Imagine arriving in a strange city oblivious of the local language and discovering that you misplaced all your travel related documents and funds.
What to do?
If you have a reservation in a hotel with concierge services many of your problems will be solved.
First he/she will pay the taxi driver. (There is no gender differentiation concierge)
Concierge services include everything imaginable but legal, i.e obtaining tickets to popular theatres or operas, or concerts, advice on shopping, arranging private aircraft to remote locations, arranging city guides, auto rentals and much more.
North American hotels feature now concierge services but before1970’s this was a rarity that could be experienced only in luxury European hotels.
Concierges have an association and those who are members enjoy privileges. When one calls from say Rome a concierge in Tokyo problems can be solved within minutes. Each one must help the other when required.
The concierge guild, Clef d’Or, has more than 6000 members in more than 50 cities all over the world and each member is sworn to help another.
A New York concierge arranged in 1980’s arranged for a guest to be picked-up at the airport with Rolls Royce equipped with a refrigerator including a bottle of chilled champagne and appropriate glasses. Other more exotic services can also be arranged such as special aircraft to fly from Rome to Cuba in the middle of the night.
Luxury hotel chains now routinely offer concierge services and attract business people, and the rich who like to be pampered.
The word concierge is derived form the Latin “conservus”, which the French have changed to concierge.
In Paris a concierge in an apartment building is the “door keeper” and is usually female, who “knows” everything that goes on. You cannot pass the concierge without identifying the individual you wish to visit, and she will verify it, if she doesn’t feel you are legitimate.
In a hotel concierge means a “saviour” and this individual occupies a prominent location in the lobby.
These days’ luxury hotels place elaborate documents explaining all the services they offer in a prominent location in each room for guests to read and make use of them.
One hotel I know in Toronto actually provides a tablet to each guest with all the information he/she might want on sightseeing and other activities tourists usually seek.
Time and again concierge have proven that they can accomplish near “miracles” in emergency situations.
In one case an American couple staying in Bremen travelled on a day trip to Hanover and on their return discovered that they had forgotten all their travel documents including their funds in the compartment.
(A mistake no one should repeat). Not being able to speak German they contacted the concierge and he managed to ascertain the train and compartment in which they had travelled and sent the railroad security people (Deutsche Bahn, Bahn Polizei) to retrieve the documents. The couple happily returned to the station and were presented with all the documents.
Hotels that want to provide that little extra for their guests there is no better way than employing the services of a competent concierge. It can make a difference in the occupancy rate of the hotel, and elevate the class of the establishment.
It is a actually a marketing tool that can yield high returns.