Are you being served?

Heading off to a new destination but can't take Jeeves along? Fear not, here is a firstclass guide to some of the best concierge services in the world.
Are you being served?
By Administrator
Sat 24 Nov 2007 03:12 PM

Heading off to a new destination but can't take Jeeves along? Fear not, here is a firstclass guide to some of the best concierge services in the world.

The Principe di Savoia, Milan

The concierge team at the Principe di Savoia, Milan is made up of 23 people, two of which are always available 24 hours a day. Every member of the concierge team speaks English, French and German and some also speak Spanish. Mario Gambron is the Head Concierge at the Principe di Savoia. He has been at the Principe for 10 years, and has worked as a concierge for 43 years.

He says that when when guests arrive at the hotel, one of the finest in Milan, the efficiency and friendliness of the concierge staff is what really makes the difference.

"Not only does the concierge have to know everything about his city, he also requires an in depth knowledge of the whole world," says Gambron.

Gambron is a member of the ancient Les Clés D'or society - an exclusive network for the top concierges in the world.

Gambron says the most requested service is evening programmes. The hotel has a lot of business guests who are out all day and need to have their evenings planned for them. The concierge at the Principe can book La Scala opera house tickets, reserve tables in exclusive restaurants and book theatre tickets. According to Gambron the concierge has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Milan and can always recommend the perfect place for all tastes. The concierge knows every destination, restaurant and club personally so is able to provide the most successfully tailored programme for each individual guest.

Since the Dorchester Collection hotel group took over the Principe di Savoia in 2003, the concierge service has really taken off. The Dorchester Collection has a strong team behind it and the number of concierges in the Principe team has increased to 23 in recognition of the importance of this service.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts takes pride in its first class concierge service. Each individual hotel and resort offers its guests a specialized concierge who is unique to their location and environment, meaning wherever you are you'll have expert advice to guide you.

The Four Seasons Resort Langkawi employs Nature's Concierge Aidi Abdullah. When he is not behind the concierge desk, Aidi is taking guests on guided tours through Kulim Nature Park, a wilderness of mangrove wetlands and bat caves. Aidi introduces guests to the inhabitants of the mangrove gardens - monitoring lizards up to two metres in size, chatty spider monkeys, and the many eagles, kites and hornbills which also inhabit the area.

In contrast the Four Seasons Hotel Miami has the nightlife specialist, Maria Roa - an expert on Miami's famous club scene. Maria provides guests with the hottest tickets in town on any given night and knows how to get past the dreaded velvet ropes.

Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles has its own special Oscars Fixer, Charles Hawkins, who has seen to some of the most demanding and extraordinary requests from the rich and famous who stay at the hotel during the Oscars.

Situated in the American capital and home of the President of the United States, Four Seasons Hotel Washington DC has, none other than, the Diplomat's Concierge, Javier Loureiro.
Loureiro knows everything from how to get last minute World Series tickets; how to charter a jet on a Sunday; and where to eat once you get there and that's all before he's had his first morning cup of coffee. An expert on how to handle the protocol for a variety of diplomatic delegations that come into the city to visit the President and their embassies, Loureiro oversees a staff of 20 concierges, bellmen and doormen.

At the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, Scotland, Braden Nelson, a former golf pro turned concierge, is on hand to select the best courses to play depending on guests' abilities. Through his extensive contacts Braden can secure the most sought-after tee times, including the acclaimed Monument and Pinnacle courses at Troon North Golf Club.

The Ritz Carlton, Chicago

In response to an increasing number of guest calls regarding computer-related issues, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Chicago has created the ‘compcierge'. The hotel's computer expert concierge who is always on hand to respond to any guest's computer-related request, from downloading disks to hooking up dataports - and all at just a moment's notice. The service is already proving popular and since it was introduced computer-related calls from hotel guests have more than doubled in frequency.

Club Concierge

Lifestyle management company, Club Concierge offer the very best in luxury living to visitors, residents and organisations in Dubai.

Their concierge service includes arranging corporate travel, assisting new residents relocate to the area, arranging children's parties, planning tailor-made vacations or simply running errands. Whatever the request Club Concierges offer personal assistance. The service is aimed at busy residents, high-flying businessmen and women and VIP visitors. The company aims to make life easier by relieving clients of all their time-consuming tasks, however big or small, allowing them to concentrate on more pressing business or personal issues.

The service works by assigning each member with their own concierge to take care of a multitude of requests ranging from day-to-day tasks such as general up-keep of the home to more specialised jobs like organising a unique children's party, or providing a personal shopping service to source a unique or rare gift.

"Our main aim is to add value to our members' lives," says Tracy Burt, Club Concierge's joint managing partner. "We have the capacity to do anything, from simple errand running and providing home comforts right up to chartering a yacht for that special occasion."

Club Concierge's team of experts are just a telephone call away with access to a carefully researched group of Dubai-based companies offering a vast array of premium quality services.

There are three types of membership: foundation, lifestyle and premier. Each tier comes with varying levels of service and includes an annual fee, complimentary Club Concierge hours and even a chauffeur service as part of the premier package.

The way in which the service is used is entirely up to each member and no two individuals are likely to ask for the same thing, according to Burt.

"Our local knowledge and expertise means we're adaptable and able to provide personalised services, limited only by the imagination," she says.

While the packages for individuals come under the label Personal Concierge, Corporate Concierge is available for businesses and is especially useful when receiving high-value customers or recruiting new employees from outside the UAE.

For instance the Relocation package takes all the hassles out of moving to Dubai including the arduous villa search. The Elite Hospitality option, aimed at Dubai's more up-market visitors, assigns the member an experienced personal assistant from the moment they step off the plane. Through this service, prestigious businessmen and women or holiday-makers looking for luxury can request anything from V.I.P discreet security or a Ferrari for the day to an entire itinerary planned precisely to meet the customer's requirements.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

The Fairmont Hotels and Resorts pride themselves on providing guests with the most specialised and unique concierges.

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is world renowned for its adventure opportunities. When the property opened its doors in 1890, guests from around the globe came to this majestic place in the Canadian Rockies for their fix of adventure. More than a century on the Chateau has introduced its Mountain Adventure Concierge. A unique service designed to create your ultimate adventure. Whether you are looking to ski the steepest slopes or discover the terrain while being pulled by the finest dog-sled team or snowshoe along the shores of famed Lake Louise, the Mountain Adventure Concierge has the activity to meet your needs. With more than 40 activities to choose from guests have the opportunity to sample everything from the serene to the extreme.

The Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston offers its guests canine companionship from the hotel's resident black Labrador retriever Catie Copley. Formally trained as a guide dog, Catie has switched careers and is now in hospitality. As Canine Ambassador, Catie greets guests in the lobby and accompanies those who miss the companionship of their own pets on walks and runs throughout the city. She even has her own booklet featuring her favourite walks highlighting attractions along the way. An active member of the hotel staff, Catie has her own appointment book, business cards and even her own e-mail address. The Fairmont Copley Plaza and Catie also welcome canine guests. The hotel's in-room dining department offers a full menu of treats for dogs and cats from Polka-Dog Bakery, a local company specializing in gourmet treats for pets.
At The Fairmont Chicago guests can choose from a menu of invigorating, soothing, therapeutic or relaxing baths - and let the Bath Sommelier create an experience that simply soaks one's cares away. All baths are available daily and include a choice of music for your listening pleasure and are accompanied by a bowl of fresh strawberries.

The Lowry Hotel, Manchester

The Lowry Hotel sits in the heart of Manchester and as its only five star hotel, is fondly thought of as the city's most prestigious address.

The head concierge is Pedro Purcell who, along with his team, makes sure guests receive nothing short of five star service.

The hotel is set on a peaceful riverside piazza, alongside the River Irwell in the centre of one of the North of England's biggest business hubs and one of its proudest cities.

The Lowry's central location allows guests to access the city's main shopping, entertainment and business areas.

Because it prides itself on its ‘second to none' concierge, The Lowry will ensure your stay is as impressive as the modern design of the hotel itself.

For anyone who is planning a business trip, Purcell will ensure you get to explore and enjoy Manchester's award-winning museums and galleries, shop in up-market department stores and designer-label boutiques, or enjoy an evening at one of Manchester's many theatres, hassle-free.

Purcell and his team can provide tickets for any events you might wish to attend and has a ready-made list of the best restaurants and bars in Manchester in which they will make reservations at the request of a guest. In addition to this is a list of recommended theatres, galleries, museums and other points of interest.

Quintessentially

Quintessentially is a global, luxury lifestyle group which focuses on lifestyle management and organising its members' lives. Founded in the UK in 2000, Quintessentially has operations across the globe, including London, Dubai, Washington, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Tokyo, Paris, Cape Town and Mexico, amongst others.

With the assistance of its global network of partners and suppliers, including Jaguar, Cartier and The Phillimores, Quintessentially is able to offer the very best services and assistance across the world.

Members have access to over 18,500 benefits from travel companies, hotels, property management companies, luxury goods retailers, health and beauty providers and many others.

Quintessentially carriers out the research and organisation of these practical and lifestyle services for members and and tries to get the best possible value for them, ensuring in every instance that they work with only the best service providers.

Quintessentially prides itself on providing a knowledgeable and time-saving service. No matter where its members are in the world, their lifestyle needs will be handled efficiently, discreetly and with the best possible outcome.

To date the company has helped provide members with tailor-made holidays, including skiing packages, city breaks, adventure holidays, retreats, beach holidays and child-friendly hotels and well as travel services such as flights, chauffeured transfers, car hire, destination information, helicopter charter, villas, private islands, private jets and yachts. Worldwide discounts are also available as well as, privileges and benefits at boutiques, retailers, gyms and spas, shopping services and information, including personal shopping services, in-home beauty treatments, wardrobe styling and personal training and diet and nutrition consultations.

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