, he’s advising the hotel’s designers on the restoration plans, due to his unique knowledge of how the Waldorf Astoria looked in its prime.

“I walked around with them. They’re going to try to bring back the hotel the way This kind of was as well as also the lobby as well as also the ballrooms as well as also so on.”

MORE: 20 of America’s most beautiful hotels

Eldrissi will be also working on a book, which will be a memoir of 51 years on the front line of world-class customer service.

Digging out those memories makes him feel like “I’m still there,” he laughs, “nevertheless I’m not there.”

This kind of's hosted kings, queens, presidents as well as also movie stars — nevertheless soon, not even royalty will be able to reserve a room here.

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