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Unique Concierge Concepts

Here’s some great ways to connect with guests on an emotional level.

Thursday, November 03, 2011
Sarrah Candee
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One of the surest ways to exceed your guest’s expectations is by providing exceptional services that speak to their needs and interests. Allowing you to make a genuine connection that enhances their experience is essential in order to maintain repeat guests. One of the best ways to do this is through utilizing the role of the Concierge to its fullest.

While most hotels have some sort of concierge services available, most vary depending on the level of hotel and not all have a true hotel concierge on hand that is not managed by an outside operator. However, some hotels are taking their concierge services to another level and are developing unique concepts around these positions. Part of the reason doing this can be attributed to enhancing guest satisfaction, generating press, and building relationships with neighborhood businesses.

Within the five-star luxury market, having an effective concierge is all about having access to VIP happenings and experiences. For instance, The Surrey hotel, on the Upper East Side in Manhattan made sure that their Chef Concierge was a Les Clefs D’Or when re-opening its doors following a 60 million dollar recreation. Easily spotted by a pair of golden keys worn on their lapel, the Les Clefs D’Or concierge truly owns the keys to the city they inhabit.

According to Lorena Ringoot, Chef Concierge at The Surrey, “all Les Clefs D’Or concierges have worked very hard for their keys. They are concierges motivated by genuine desire to serve. They are prudent, patient, kind toward our guests and staff alike, self confident, disciplined and flexible. Most of the members are multilingual and well-versed in many cultures. Les Clefs d'Or (Keys of Gold) USA has more than 650 members. We are fortunate to have multiple LCD’s at The Surrey who can access anything from private shopping experiences on Madison Avenue to renting private jets”.

The Benjamin hotel in midtown Manhattan created their sleep program, which includes a Sleep Concierge, based on feedback from their guests. “The Benjamin sleep concept was developed more than 10 years ago when we noticed travelers were bringing their own pillows into the hotel”, notes General Manager Andy Labetti. The Sleep Concierge acts as a champion of this program, arranging for everything from signature bedtime snacks designed to induce sleep to assisting guests in choosing the perfect pillow from their pillow menu.

“As a hotel that anticipates our guests' needs, we invested in some of the newest, alternative pillows at the time. Our pillow menu has continued to evolve over the years as new pillow technology, fabrics, fillers and shape are conceived”, says Labetti. The Sleep Concierge’s acute awareness of all things sleep related has allowed this program to remain current and ahead of the trends, which has led to satisfied guests and tremendous press coverage around the concept.

Another highly specified concierge concept that has been adopted by numerous hotels is the Romance Concierge. Drawing upon why guests chose their hotel, the 70 Park Avenue Hotel in New York boasts a Romance Sommelier, while Ritz Carlton offers a Honeymoon Concierge, and the Couples Resorts adopted a Chief Romance officer. At the Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos, Mexico the Director of Romance helps “create romantic weekends that are unforgettable, as well as set the stage for unique marriage proposals and weddings that will be cherished memories," according to Director of Romance, Maria Jose Rodriguez. "We work closely with the couple to tailor intimate experiences just for them, from a private romantic dinner on the beach, to a bath for two with candles, aromatherapy and champagne, to a surprise proposal on a secretly recorded video. Every guest desire and request is possible, and no detail is too small”, says Ms. Rodriguez.

Choosing the perfect concierge concept is as unique to each hotel as it is to the guests who frequent them. By capitalizing on your concierge teams strengths and expertise you will positively impact guest satisfaction, generate press from your creative ideas, and secure repeat guests.

Sarrah Candee
Hotel Interactive® Editorial Division

Bio: Sarrah Candee is a Marketing and PR professional who has a wide range of expertise in the hotel industry. Her focus within the realms of Marketing and PR is on building strategic partnerships and brand development for the luxury market. In addition to hospitality, Sarrah is also a freelance writer on travel, arts, fashion, and culture. Contact: scandee@gmail.com
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