4 Hotel Tips: How to Make the Most of Your Concierge
1. Help your concierge help you.When asking for help, focus on what you like. Avoid unhelpful statements such as "Where should I eat? I don't like fish, I don't like steak, and I don't like Chinese." You’ll get better results by revealing your preferences, as in, "I love candlelit French bistros, but tonight I feel like something livelier, more casual, maybe Italian." Also, nothing drives a concierge crazier than a guest asking, "I'm in town for two weeks, and I've never been here before. What should I do?" Start with Fodors.com, and do a little homework.
2. Keep expectations realistic.At a typical tourist-class hotel you can expect a concierge to give you the basics: to show you something on a map, make a standard restaurant reservation, or help you book a tour or airport transportation. In Asia concierges perform the vital service of writing out the name or address of your destination for you to give to a cab driver. It's not uncommon for restaurants to ply concierges with free food and drink in exchange for steering diners their way; European concierges often receive referral fees. Hotel chains usually have guidelines about what their concierges can accept. The best concierges, however, are above reproach. This is particularly true of those who belong to the prestigious international society of Les Clefs d'Or (evidenced by the gold crossed keys pin worn on the lapel).
3. Leave time for your request to be fulfilled.Don't expect to breeze by the desk with a laundry list of requests and get immediate attention. At a luxury hotel, there are only two or three concierges on duty at a time, though there may be several hundred guests. Concierges are busiest in the morning at checkout time, when business travelers need the most assistance, and in the late afternoon and early evening at check-in time, when guests want dinner reservations. The ideal time to chitchat is usually between noon and 4 PM and 8 PM and 10 PM. If you have a complicated request, leave your cell-phone number, or ask that a message be left in your room.
4. Know how to tip.For the best service, give half the money up front, then the other half once your request has been fulfilled. If the staff knows you're a good tipper, they'll work extra hard to ensure you get what you want, when you want it. Base the amount of your tip on the time spent arranging your request. For simple matters that require only one phone call, such as an airport shuttle, tip $2. For restaurant recommendations and reservations that require discussion and opinion, $5 to $20, the latter for harder-to-book tables. For itinerary planning, tip $20 to $100, depending on how complicated it is.
More on Hotel Travel
Member Comments (1) Post a Comment
I like specific and practical tips - just what you have here. For someone who's just tried traveling alone, these will be really helpful (and also a good reminder for the well-traveled folks).
Fodor's Top News & Features
- 5 Reasons to Go to Charleston, South Carolina Right Now
- 10 Best All-Inclusive Resorts for Families in the US
- Ultimate Walt Disney World 2014 Planner
- Top 10 Places to Go This Spring
- 15 Budget-Friendly Spring Getaways for 2014
- Europe's Best City Escapes for Spring
- World's Best Overwater Bungalows
- Fodor's Approved: 15 Most Stylish Women's Shoes for Travel
- 15 Legendary Hotels Around the World
- America's 10 Best Spots for Seeing Wildflowers
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- $39 & up -- 1-BR Villa at 4-Diamond Beach Resort, 30% OffNorth Beach Plantation
- $284 & up -- 3-Day Cruise to Nassau w/Live ConcertCarnival Cruise Lines
- $216 & up -- Miami Beach Hotels on Sale, up to 75% Offtrivago
- $1159 & up -- Balcony on Weeklong Fjords of Norway CruiseRoyal Caribbean
- $2703 & up -- Ireland in Spring: 5-Star Trip w/Four SeasonsSceptre Tours
- $1119 & up -- Oceanview: 7-Nt. Greek Isles Cruise, Save $330Royal Caribbean