They’re one of the first few people who’ll greet you at the start of your journey. And they’re also the last few who’ll bid you adieu as you make your way to the airport.
At times, the humble hotel concierge can be a real lifesaver on your trip by providing directions and/or restaurant recommendations. Other times, they’re there to enhance your hotel stay experience by assisting you with almost any travel problems you might face.
But like us, hotel concierges are normal human beings trying to get by each day. They’re neither your butler nor personal assistant. And they aren’t some magical djinns who are able to accommodate any and all requests you may have — regardless of how simple (or outlandish) it may be.
So what exactly is a hotel concierge supposed to do?
The simple answer is that they’re there to help. A hotel concierge’s job is to make the guests’ stay that much more comfortable. They’re also there to help guests better discover the destination by drawing information from their wealth of local expertise.
Whether it be providing local tips, or even assisting in booking appointments/reservations, here are some of the things your hotel concierge can (and can’t) do for you.
What A Hotel Concierge Can Do For You
Allow us to reiterate: A concierge’s job is to be helpful to the guests.
This may be achieved through many avenues, but the most apparent would be knowledge sharing. After all, a hotel concierge is considered the ultimate insider who’s privy to the best tips (that you may not find online) about dining, activities, shopping, and excursions in the local area.
A Hotel Concierge Can Save You Some Money
As someone once said, information is power. And in this case, a concierge can give you certain money-saving information.
From a transportation standpoint, a hotel concierge can tell you how to get to somewhere for much less than if you were to venture on your own. And if finding your own transport seems like an impossibility, the concierge may also arrange transport for you with just a couple of phone calls.
Similarly, if you’re trying to find nearby happy hours or the best free sights and activities around, the hotel concierge can help. And depending on your hotel there may even be a beer concierge present who can offer suggestions about where and when to find the best (and sometimes cheapest) brews. This concierge could also host occasional educational sessions and tastings, or even accompany guests to actual breweries to provide on-site expertise.
A Hotel Concierge Can Fine-tune Your Travel Itinerary
Feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the sights and sounds you want to experience but have no idea where to start?
Some concierge will go above and beyond to help fine-tune your travel itinerary to make an achievable plan tailored to your interests. And if time permits, sometimes they may even create a custom itinerary for you from scratch. Needless to say, these hotel concierges definitely deserve a big, fat tip for their efforts at the end of your stay.
But most importantly, a concierge can offer advice on whether a neighbourhood, park or activity on your itinerary is safe to visit. And they could even suggest a safer alternative if there is one.
A Hotel Concierge Can Help You Celebrate Your Big Events
Whether you’re planning a proposal or a surprise birthday, your hotel concierge can help with anything from filling your room with flowers and balloons, to even organising a classic rooftop proposal — complete with a photographer to document the momentous occasion.
Case in point, many concierges are actively involved in planning marriage proposals, especially for guests who are looking for an unforgettable experience. These proposals could range from romantic skiing trips to horseback riding up a scenic route for sunset viewing to even a plain old private one-on-one dinner setting. There’s plenty of romantic setting choices for you to choose from!
On a related note, concierges are also great at planning birthday parties, or parties in general. So if you’re looking to surprise the birthday boy/girl, you know who to get in touch with.
A Hotel Concierge Can Help With Your Travel-Related Matters
Before we drone further on, the gist of it is this: A hotel concierge can basically help with most travel-related issues you may face.
For one, they could help you get that coveted concert ticket that you may have failed to buy in the past. Or they could get you into that fancy restaurant which requires a recommendation to even get a booking. Perhaps they could also offer to teach you some of the local lingoes so you can better fit in with the locals.
Or if you feel that the hotel’s gym is underequipped, the concierge can usually point you to an affiliated hotel with better facilities or even nearby fitness centres. Otherwise, they may instead recommend a good running trail or scenic hiking route or a surfing spot — depending on your destination, of course.
What A Hotel Concierge Can’t (Or Won’t) Do For You
On the flip side, there’s a lot that a hotel concierge can’t or won’t do for you — particularly if the matter is unrelated to your stay in the hotel. Though most guests understand that the hotel concierge doesn’t have to strictly serve only them, some are still oblivious to this fact.
The keyword here is common sense, people.
A Hotel Concierge Can’t Give You All The Deets
As a hotel concierge, discretion is an integral part of the job.
They aren’t hired to be a gossip columnist or a Twitter tattler. And most do not openly talk about other guests anyway, including some of the celebrity mainstays who might be spending the night there.
But if you’re insistent on getting the “deets”, we’re here to tell you not to waste your time. You won’t be able to get your concierge to spill the dirt on them for the simple fact that most concierges are under contract — so they won’t be able to tell you even if you said please.
A Hotel Concierge Can’t Help You Partake In Illegal Behaviour
Coming around back to the concept of common sense, again.
You shouldn’t expose a concierge to risk by asking them to do or join in on something illegal. It could be something like bribing them, obtaining drugs, forging signatures, or asking for help to find “nightly companions”. If it’s illegal you shouldn’t push it.
We know, we know. It’s easy to assume that your concierge has connections to the seedy underside of the city, when in fact, that’s a false dramatised representation put forth by TV companies for views. Truth be told, most hotel concierges are merely your average Joes and Janes.
Though sadly every concierge in the business does endure a fair bit of outrageous (and dicey) requests every now and then. Our only suggestion to guests is to keep it classy. And no, your concierge does not have connections with the Mafia.
A Hotel Concierge Can’t Help You With Anything That Goes Beyond The Job
At the end of the day, a hotel concierge is just a job. How would you feel if you were asked to do something that goes beyond your normal job scope? Unpleasant and unsatisfied, we’d surmise.
In this case, please refrain from making unreasonable requests from your concierge such as babysitting your child, or walking your dog, or acting as your personal assistant. Hotel concierges aren’t there to exclusively serve you, their time and energy should be shared between all the hotel’s guests.
And in a similar vein, hotel concierges aren’t your therapists either. Try not to ask your hotel concierge for advice, unless it’s related to travel and the destination. Yes, concierges are friendly with a caring disposition, but that’s in the job description. Listening to your sob story, unfortunately, is not. Save your story and tears for your actual therapist (and bartenders). Trust us, you’ll feel better this way.
Last, but certainly not least, hotel concierges aren’t your personal banks. So don’t expect them to dig into their pockets to lend you some moolah. Don’t get us wrong, they’ll help you with any travel money concerns, but that is, and should be the extent of it.
The fact of the matter is that a hotel concierge is here to help you with the nitty-gritty of travel — all you have to do is ask (and be reasonable). But if we were to describe hotel concierges, we’d definitely say that they’re the unassuming and underrated heroes of your trip.
Not all heroes wear capes; some sport a suit and tie, and a friendly smile.
Next time you meet a concierge, ask them about their most interesting guest request.