The Concierge: Your Travel Superhero
An American business man is sitting on a bench in a park in Hong Kong. It’s a busy intersection and people swirl around him but he is lost. He cannot read or speak the language and has no idea where he is in the city. He has no local currency, just a credit card and a cell phone. He needs a taxi, a decent hotel and a good meal in that order. What does he do? He calls his travel agent in the U.S.
“Help,” he says to me when I answer the phone in Atlanta, Ga.
Trust me. No, I’m not kidding. Yes, this actually did happen and no, I did not ask him how he managed to get himself in that situation. A good travel agent will keep your confidences just like a good doctor. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, know what I mean?
However, if you do happen to find yourself caught up in a Twilight Zone moment, it’s not always necessary to call a travel agent. All you really need to do is call a hotel concierge.
In ancient times the concierge was an officer of the king, a cop and judge in one, who dispensed justice with the help of the bailiffs. The good guy, in other words. Today’s hotel concierges work on behalf of the hotel, live-in butlers charged with making guests’ stay run smoothly and safely.
Enter The Dragon
Here’s what I did to help Mr. Stranded Businessman. I called one of the finest hotels in the city, The Mandarin Oriental. I asked the front desk to transfer my call to the concierge desk. Turn’s out he was fabulous. A Super Concierge, if you will. With a three-way connection, my client described his surroundings which Super C immediately recognized and dispatched a limo to pick him up. In less than an hour, my client was checked into his luxury suite, in a plush robe with room service and a story to tell.
Another job well done.
I know the Mandarin Oriental is pricey but any decent hotel could have done the same. Never forget the concierge is a priceless resource who is available to you free of charge. Unfortunately, most people just think of the concierge what they need dinner reservations, theatre tickets or a limo, but he has so much more to offer.
There is no jam you can get into that he hasn’t heard or seen before. Especially for overseas travel, he’s a treasure trove of information and can get you out of a world of trouble. Lost passport? He’ll help you with red-tape. Need authentic souvenirs? He’ll tell you where to get them. Not feeling well? He’ll point you to a good doctor. It’s his job to make your stay as stress-free and pleasant as possible.
There’s no need to fear, Super Concierge is there! Just don’t forget to tip generously and often.