How to Help Your Concierge Help You
The biggest misconception about hotel concierges is that they’re only great for hotel-related inquiries. Truth is, good concierges are capable of pulling all kinds of favours to make your stay more convenient and worthwhile. They’re not just hotel employees but community ambassadors, essentially considered experts of the destination armed with years of knowledge and vast connections that could get you special access to the hottest events in the city. Here are 4 ways to use their service to its maximum potential:
Vague questions often lead to vague answers, so make sure to point out what you really want from them and you’ll get better responses. By revealing your exact preferences, your concierge can give you the best, if not more relevant, options. For instance, if you’re asking for information regarding restaurants, saying “I love seafood except fish – my favourites are calamari and scallops, but I can’t stand seeing my food alive before I eat them” is more effective than telling your concierge “I hate vegetables and despise fish.”
With the former sentence, you are giving 3 important details (hates fish, loves calamari and scallops, no live seafood) and your concierge would be happy to lead you to a non-live-seafood restaurant with the best calamari and scallops in the city (but not necessarily the best in fish recipes). On the other hand, the latter statement is unhelpful as it doesn’t really give the concierge important clues that lead to a satisfying answer. This rule applies all the more when you’re talking to an online concierge service such as MyConcierge.com as you won’t want to waste precious time typing non-specific inquiries and getting confusing answers.
Ask because you value their opinion.
Asking your concierge to recommend their favourite restaurant or club and promptly asking for the nearest fast-food chain once they have given their honest answer sounds very much like trolling. Better not ask if you aren’t going to listen to their recommendation anyway – it will only waste your time and theirs.
Keep it realistic.
Sometimes, there are different expectations for different concierges, depending where you may be. For instance, typical hotel concierges can provide you the basics such as directions, restaurant reservations, transportation, and tour bookings. In Europe, it is common for concierges to receive referral fees. In Asia, they usually write the name or address of your preferred destination and give the note to the cab driver. And in most hotel chains, they may be under hotel guidelines on what they can or cannot accept. Don’t hesitate to ask what they can possibly arrange for you – the best ones are irreproachable and you just might get lucky.
Give it time.
Concierges will exhaust all means to arrange your request as quickly as possible, but make sure to allow them an ample amount of time – again, just be specific on the exact time you’ll need the request to be accomplished so they know there is a deadline, especially if it’s a rather complicated one. It would also be a great idea to ask for the favour in advance, before you even arrive at the destination, to ensure sufficient time for accomplishing your requests. With the availability of online concierge services, it won’t be hard to do this as early as possible, anywhere, anytime, as long as you have your smartphone with you and you’re connected to the internet.
Concierges are the next best thing to destination guides – but with more benefits. Just don’t ask them anything immoral or illegal, don’t forget to tip whenever needed, and they’ll help you make your holiday experience a certainly memorable one.