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5 Things Not to Ask the Concierge

August 9, 2011 at 11:47 AM | by | Comments (19)

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. (And no, that's neither @ConciergeCorner or his hotel in the photo above.)

 

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

Concierges and guests alike, have your own Do Not Dos to add? Do so in comments below!

Comments (19)

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Squid Anyone??

Hallelu!!! Spot on! I am a firm believer that if you don't have anything nice to say, write it.

Here are two more tips:

Help us help you and give a little forethought to your requests. Contrary to what most people believe, we Concierges like 'picky!' because 'picky'=specific. We know guests don't really mean 'anything' when we ask, "What would you like to eat?" and you reply..."anything." The more information you offer about your preferences, the better our recommendations will be for you.

Live like a local and ditch the guidebooks and your latest issue of US. Some of the coolest things you can discover are farther off the beaten path than guidebooks might go, and by the time your favorite celebrity weekly goes to print, many folks 'in-the-know' are off to the next hotspot or on their way to a VIP party....that you should know about too.

Life's a party! Can you get in?
TCC


ok guilty

Okay so I have been known to ask about the hottest/newest spots in town, but typically I'm not looking for douchiest reccs. A reply like "food trucks" and directions to the Lot at the top of the High Line where the trucks hang out would be ideal, for example.

The Flip Side

As someone who has traveled for work and stayed in many great hotels over the years, I have made my own list of do's and don'ts for the concierge:

One: When I ask for a great locals spot, please don't only send me to restaurants where the check will be a small down payment on a house.  Sometimes I'm up for that, and sometimes I'd like to just eat a normal meal (especially after traveling for weeks).

Two: I realize you deal with guests all day long and some are - let's just say it - less than brilliant.  However, please treat me like something other than an idiot for not knowing exactly what I want; I don't live in your town and don't know the ins and outs like you do.

Three: If I change my mind and ask you for more information, don't act like your head might explode because you are far too busy to deal with me. I believe part of your chosen profession is dealing with me.   Sometimes I, like everyone, occasionally has a change of heart. Juggling family and a job on the road and not being in familiar surroundings isn't as easy as one might think if one worked from a single place all the time.

Four: Though I appreciate that you have your standard lists of recommendations (many that are YOUR favorites), please listen to what I'm asking for. Guests are individuals, and we like getting individual ideas and attention.

Five: Be Nice.  'Nough said.


Um, about 0%.

^ Although thoroughly entertaining... What are the odds that @ConciergeCorner cares about anything anyone here just said? Yeah. That's what I thought.

qrewt

very good go== w w w j o r d a n f o r w o r l d c o m  == look

Seriously?

I disagrree with voiceofreason. Concierges are important.
If they were not then why do you use them for every request? Or do you just think anyone in the service industry is below you? Are waitresses not important? Taxi drivers? Housekeepers? You think these people are not important but you want them to wait on you. What would you do if you had to do all that work by yourself?

TheTopVillas

Concierges are very important, they can help you with a wide variety of questions and can prove to be very helpful throughout your stay! http://www.thetopvillas.com

Concierges are important

Actually concierges are very important especially in my role as a receptionist, if it wasn't for concierges being on hand to deal with directions and recommendations then my job would be a hell of a lot harder

Agreed

Have experienced points 2 and 5 sooooooo many times!

Thank you...

I too disagree...someone sounds a bit too over-travelled...

I get it.

All 5 of these I have heard, You know I love answering these types of inquiries. But it's all about how it is asked of you. I get it if you are from out of town and you don't know the city and you need some help. But don't be a total tool or condescending to me when all I am trying to do is my job and help :)  

Concierge

From Wiki: ""In hotels, a concierge assists guests with various tasks like making restaurant reservations, arranging for spa services, recommending night life hot spots, booking transportation (limousines, airplanes, boats, etc.), procurement of tickets to special events and assisting with various travel arrangements and tours of local attractions. In upscale establishments, a concierge is often expected to "achieve the impossible", dealing with any request a guest may have, no matter how strange, relying on an extensive list of contacts with local merchants and service providers""

...expected to "achieve the impossible"... is the part I like more.


Freebies..

I have seen this trend growing over the years with travelers, when they visit a hotel they do ask for a memorabilia, which is actually asking for a freebie in a decent way! i guess the concierge find it pretty amusing when ask a thing like that! -Finbarr

One of the most frequent questions

One of the most frequent questions I would ask a concierge is the directions to the best restaurant nearby. Though I might not end up going there, I believe it is just good service that the concierge is able to provide directions. The worst kind of response I can get is that he doesn't know. I understand that it must be tiring to hear the same questions over and over again, but the ability to be friendly and give good answers should be the responsibility of a good concierge.

Bitter much?

This article smacks of someone that hasnt ended up in the career they wanted to... bitter and twisted much? I shall ask all these things to every concierge i ever come accross in the hope that it is the author.

Concierge SHOULD equal SERVICE

This is 98% of what I was thinking while reading the OP's post.  I would like to add (based upon experiences):

If I have emailed you ahead of time asking for something e.g., make a reservation; it's a special occasion, etc. then follow-up and DO what you say you're going to do.  Nothing worse than having a confirmation email but the concierge never did what was said in the email and now it's "too late" to have the special meal, museum or play tix, etc.

We are your customer.  Please-  treat us as such - saying words such as please, thank you, what can I do for you today, how may I assist you, etc. makes a boatload of difference.

When asking for a recommendation, offer places where you are not receiving a "kickback."  


Hey, I know where I am...

Don't ask me for directions and then argue with me about it. I'm sending you a particular way for a reason...

Not a charitable foundation

As someone who works in Hotel Reception reading through this i see valid points from both sides. Yes you're paying for a service and it's part of our job to be pleasant and helpful no matter the request, but that doesn't give you the right to be a dick about it. I can only help you based on what you tell me, so if you stand around being vague, that's really not a lot to go on and is incredibly frustrating. I'm not sure why but people sometimes think hotel workers have some magic ability to things, we don't, we're people not wizards and we can't help you unless you tell us how. Don't ask me something if you already know the answer to then try and argue about it, i'm paid NOT to argue with you so it will get you nowhere. Also, don't tell me how i should be doing my job or complain that you don't understand why our rates are so high, of course you don't understand, i don't understand the engine in my car, that's why i'm not a mechanic. I may sound like i'm whining and maybe i am, but i love my job, it's awesome for the most part and you meet the most incredible people, not just guests but those you work with. Some people just need to realise that hotels are not charities and the people that provide you with all those things that you want, still need to make a living as well, and unless you're the big cheese or an amazing concierge, you're probably not making enough to buy that luxury yacht just yet. So the moral of the story is be nice to those who serve you and you'll get what you want, simple.

Your concierge is for sale

Don't tip the concierge.  

Your thankful 10-spot means nothing to them.  Why should it when they can get a free dinner for sending you and you friends to buy an undercooked, overpriced steak at ___ Chophouse?  

It amazes me how many people don't realize that your run of the mill concierge (and they all are) will only recommend places that give them free meals, booze, tours, rooms, or cash.

Every single place they direct you to, be it restaurants, Grand Canyon tours, limo companies, strip clubs, doctors, whathaveyou...is because of the juice they receive.  They don't care about you, because if one of these surefire recs fail to deliver, they can always feign concern and offer you another that "is sure to please."  Once you are out of their direct line of sight, you are vapor.  You're better off asking a cabbie.

Make these leeches work for their meals...ask them WHY they recommend a particular place.  Better yet, relegate them to the sidelines and ask your peers...Yelp is popular for a reason.  

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