For me, the Concierge is a modern day superhero. When it comes to seemingly impossible hotel requests, there is only one phrase that automatically comes to my mind:
“Ask the Concierge.”
And why not? Concierges are known to work miracles.
They say that for a Concierge, the “impossible” is just a possible which may take a little bit longer to achieve. Versatile and flexible, you can count on the concierge to find a way to solve any problem.
Working as a Concierge for most of my hotel career, I encountered many requests throughout the years. Some ordinary, others bordering on illegal and immoral. There’s never a boring day at the Concierge desk. There’s always something new every day.
A Concierge’s work can never be summed up by a simple Job Description, as would typically suffice in any other job. It varies from day to day, and requires you to wear many different hats. In my years as a Concierge, here are some of the “hats” I have had to wear.
The Travel Agent
One of the more common tasks of a Concierge is handling travel arrangements.
Whether it is rebooking or confirming a flight. Making hotel bookings for a guests next destination. Or arranging for airport transfers, you can rely on the Concierge to swiftly handle all of these for you.
I cannot count how many flight itineraries I have seen in my entire life working at the Concierge Desk. It came to a point when I actually had the airline voice recordings memorized up to the diction and intonation!
The Itinerary Consultant
Another thing that Concierges are known for is helping guests plan out their day.
As a Concierge, one must know the city like the back of his or her hand. Based on your knowledge of the guest, you have to think about what attractions they would appreciate and enjoy. And that can range from a quiet tour of historic museums or an adventurous ride down the rapids!
The Restaurant Expert
As the Concierge, one of the main expectations is that you are well-versed in the dining options around the city.
Depending on the type of cuisine, price range and whether a guest wants to have a casual or formal dining experience, a good Concierge should be able to make recommendations and facilitate a reservation if needed.
The Master Packer
Not just adept at stacking pieces of luggage on the trolley, employees in the Concierge Department are usually experts at packing boxes for guests.
The Concierge usually handles all things related to guest baggage, packages and mail. If a guest needs help packing his stuff, the Concierge is usually the person to call.
The Proposal Planner
Proposals, or any surprise for that matter, are pretty common in hotel settings. After all, it’s private, luxurious and romantic.
However, not everyone has a creative side and so they employ the services of the Concierge when conjuring up the perfect proposal.
Whether a simple, intimate proposal over dinner, or a grand public display of love, you can count on the Concierge to help you plan the perfect scenario that would definitely get his/her sweet “yes.”
The Friend Finder
There have been times when a guest asked for help to locate someone they hadn’t been in contact with for a decade. And they only provided the friends name and last known location. In an era when social media was still not as prevalent as it is now, this was not an easy feat.
But as a Concierge, we cannot really say no, and we are always up to challenges like this.
I remember making many phone calls and doing tons of research. I was able to find the person and set up a reunion for them, even after ten long years of losing touch with each other.
Is this part of my job? Apparently.
The Miracle Worker
Whenever there is something a guest wants, that other employees are having a tough time delivering, it’s usually the Concierge to the rescue. With their myriad of connections, there is bound to be someone that can help them out!
Sometimes, it’s not about knowing everything. It’s all about knowing who to ask, or where to look, to be able to find what you’re looking for.
For some reason, guests love hanging out at the Concierge Desk. What usually starts out as a simple request, or a quick question, sometimes turns into hours of chitchat as the guest sits or stands around waiting for you to finish every transaction so you can continue the conversation.
Maybe Concierges are interesting and fun to talk to, maybe they are just really great listeners.
In any case, I have encountered many, many guests who divulge more personal information than I ever need to know. The upside is that some of these guests eventually turn out to be good friends.
Did you know that the professional association of hotel concierges, the Les Clefs d’Or, is symbolized by golden keys? Or that the name “concierge” itself means doorkeeper?
Indeed, the Concierge can open many doors for you with their vast array of contacts, their years of experience and the resources they have available.
They are trained to always think outside the box, and will hardly give up when it comes to fulfilling guest requests.
A day in the life of a Concierge is always interesting. Certain requests can make you scratch your head. Others will get your creative juices flowing.
One thing is for sure. Being a Concierge is never boring.
What’s your most difficult guest request? And how did you fulfill it? Let me know in the comments.