Saturday, August 13, 2011

Five Things NOT to Ask the Concierge

Hotel Chatter: He's known as @ConciergeCorner on Twitter who's not afraid to dish on all the crazy things that guests ask concierges. But he also might be the concierge fielding your requests during your next hotel stay and he's got a few tips on how to get the most out of your concierge contact. So without further ado, we present 5 Things You Should Not Ask the Concierge as told by @ConciergeCorner.

1. Don't ask for the hottest new hotspot in town.
When a guest requests I recommend the hottest, newest, sexiest restaurant, it is apparent he/she has no clue what he/she actually wants. Just because something is new does not make it good. So please, ask for what you really want, not just what’s new. On a related note, when I recommend a great local (nearby) steakhouse and then see/hear that you have gone to one of the many chain steakhouses simply because it was a few blocks closer, it breaks my heart!

2. Don't ask for my recommendation if you don't really want it.
On the restaurant note, it is uber-aggravating for me as a concierge to be asked to recommend my favorite restaurant, or my favorite neighborhood and then have you (the guest) proceed to seek directions to the most generic and/or chain-like environment possible. If you really value my opinion, by all means, have me assist you. If on the other hand you have your mind made up and want to go where everyone else goes, that’s fine…just don’t waste your time and mine.

3. Don't ask for freebies.
One frequent request that will undoubtedly only become more common, is for complimentary, hooked-up, or otherwise free amenities that we, like most other hotels in our segment, charge for. This includes, but is not limited to, internet, parking, breakfast, executive / club floors & rooms, suites etc. I like the next person love a deal, and yes, I’d even love to give every guest a room for free. The problem is my last name is not Hilton, Marriott, or Schrager, so I have just about zero say in whether you pay $5 or $500.

4. Don't ask which celebrities are staying here.
A fairly frequent question that needs to be stricken for all guests’ mouths is “What celebrities are in house?” or as some put it, “you get famous people here?” No. No. and No. Well, yes, famous people do stay at many nice hotels, mine included, but would likely not if I ran my mouth telling people when XXXXX XXXXX was in house or when that person has been in house. If you see someone in the lobby, awesome, I’m happy for you. If you read on TripAdvisor that someone saw XYZ celebrity on their last stay, good for them. But please, for the love of my job and the hospitality industry, refrain from asking me to divulge this sort of information.

5. Don't ask for directions if you can't remember them.
Last, but certainly not least, please refrain from asking for directions when you are not ready to record them. Nothing is worse than detailing precise directions to a guest either in person or heaven forbid, over the phone, only to have the guest ask for them to be repeated as they were simply not paying attention the first time. Additionally, if the driver needs the directions and he/she is the only competent person in the vehicle, don’t have the passengers receive the directions. #JustSayin

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