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Whispers of Change Behind The Four Seasons Concierge Desk Remain

July 13, 2009 at 5:14 PM | by | ()

There is still something afoot with the concierges at Four Seasons Hotels. A rep has assured us they are not phasing out their concierge service and all guests staying at a Four Seasons hotel will have a qualified concierge at their beck and call. But we're still getting reports of some personnel shifts behind the concierge desk. A tipster writes in:

As a person from the Concierge community in the Bay Area... Here's what I know. The FS laid off it's Chef Concierge (member of Les Clefs d'Or) worked for them for over 20 years. They merged the remaining Concierge to the Front Desk as Front Desk Agents. They either took a $3 an hour paycut or got a pay out to leave the company. All but 2 took the package. Four Seasons San Francisco can no longer have Les Clef d'Or members at that hotel because to be a member your title must say Concierge.

When we asked the Four Seasons rep if any Les Clef d'Or members were leaving this property, we received this reply:

As we told Hotel Chatter, Four Seasons continues to have Concierges at all of our properties. Regardless of where the Concierge is stationed, the level of expertise and advice they offer continues to be unparalleled. In fact, more than 200 Four Seasons concierges are members of Les Clefs d'Or (proportionally more than any other hotel brand in the world).

And so that's that, apparently. But even if the Four Seasons drastically changed their Concierge services--which, just to be clear, they said they have not done--would you even notice? We often find the concierge desk to be underutilized by many guests, aside from asking for a map of the area or the nearest drugstore.

It's a shame really. These are professional consultants and yet, we hotel guests are too intimidated to ask for help sometimes. Or perhaps, it's just now we have so much technology at our fingertips to guide us during our trips and hotel stays. So even though a member of the Les Clefs d'Or has more valuable experience and training, Yelp and OpenTable applications on our phones are just more convenient to use.

What are your concierge habits? Do you ever hit them up and what for? Let us know in comments below!

Archived Comments:

your tipster is wrong!

it's not a requirement to have a job title that says concierge, it's the business card and the work you do that counts: http://www.lcdusa.org/Main/Membership/index.htm

i was never employed as a concierge but as a night manager yet i got admitted to the german chapter of les clefs d'or...

ask a concierge at any of the top properties, they for sure are busy making arrangements - for that the desk doesn't need to be crowded...

do them a favor the next time and request your map from the bell desk - they also like to give out tips...

Just Say it

Who is the Four Seasons rep you quoted - Sarah Palin?  They keep answering like a total Republican lawyer!

Yes, the properties have concierge staff.  In SF, there are now 2 where there used to be nine 6 months ago.  In Whistler, there are two where there used to be nine six months ago.

Things being the way they are, I have no problem with a business decision to reduce staff for business reasons.  I do have a problem with the arrogance of sticking one's nose in the air and declaring that quality of service is not adversely affected at these properties wherein the concierge staff has been slashed.  Now, with only 2 concierges, calls go unanswered, and it can take days for messages to be returned.  Two cannot do what 6-9 busy concierges can do, and the guests are the ones that are suffering.

Uniq - your wrong on Les Clefs d'Or....

If a hotel hired you and your position was Front Desk Agent, why would they give you a business card that said "Concierge" on it.  Just so you can get into the association?  If you actually read your link you'd see that not only does your business card have to reflect your position title, i.e. Concierge... but you also have to submit a photo of your desk, that has a sign posted,  that indicates Concierge.

I think this is where the trouble sits.  You could be a Front Desk Agent at the Front Desk and offer Concierge services, but you will not become or remain a member of Les Clefs d'Or, USA.  

Concierge in South Africa

I am a GK member and proud of it, We as conceirges in SA are not really recognised as yet and sadly the hotels who even are members of LHW don't have GK concierges or a concierge desk for that matter. They prefer to operate a travel desk and this just hurts the service and leaves the tourist who is used to a concierge confused as to whom is booking their tours etc... The concierge desk is left with the bags and letters...
We are 4 members in SA who belong to the GK of commonwealth and UK.